Whatever career or professional background you are in, you have probably dreamt about the day you finally retire from work. Days are spent lounging at home tending to your garden, or travelling to see the sights around the world.
The question is: how much money do you need to have a comfortable retirement life?
Age: Retirement Years Have Increased
Senior superannuation fund specialist, Peter Handberg, mentioned three factors that need to be considered when considering the amount needed for retirement: age, lifestyle and financial plans.
Handberg mentions that unlike before when we used to “fall off the perch” at around 65 to 70 years old, nowadays, we are reaching the age of 80 to 90. Many will spend more than a quarter of their life retired due to longer life expectancy.
So, people actually need more money than what has been sufficient in previous generations. As Handberg explains, “Clearly, when retirement is three times longer, then you need more money.”
Quality of Life
With regards to lifestyle, figuring out the answers to, “What does retirement look like for you? Who am I and what sort of retirement am I going to have?” are essential.
Indeed, lifestyle is a big factor when determining how much you need for your retirement. And it is subjective – luxury living for one person may seem modest for someone else. It’s a matter of personal taste and decision.
Do you see yourself taking frequent holidays? Enjoying a glass of wine everyday? Taking up a hobby? Thinking about the type of life you will have during retirement can already give you an idea of how much money that lifestyle entails.
According to Handberg, this is one factor that many people don’t consider – the super fund and what they plan to do with it. For instance, do you choose to preserve it and leave a legacy for your family? Or are you planning to “dip in the well” during your late years?
All three factors combined, Handberg estimates that around $500,000 – 600,000 would be enough for a standard, comfortable lifestyle. This allows the occasional travel, private health insurance and daily comforts that include food and hobbies.
While some industry estimates say that you need around $1million to $1.5million, this accounts for a computation of $60,000 annual cost in retirement.
Handberg also emphasizes that spending doesn’t really go lower during retirement age. Many assume that since there is less to do and fewer activities to engage in, there will be fewer expenses during their later years.
In reality, spending is pretty much the same. All that money used to spend on leisure will be replaced by health costs. For Handberg, “It’s actually quite flat; it just changes what you spend your money on, not the amount”, he says.
When it comes to retirement money, of course the more you have, the better. It largely depends on your age, lifestyle, and how you plan to use your super fund. Getting insights from financial specialists can help you gain the best possible outcome for your future.