What's the average Australian superannuation balance at age 40 in 2024?

The average balance for a 40-year-old could surprise.

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Superannuation balances are an important asset for people in retirement. It's ironic how a lot of people in their 60s, with little time to retirement, are very interested in superannuation, while younger Aussies don't pay much attention to super despite having loads of time for compounding and making a difference.

It's understandable why people start paying attention in their 60s, as that's when people can start accessing their superannuation after reaching the preservation age.

We have recently looked at the average superannuation balance, but this time we're going to focus on the average balance for someone aged 40.

The 40s can be a time of our highest earning power and lead to making the strongest superannuation contributions, so it's a great stage to think about superannuation and which assets to invest in.

What's the average superannuation balance at age 40?

Based on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Taxation Statistics report for FY21, the average balance for someone aged 40 to 44 was $123,993. The median superannuation balance was $91,590.

The average balance is influenced by people with large balances, such as high earners and people who have simply contributed a lot to their superannuation fund.

The median figure describes the 'middle' number as though we've lined up everybody and asked the person at the midpoint of the line what their superannuation balance is.

Those numbers include all Aussies, but as you may know, there can be a gap between male and female superannuation balances.

According to the ATO statistics, the average 40-year-old female superannuation balance was $107,538 and the median balance was $77,644.

Meanwhile, the average balance for a 40-year-old male was $139,431, while the median balance was $106,771.

For 50 to 54-year-old Aussies, the median male balance was 167,002, while the median female balance was $112,943.

What can we learn from these figures?

The average Australian has built up a decent nest egg, but there's plenty of work to do to build it up to a large enough balance for a comfortable retirement.

According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, the superannuation balance required to achieve a comfortable retirement at age 67 is $690,000 for a couple and $595,000 for a single retiree.

It could be a good idea to check your superannuation balance currently so you know how much progress you've made towards your retirement goal. The last years of compounding will have the biggest effect. For example, a 66-year-old with a $600,000 balance who sees a 10% annual return can reach 67-years-old with a $660,000 balance.

What are some ways to help boost the nest egg? Two of the main strategies could be to add more into superannuation, and to invest in assets that can produce stronger returns over the long term. For example, ASX shares have beaten the return of more defensive assets over the long term.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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