There are a number of things to think about when it comes to answering the question how much super do I need to retire?  These things can include:

  • What are your lifestyle expectations in retirement?
  • When do you want to retire?
  • What are your sources of income?

What are your lifestyle expectations in retirement?

Everyone has different needs in retirement, so it is important to consider your needs and start to plan for your retirement.

As a guide, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), has estimated that Australians around the age of 65 who own a home and are in relatively good health will need the following amount of money each year in retirement.


Note: the figures in this table are taken from the ASFA Retirement Standard March 2022 quarter

The modest retirement standard budgets for a retirement lifestyle that is slightly above the Age Pension and allows retirees to afford basic health insurance and infrequent exercise, leisure and social activities with family and friends.

A comfortable retirement lifestyle enables an older, healthy retiree to be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreational activities and to have a good standard of living through the purchase of such things as; household goods, private health insurance, a reasonable car, good clothes, a range of electronic equipment, and domestic and occasionally international holiday travel.

It is important to note, that both the comfortable and modest lifestyles are above the maximum income generated by the age pension.

When do you want to retire?

There is no set retirement age in Australia. However, there are restrictions on when you can access your superannuation and/or receive the age pension.

You can access your superannuation

  • when you reach age 65.
  • reach your preservation age and retire.
  • reach your preservation age and choose to begin a transition to retirement income stream while you are still working.

Your preservation age depends on when you were born:

If you were born between Your preservation age is
Before 1 July 196055
1 July 1960 to 30 June 196156
1 July 1961 to 30 June 196257
1 July 1962 to 30 June 196358
1 July 1963 to 30 June 196459
After 1 July 196560

Given that Australians are living longer than ever, this could mean that you have a long life in retirement that you need to plan for.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), male life expectancy at birth reached 81.2 years in 2018-2020, increasing from 80.9 in 2017-2019. Female life expectancy also increased to 85.3 years from 85.0 in the previous year.

Today, on average an Australian male aged 50 years can expect to live another 33.2 years, and a female another 36.6 years.

You need to make sure that you will have enough money to last.

Sources of income in retirement

As you get closer to your retirement age, you’ll need to start thinking about the various sources of income you can use to fund your life in retirement.

These can include:

Your Super

The super you’ve accumulated over the years is going to play a key role in your retirement and will most likely be your main source of income in retirement.

Use our retirement planner calculator to work out how much super you need to retire.

If it’s not where you want it to be, you may want to consider salary sacrificing or making personal after-tax contributions.  Read our article on Easy Ways to Grow Your Super for more information.

Investments and Savings

If you have savings set aside in a bank account or maybe you have invested in shares or property, these could all add to your pool of savings in retirement.

You could also consider using excess savings to make an after-tax contribution to your super (also referred to as non-concessional contributions).  Read more about after-tax contributions here.  The more you contribute to your super balance, the more money you will have set aside to fund your retirement lifestyle.

The Age Pension

If you have reached the age pension age you may be eligible for the Commonwealth Government Age Pension.

The current maximum age pension is:


*current as at 1 July 2022

To qualify for the Age Pension, you must first satisfy the age and residency requirements.  You can read more about the age pension on the moneysmart website.


Everyone has different needs and requirements, so retirement will look different for different people.

The important thing is to plan for your retirement so you are able to have the lifestyle that you want.  The sooner you start planning the better.

Our retirement planner calculator can help start you on the journey of planning for your life in retirement.

Issued by Diversa Trustees Limited (ABN 49 006 421 638), (AFSL No 235153).

This article is general advice only and does not take into consideration your personal objectives, financial situation or particular needs. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.