It’s the magic figure everyone wants to know – how much money will I need to fund my retirement? The answer to this will depend on your personal circumstances, the type of lifestyle you want in retirement, and how long your money needs to last.

Work out how much you'll spend

Before you start planning for your retirement, think about the lifestyle you want once you finish work. Do you plan on travelling the world or heading to the nearest bowls club?

According to MoneySmart, one way to estimate how much you'll need is to use the two-thirds rule. This suggests you'll need approximately two-thirds of your current income each year to maintain the same standard of living in retirement.1

Alternatively, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has put together a Retirement Standard which you can use to estimate how much you'll need to live off once you retire. The numbers below are based on the June 2020 quarter, and assume you are around age 65, own your own home outright, and are relatively healthy.

Retiring modestly

A modest lifestyle in Australia is considered better than the Age Pension and allows for fairly basic activities and short domestic holiday breaks.

Single retiree: $27,902 per year
Couple: $40,380 per year

Retiring comfortably

A comfortable lifestyle in Australia allows you to be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreation activities, and take occasional overseas holidays.

Single retiree: $43,687 per year
Couple: $61,909 per year

Useful calculators

Life Expectancy Calculator

Factor in how long you're likely to live when working out how much super you'll need.

Retirement income calculator

Estimate whether you're on track to live the lifestyle you want in retirement.

Income account payment calculator

See how long your superannuation could last as an income stream.

Consider your life expectancy

While life can be unpredictable, the good news is Australians are living longer, with an average life expectancy of 86 years for women and 83 years for men.2

Depending on how old you are when you decide to retire, this could mean you'll need to live off your retirement savings for between 15 to 30 years! This can give you time to spend with your grandchildren, explore the world, or just take life a little easier – exactly what your super is intended for.

Use our Life expectancy calculator above to work out how many years your retirement might last.

Factor in other income sources

If you are eligible for the Age Pension or other Government benefits, make sure you factor these in when budgeting for your retirement. To get an estimate of how much you could receive, visit Centrelink (Services Australia) and use their Payment and Service Finder.

You should also consider any other income sources you may have access to, such as investment income, casual work or personal savings. Use our Budget Planner Calculator to set a retirement budget that factors in all your sources of income.

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When it comes to making the most of your retirement, getting professional guidance can help. As a QSuper member, you have access to financial advice from QInvest.3

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Retirement Income account

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1. Source: MoneySmart. Accessed 10 June 2019.
2. Life expectancy based on the information derived from the medium mortality rate assumptions used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in "3222.0 Population Projections, 2017 (base) to 2066" released 22/11/2018.
3. QInvest Limited (ABN 35 063 511 580, AFSL 238274) is a separate legal entity responsible for the financial services it provides. Advice fees may apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide for more information.
4. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.