June 2014 living standards

The retirement benchmark continued to show increasing costs of retirement living in the June 2014 quarter. The benchmarked costs of retirement increased about half a per cent from the previous quarter.

Significant changes in the June quarter included increased costs of medical and hospital services (4.6%, ascribed to increased health insurance premiums) and overseas travel (3.6%).

The ASFA Retirement Standard provides an invaluable starting point for looking at your requirements in the future and making plans on that basis now. It provides some insight into the proportions of retirement budgets typically spent in retirement across basic categories such as food, health and transport.

It is worthwhile considering what factors and decisions in your life might increase or decrease what you will require compared to the assumptions behind the annual guidelines.

For a modest lifestyle (better than a Government pension but fairly simple living), the annual guidelines are $23,363 for a single or $33,664 for a couple. For a more comfortable lifestyle, the estimates are $42,433 for a single and $58,128 for a couple. This equates to about $510,000 in super for a comfortable lifestyle as a couple or $430,000 for a single.

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