Many of us have a glamourous vision of our retirement. Whether it’s fishing or playing golf every day, or cruising the Mediterranean Sea, the most important question to ask ourselves is exactly how much do we really need to achieve our retirement dreams. A common figure you probably have heard is you need a million dollars to retire comfortably. This is an overwhelming amount for many Australians. So, do you really need a million?


How much do you need to retire?


The good news is, you need less than a million to retire comfortably. A lot less.

The amount of super you need in retirement depend on a few factors. These include:

  1. The type of lifestyle you want when you retire. Obviously, the more luxurious of a retirement lifestyle you are after, the more money you’ll need.
  2. How long you’re likely to live.
  3. Any large expenses or financial responsibilities you have when you retire – these will include things like paying off your debts or extensive overseas travel.
  4. Your health – Retirees are more likely to spend on things like medicines and medical treatments, domestic and support services.
  5. Whether you want to leave money behind for your family or charities.


According to the ASFA Retirement Standard (2018), a modest retirement lifestyle requires a lump sum saving of $70,000 for couples and a single person. This figure remains relatively low because the age pension and various income supplements also contribute to living expenses.

For a comfortable retirement lifestyle, a lump sum saving of $640,000 for couples and $545,000 for a single person would be sufficient. A comfortable retirement lifestyle will allow a retiree to engage in recreational activities and have enough to afford purchases of various goods and services that will enhance daily living such as dining out and technology. Having a figure to work towards allows you to track your super and help you stay on track to reaching your retirement amount.

To see how much super you’ll have when you retire, you can use the Retirement Planner available on the ASIC website. The calculator will help you estimate the amount you’ll have based on your current age, annual income and desired retirement age.


How to grow your super?


You can grow your super balance by:

  1. Making pre-tax contributions. This is also known as salary sacrifice. At your direction, your employer makes extra payments into your super from your pre-tax salary. The total amount of employer contributions and salary sacrificed contributions cannot be greater than $25,000 in one financial year.
  2. You can boost your super account by making personal contributions from after-tax income. These after-tax contributions are also known as non-concessional contributions. The cap for these contributions is $100,000 per financial year.
  3. You may benefit from government co-contributions of up to a maximum of $500, if you make less than $37,697 per year before tax, and make personal contributions into your super account.
  4. Check if you have any missing superannuation.
  5. If you have multiple superannuation accounts, consider rolling them into one account to save on management fees.
  6. Review how your superannuation is currently being invested.


With the benefit of tax concessions, putting your money into super can be a good option. However, any money you put into super must remain in the account until you reach retirement age. This is something you’ll need to consider when reviewing your retirement situation.

Thorough planning is the key to a stress-free retirement. The age pension provides only the bare minimum you need to live on. It certainly won’t allow you to have a comfortable standard of living. As life expectancy increases, your super might need to support you for a lot longer than you anticipate. Many people worry that their money will run out whilst in retirement. Don’t let that happen to you. Contact Moiler today to discuss your retirement goals and let us help you develop a plan towards achieving the lifestyle you want.


With Other articles you may be interested in:

Five Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning


This document has been prepared by Moiler Wealth, an Authorised Representative of Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625; AFSL 227232 (“Count”) a wholly-owned, non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 and is for general information only. The presentation has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should assess whether the information is appropriate for your needs and consider talking to a Count Authorised Representative before making any investment decision. The relevant PDS should be considered before making a decision about any financial product. The information is provided as an information service only and does not constitute financial product advice and should not be relied upon as financial product advice. 8 July 2019.