How much is enough?

What’s your idea of a comfortable lifestyle? It’s a very personal thing - what one person considers extravagant could be considered modest by another. 

Most of us would agree that we don’t want to scale back the lifestyle we have today because our retirement benefit won’t allow for it in the future. It’s important to figure out how much you need to maintain your current lifestyle, but also how much you need to fund the lifestyle you hope to enjoy in retirement, based on your plans. 

What is meant by a ‘comfortable retirement’?

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) publishes a ‘Retirement Standard’ benchmark, which outlines the amounts needed to enjoy either a comfortable or modest standard of living in retirement. This benchmark is updated quarterly to reflect inflation.

The Retirement Standard defines lifestyles as: 

  • comfortable – which enables a retiree to enjoy a broad range of leisure activities and have a good standard of living through the purchase of household goods, private health insurance, a reasonable car, domestic and (occasionally) international travel; 
  • modest – which provides a retiree with a better lifestyle than that offered under the Age Pension, but still only able to afford basic activities.

So how much is needed to live comfortably in retirement?

ASFA has done some number-crunching and their most recent figures recommend:

  • about $61,000 a year is the amount needed for a couple aged between 65 & 85 to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in retirement; and 
  • about $40,000 a year is the amount needed to maintain a modest lifestyle in retirement.

These figures are updated quarterly and published on their website – for the most up-to-date amounts, visit ASFA’s website.

Remember that we all have different ideas of what is considered ‘comfortable’, so you may need more or less than this amount. However, it’s a good starting point for you to work out how much you’ll need.

Are you on track to a comfortable retirement?

To get an idea of how much you’ll have, visit our website and try our calculators

  • The Retirement Income Calculator takes the guesswork out of calculating how much super you’ll end up with – it works out how much you’re likely to finish up with, and what sort of income that might provide for your life after work.
  • The Pension Drawdown Calculator shows you know how long your money is likely to last, and helps you work out the ideal income to draw from your pension annually.

Once you’ve tried our calculators ask yourself: are you on track to achieving your own ‘retirement standard’ based on the lifestyle you plan to lead? If the answer is no, now’s the time to take action to bridge the gap, and our financial planners can help you do this.

The information on this page has been issued by Maritime Financial Services Pty Limited (MFS). It contains general information that doesn’t take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It’s important to consider how appropriate this general information is in relation to your situation before making an investment decision. We recommend that you seek financial advice before making any decisions regarding your super or investments. The information on this page is current at the time of publishing.