How much super will you need for retirement?

Whether you can live comfortably during your retirement years comes down to how well you've planned and prepared throughout your working life. But no matter your age or super balance, we can help.

How much super will you need for retirement

How do you want to live when you retire?

There are times where we all think about what we'll do when we leave the workforce. Where do I want to live? How do I want to live? Which activities do I want to be able to do? And then comes the final question, "How will I pay for this?"

According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s Retirement Standard, to have a ‘comfortable’ retirement, single people will need $45,962 in retirement income, and couples will need $64,7711. A 'modest' lifestyle will cost considerably less but involve more concessions.

And what do 'modest' and 'comfortable' really mean?

  1. ASFA Retirement Standard accessed December 2021.

Living a modest retirement lifestyle

A modest retirement lifestyle is considered better than the Age Pension, but still only able to afford fairly basic activities.

When you're living modestly in retirement, you may be able to afford the following things:

  • Some home repairs, but no renovations
  • A limited number of household items and appliances
  • Cheaper personal goods and services such as clothes and haircuts
  • Occasional takeaway food, and some cheaper restaurants
  • Basic private health insurance
  • Infrequent costed leisure activities.

The approximate cost for a modest retirement lifestyle, as calculated by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s Retirement Standard, is:

Total per weekTotal per year
Singles$560.37$29,139
Couples$806.33$41,929



The above costs are estimates only. The exact amount you'll need to fund your desired retirement lifestyle will depend on your specific goals and circumstances.

Living a comfortable retirement lifestyle

A comfortable retirement lifestyle enables you to be involved in a broader range of leisure and recreational activities, and to have a good standard of living. When living a comfortable retirement lifestyle, you'll more likely be able to afford the following things:

  • Home repairs and some home renovations
  • Higher quality household items and appliances
  • More expensive personal goods and services such as clothes and hairdressing
  • More frequent restaurant dining
  • Top level private health insurance
  • Occasional overseas holidays and more frequent costed leisure activities.

But with a more comfortable retirement lifestyle comes greater cost. The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s Retirement Standard estimates the following costs for a comfortable retirement lifestyle:

Total per weekTotal per year
Singles$883.88$45,962
Couples$1,245.60$64,771



The above costs are estimates only. The exact amount you'll need to fund your desired retirement lifestyle will depend on your specific goals and circumstances.

Retiring on the Age Pension

On the Age Pension, you'll generally need to live a more financially restricted lifestyle. While you'll be able to meet basic needs, you'll need to be much more frugal with many of your expenses such as home utilities, health expenses and leisure activities.

Learn more about the Age Pension

Planning ahead is critical

No matter how old you are or what your super balance currently is, it's important to sit down and think about your goals for retirement. Planning properly, and planning as early as you can, is key to achieving your retirement lifestyle goals.

If you need advice on setting retirement lifestyle goals, or on how to set yourself up to fund those goals, help and resources are available.

Use our retirement income calculator

Use our calculator to find out how much super you're likely to have when you retire.

Launch the retirement income calculator

Make additional contributions to your super

If you want to make sure your super will adequately fund your retirement lifestyle, you can give it a boost by voluntarily making additional contributions before you retire.

Learn more about making  additional super contributions.

Advice Services for members

Call and speak with an adviser today. It’s at no additional cost and our advisers can help you understand your options, what you need to consider before making any changes and provide a personal recommendation on topics like which investment option to choose, super contributions or starting a Super Income Stream. Advice Services are ready to take your call from 8:30am to 6pm Monday to Friday (AEDT/AEST), Call us on 1800 640 886 (option 4) to get the ball rolling.