Retirement Standards

2 February 2012

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 would need to spend to support their chosen lifestyle.

The most recent national figures released for the ASFA Retirement Standard show that, in general, a couple looking to achieve a comfortable retirement needs to spend $55,316 a year, while those seeking a ‘modest’ retirement lifestyle need to spend $31,767 a year.

Check what budget you will need in retirement with the ASFA Retirement Standard Calculator.

Budgets for various households and living standards (September Quarter 2011)

Modest lifestyle
– single
Modest lifestyle
– couple
Comfortable lifestyle
– single
Comfortable lifestyle
– couple
Housing – ongoing only $57.96 $55.64 $67.18 $77.88
Energy $34.16 $45.37 $34.66 $47.01
Food $75.74 $156.89 $108.20 $194.76
Clothing $18.18 $29.52 $39.36 $59.04
Household goods and services $26.06 $35.33 $73.30 $85.87
Health $34.75 $67.07 $68.94 $121.68
Transport $92.21 $94.82 $137.41 $140.02
Leisure $72.82 $108.48 $220.66 $302.39
Communications $9.21 $16.12 $25.30 $32.21
Total per week $421.09 $609.24 $775.03 $1,060.86
Total per year $21,957 $31,767 $40,412 $55,316

The figures in each case assume that the retiree(s) own their own home and relate to expenditure by the household. This can be greater than household income after income tax where there is a drawdown on capital over the period of retirement. Single calculations are based on female figures. All calculations are weekly, unless otherwise stated.

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