Australia: How much you really need to retire comfortably

| 21 Jul 2022

The dream of having a comfortable retirement using superannuation has become increasingly out of reach for many Australians.

About 54% of Aussies do not believe they will ever be able to retire comfortably using their superannuation, according to YouGov research commissioned by wealth platform Dacxi.

Australians have around A$3.5 trillion (US$2.4 trillion) invested as superannuation assets, but Aussies are still feeling skittish about the prospect of retirement.

In fact, the research found just 29% of Aussies said they would be able to retire comfortably on their superannuation by the age of 65. 

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA)’s estimate of annual expenses for a couple retiring comfortably at 65 is $64,771 a year (if you own your own home). 

Women were more likely than men to be pessimistic about their superannuation, with 64% saying they could not rely on their superannuation to retire comfortably, compared to 45% of men.

So, how much do you need for retirement?

If you own your home, you will be in a better position for retirement. 

Super Consumers Australia recently released new retirement-savings forecasts for homeowners, finding that you may need as much as $1 million if you are a couple and want to spend about $75,000 a year. 

If you are single and want to live on a more modest $29,000, you will need $73,000 on top of what you’ll get from the Aged Pension.

“Among the most important financial questions retirement-planning Australians face is how much they need to save and what income those savings will deliver in retirement,” said Super Consumers Australia director Xavier O’Halloran. 

“These new retirement targets are designed to help people answer these questions. 

“They provide a solid ‘rule of thumb’ for what is needed to maintain your living standards when you are retired.”