Australians are living longer and retiring later, with some people now spending more than a quarter of their lives in retirement. 

With this in mind, it’s important to think about how far your super will stretch, and whether it will be able to provide you the lifestyle you want. 

Preparing for retirement sooner rather than later will give you more chance to achieve your goals.  

But retirement planning is not a one size fits all process – you need to carefully consider your own circumstances. Whether you plan to fully retire and never work another day in your life or keep working until you’re 101, you still need to do the planning. 

Some important questions to ask

  • How many years are you planning for?

    When working out how much you’ll need in retirement, you will firstly need to consider how long you may live. 

    It’s estimated that the percentage of people over 60 will more than double by 2050*. The ageing population is a reality that is currently challenging governments and individuals. It means we’ll need to take on the responsibility of funding at least part of our retirement.

    *Source: World Population Ageing 2013, United Nations

  • When do you want to retire?

    Retirement is generally about making a lifestyle change. Some people may continue to work part-time, in semi-retirement. Others may want to stop working completely and spend time on their hobbies, travel, or doing community and voluntary work. 

    You need to calculate when you can afford to retire and whether you can afford to do what you want to do in retirement. 

    Some questions to ask include: 

    • When will I retire? 
    • What will I do in retirement? 
    • How much money will I need to do the things I want to do? 
    • How much do I currently have in savings for retirement? 
    • Will it be enough? 
  • What do you want to do when you retire?

    For many people retirement is as much an emotional issue as it is a financial one. Quite literally, an old way of life has ended and a new way of life is beginning. Some of us underestimate how important our work is in so many ways. Apart from providing us with income, it also gives us a sense of status and identity, as well as companionship. 

    So before you retire you should take stock of your personal development and set some meaningful activity goals. After all, like any project, planning for retirement is all about setting S-M-A-R-T goals. 

    • Specific: so that the goal is clearly defined 
    • Measurable: so you know when you have reached your goal 
    • Achievable: the goal must be possible, or you will only become frustrated 
    • Relevant: it must be your goal, and should be in line with other things you want to achieve 
    • Time-based: you need a timeframe for achieving your goal 

    Remember, whatever your goals are, if you’re clear about your destination, you’ll have a much better chance of getting there. 

  • What does a comfortable retirement cost?

    To help you determine how much you may need for retirement, the Association of Superannuation funds of Australia (ASFA) has created the ASFA Retirement StandardThis benchmarks the annual budget needed by Australians to fund either a comfortable or modest standard of living in the post-work years. 

    After determining how much you may need for retirement, it is then important to review your current financial position to see how close you are to your goal, and how far you have to go.  

    Log into your account to find our retirement income simulator and determine if your super, other savings, and the Age Pension will be enough to give you the income you would like to have when you retire. Note: these are designed for members with accumulation accounts.

Step 1: Review your current financial position

Reviewing your current financial position is vital to determine:

  • your financial liabilities and commitments (for example, home loan, school fees, living expenses)
  • your assets (savings, super, investments, house, valuables)
  • your rate of saving (super and other investments)

Reviewing your insurance is also critical. There are unexpected events that you need to consider, for example, family illness, sudden and unexpected unemployment or a downturn in the economy. Insurance may help to cover financial losses that you may suffer if these things happen, and it will keep you on track to achieve your retirement goals.

Step 2: Determine if you're on track

Once you’ve identified your current financial position, you need to work out if you’re on track to reach your retirement goals.

Log into your account to find our retirement income simulator and determine if your super, other savings, and the Age Pension will be enough to give you the income you would like to have when you retire. Note: these are designed for members with accumulation accounts.

What to do if you're not on track

Increase your super contributions 

Work part-time 

Opt for a more modest lifestyle 

Consider appropriate insurance cover  

Reduce the fees you pay 

Retire later 

Other info you might be interested in

How to access your super in retirement

Choosing when and how you access your super in retirement is a really important decision, and everyone is different.

Transition to retirement

Transition to retirement – also known as TTR – was introduced to help people ease into retirement.

Funding aged care as part of retirement

Being prepared and knowing that you may eventually need to pay for a place in an aged care facility should form part of your retirement planning.

Learning Hub

Understand your super and the simple steps you can take to stay in control.

We're here to help

If want to learn more or need help with planning for your retirement, you can get simple advice over the phone or face to face. It’s included as a part of your membership so there’s no extra cost.