Don't let your part-time-job lead to a part time retirement

If you're juggling work and parenting, how can you make sure your part-time wage doesn't lead to a part-time retirement?

More mums are returning to work, at least part-time, to generate additional family income to help cover rising living costs.

Particularly for busy mothers, part-time work can provide the flexibility you need to cope with parenting duties and other family commitments.

While any wage helps, working part-time compared to full-time does impact your ability to earn and save for retirement.

Retirement may seem a long way off when you're juggling a young family and a return to part-time work, but by making a few small changes now you can make a big difference to your long-term financial health.

Working for two

If your partner works full-time, it may be a good idea to increase their superannuation contributions - not only to meet their retirement needs, but also to make up for you working part-time.

It's also worth knowing that to even up your super balances, up to 85 per cent of certain super contributions (for example, salary sacrifice) can be split across to the spouse with a lower balance.

Another option to boost your super balance is spouse contributions. In addition to boosting your super, your partner may get the additional kicker of a tax offset of up to $540 on contributions they make for you.

Give a little, get a lot

Government co-contributions could also be a useful strategy. If you earn less than $48,516 a year1 and make after-tax contributions to your super, the Australian Government will contribute up to $500.

Keeping tabs

Getting back to basics and re-assessing the household spending plan is never a bad thing. If you know exactly where your money is going each week, it can help you identify areas where money can be saved.

Part-time work can be a blessing for many people, and although it may not be as easy to prepare for retirement on a smaller wage, there are strategies available for making the most of the income you have.

1. The upper limit will increase to $49,488 for the 2014/15 financial year.

What you need to know

Any advice in this article is general and does not take into account your personal circumstances so before making any decisions please consider your circumstances.