June 2017 living standards

The overall benchmarked costs of retirement for retirees increased this quarter (0.1% at the modest level, 0.2% for comfortable retirement standard). Relief came from seasonal fruit and domestic holidays, yet increases to the costs of power, health care and rates added to the demands on retirement budgets.

Over the year to the June quarter, the increase was 1.5% for comfortable and 2.1% for modest, compared to the general Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase of 1.9%.

For a modest lifestyle (better than a Government pension but fairly simple living), the annual guidelines are now $24,270 for a single or $34,911 for a couple. For a more comfortable lifestyle, the estimates are $43,695 for a single and $60,063 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 for a modest or comfortable retirement lifestyle (based on ASFA's definitions as explained above). The ASFA website includes a simple calculator to show how much super may be enough.

Your personal circumstances and goals also need to be considered in deciding how much super you will need in retirement.

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.

Phone 1300 128 751 (Local call)