What happens at retirement?

How much super will I need?

Most of us daydream about the day we finally finish work and retire. Whether you dream of cruising around the world, campervanning around Australia, or just pottering about in the garden and improving your golf skills, the magic question is: how much do you need to make your retirement dreams a reality?

According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s Retirement Standard, to have a ‘comfortable’ retirement, single people will need $595,000 in retirement savings, and couples will need $690,000. You can use this guide to estimate how much money you’ll need to have a ‘comfortable’ or ‘modest’ retirement. See the box below for more information. The Standard is updated four times a year to take into consideration the rising price of items like food and utility bills, as well as changing lifestyle expectations and spending habits. The Standard includes the cost of things such as health, communication, clothing, travel and household goods.


The Comfortable Retirement Standard Annual Budget Breakdown


  Comfortable lifestyle Modest lifestyle Age Pension
Single $51,278.30 a year $32,665.66 a year $26,689
including supplements
Couple $72,148.19 a year $46,994.28 a year $40,238
including supplements
Top level private health insurance, doctor/specialist visits, pharmacy needs Basic private health insurance, limited gap payments No private health insurance
Fast reliable internet/telco subscription, computer/android mobile/streaming services  Basic mobile, modest internet data allowance Very basic mobile and limited internet connectivity
Own a reasonable car, car insurance and maintenance/upkeep Owning a cheaper, older, more basic car Limited budget to own, maintain or repair a car
Regular leisure activities including club membership, cinema visits, exhibitions, dance/yoga classes  Infrequent leisure activities, occasional trip to the cinema Rare trips to the cinema 
Home repairs, updates and maintenance to kitchen and bathroom appliances over 20 years  Limited budget for home repairs, household appliances Struggle to pay for repairs, such as leaky roofs or major plumbing problem
Regular professional haircuts Budget haircuts Less frequent haircuts, or self-haircuts
Confidence to use air conditioning in the home, afford all utilities Need to keep a close watch on all utility costs and make sacrifices Limited budget for home heating in winter
Occasional restaurant meals, home-delivery meals, take-away coffee
Limited meals out at inexpensive restaurants, infrequent home-delivery or take-away  Only local club special meals or inexpensive take-away
Replace worn-out clothing and footwear items, modest wardrobe updates Limited budget to replace or update worn items Very basic clothing and footwear budget
Annual domestic trip to visit family, one overseas trip every seven years Annual domestic trip or a few short breaks Occasional short break or day trip in your own city

Figures from December quarter 2023.

To find out how much money you’ll need to support the lifestyle you want in retirement, use the ASFA Retirement Tracker tool. For help saving more super, see the Grow your super section.

Many of us will spend more than a quarter of our life retired, as people are now living until an average age of 86 years (if you’re male) and 89 years (if you’re female). Life expectancy is expected to rise to 91 for males and 93 for females by 2050. So, you might need a lot more money for your retirement than you think. Super can help you enjoy your retired days by allowing you to maintain a good standard of living, which isn’t achievable by receiving just the Age Pension. For more information, see the Super and the Age Pension page.