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How much is enough?

Have you ever wondered what your retirement will look like? How much money might you need to fund your lifestyle?

To help you get started, we've put together the short video above. Next, we've got some tools to help you work it all out. We’re here to guide you, and provide support to you and your family from your first day of work, until the day you retire, and beyond.

What will your retirement look like?

What to consider

Planning your retirement

Working out your budget

How to get started with budgeting and resources to help you along the way

Get started

Increasing your contributions

Making a difference to your retirement, without making a dent in your back pocket now

Find out more
Step One

Find out more about it

We can guide you through this. The earlier you speak with us and find out how it works, the better.

Talk to our Member Educators

Not all super funds are the same, and neither are your individual circumstances. So, talk to us to make sure you understand your options and get to know the choices you can make to help your super work best for you.

Bring someone along with you

Some people find it helpful to bring along a family member or support person.

We're here to guide you throughout your transition. We can provide general information about your superannuation and how it can help you.

Retirement isn't always funded by superannuation alone

You might also be eligible for a full or part age pension from Centrelink, or have existing investments that can also be used to fund your future lifestyle.

Call Services Australia

Services Australia Financial Information Service (FIS) officers can tell you more about the age pension.

Learn more about Call Services Australia

Attend a Centrelink seminar

Centrelink offers free seminars to help you understand your finances.

Learn more about Attend a Centrelink seminar

You might want to talk to a Financial Planner

If you’d like some help planning for your retirement, you might want to see an experienced financial adviser—someone who will look at your financial wellbeing from a holistic point of view. Obtaining professional advice from an experienced financial planner can help you reach your financial goals.

CSC’s authorised financial planners are available to talk you through your options and assist you in reaching your financial goals. It is ‘fee for service’ advice, which means you receive a fixed quote upfront. There are no obligations, commissions or hidden fees.

To arrange an initial appointment please call 1300 277 777 during business hours.

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What will your retirement look like?

Your retirement may seem like a long way down the track. But the earlier you think about what you might need the more prepared you can be when the time comes.

If your last day of work is just around the corner, it’s never too late to make some adjustments to improve your financial position.
To understand how much money you’ll need, you’ll first need to consider what your retirement might look like.
When you’re at the end of your career, there might be a farewell morning tea, lunch or dinner … and a big ‘Congratulations’ from your workmates, family and friends.
But, what comes next?

Have you spoken with your partner or a close friend about that stage in your lives?

If you are in a couple, sometimes you and your partner know exactly what your retirement plan looks like, but others may find their expectations or plans quite different.

Maybe you’re planning to retire as a single person. You might want to talk to friends and family about their plans around that time. You could choose to live alone, or in a communal setting with family, friends, or close neighbours.

There are many things that can change the retirement you might have

What sort of health issues might you face?

You should consider your parents’, grandparents’ and other biological family members’ health histories. This can give you some insight into some potential issues that might impact your health as you age.

Do you have existing health conditions that could deteriorate further by the time you retire? If that’s the case, think about any impact that might have on your lifestyle, as well as the sort of accommodation you’ll need. You might also think about living or relocating closer to good medical care.

A retiree’s needs and wants change over time as people move from a more active phase, to a passive phase, to a frail phase (usually some time in their 80s). Of course, these changes could potentially impact the amount of money you might need.

In your active phase, you’ll be spending more on your lifestyle, leisure and family activities. You’ll be using your new found free time to do things you may have missed out on when you were busy in the workforce.

In the passive phase, you may not be able to travel as far from home but will still have lifestyle costs like making your home more suitable to health needs, or travelling short distances to visit family.

In the frail phase, there may be more restrictions on your mobility and most of your money will go towards essentials like food and medical expenses. You might need to look at options for nursing home or hospital care.

Family having dinner in the backyard

Will you own your home or be renting?

Home ownership makes a difference to the amount of money you might need in retirement.

Not everyone will own their home when they retire. So, it’s important to think about what sort of payments you’ll need to make.

If you own your home, you don’t have to factor mortgage or rent payments into your retirement planning—and the family home has a privileged position within our tax and superannuation systems.

If you spend more time at home in retirement, you might want to finally make those renovations you never had time for, or get into gardening and landscape the outdoor area. These both have costs.

Maybe you’ll downsize. If you’re considering an apartment, where will it be? In the city, the country, on the coast, or in the outer suburbs?

Maybe you’ll decide to make a sea-change or tree-change to live in a part of regional Australia. What sort of regional facilities and infrastructure would be important to you?

Maybe you will move back home or to a completely new location to be closer to the kids or family.

Maybe like one of our customers, you’ll find a viola teacher so great you delay retirement so you can keep living in the city they teach in!

Do you want to travel?

If you have always wanted to travel in retirement, you’ll need to consider the varying expenses of travelling.

There are many different types of travel you might consider:

  • overseas travel by air, train or cruise
  • travelling around Australia by air, train, car or camper
  • island holidays in Asia and the Pacific, or even Hawaii
  • staying in 5-star accommodation, glamping, motels, pubs or campgrounds
  • ‘bucket list’ travel destinations and experiences
  • travelling to volunteer to share your skills and help people
  • annual trips for your hobbies—skiing, golf, anything you’re into!
woman on patio with a dog drinking from a mug

What caring responsibilities might you have then?

Some people might still have caring responsibilities around the time they retire. Your caring role might even increase after you retire.

A great first consideration is whether you’ll still have children living at home.

