Australians need more money annually to be able to live a comfortable retirement. Picture: Supplied
Australians need more money annually to be able to live a comfortable retirement. Picture: Supplied

Hefty figure you need for a comfortable retirement

Exclusive: Retired couples need an extra $1292 a year and singles $829 to achieve a comfortable retirement, new figures have revealed.

The peak superannuation body, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia's new retirement standard released today factored in the rising cost of living, specifically grocery prices.

These jumped on average by 2.1 per cent - 0.8 per cent in the December quarter alone -

which was more than the Consumer Price Index rise of 1.8 per cent.

To achieve a comfortable lifestyle couples now need $62,269 a year and singles need $44,146.

This is based on them owning their home outright and having good health.

The price of meat has seen the biggest increase in the past 12 months, with beef jumping 8.2 per cent and pork 7.9 per cent.

Other products to rise include milk (+6.4 per cent), cheese (5.7 per cent), eggs (5.2 per cent) and vegetables (+3.7 per cent).

ASFA's chief executive officer Dr Martin Fahy said the ongoing drought conditions, recent bushfires and storms had a significant impact on the prices of fresh food.

"Basic food prices in terms of meat, vegetables and milk, bread and poultry are all up," he said.

"There will also be knock-on effects of maintenance costs which push up insurance costs."

Overall at retirement couples require $640,000 and $545,000 for singles to live comfortably.

A comfortable retirement enables a healthy retiree to have a good standard of living including top level private health insurance, they can travel on domestic and international holidays, own a reasonable car and have a good internet service and mobile phone allowance.

Research group Chant West showed the median superannuation growth fund (61 to 80 per cent allocation to growth assets) climbed by 14.7 per cent in 2019.

AustralianSuper's group executive of membership Rose Kerlin said it was vital Australians knew how much money they held now for retirement and work out if they needed more.

"Most funds have calculators on their websites that they can use," she said.

"Small regular contributions to your super can make a big difference.

"For example, a 25-year-old putting an extra $50 a month into their super - just $600 a

year - will have $175,000 extra by age 65."

Intrust Super's chief executive officer Brendan O'Farrell urged Australians to take steps now to fatten their super balances.

"To help achieve these goals making additional contributions through salary sacrifice where contributions are taxed at 15 per cent instead of, in some cases, your higher marginal tax rate, while enjoying the impact of compound interest," he said.

He also said Australians with multiple accounts should consolidate "into your preferred account and save on unnecessary fees and insurance premiums."

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

 

Retired couples need an extra $1292 a year and singles $829 to achieve a comfortable retirement, new figures have revealed. Picture: Supplied
Retired couples need an extra $1292 a year and singles $829 to achieve a comfortable retirement, new figures have revealed. Picture: Supplied

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