How much super is enough?

Working out how much money you will need in retirement depends on your personal situation. Not only does the amount of money you need depend on your lifestyle choices, but you may have some other income options in retirement (such as part time work or payments from other investments) which will supplement your super.

But you need to think about how much you’ll need early enough to do something about it.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia believes a single person needs an annual income of $39,081* and a couple needs $53,456* to live comfortably in retirement. To achieve this, depending on when you intend to retire, you would need to have in your super fund:

  For a single person to generate $40,391 pa For a couple to generate $55,213 pa
To last 15 years $441,649^ $603,718^
To last 20 years $534,331^ $730,411^
To last 25 years $608,480^ $831,770^

^  Source: Colonial First State. Assumptions: earning 7.7% pa after fees and taxes with inflation at 3% and paid via an indexed income stream. A change to any of the assumptions and variables can produce significantly different results.
*  Source: Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia Westpac ASFA Retirement Living Standard, ‘How much do you need to spend to have a comfortable standard of living in retirement’ June 2012.

Now you may be thinking you can rely on the Government Aged Pension, but it’s only about $30,285 (effective 20 September 2012) per year in total for a couple. So the chances are you’ll need more money to fund the lifestyle you want.

To get an idea of how much super you will need, try out our How much super is enough? calculator.

How can I get more from my super?

This diagram shows a few ways you can increase your super. For more details, go to the section on Clever super strategies. You may also want to look at the section on super if you’re self employed.

How you can increase your super

What to consider next

Speak to your financial adviser or choose an option here:

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The information contained in this document is based on the understanding Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352 AFS Licence 232468 has of the relevant Australian laws as at 1 July 2009. This document is not advice and is intended to provide general information only. It does not take into account your individual needs, objectives or personal circumstances. You should assess whether the information is appropriate for you and consider talking to a financial adviser before making an investment decision. Product Disclosure Statements (PDS) for products offered by Colonial First State are available from or by contacting us on 13 13 36. You should read the relevant PDS and consider whether the product is right for you. Past performance and awards is no indication of future performance.