How Retirees Are Growing Their SMSF Wealth: Top Asset Classes


For many Australians, setting up a self-managed super fund is one of the best ways to grow their wealth before retirement. But once they reach those golden years, how do their investments change? Let’s explore some of the top asset classes that retirees invest in with their SMSFs.

Cash and term deposits

It should come as no surprise to learn that retirees hold a large portion of their wealth in cash and term deposits. The relative stability of this asset class, despite lower returns, suits their lifestyle in retirement where they may be living off their savings and perhaps a passive income from term deposits and investment properties.

In fact, retirees tend to shift more of their assets across to cash and term deposits once they officially retire, according to figures from SuperGuide – this asset class makes up 19.8% of their investments in the accumulation phase, jumping to 21.2% in retirement.


Beyond cash, a large contingent of retirees invest in shares to provide income throughout their golden years. Even though many retirees are conservatively minded, when it comes to shares they are seeing a higher average dividend yield than the ASX200, according to SuperGuide’s most recent stats.

So it makes sense that their 19.1% allocation into listed shares pre-retirement jumps up to 30.8% – the highest portion of asset classes invested in with SMSFs – when they do retire.


Property is another strong asset class for SMSFs, but most interesting is that retirees prefer to invest in non-residential real property (9.4%) as opposed to residential real property (4.3%) like occupied homes and apartments.

Despite the housing boom, retirees seemingly appreciate the stability of commercial property investments over the unpredictable nature of the residential market.

Unlisted trusts

Finally, most SMSFs for retirees tend to include an allocation towards trusts. There’s a not-insignificant bump in investments in unlisted trusts (10.9% to 12.4%) at retirement, while listed trusts also increase after the accumulation phase (4.9% to 6.5%).

Interestingly, retirees find more security and growth potential when investing in unlisted trusts (managed funds) over listed trusts like REITs and ETFs.

Start your SMSF journey today

If you want to grow your nest egg to enjoy a more comfortable retirement, setting up your own self-managed super fund could be the right move for your financial goals. However, you will need to consider your existing circumstances, your goals for retirement and your ability to manage a super fund yourself.

“Building wealth through a self-managed super fund is a key retirement goal for many Australians,” says Daran Thomson, Managing Director at Hallmark Consulting. “As we can see from recent figures, many retirees are using their SMSFs to invest in growth assets and live off the dividends. At Hallmark, our SMSF specialists can help you understand whether a self-managed super fund is the right decision for you, and then get you started on making it happen.”

Whether you’re approaching retirement or you are simply planning for the future, we can help you set up an SMSF today. Contact Hallmark Consulting Finance or call 1300 135 295 to find out more.