Plan for retirement

Retirement is just the beginning. Be inspired by the possibilities of life after work.

How much do you need to retire?

The short answer is it depends on the type of lifestyle you want in retirement.

We all have different dreams and goals for retirement, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to planning for your future.

There are many factors to consider in retirement planning, such as your lifestyle, income, life expectancy, and general health and wellbeing.

However, there are useful benchmarks that can help you plan.

The ASFA Retirement Standard estimates how much singles and couples will need to fund a comfortable or modest standard of living in retirement, compared to the Age Pension. These figures assume you own your home outright and are relatively healthy.

How much do you need to retire?

According to the most recent ASFA Retirement Standard (2018), you’ll need the following amount to have a comfortable retirement if you retired now:

 Category Savings needed at retirement 
Comfortable lifestyle for a couple $640,000
Comfortable lifestyle for a single person $545,000

How much will you need each year in retirement?

As you move through retirement, your needs will likely change. According to the ASFA Retirement Standard (March 2022, national), here’s much you may spend each year: 

If you're aged around 67 now
 Modest lifestyle cost each year Comfortable lifestyle cost each year
 Single Couple Single Couple
$29,632 $42,621 $46,494 $65,445
If you're aged around 85 now
Modest lifestyle cost each year  Comfortable lifestyle cost each year
 Single Couple Single Couple
$27,582 $39,468 $43,638 $60,582



Compare a modest and comfortable retirement lifestyle with the Age Pension

The comparison table below from ASFA gives you an idea of the lifestyle differences between a comfortable and modest retirement and living on the Age Pension.

Comfortable retirement

Modest retirement

Age Pension

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.

Fast reliable internet/telco subscription, computer/android mobile/streaming services.

Basic mobile, modest internet data allowance.

Very basic mobile and limited internet connectivity.

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.

Top level private health insurance, doctor/specialist visits, pharmacy/needs.

Basic private health insurance, limited gap payments.

No private health insurance.

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.

Are you on track for the retirement you want?

Find out in three easy steps: 

  1. Log in to Member Online and check your current super balance.
  2. Try the MoneySmart Retirement Planner to work how much you’re likely to have at retirement and how long your super may last you.
  3. If you’re looking to increase your balance, check out some of the ways to grow your super before you retire.

Talk to a super expert

Have questions or need advice about planning for your retirement? Chat with a super expert today by calling us on 1800 005 166.

When can you access your super?

Different rules apply for different types of super.

Generally, you can access your super once you reach preservation age (or meet another condition of release) and retire.

Read more about preservation age and how you can access your super.

Once eligible, you can access your super as a regular income stream (a pension), a lump sum or a combination of both. It’s your choice.

Read more about our pension options.

Types of super

While all the money in your super account is considered ‘super’, there are different kinds of super that make up your balance.

Preserved super 

Most of your super will likely be ‘preserved super’. This is super that can only be accessed once you meet a condition of release and retire.

Restricted non-preserved super

You may be able to access this portion of your super before your preservation age if you meet certain conditions, such as leaving your employer.

Unrestricted non-preserved super

You don’t need to meet a condition of release and can withdraw this portion at any time.

Read more about preservation age and how you can access your super 

Access to your super with a transition to retirement strategy

Under the transition to retirement rules, you may be able to access your super while you’re still working. With our Transition Pension, you can use a transition to retirement strategy to boost your super savings, ease into retirement by working less or access some of your super early.

Read more about the Transition Pension.


If you have questions about accessing your super, chat with a super expert by calling us on 1800 005 166.

The Age Pension

Eligibility for the Age Pension is based on your income, assets and other criteria.

There are a few sources of income you might access in your retirement. This includes a pension from your super savings, income from other savings or investments, and the government Age Pension.

Eligibility for the Age Pension

To be eligible for the Age Pension, you need to meet a range of requirements, including:

Your super balance will be a consideration for your eligibility for the Age Pension and other government pension entitlements.

To find, estimate and compare the payments and services you may be eligible for, use the Centrelink Payment and Service Finder.

Age Pension payment rates

The Age Pension has different payment rates for single people and couples. The amount you receive (if any) will depend on the outcome of your income test and assets test. See the current Age Pension payment rates.

Your Centrelink Schedule

Your Centrelink Schedule is used by Centrelink to assess your income stream and calculate your Age Pension entitlements. To view and download your Centrelink Schedule, log in to Member Online.


If you have questions about the Age Pension, chat with a super expert by calling us on 1800 005 166.

Life in retirement

Embrace life after work by keeping active and staying connected.

Retirement is full of possibilities. Here are some tips to keep you happy, healthy, connected and independent as you enjoy life after work. 

Your Spirit Super account

Our pension accounts are designed to be flexible to suit your retirement needs. You decide how often you receive pension payments and how much (subject to the minimum limits set by the government).

To make sure your account is set up for your needs, you should regularly review your:

  • account details, like your contact information
  • payment frequency and amount
  • beneficiaries
  • investment strategy
  • account balance.

Estate planning

Planning for your future doesn’t end with super. Take the opportunity to put in place and regularly review your:

  • Will
  • powers of attorney
  • estate plan.

Centrelink and government entitlements

Your entitlement for government benefits may change over time. You can apply for your Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (if you’re eligible) and explore other Centrelink entitlements.

Your lifestyle

Your mental and physical health play a big part in shaping your retirement, so it’s important to live an active and connected lifestyle.

Stay healthy and active

Eat for Health provides advice about the amount and kinds of foods we need to eat for health and wellbeing.

If you want to stay active, try the free 5km park run events or join one of the Heart Foundation’s free walking groups. You may also want to explore what’s on offer at your local recreation centre.

Stay connected

For some of us, stopping work means a new daily routine and less contact with friends and work colleagues. Here are some ways you can stay connected in retirement: 

  • Join a local community group.
  • Check out opportunities to volunteer.
  • Stay up to date with the digital world and get more tech-savvy with the Be Connected initiative.  You can enrol in free basic courses, including making video calls, using social media, and buying and selling safely online.

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