March 2016 living standards

The overall benchmarked costs of retirement for retirees decreased less than 1% this quarter. Once again, the savings—such as from a 10% drop in the price of automotive fuel—were mostly offset by increased costs, notably for medical and hospital services, and pharmaceuticals.

For a modest lifestyle (better than a Government pension but fairly simple living), the annual guidelines are now $23,651 for a single or $34,064 for a couple. For a more comfortable lifestyle, the estimates are $42,893 for a single and $58,922 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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