While as a nation we collectively face a large retirement savings gap, there are a number of smart things you could consider doing to help make sure your future financial security isn’t at risk.

The savings gap

Most Australians are financially unprepared for retirement, partly because we are living longer than ever before and we have higher expectations of our retirement lifestyle.

Research conducted by Rice Warner Actuaries reveals that Australia has a shortfall in super of close to $1 trillion1.

What’s more, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) says the average couple needs at least $510,000 to fund a comfortable retirement, while a single person needs at least $430,000 (both calculations assume receipt of part Age Pension)2.

If you’re relying on your employer compulsory super contributions alone to meet this retirement goal, you could be in for a nasty surprise. According to ASFA, if you’re earning $50,000 a year, your lump sum benefit after 30 years of employer contributions would be just $183,000 (assuming 9% super guarantee contributions, investment earnings of 7% and current tax rates).2

While the gradual increase in the super guarantee rate to 12% by 2025 will go some way towards closing this gap, it’s unlikely to be enough2.

Strategies to help close the gap

1. Set your target

The first step in closing the super gap is to understand how much you will need to create the retirement you want. While this may seem obvious, research by Investment Trends shows that 68% of Australians haven’t set a target for their retirement savings or income3. Your adviser can help you identify your retirement target and recommend strategies to close your super gap.

Over the coming months you will begin to see changes at LBW as we roll out our new brand. It is our intention to see this period of transition completed by the end of this financial year. Next week we will celebrate the launch of our new name and logo - LBW Business + Wealth Advisors.

The reasoning behind the new name is to recognize the shift in services we provide to our clients and to align to the future direction of the Firm. We remain a Chartered Accounting Firm and will continue with our traditional compliance and tax return services. The new name recognizes the growth in our offerings over the last 3-4 years and reflects all that LBW offers – more than just accounting. Our services include business advice and overall wealth creation and retirement planning advice.

The new logo, sees the introduction of the plus symbol +++. The plus symbol is reflective of what we offer to all our clients, our staff and our community connections. Represents partnerships, working together and collaboratively to identify and meet the individual needs of all our connections.

The Staff and Principals are extremely excited by the opportunities the fresh new look and direction offers LBW and we look forward to bringing this to life with you.

The 2017 Powercor Geelong Business Excellence Awards (the Awards) are being officially launched on Thursday 23rd February 2017 at Karingal Eastern Hub in East Geelong.

2017 marks the 32nd year that the Awards will recognise and celebrate business excellence across the Geelong region. The Awards are one of the most cost effective and thorough forms of business development you will ever undertake. It’s also an easy way to draft your own business plan.

The independent judging panel consists of experienced Geelong business leaders as well as many past winners of the Awards.

LBW Business & Wealth Advisors believe the Awards are extremely important especially in current economic times and as a result remain a category sponsor of the Large Business category.

We encourage all businesses to enter the Awards as they will definitely benefit from the experience. This year the Awards are undertaking 2 Information Expo’s (where you can hear from past entrants and winners) and numerous writing workshops over the next few months. We strongly suggest that you attend one of the expo’s that will be held following the launch and book into a writing workshop.

More information in relation to these Awards can be found at www.gbea.com.au or go to the Geelong Business Excellence Awards Facebook page http://on.fb.me/Kzzeud or the Awards Twitter page https://twitter.com/GBEAwards to receive information and updates as they are posted.

You can also email the Awards coordinator, Kelli Finlayson on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Simon Flowers