1. Hi Trish
    I think the basic and modest lifestyles should be altered as currently for example there is only about $300 difference between the amount needed for a basic income or a modest income for a couple -hardly worth looking at.
    Perhaps a modest income could be somewhere halfway between the basic and comfortable lifestyles, or based on the average superannuation balance of retirees, it would then be more useful for the many people who have closer to the average amount of super.


    • Hi Pam
      Thanks for your comments. The ’modest’ and ‘comfortable’ lifestyles are based on a study done by ASFA, and indexed each quarter. The ‘basic’ category I have included for comparison. The inclusion of the ‘basic’, that is Age Pension only , is merely for comparison with what is required compared with modest and comfortable, but over time the income levels are close together.
      Before 2009, the single Age Pension was a lot lower than it was now, and the difference was much more significant.
      I would not be surprised if ASFA does review the modest lifestyle to provide an income target greater than the Age Pension, but not as high as a comfortable lifestyle, as you suggest.
      I will take this suggestion on board and decide whether SuperGuide adds a mid-range lifestyle between ‘modest’ and ‘comfortable’ or whether we wait for ASFA to review these levels.

  2. /anne... says:

    I’m looking forward to your assessment of what it will take to have a comfortable retirement after 2017 changes. I suspect that it’s going to be virtually impossible to maintain a comfortable retirement without being a fully-funded retiree.

  3. We have been retired for about 3 years – and the figures re about right – our wedge is a bit higher than $1.m and our budget is a bit greater than $58k.
    Niels mate a trained monkey could get 4% – even though rates are down you can get 3.6% (as mid June 15) on line

  4. darrell campbell says:

    Hi Trish,
    Great articles,,, butI still have a problem with “sum needed”
    $1.07 million funds a 22 year retirement on $57k or so.Fine if I retire now.
    But a 30 year-old,,, cant look at this and say “ok, I have to have $1.07 million when I am 67,,, and I’ll be OK”…….as inflation etc makes this meaningless.
    So how does one work out a sum to work towards? (Eg at an “assumed” inflation rate of say, 3% ). Not everyone can easily do the maths !thanks

    • Hi Darrell
      The figures in the article are in today’s dollars (adjusted for inflation) which means the future dollars you actually save are a lot more – it has been adjusted for inflation already so it is meaningful for today. In the near future, we will add an article comparing future and today’s dollars ( adjusted for inflation) over a period of 25 years.

      Also, the ASIC Moneysmart account-based pension calculator shows the calculations behind the figures, and displays the future dollars in a separate page.

  5. 7% return on investment?
    Are you running a meth lab in your garage?

    Nobody else makes more than 4%.

    • Hi.
      Am not sure what your basis for the 4% is.
      Over long periods of time (say the last 30 years) gross returns from equities has exceeded 10% (closer to 13%).
      Over the same periods returns from property has been around 10% (closer to 11%).
      For bonds the return has been around 6%.
      Term deposits may be close to the 4% you mention.
      CPI over this period has been around 3% (perhaps 3.5%).
      If you are not investing directly then there may be other factors affecting your returns.
      Net of tax and CPI my super. portfolio has returned ~11% CAGR over the last 5 years. Hope that provides you with information to contrast your situation with.

  6. Hi Trish

    I find your articles interesting and am trying to gather enough information to make a choice as to when I would need to retire (60 yo hopefully). I would be interested in knowing the numbers crunched on a $1 million if couple were not entitled to the aged pension (full or part).

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