Setting yourself up for a comfortable retirement
In the first few years of your career, retirement is probably the furthest thing from your mind – but it’s the best time to be thinking about it. If you want to live comfortably in retirement, planning well ahead is essential. So how much do you really need to retire in Australia?
To work out the size of your nest egg, imagine the lifestyle you’d like to enjoy when your working days are over. Will you own your home? Drive a late model car? Enjoy an active social life and stay connected with family? The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) would describe this as a comfortable lifestyle and provides a guide for your super balance at retirement for couples and singles.
The ASFA’s Retirement Standard takes into account a range of costs including the daily essentials of running a home, maintaining a car, private health insurance, social activities and regular travel.
Retirees with lower super balances will be able to cover their daily essentials but may need to trim back some of the ‘nice to have’ lifestyle options such as regular dining out, overseas travel or the latest model car.
How much do you really need to retire in Australia?
So how much is enough to fund the retirement lifestyle you’re seeking? According to the latest ASFA estimates (March 2022), the minimum annual cost of a comfortable retirement is $46,494 for singles and $65,445 for couples. These estimates are for retirees aged 65-84 who own their homes. As a lump sum, this will mean a retirement nest egg of $545,000 for singles and $640,000 for couples.
Super Consumers of Australia have slightly lower figures, suggesting a lump sum of $301,000 for singles and $402,000 for couples will ensure enough annual income to fund a comfortable retirement. Both organisations base these estimates on the assumption the retiree owns their home.
|Super Consumers Australia||$301,000||$402,000||$44,000||$64,000|
Know your financial position and net worth
In calculating your own lump sum requirements for retirement, you will need to factor in your current financial position and net worth. This means including any credit card debt, personal loans and the amount owing on your mortgage. Once you have a clear view of your current position you will be able to plan accordingly to ensure you’re on track to meet your desired post-retirement income.
Another consideration is how long you are likely to live after you’ve retired. According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS Life Tables 2018-2020), the average Australian male aged 50 today is expected to live to at least 83 years of age and a female aged 50 today to at least 86 – or around twenty years after retirement age.
Retirement calculators will estimate how you’re currently tracking based on age, income, current super balance, employer contributions and more. These estimates can be a handy guide to help you decide how you can adjust your contributions, but remember the calculations are a snapshot in time and your circumstances will no doubt change between now and retirement age. Good practice is to regularly check in on how your super is tracking as part of annual budget reviews.
How Humaniti can help
Humaniti’s mission is to help people to get more organised and plan a brighter financial future. By linking your banking, share trading, superannuation accounts and adding your property or any other assets or liabilities you have, Humaniti will provide an up to date view of your net worth. You will be able to see your current superannuation balance and understand your outstanding debt. Having a clearer view of your personal financial position is crucial to budgeting and planning for retirement.
You will also be able to understand how your super balance compares to other Australians like you. You’ll be able to monitor your net worth and superannuation balance over time. This can help you understand whether making additional super contributions is appropriate to your circumstances.
As an added benefit, once you have linked your accounts, Humaniti will categorise your spending to give you a clear view of your spending habits and identify any additional opportunities to save. When it comes to enjoying a more comfortable retirement, every additional investment in your super will make a real difference.
The amount required for retirement is different for each individual and household as it depends on the current financial circumstances of those involved. Many factors determine how much you would need to save to ensure the retirement lifestyle you desire.
* Disclaimer – the information in this post is general only and does not constitute financial advice.