YourLifeChoices Retirement Affordability Index September

The most current and relevant expenditure guidelines available for Australian retirees.

Retirement Affordability Index

In our most recent Retirement Affordability Survey (September 2017) 62 per cent of respondents stated that they find the breakdown of expenditure for retirees 54+, by retirement tribe, to be helpful.

This quarter’s figures are based upon the most recent 6530.0 - Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2015-16 data, informed by the June 2017 quarter CPI. This analysis is conducted by The Australia Institute, in partnership with YourLifeChoices, in order to create the most current and relevant expenditure guidelines available for Australian retirees. Below you will find the costs, in a weekly, monthly and annual format for you to review.

How does your spending compare?

Why not use this table to compare and keep track of your own household expenditure?


    To make a comment, please register or login
    29th Oct 2017
    I use this to construct our budget which I do at least twice a year. There are a few flaws however which I rectify. For example, mobiles are repeated. Water is a big bill and is omitted from the list. Also, rates is not mentioned either. Our water now costs $15 per week which is probably more than electricity as we have solar. As mobility is an issue for me a lot of emphasis is placed on our home life and comfort.
    I would have an emergency fund on the list too as it is imperative people on low incomes, in particular, have an amount for unforeseen circumstances.
    It is appreciated to have this provided so regularly. I imagine everyone’s needs are different. We eat our very rarely and do not buy alcohol on a regular basis, maybe just at Xmas or when we have guests.
    We do make sure we eat well and cover all the food groups. I do this shop online and concentrate on buying most items when half price. I do not wait to need an item. It must be on special which saves a massive amount over the year, a few thousand, actually.
    Budgets are very important whether you are retired or not.
    29th Oct 2017
    Hi, it seems you are paying full water rates. If you receive at least a part pension (no matter how small) you should be entitled to a pensioner concession card (PCC). The Water company will give you a substantial discount if you contact them with your PCC number.

    For Example, I was paying Sydney Water about $180 a quarter (approx. $14 per week). With a PCC this dropped to about $33 a quarter (approx. $2.50 per week).
    29th Oct 2017
    Bren, are you sure the water charges dropped that much? My current quarterly water bill is $226 and because I have the PCC (I'm on the full age pension) they dropped it to $183 because of the PCC government water rebate.
    29th Oct 2017
    We are getting the full pensioners rebate. It is not the water so much as the other charges they stick onto the bill.
    30th Oct 2017
    Hi JimB,

    Yes the numbers I quoted are correct (for me at least).

    I receive an 81.6% discount ie I now only pay 18.4% of the old amount.

    It seems that you should only pay the difference between $226 and $183 ie $43 which is about 19% of $226.

    I guess Sydney Water may be an exception.

    Who are you with ?
    29th Oct 2017
    i have always had a budget but it doesn't have to be complicated. Some for regular bills , some for saving and household costs and a set amount to spend. Ok so far and I don't think about money much.
    29th Oct 2017
    I detail each item. That is what a budget is, knowing what everything costs ahead.
    31st Mar 2018
    I am the same Tib. It need not to complicated at all and I basically do the same as yourself.

    Maybe I was one of the fortunate ones who seemed to have a knack for handling finances and have never in my life had a problem with money..touch wood.

    Extravant spending has never featured in my life. There are many ways to save money but sadly most these days think a dollar here a dollar there does not matter...however, it all adds up and at the end of the pay period many have not a clue where their money has gone.

    If people have financial problems ,keep a daily diary of their expenditure then they will see where the money has gone and then make changes accordingly.
    29th Oct 2017
    I agree with you Katleen22.People have different living costs and needs Renters and house owners have different costs. Even renters struggle to keep up with the high cost of living.Having a pension card does give you greater concessions on water electricity and Telsra gives a discount pensioners on phone calls
    29th Oct 2017
    Interesting that cash-strapped couples spend double the percentage of expenditure as constrained and affluent couples do on alcohol and cigarettes.
    29th Oct 2017
    Less money but a higher percentage of their lower income.
    29th Oct 2017
    We spend noth8ng on alcohol and cigarettes or going out to restaurants. Even a coffee out is a waste of money. You fill out the blank budget, the filled in ones are only suggestions.
    29th Oct 2017
    That's the sensible thing to do GrandmaKathleen22 if you are cash-strapped.
    Unfortunately too many in that unfortunate position don't show the same restraint and so their situation is made worse.

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles