The cost of living in retirement

If you plan to keep enjoying your current lifestyle when you retire, our experience tells us that you’ll need to save enough to provide you with at least 70% of your current annual income.

We’re here to help you understand your super and learn how to grow your retirement savings to help you afford the kind of retirement you’d like to have. Whether you’re single or part of a couple, you might be interested in some of the research around the amount of retirement savings you might need to enjoy different standards of living.

The cost of a moderate or comfortable retirement

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) reports regularly on the annual cost for singles and couples to achieve either:

  • A ‘modest’ retirement - which is better than relying on the Commonwealth government’s Age Pension alone, but only allows for fairly basic activities.
  • A ‘comfortable’ retirement - which represents a good standard of living with enough to spend on a range of leisure activities and household goods, private health insurance, a reasonable car, good clothes, a range of electronic equipment and some travel.

Based on ASFA research1, here are the estimated budgets for various households and living standards for people aged around 65.

ASFA Retirement Standard for people aged between 65 and 84

Living standard

Single annual cost

Couple annual cost

Modest

$24,270

$34,911

Comfortable

$43,695

$60,063

On a weekly basis, a single person needs around $838 while a couple needs around $1,152 for a comfortable retirement.

As you get older, the budgets change.

Here are the estimated budgets for various households and living standards for people aged around 85.

ASFA Retirement Standard for people aged 85 and older

Living standard

Single annual cost

Couple annual cost

Modest

$23,878

$35,369

Comfortable

$39,443

$55,382

On a weekly basis, a single person needs around $756 while a couple needs around $1,062 for a comfortable retirement.

ASFA retirement standard

Check how your retirement savings are tracking

By using the information above as a guide, you can find out whether your current savings will be enough, or whether you need to take action to grow your retirement savings.

Try our how much will I have/need calculator for an estimate of how much you'll have when you retire, and how long it will last. You can adjust a range of variables, such as extra contributions, to see what the difference will be by the time you retire.

Try the calculator

1 The Association of Super Funds of Australia (ASFA), Retirement Standard, June quarter 2017.

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Page last updated 20 June 2017