Saving for retirement

What kind of retirement are you looking forward to?

Are you planning to spend more time with family or how about a long trip around Australia? The big question is, “How much will it all cost and how much will I need to save?”

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) regularly researches just how much people need to live on in retirement.

Modest or comfortable?

ASFA reports on living costs for singles and couples, and recognises two lifestyles – modest and comfortable – and what each one costs.

A modest lifestyle allows a retiree to enjoy the basics and is only a little more than you would receive on the government’s Age Pension. There’s no budget for overseas travel, and both home entertaining and dining out are limited. Private health insurance is not included in this budget.

A comfortable lifestyle allows for fortnightly entertaining at home, eating out a few times a week at a club restaurant, or once a week at a more expensive place. Private health insurance and an overseas, as well as a local holiday each year, are also possible within this budget.


Status Modest Lifestyle Comfortable Lifestyle Age Pension
(Maximum basic rate per fortnight)
Single $24,506 p.a.1 $44,011 p.a.1 $888.30
($23,095.80 p.a.)
Couple $35,189 p.a.1 $60,457 p.a.1 $1339.202
($34,819.20 p.a.)

1. The annual modest and comfortable lifestyle budgets shown are from the ASFA Retirement Standard, September 2017. It assumes the retiree owns their own home. Single calculation is based on female figures.
2. This is the combined total for a couple
† The age pension amount includes pension and energy supplements.
* Source: ASFA Retirement Standard (September Quarter 2017)
Assumption: assumes the retiree(s) own their own home and the figures relate to expenditure by the household. Single calculation is based on female figures.

Saving for retirement

The above Modest and Comfortable lifestyle figures show how much you might need each year in retirement. But that may leave you wondering how much super you will need to save over your working life to achieve that amount of income in retirement.

Of course, what you will need in retirement and what you may have in retirement may vary. There are strategies you can put in place today to ensure you are closer to achieving your retirement goals. Our calculators are a great way to see how your super is tracking. You can view these at

The Age Pension payment

Category Amount
Single# $23,254
Couple# $35,058

# Source: Department of Human Services (20 September 2017) –

Superannuation balance to achieve a Comfortable retirement:

The table below shows the lump sum capital you may need for a comfortable retirement assuming the amount is held within super. It assumes an income is drawn from your super in addition to any part age pension you may be entitled to.

Please refer to the ASFA Retirement Standard at

Category Savings required at
retirement (age 65)
Single $545,000
Couple $640,000

Would you like some help setting your retirement goals?

Call us on 1300 133 177 if you would like to speak to an NGS Financial Planner about setting your retirement goals. For more information, please view Your super and the age pension fact sheet.

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