How much super do I need?
How much super you'll need in retirement depends on the lifestyle you want. According to the government's MoneySmart website, if you own your home, the rule of thumb is that you'll need two-thirds (67%) of your current income each year to maintain the same standard of living.
Or you can use the Retirement Standard from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), which estimates how much the average Australian would need to retire. This standard assumes that you retire at age 65, own your home (no mortgage), and are relatively healthy.
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Source: ASFA Retirement Standard, based on the June 2023 quarter, if you own your home (no mortgage) and are relatively healthy.
What it's like to retire in Australia
How do I figure out how much super I need?
It depends on a range of factors, including:
- How long you expect to live
- Your financial situation
- Where you live
- Aged care
- Your and your family's health.
The MoneySmart retirement planner calculator can give you a rough estimate of how much super you would need to retire at the age you want. And you can also check how much super you should have for your age to give you a rough guide about how you're tracking.
Super Insider podcast
Listen in as our National Education Manager Joshua van Gestel and Head of Advice Anne Fuchs crunch the numbers on how much super you need for a comfortable retirement income. Find out what you can do today to make sure you have enough later.Listen now
What do I do if I don't have enough super to retire?
If you have a gap between your super balance and what you might need, there's so many ways you can grow your super before you retire.
Follow our checklist of 10 tips to grow your super now.
Frequently asked questions
How much super do I need to retire at 55 or even 50?
How much super you'll need to retire in your 50s depends on what type of lifestyle you want in retirement and the factors we've listed above, like your health and your other finances. And remember, you can't access your super at 50.
The ASFA Retirement Standard Explainer says a comfortable retirement lifestyle would need $690,000 in super for a couple, or $595,000 for a single person.
But that's assuming they retire at 67. Someone retiring at 50 who lives until 85 will need to have money for 35 years of retirement, and they'll need personal savings to live on until they're old enough to access their super.
We make it easy for you to get personal financial advice about planning your retirement – the cost is included in your membership.
How much super do I need to retire at 60 or 65?
How much super you'll need if you retire in your 60s depends mostly on what type of lifestyle you want in retirement and the factors we've listed above, such as your health, housing situation, and more. You can use the ASFA Retirement Standard numbers listed above as a guide of how much money you'll need per year during retirement.
It's worth remembering that you can't access the Age Pension at 60, so you'll want to have enough super or personal savings to last you until then.
Every person's situation is different, so it's wise to get financial advice.
How much do you spend in retirement?
Part of the ASFA Retirement Standard is their Detailed Retirement Expenditure Breakdowns, which shows how much couple and singles are likely to spend per week during retirement. They break it down for two age groups as follows:
How do they figure out how much I need to retire?
Why does MoneySmart say you only need two-thirds of your current income? How does ASFA work out the dollar figures for their Retirement Standard?
The two-thirds rule is a broad guideline applied across the financial planning industry, and the government’s Retirement Income Review (RIR) in July 2020 said this is still a good way to plan your retirement. It assumes that someone who's retiring owns their home already and has most of the possessions they need. So having two-thirds of your normal income in retirement means you can maintain the standard of living you've been used to during your working years.
The ASFA Retirement Standard is a more complicated calculation, and you can check the line-by-line budgeting they've used to decide how much retirees can expect to spend in their Detailed Retirement Expenditure Breakdown and their Retirement Standard Explainer, both on their website.
Why does the amount I need get smaller each year as I get older?
ASFA research has found that as people age, they're often not able to keep doing the same types of travel and recreational activities, so they often pay a lot less for holidays, transport, and entertainment.
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You are: At the age you can get your super but not yet retired.
You get: Regular payments from your super while still working.
You are: Aged 65 or over, left a job after 60, or reached preservation age and permanently retired.
You get: Regular payments from your super when you retire.
You are: Aged from 60 up to your 80th birthday and meet eligibility criteria.
You get: Tax-free payments for the rest of your life, and you can combine with an income account.
How's my super tracking?
Check where your super is tracking now compared to how much super you'll need in retirement. Log in to Member Online now to find out your super balance.