Early access to super applications

If your application through myGov for an early release payment is approved by the ATO, they will send you a confirmation and notify Media Super. We will generally process your payment within five business days. Read the full details about timing and info to check before applying.

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 $545,000 in retirement savings, and couples will need $640,000. A 'modest' lifestyle will cost considerably less, but involve more concessions.

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

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$542.69$28,220
Couples$783.06$40,719


(ASFA Retirement Standard, March quarter 2020)

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$849.68$44,183
Couples$1,200.67$62,435


(ASFA Retirement Standard, March quarter 2020)

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 simulator

Use our calculator to find out how much super you're likely to have when you retire, and how long your super will last once you start drawing it down as a pension.

Launch the retirement income simulator

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

Speak to our team of financial planners

Whether you want to know more about the options available within your super to improve your retirement lifestyle outcome, or need help setting your own retirement lifestyle goals, our financial planners can help.

Find a Media Super financial planner