What you spend and how you fund your retirement

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Affluent Couples are spending the biggest portion of their retirement income – 20 per cent – on recreation. Cash-Strapped Singles, meanwhile, are spending the biggest chunk of their income – 36 per cent – on housing and only seven per cent on recreation. The lifestyles afforded the haves and the have-nots are poles apart and continue to move in opposite directions.

These are the findings of the Retirement Affordability Index™ for the December quarter. Domestic fuel and power costs continued to rise, but as a percentage of income, were an extra burden only to Cash-Strapped Singles. The table below shows key areas of spending for all six retirement tribes and, for Affluent Singles and Couples, the nest eggs required to support their lifestyle.


Couple on an Age Pension
The maximum fortnightly pension for couples living together is $674.20 each. This consists of a base payment of $613.60 plus a Pension Supplement of $50 and an Energy Supplement of $10.60. A maximum rent assistance payment of $125.40 per fortnight may apply.

Single on an Age Pension
The maximum fortnightly pension for singles is $894.40. The base rate is $814, the maximum Pension Supplement is $66.30 and the Energy Supplement $14.10. A maximum rent assistance payment of $133 per fortnight may apply.

These rates are valid until indexation takes place on 20 March, 2018.

*Calculated using Industry SuperFunds Retirement Needs Calculator.  Assuming a life expectancy of 22 years after retirement at 65, with investment returns of 4.2% and inflation @ 2.5%.  Additional funds required over and above a full Age Pension, calculated as above.

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Written by Janelle Ward


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