THE key to happiness? Taking control of your own retirement savings. Well, maybe not the be-all-and-end-all key, but it certainly helps.

Research from RaboDirect found those with self-managed super funds (SMSF) were happier and in better health than their non-SMSF counterparts. Fifty-three per cent of survey respondents with SMSFs said yes to “I am completely happy with my life” compared to 48 per cent of those with standard super funds.

It was the same when it came to health. Fifty-four per cent said they were in “excellent health” compared to 46 per cent of respondents with standard super funds.

An explanation for the disparity in results could be due to SMSF holders having a sense of control over their retirement savings, and therefore one less thing to feel disenfranchised about.

RaboDirect group executive manager Greg McSweeney said: “Regardless of where people currently have their super invested, we could all take a cue from SMSF investors by taking a more proactive approach to our financial outlook.

“By actively taking control of our finances, we may get some of the peace of mind and health benefits that SMSF investors enjoy. Whether that means simply starting a budget, or moving your money from a low interest account to a true savings account, there are steps to take to be more in control of our financial future.”

A third of SMSF respondents also expected to have more than $1 million in retirement savings while only 10% of those with other funds expected a bountiful booty of the same amount, probably another factor in the happiness responses.