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How much super should I have in my 30s?

Find out if you’re on track to retire comfortably.
Published 30 May 2024   |   3 min read

It’s never too early to start thinking about your super or retirement, here’s a quick guide to help get you started. 

How much superannuation should I have?

This isn’t a simple answer, as your super balance now would depend on how you’d like to live during retirement. For this exercise, we’ll use the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s (ASFA) retirement standards

ASFA outlines two living standards, ‘comfortable’ and ‘modest.’ It suggests a comfortable retirement requires around $690,000 in the bank for couples and $595,000 for singles, or around $100,000 in the bank at retirement for a ‘modest’ lifestyle.

You can use tools like the Super Balance Detective to see if you’re on-track today – for instance the tool calculates a 30-year-old would need $59,000 in their super account today be on-track to retire comfortably at age 67.  

Before making any changes, you should consider your personal tax circumstances, or seek tax or financial advice. Find out more from the ATO website


Young people in the surf at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia


What if my super balance is lower?

If your balance is lower than the amount above, don't panic. You still have plenty of time to build your super savings. Plus, by acting early, you could make ‘catching up’ faster and easier than if you left it until later in life.  

Here are a few things you could consider doing now that may contribute to boosting your super. 

  1. Contribute more: Increasing your super contributions is one of the most effective ways to build your balance. Take advantage of salary sacrificing, where you divert a portion of your pre-tax income into your super fund through your employer. By doing so, you not only reduce your taxable income but also boost your retirement savings. You can also make additional contributions to your super, which can also be claimed as a tax deduction.  
  2. Consolidate your accounts: If you’ve had multiple jobs, chances are you have multiple super accounts. Consolidating them into one fund can help you avoid paying unnecessary fees and make it easier to keep track of your superannuation. Be sure to compare fees, investment options, and insurance coverage before consolidating. 
  3. Consider your investment options: Review your investment options and choose one that aligns with your risk tolerance and retirement goals. While younger individuals can generally afford to take on more risk, you want to strike a balance between growth and stability. 
  4. Take advantage of government co-contributions: Eligible individuals who make personal after-tax contributions to their super may be eligible for government co-contributions. This initiative is designed to boost the retirement savings of low to middle-income earners. Check your eligibility and consider taking advantage of this opportunity. 


Young woman in her 30s considering her super balance


What if my super balance is higher?

If your super is higher than recommended levels, this would be an exciting time to review how you want to retire.

Does ASFA’s ‘comfortable’ living standard align with how you envision your retirement? If not, you can continue to grow your super at your rate, or boost your super, so that you can retire in the style that best suits you. You have the benefit of a head start, so use it to your advantage.  

Here are a few things you can do that may contribute to supercharging your super: 

  1. Consider your investment options: Review your current investment options and consider if they align with your goals. The longer you have to retirement, the longer you’re able to ride out market fluctuations – so perhaps a higher-risk growth option is better suited to you.  
  2. Contribute more: Take advantage of salary sacrificing, where you divert a portion of your pre-tax income into your super fund through your employer. By doing so, you not only reduce your taxable income but also boost your retirement savings. You can also make additional contributions to your super, which y as a tax deduction.  

Planning early and establishing good financial habits, such as budgeting, tracking your expenses and contributing extra to super, can put you and your family on the path to long-term financial success.

While retirement is still a long way off, saving for retirement is a long game, and every decision you make can have significant implications in decades to come. Taking some time to think about the retirement you want now and ways you might get there could pay dividends when the time eventually comes around. 

The information is of a general nature and is not intended to provide you with financial advice or take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances and read the Financial Services Guide (FSG), relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) available on our website. You may wish to seek financial advice from an authorised financial adviser before making an investment decision. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Interests in the Australian Ethical Retail Superannuation Fund (ABN 49 633 667 743, USI AET0100AU) are offered by Australian Ethical Investment Limited (ABN 47 003 188 930, AFSL 229949) and issued by the Trustee of the Fund, Australian Ethical Superannuation Pty Limited (ABN 43 079 259 733, RSE L0001441, ASFL 526 055). 

Superannuation is a means of saving for retirement, which is, in part, compulsory. The government has placed restrictions on when you can access your investments held in superannuation. The Government has set caps on the amount of money that you can add to your superannuation each year and over your lifetime on both a concessional and non-concessional tax basis. There will be tax consequences if you breach these caps. For more detail, speak with a financial adviser or registered tax agent or visit the ATO website. 


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