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Catholic Super 50th anniversary - with Lisa Taylor

Fund updates | | 2 min read



“You’re never too young or old to make a difference”: The primary school teacher with plans to ‘give back’ in retirement

Over four decades of teaching at a primary school level, Camberwell resident Lisa Taylor has observed a seismic shift in the views held by her students.

“Young Australians today are incredibly in tune with social matters. They are extremely passionate and vocal about issues such as social justice and the future of our environment. They want to drive positive change,” tells Lisa.

“There are many role models that young people can look up to, like Greta Thunberg and Australia’s Molly Steer, a ten year old Queensland girl who helped convince her local government to phase out using plastic straws. These campaigners show that anyone can make a positive difference to the world, regardless of age.”

“It’s really moving to see how much the younger generation cares about issues larger than themselves, but it’s also a telling sign of how much work remains to be done in our communities. It makes me want to do more and make a positive contribution in retirement.”

Inspired by her students’ commitment to social change

Lisa spent fifteen years as a deputy principal before deciding to return to the classroom and provide specialist literacy support. “I currently teach literacy to prep, Reading Recovery to first grade students, and provide literacy intervention programs across grades two to six. I came back to the classroom because I missed being a firsthand part of the learning process - the reason I became a teacher in the first place.”

Lisa says it never ceases to amaze and inspire her how children effortlessly display the intrinsic human characteristic of wanting to help others. A child’s simple gesture of support for those in need, whether it be wanting to fundraise for a cause or speak out against an injustice, demonstrates kindness and connection to others which is so valuable to a community.

“I’ve had a great career which I’m very thankful for, and it is now time for me to be able to do more for my community – my students have reminded me how simple it can be. With the support of Catholic Super, I plan to retire in the next two years and will be able to make more time for community contributions,” said Lisa.

Once a teacher, always a teacher

Using her skill set in literacy, as part of Lisa’s volunteer activity in retirement, she plans to assist adults from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. “I want to provide people, particularly those who may not come from English-speaking families, with the language skills needed to reach their full potential in Australian society.”

“I plan to volunteer within the community and assist non-profit organisations where possible. In addition, I’m looking forward to being available to spend more time with my expanding family.”

“My husband and I are also looking to travel extensively while we are fit and healthy enough to do so, as well as having more time for interests like hiking, cycling and golfing. I believe retirement should be a healthy balance between having more time for yourself, while finding time to contribute to the community that helped build your life and career.”

Lisa’s path to retirement

“I’ve been a Catholic Super member for my entire career, about 40 years. My husband previously worked in the corporate superannuation sector,” said Lisa, “and he believes Catholic Super is a quality fund that provides excellent value due to the fund’s consistent long term performance, considered investment options, efficient and flexible insurance, together with excellent all round support for members.”

“Catholic Super has been proactive in communicating important information to members, and has been aware of my changing circumstances over time, such as taking time off to start a family. The fund has provided useful and relevant advice on managing and achieving my retirement goals, even when it was a long way off.”

“Over the four decades of my membership, I’ve used Catholic Super’s support and advice in conjunction with making voluntary contributions throughout my career, always thinking toward my retirement goals. I have spent about twelve months out of the workforce during my career, due to having two children, and resumed working part-time whilst they were in the early years of their education. I stopped making contributions during these times, however resumed contributing as much as I could, as soon as I could. Resuming this as soon as possible has been a major contributor to ensuring I would have the amount of superannuation needed for a comfortable retirement.”

Advice for young Australians

“It’s a simple message … To younger Australians, I say it’s never too early to start thinking about your super - start as soon as possible! If you are new to the workforce, make sure you research the super fund you choose, to ensure you’re getting the best value possible. Start thinking about how much you are prepared to contribute each pay, on top of your employer contributions - don’t just sit by and think it will happen because your employer is making contributions for you.

“Making small, regular contributions will provide significant long-term reward. Perhaps consider contributing via salary sacrifice - if that is something appropriate for your circumstances. I did this for most of my career, and it has definitely paid off.”

Women and superannuation: then and now

“The beauty of children when they first commence their educational journey lies in their endless aspirations and open mind, somewhat oblivious to social expectations we come to recognise in later life. It’s not until kids start to become more involved with society that they become more aware of their peers and the world around them.

“There is incredible pressure on young females today, compared to when I began teaching in the ‘80s. With this however, comes the opportunity to seize possibilities and make an impact in areas of life women traditionally were excluded from or didn’t have much influence over.

“Finances and superannuation, for example, were typically a male’s domain. However, nowadays females are more career focused and are generally taking an active interest in managing their financial affairs effectively.

“While there has been a positive shift in this direction, I believe there’s still a lot of work to be done. Women need to know what options are available to them when it comes to superannuation and the importance of thinking about retirement goals from day one of their career.

“I’ll miss teaching, particularly the enthusiasm and passion of my students but now it’s time to embark on this next exciting chapter of life in retirement.”

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