Retirement – it’s that dreamy chapter where you finally get to kick back, but making sure you’ve got enough funds to keep those dreams afloat can feel a bit like guess work. In Australia, where the cost of living is relatively high, understanding how much you need to comfortably retire is essential. From healthcare expense to leisure activities, various lifestyle factors can influence how much you will need for retirement. We’ve broken down some of the key things you need to consider.

When to retire:

Deciding when to retire is a big decision that significantly impacts your retirement savings and income. While the standard retirement age in Australia is 65, many people choose to work longer for various reasons such as financial security and career satisfaction.

Factors such as your own or a loved one’s health, child dependants, your profession and existing debts play an important role in determining your ideal retirement age. While extending your working years can boost your superannuation balance to alleviate financial stress, it will also reduce the amount of time you have to enjoy your retirement.  

How much you need in your Super fund:

The amount you need in your superannuation fund to retire is going to be different for everyone depending on your personal circumstances and your retirement plans. According the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard, you would need approximately $690,000 in your superannuation balance to live a comfortable retirement as a couple or $595,000 for a single person.

Lifestyle expectations:

An important factor determining how much money you will need in retirement is your lifestyle expectations. Are you comfortable staying where you are? Do you have dreams of uprooting and moving to the beach or to be closer to family? Or are you planning on travelling around Australia?

Start by considering your current day-to-day expenses and working out how much you would need to pursue your retirement goals. It’s also important to work out what debts you have now that you may not have when you plan on retiring. 

The ASFA Retirement Standard has compiled a detailed budget breakdown estimating how much a retired couple (aged 65-84) would need per week for a modest lifestyle and a comfortable lifestyle:


Modest lifestyle

Comfortable lifestyle


$131    per week

$143    per week

Electricity & gas

$53      per week

$63      per week

Food & groceries

$202   per week

$245    per week

Phone & internet

$20     per week

$29      per week

Household goods & services

$46     per week

$105    per week

Clothing & footwear

$40     per week

$52      per week


$116   per week

$194    per week

Health services

$107   per week

$211    per week


$174   per week

$328    per week

Total weekly expenditure



Annual expenditure




Other sources of income during retirement:

While superannuation forms the foundation of retirement savings for many, investigating other income streams can help provide additional financial security, including:

  • Investments: Consider allocating a portion of your savings to investment opportunities (such as stocks, bonds or real estate).

  • Part-time work: If you’re worried about boredom during retirement, a part time job or freelance work will give you some extra funds while still giving you the feeling of freedom and flexibility.

  • Government benefits: In addition to the Age Pension, work out whether you may be eligible for any other government benefits and concessions, such as healthcare subsidies and utility discounts.

Seek Professional Advice:

If you’re not sure how much you’ll need for retirement or if you’re worried you may not have enough, a financial advisor or planner can help offer you expert and tailored advice specific to your personal and financial situation.

To ensure our customers have access to appropriate financial advice we have formed a relationship with Alliance Wealth. Learn more here.

Auswide Bank Ltd AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 239686. This information provides general advice only. We do not provide advice based on any consideration of your personal objectives, needs or circumstances.
If you require personal financial advice about your situation, we can refer you to Alliance Wealth Pty Ltd AFSL 449221 ABN 93 161 647 007 ('Alliance Wealth') for financial advice. For full details of our relationship with Alliance Wealth, please visit