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​Early superannuation access not the right path to owner occupied housing

Thursday, 03rd March 2016

What if you could unlock superannuation to buy your first home? Tempting isn't it, but if it means living on the breadline during retirement, would you still take the chance?

Recent calls to unlock super accounts to fund owner occupied homes have been criticised by The SMSF Club managing director Justin Beeton.

He says the idea behind super is for people to build wealth for retirement.

"We're already at the point where people don't have enough money in their super when they reach retirement age," he told Your Investment Property magazine.

"The idea of superannuation is for us to overcome the reliance on the aged pension and I don't think allowing people to take money out of super to use for something like buying their home is going to help us overcome [this]."

Mr Beeton is right on the money.

If people gain early access to their retirement funds, what impact do you think it will have on our ability to create independent wealth? We know the state pension won't cover real living expenses, so where else would the savings come from, if not super?

And while I do believe that the super benchmarks shouldn't change, I think we should be able to access our funds and make choices with how they are invested. This should be done under the guidance of a professional (in terms of residential investment, through a specialist adviser such as myself and via an independent financial planner) to make sure any decisions made are in line with your personal goals.

There are other ways to fund owner occupied housing outside of superannuation. Let's leave our retirement savings alone and consider those options first.

Until next time,