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How much do you need to get comfortable?

Media Release 4 December 2017

4 December 2017

How much do you need to get comfortable?

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia today released new figures showing how much super at various ages you need to be on track to reach the ASFA comfortable standard in retirement*.

A comfortable retirement lifestyle enables an older, healthy retiree to be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreational activities and to have a good standard of living through the purchase of such things as: household goods; private health insurance; a reasonable car; good clothes; a range of electronic equipment; and, domestic and occasionally international holiday travel.

As long as you own your own home and are in reasonable health, a single person needs $43,694 per year and a couple needs $60,063 to be comfortable. Once you reach 85 years of age, the budget you need to be comfortable drops to $39,443 for singles and $55,382 for couples.

At retirement singles need $545,000 in super and couples need $640,000 to be comfortable. This assumes retirees will draw down all their capital and receive a part age pension.

ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said dream retirements were in reach for many people thanks to compulsory super and the gift of compound interest.

“Someone currently thirty years old, earning $70,000 per year with 9.5 per cent Superannuation Guarantee (SG) and lifting to 12 per cent by 2025, is well on track to reach the ASFA comfortable standard of living by the time they retire at 67 if they have $50,000 in their super today,” he said. “At later ages there can be more catching up to do.”

In order to achieve the comfortable standard in retirement, a forty-year-old needs at least $175,000 in their super today. A fifty- year-old needs $275,000 and a sixty-year-old needs $425,000.”

Dr Fahy said a thirty-five year old earning $100,000 could start saving into super with a zero balance today and achieve a comfortable retirement.

“A forty-year-old needs $100,000 today, on a $100,000 salary, to make the comfortable standard and a fifty-year-old needs $250,000 in super today to get comfortable by 67,” he said.

“A sixty-year-old on that salary needs to stay on that salary for another seven years to be in comfort by retirement. They also need $410,000 in super today to be on track.”

Dr Fahy said despite the naysayers, super was setting up current generations of workers for comfort in retirement.

“A lift in the SG to 12 per cent sooner rather than later would mean the great promise of compulsory super would be even more sure,” he said.

*The ASFA Retirement Standard benchmarks the annual budget needed by Australians to fund either a comfortable or modest standard of living in the post-work years. It is updated quarterly to reflect inflation and provides detailed budgets of what singles and couples need to spend to support their chosen lifestyle.

A modest retirement lifestyle is considered better than the age pension, but only just.

Want to live the dream in retirement? Take a retirement reality test.

For further information, please contact:

Teresa Mullan, 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. ASFA’s mission is to continuously improve the superannuation system so people can live in retirement with increasing prosperity. We focus on the issues that affect the entire superannuation system and represent more than 90 per cent of the 14.8 million Australians with superannuation.

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