Give everyone an SMSF for their 18th birthday!

By Tim Miller
(Miller Super Solutions)

So, that statement should be enough to have ASIC, the ATO and many within the industry scrambling to gag me but rest assured it’s all in the name of education!

Taking the decision to have an SMSF is a big step and doing it because someone else recommends that it is in your best interest is a huge leap of faith in that recommendation. That’s why giving everyone the opportunity to “try before they buy” may result in a greater understanding of the role of a trustee and at the same time lift the level of financial literacy amongst those transitioning into the workforce rather than trying to teach it as they transition into retirement.

Of course 3 years working at the local supermarket or fast food restaurant won’t exactly warrant the establishment cost or annual administration fees, even with all the administrative bargains out there, but I’m not actually suggesting they set up their own Fund, or join their parents fund – perish the thought!  What I’m thinking of is a virtual SMSF or for those with a keen sense of Australianism, a Clayton’s SMSF!

There is a nation of Tamagotchi kids who supposedly learnt how to raise a baby by pressing buttons on an egg shaped device, then there are the FarmVille farmers who simulate farm management on their Android or iOS device and of course there is SimCity and The Sims which pretty much simulate building entire cities and popular consumerism. Simulated Self Managed Superannuation Funds, or SSMSFs just in case there aren’t enough acronyms, can provide future clients with the tools to see if they have the skills, time and desire to manage their own super fund.  I can just see the kids faces on Christmas morning when the wake and find their own SSMSF under the Christmas Tree! Perhaps we will start with SimSuper.

People are looking for ways to engage with younger superannuants and are continually bemoaning that they have waning attention spans or spend more time communicating with their cyber friends than taking an interest in their future retirement savings.  Well instead of trying to drag them into your world perhaps we should engage with them in theirs.

There are already apps and online games for trading on the stockmarket to help people learn how to invest so this is an obvious extension with the compliance expansion pack. Of course the alternative is “SMSF – the boardgame” where unlike Monopoly, bankruptcy is not an option and if you are sent directly to jail you have to apply to the Commissioner within 14 days to obtain a waiver to be able to continue to play.

PS if anyone actually thinks this is a good idea then remember where you heard it first, I’m sure we can come to some arrangement!

General advice warning:
This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information, so please consult your financial adviser.

Miller Super Solutions is the SMSF education & training creation of Tim Miller, assisting SMSF professionals and trustees with the practices associated with establishing, running and ultimately closing down SMSF’s



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