Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been asked on numerous occasions by friends, family and colleagues my opinion on whether allowing early access to superannuation is a good idea.
Why are they asking me this? Because not for the first time, there is debate and discussion over whether young Aussies should be able to tap into their retirement savings to raise funds for a house deposit.
The fact that I am already a home owner (I use the term ‘owner’ loosely – technically the bank owns my house and will for some time) is largely irrelevant.
Regardless of the relative unaffordability of housing to most young people in Australia today; regardless of my financial situation; regardless of the fact I can classify myself as a fortunate ‘owner occupier’ – at no point would I think it’s a good idea to use my super to buy a house.
Why? At a very basic level, I understand compound interest. I get the opportunity cost of that money I withdraw today – for a great blog on this, see Geoff Brooks’ article ‘How a $4,500 bathroom renovation has cost me $60,000 in super and counting’.
The Bankwest First Time Buyer Deposit Report 2016, produced by CoreData for Bankwest, suggests the average savings required nationally among first time buyers for a 20% house deposit is $103,600.