Check before you switch

Changing investment options can impact your investment returns and retirement balance.
It can be a good idea to reflect on why you want to change investment options before you take action. Here are some things to consider.

Actions you take today can impact your future balance

History suggests that for many investors “time-in-the-market” not “market timing” is the key to building long-term wealth. See how an investor can wipe tens of thousands of dollars off their balance by switching to cash in response to a market event, and staying out of the market.

view case study

Everyone has a different tolerance for risk. What’s yours?

When it comes to investing your super, there’s a trade-off between short-term fluctuations in returns and higher potential longer term returns.

Watching your super balance go up and down can be unsettling. If you find it hard to sleep at night when markets are volatile, you probably have a low tolerance for risk. If the markets ups and downs don’t bother you, as you’re more focused on long-term growth, you probably have a higher tolerance for risk.

Factors that may impact your risk tolerance level include:

  • Age
  • Your account balance
  • Your lifestyle goals and retirement income needs
  • Your personality – are you a risk taker or prefer a more conservative approach?
  • Your investment time frame

One way you can measure your risk tolerance is by looking at how often you’re willing to accept a negative return. We publish the risk of a negative annual return for each investment option in our Investment Guide

Investment guide - pdf, 1.7MB

What’s your investment timeframe?

Your investment timeframe is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your investment options. It’s how long you’re planning to keep your super invested before and after you retire.

Some people take their super as a lump sum when they retire. Others convert it into a regular income through an account-based pension. Keeping it invested helps your money grow, while providing you with a regular income.

Your super might need to last longer than you think

Here’s how long your super might need to last based on your current age and average life expectancies. These timeframes are indicative only, and are for members planning to keep their super invested their whole life. Your timeframe will be shorter if you access your super earlier, for example, you decide to take your super as a lump sum at retirement.

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Select your age to see how long your super might need to last based on average life expectancies*

Tell us your age

Age: 15

Female: 70 years

Male: 66 years

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 16

Female: 69 years

Male: 65 years

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 17

Female: 68

Male: 64

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 18

Female: 67

Male: 63

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 19

Female: 66

Male: 62

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 20

Female: 65

Male: 61

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 21

Female: 64

Male: 60

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 22

Female: 63

Male: 59

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 23

Female: 62

Male: 58

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 24

Female: 61

Male: 57

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 25

Female: 60

Male: 56

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 26

Female: 59

Male: 55

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 27

Female: 58

Male: 54

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 28

Female: 57

Male: 53

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 29

Female: 56

Male: 52

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 30

Female: 55

Male: 51

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 31

Female: 54

Male: 50

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 32

Female: 53

Male: 49

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 33

Female: 52

Male: 49

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 34

Female: 51

Male: 48

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 35

Female: 50

Male: 47

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 36

Female: 49

Male: 46

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 37

Female: 48

Male: 45

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 38

Female: 47

Male: 44

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 39

Female: 46

Male: 43

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 40

Female: 45

Male: 42

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 41

Female: 45

Male: 41

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 42

Female: 44

Male: 40

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 43

Female: 43

Male: 39

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 44

Female: 42

Male: 38

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 45

Female: 41

Male: 37

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 46

Female: 40

Male: 36

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 47

Female: 39

Male: 35

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 48

Female: 38

Male: 34

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 49

Female: 37

Male: 34

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 50

Female: 36

Male: 33

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 51

Female: 35

Male: 32

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 52

Female: 34

Male: 31

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 53

Female: 33

Male: 30

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 54

Female: 32

Male: 29

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 55

Female: 31

Male: 28

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 56

Female: 30

Male: 27

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 57

Female: 29

Male: 26

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 58

Female: 29

Male: 26

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 59

Female: 28

Male: 25

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 60

Female: 27

Male: 24

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 61

Female: 26

Male: 23

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 62

Female: 25

Male: 22

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 63

Female: 24

Male: 21

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 64

Female: 23

Male: 20

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 65

Female: 22

Male: 20

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 66

Female: 21

Male: 19

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 67

Female: 21

Male: 18

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 68

Female: 20

Male: 17

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 69

Female: 19

Male: 17

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 70

Female: 18

Male: 16

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 71

Female: 17

Male: 15

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 72

Female: 16

Male: 14

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 73

Female: 16

Male: 14

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 74

Female: 15

Male: 13

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

Age: 75

Female: 14

Male: 12

How long your super might need to last based on keeping your super invested your whole life using average life expectancies.

*Average life expectancies based on Australian Bureau of Statistics, Life Tables, Australia, 2014–2016, October 2017.

See how risk levels change with your investment timeframe

Short term risks are different to long term risks. This means investment options will have different levels of risk over different timeframes. Here’s a couple of examples to show you how the risk levels change over the short and long term. Our investment guide  has more information on risk.

The risk level of investment options change depending on your timeframe*

infographic showing risk over 5 vs 20 years
* Selected AustralianSuper investment options. See the investment guide for more information.

Do you want to leave the investment decisions to us, or be more hands on?

If you’re in one of our PreMixed options you don’t need to worry about monitoring markets and managing your investments as we do it for you. Our investment team constantly monitors a range of indicators to look for changes in the investment outlook. They adjust the allocation to different assets to make the most of the current and future environment and seek to maximise your long-term returns in that option.

If you choose our DIY Mix options or Member Direct you’ll need to make some of these investment decisions yourself. These options are designed for members who want more control and have the time and knowledge to manage their own investment strategy.

How we invest

Our priority is to achieve superior long-term returns for our members.

Learn More

Seek help if you’re not sure what to do

If you’re not sure which investment option is right for you, it may be worthwhile speaking to a financial adviser. An adviser can help you choose the right investment option for your needs. They can also help provide guidance during times of uncertainty so you can stay focused on your long-term plan.

Your advice options

We can put you in touch with a phone-based adviser who can help you work out your risk profile and the best long-term investment strategy for you.

Find out more
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