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Victoria the most expensive for retirees: ASFA Retirement Standard

Media Release 20 September 2013

20 September 2013

Victoria the most expensive for retirees: ASFA Retirement Standard

New research released by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has revealed that, when it comes to cost of living, Victoria rates as the most expensive state for retirees at both the ‘comfortable’ and ‘modest’ level of expenditure.

Single retirees in Melbourne living a ‘modest’ lifestyle can expect to spend around $23,024 per annum, 1.6 per cent above the national average of $22,654. A couple living a ‘comfortable’ lifestyle in retirement would need to spend around $56,888 per annum, compared to a national average of $56,406, a difference of 0.9 per cent.

The Northern Territory proves to be the cheapest for retirees, with a couple living a ‘modest’ lifestyle spending around $32,187 and ‘comfortable’ single retiree spending $40,689, -1.5 per cent and -1.3 per cent lower than the national average respectively.

ASFA director of research Ross Clare says lower out-of-pocket medical expenses and cheaper leisure activities are largely responsible for making the Northern Territory the lowest cost region for retirees.

“These items make up a significant part of a retiree’s budget, so while the cost of transport and household goods and services tend to be more expensive in the Northern Territory, these are offset by cheaper health costs and entertainment expenses.”

While living expenses in Victoria are similar to the national average across most categories, energy prices are largely responsible for it being the most expensive. Clare says electricity prices often vary between states, where the timing and magnitude of price increases can substantially impact retiree budgets.

“In recent years Victoria and NSW have had large increases in electricity prices, however prospective increases are forecast to be smaller. On the other hand, past increases in electricity prices in the Northern Territory have been smaller but larger increases in the future are expected,” Mr Clare concluded.

Annual budgets for various households and living standards by State (June Quarter 2013)

  Modest lifestyle – single Modest lifestyle – couple Comfortable lifestyle – single Comfortable lifestyle – couple
Australian Capital Territory $22,345 $32,314 $41,162 $56,631
New South Wales $22,639 $32,636 $41,155 $56,357
Northern Territory $22,444 $32,187 $40,689 $55,478
Queensland $22,543 $32,463 $41,106 $56,164
South Australia $22,696 $32,711 $41,257 $56,545
Tasmania $22,610 $32,504 $41,144 $56,276
Victoria $23,024 $33,129 $41,560 $56,888
Western Australia $22,469 $32,405 $41,123 $56,313
Average for Australia $22,654 $32,656 $41,197 $56,406

More information
Costs and summary figures can be accessed via the ASFA website. The ASFA Retirement Standard Calculator can be used to obtain a breakdown of the Retirement Standard budgets for each State.

For further information, please contact:

Lisa Chikarovski, Media Manager, 0451 949 300

About ASFA

ASFA is the peak policy, research and advocacy body for Australia’s superannuation industry. It is a not-for-profit, sector-neutral, and non-party political national organisation whose aim is to advance effective retirement outcomes for members of funds through research, advocacy and the development of policy and industry best practice.

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