A couple needs $58,784 per annum just to have a ‘comfortable’ retirement

Each quarter the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) publishes an estimate of annual retirement costs. The June 2015 figures, (the latest data released in August 2015) advised that a single person needs an annual income of $42,861 and a couple, $58,784 per annum just to be "comfortable".

So what is 'comfortable'?

According to ASFA, a "comfortable retirement" is one that allows a 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 (budget) international holiday travel."

So comfortable? Yes. But that's all.

There is also a measure of a 'modest' retirement lifestyle. It is considered better than the Age Pension, but still only able to afford fairly basic activities. The latest figures are $23,662 p.a for a single person and $34,051 p.a for a couple if they are to have a 'modest' retirement lifestyle.

The difference between the two budgets mainly relates to the extra items included in the comfortable budget. These include items such as being able to update the kitchen or bathroom at some stage, some wine, eating out from time to time, being able to entertain family or friends at home, private health insurance at the top rate, purchasing magazines and CDs, an economy overseas holiday and being able to afford additional alcohol, purchase tobacco or make gifts.

Source: ASFA website (www.superannuation.asn.au). These June 2015 figures (namely, the latest figures available as at August 2015), are adjusted quarterly in line with the cost of living.

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