A comfortable retirement

Since 2004 the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has maintained a record of retirement living standards. It is regarded as a very good benchmark for assessing the appropriate level of spending required in retirement.

The latest figures published, for single and married couples, are as follows:

Budgets for various households and living standards for those aged around 67

Comfortable lifestyle (total per year)   Modest Lifestyle (total per year)
Single Couple   Single Couple
$45,962 $64,771   $29,139 $41,929

(December quarter 2021, national)

Budgets for various households and living standards for those aged around 85

Comfortable lifestyle (total per year)   Modest Lifestyle (total per year)
Single Couple   Single Couple
$43,193 $59,837   $27,286 $38,997

(December quarter 2021, national)

The figures in each case assume that the retiree(s) own their own home and relate to expenditure by the household. This can be greater than household income after income tax where there is a drawdown on capital over the period of retirement.

Such figures are necessarily generic and there is obviously no one size fits all, but it at least provides a reference point when we are planning for retirement. We will often use these figures to demonstrate the relative strength or weakness of our client’s capital position. If examined early enough, adjustments can be made to improve the eventual outcome.

As a further point of reference, consider that the current full age pension rates are:

Normal rates

Per fortnight Single Couple
each
Couple
combined
Couple apart
due to ill health
 Maximum basic rate $882.20 $665 $1,330 $882.20
 Maximum Pension Supplement $71.20 $53.70 $107.40 $71.20
 Energy Supplement $14.10 $10.60 $21.20 $14.10
 Total $967.50 $729.30 $1,458.60 $967.50

Transitional rates

Some people who were getting part pensions on 19 September 2009 are on transitional rates. This is until they catch up with the current normal rates.

Per fortnight Single Couple each Couple combined Couple apart
due to ill health
 Maximum rate $793.20 $640.60 $1281.20 $793.20
 Energy Supplement $14.10 $10.60 $21.20 $14.10
 Total $807.30 $651.20 $1,302.40 $807.30

 

These numbers are all relevant when looking at important issues, such as adequacy of existing capital, amounts of saving required, degree of risk within portfolios and even the timeline to eventual full or partial retirement.