But, your retirement household might become a multi-generational household with kids and grandchildren, brothers or sisters—even one or more elderly parents. The size of your household can fluctuate as people move in for shorter or longer periods at different stages of their lives.

What will fill your days?

Do you have hobbies that you want to continue? Maybe you’ve always wanted to try something new but not had the time. Retirement can be a great time to expand on these activities.

They might be sporting and healthy lifestyle interests such as golfing, swimming, fishing, gardening, bowls, touch footy, walking, running, riding or going to the gym.

You might have an interest in the arts and crafts, like quilting, sewing, woodwork, scrap-booking, painting, reading or playing a musical instrument.

Your social interests might include visiting friends, having groups over to your place, going to the local club, going to a sports event and going to the movies or concerts.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a book or research your family history.

You might be keen to get into volunteering. There are many volunteering options locally and abroad to consider how to best use your expertise from a lifetime of work.

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Work out your own budget

To work out how much your retirement lifestyle might cost, you’ll first need a budget.

It helps to understand your cash flow. This can help you plan to pay down debt and put away enough money to meet your goals. So, make budgeting a habit, no matter what your age is.

How to work out what you currently spend

  1. Track what you spend:

    – Where does your money go each day, week, fortnight, year?

    – Record your expenses each day.

  2. Compare money in and money out:

    – What money comes in? Is there any extra from any other source?

    – Where does your money go?

    – When do your bills arrive? Do you have money set aside for them?

    – Your bank, apps, even a spreadsheet can help break down your spending.

  3. Prioritise where you want your money to go:

    – Cover your essential costs.

    – Pay down debt early to save on interest.

    – Save for renovations, a new car or holiday.

    – Consider investing any spare funds—maybe in your Super.

  4. Take action:

    – Shop around to get good deals on your basic bills.

    – Simplify bill payments by using either direct debit or automatic scheduled payment options.

    – Take control and check your budget as often as you can, at least once a year.

How your retirement budget might be different

Consider what expenses will stay the same when you retire. That might include:
  • food and drink
  • rent or mortgage payments
  • rates, water and power bills
  • life, vehicle, house and contents insurances
  • private car running expenses, petrol
  • home office costs, including Internet.

Then think about your expenses that will decrease or disappear.

These might include:
  • car parking payments
  • tickets and costs of your normal daily commute
  • morning coffees and lunches out
  • staff club, team celebrations and gift contributions for workmates
  • income protection insurance
  • work uniforms.

Finally, consider what new expenses you might expect to have.

These might include:
  • entertainment costs
  • materials and equipment for that new hobby
  • day passes, green fees and annual passes for your sports and travel
  • membership fees for clubs and organisations
  • newspaper, magazine and online subscriptions
  • medical fees
  • travel costs.

What resources can help you to plan your retirement?

There are some great resources that can help you calculate the sort of money you might need.

Speak to a financial planner

A good financial plan can help you set goals and achieve them. If you want someone to help you take control, our experienced Financial Planners can look at your overall financial situation.

Your retirement expectations

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) website talks about retirement expectations and how much you might need for a modest or comfortable retirement. There’s even information on how much you would need to replace the disposable income of your working lifestyle.

A ‘Modest’ lifestyle under the ASFA retirement standard is considered better than the age pension but you can still only afford fairly basic activities.

A ‘Comfortable’ lifestyle under the ASFA retirement standard allows you to be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreational activities and to have a good standard of living.

But some people may feel that is not enough to maintain their pre-retirement lifestyle when they retire. Another way of thinking about this as you approach retirement is to think of how much you might need to replace your lifestyle. ASFA refers to this as a ‘replacement ratio’. It is based on a retirement income of about 70–80% of your final income, because in retirement:

  • taxes can decrease due to extra deductions and some tax-free amounts
  • whether you own or rent, you may need less space, so payments tend to reduce
  • costs of clothing and commuting reduce.

Some people need to retire before they’re ready

If this happens to you, please contact us and we’ll help you understand your options.

We’re here to help, whenever you need us.

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When you might increase your super contributions

You can make a difference at the end without hurting you now

As your life changes, your super does too

There are some ideal moments to review your super and increase your contributions if you can afford to. The effects of compounding interest between now and your retirement can make a significant difference to your final super balance.
So review your contributions:
  • On those ‘milestone birthdays’: 21, 30, 40, 50…
  • If a new addition to the family arrives
  • Each time you get a new drivers licence or passport
  • When the New Year starts and you’re reviewing and planning those New Year’s resolutions
  • When the financial new year starts, or ends, and you get all those exciting financial statements
  • If you get a promotion
  • If you change jobs
  • Any time you get a pay rise, if you put even a little bit extra away in your super each pay, you probably won’t miss it. But it helps to grow your super in the background, and can make a noticeable difference over the long term.
  • When you receive your Annual Member Statement from us, take a look at your current balance and use our retirement modeller to help project your future balance.

Are you on track?

At these review points, you can decide if you’re on track to achieve the retirement you’ve always dreamed of.

A good retirement is about your holistic lifestyle

It’s about a healthy mind and body, happy and fulfilling family and relationships, a comfortable and rewarding lifestyle as well as a solid financial strategy. Your plan might even include some employment on your terms.

When you're getting ready to retire

3rd Act Community

Join the 3rd Act Community and learn more about how to prepare for and make the most of your time once you leave the workforce.

Remember: we're here whenever you need us. If you’re wondering what your retirement might be like, and whether you’ll have enough, please talk to us soon. We’re here to guide you and provide support to you and your family in planning for your retirement.

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