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How much will you need to retire comfortably?

31 August 2023

The amount you will need to save for your retirement depends on the type of lifestyle you want. There is a lot to think about, but there is plenty of help and guidance available.

A good place to start is the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia’s (ASFA) Retirement Standard. This is an analysis of the annual budget needed by Australians to fund either a comfortable or modest standard of living.

ASFA’s definition of these retirement lifestyles are:

  • Modest – considered better than the Age Pension, but still only able to afford fairly basic activities.
  • Comfortable – enables a broad range of leisure and recreational activities and a good standard of living through the purchase of items such as: household goods, private health insurance, a reasonable car, good clothes, a range of electronic equipment, and domestic and occasionally international holiday travel.

ASFA updates its Retirement Standard every quarter, showing the annual budget needed for single people and couples aged 65-84 years, and around 85 years.

The table below shows ASFA’s analysis of budgets needed to retire modestly and comfortably (as at June 2023).


Household type Annual income required for modest retirement Annual income required for comfortable retirement
Aged 65-84 years  
Single person $31,867  $50,207
Couple $45,946  $70,806
Aged around 85 years  
Single person $29,561  $46,788
Couple $42,396  $64,867

ASFA’s figures assume that the retirees own their own home outright and are relatively healthy. Other assumptions made in its research are explained on the ASFA website.

Checking you are on track

To see whether you are on track to achieve your preferred level of retirement, you can use Brighter Super's retirement income calculator. This can help you estimate your superannuation balance and income for the age at which you choose to retire, adjusted for inflation.

Using this calculator can help you to plan how much to contribute, when to retire, the fees you pay, and how your superannuation will be invested.

You can also calculate your possible retirement income depending on other personal circumstances, including the amount and frequency of regular pension payments as well as any Government Age Pension you may be entitled to receive.

If you need to grow your superannuation

If these calculations show that you are short of where you want to be, you can act today to grow your superannuation for the future.

There are various ways to grow your superannuation. These include before-tax (concessional) contributions such as salary sacrifice, after-tax (non-concessional) contributions from your take-home pay, spouse contributions, and downsizer contributions.

You should consider your contributions limit (cap) for both before-tax and after-tax contributions. While there may be some tax concessions for putting money into superannuation, if you exceed your limit, you could pay extra tax.

Find out more in our Contribution limits info sheet.

Financial advice

Financial advice can help you create a plan to achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.

If you already have a financial adviser, they can help you make informed decisions about your Pension account.

If you do not have a financial adviser, Brighter Super’s team of in-house financial advisers are here to help you1. Types of financial advice include limited advice on a single issue, scaled advice for retirement planning, and comprehensive advice.

Find out more about financial advice.



  1. Brighter Super Financial Advisers are Authorised Representatives of Industry Fund Services Limited (IFS) ABN 54 007 016 195, AFSL No 232514. ESI Financial Services is a wholly owned entity of LGIAsuper Trustee (ABN 94 085 088 484) as trustee for LGIAsuper (ABN 23 053 121 564) trading as Brighter Super. ESI Financial Services provides financial services to Brighter Super members and employers under a service agreement with Brighter Super. ESI Financial Services has engaged IFS to facilitate the provision of financial advice to Brighter Super members. ESI Financial Services has also engaged Link Advice Pty Limited ABN 36 105 811 836, AFSL No 258145 to provide Brighter Super members with access to limited personal advice over the phone in respect to Brighter Super products.


LGIAsuper Trustee (ABN 94 085 088 484) (AFSL 230511) (the Trustee) as trustee for LGIAsuper (ABN 23 053 121 564) (RSE R1000160) (the Fund) trading as Brighter Super. Brighter Super products are issued by the Trustee on behalf of the Fund. Brighter Super may refer to the Trustee or LGIAsuper as the context may be. This article may contain general advice which does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. As such, you should consider whether it is appropriate in light of your own objectives, financial situation and needs prior to making any decision. You should consult a licensed financial advisor if you require advice which does take into account your personal financial circumstances. You should also obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making any decision to acquire any products. A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document that outlines the target market a product has been designed for. Find the PDSs and TMDs at

This article contains information that is up to date at the time of publishing. Some of the information may change following its release. Any questions can be referred to Brighter Super by calling us on 1800 444 396 or by emailing us at

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