Much ink has been spilled warning of the poverty awaiting baby boomers in retirement; but superannuation experts say there is still time to do something about it.

Those who are 50 years-old as they read this won’t be able to access their pensions until age 69 or 70. This means they still have twenty years to pump up their nest egg.

But most baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are cutting it close.

According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia a couple will need $510,000 in super funds PLUS other money to be able to retire comfortably. Self-funded retirees will require about double that.

The current data, then, paints a bleak picture: Figures attained in 2012 show the average super balance, in the 50-54 year-old age bracket, to be $104,000. Men averaged $137,000, women – $72,000.

It’s not all their fault.

Baby boomers missed out on most of the compulsory employer superannuation younger workers enjoy today. When they did get the payments they still had to wait until 2002 until them to reach a worthwhile 9%.

Only last year did they hit 9.5%.

Moreover, they were squarely hit by two recessions and the Global Financial Crisis – which gutted most superannuation balances.

Financial strategist Theo Marinis gives a stark warning: “If you are a tail-end baby boomer you are probably going to cop the raw end of the pineapple, but you still have plenty of time.

Many people think they can’t afford to retire, but most people can. You might be surprised to find you are not in as bad a position as you think you are. If you are 20 years from retirement there is plenty of time to make a massive difference.

The keys, says Mr Marinis, are making deposits into super as soon as possible, and not stopping. Plus: “Review what you are paying in fees. If you are paying too much in fees you don’t get to keep as much super.

“There are plenty of lower cost options out there. See a good adviser who can help with these things.”

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