December 2015 living standards

This quarter saw the overall benchmarked costs of retirement increase again quite modestly (between 0.4% and 0.6%), as some larger increases (such as domestic holiday travel and accommodation up 5.9%) were offset by decreased costs such as fuel (down 5.7 per cent), fruit and communications. 

For a modest lifestyle (better than a Government pension but fairly simple living), the annual guidelines are now $23,797 for a single or $34,226 for a couple. For a more comfortable lifestyle, the estimates are $43,184 for a single and $59,236 for a couple.

So how much do you need?

If you take the relevant annual figure and multiply it by the number of years* you expect to be in retirement, you will get a rough idea of how much super you need to have when you retire.

The ASFA website includes a simple calculator to show how much you may need according to your marital status and which state you live in.

What does this mean for you?

It may mean you need more super than you thought – consolidating other accounts into one, making personal contributions and salary sacrificing are ways to increase super. This could be a good reason to contact our Member Advice Consultants for some personal advice, too.


*You can use the Australian Bureau of Statistics life tables for an idea of your life expectancy.

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