The retirement you want starts with the right plan
Retirement isn't the end, it's the beginning of something exceptional. It's the next phase in life that rewards your hard work and career commitment. Your plan for this chapter is a crucial part of any super strategy. We're here to guide your creation of this plan to ensure you're well-prepared for the exciting times ahead. Our expert team, personalised support, and wealth of resources are at your service with the best advice so you can live your super dream.
The importance of retirement planning
It's never too early or late to start thinking about your life after retirement. While everyone's goals are unique, careful planning is the key to achieving your ideal retirement lifestyle. In fact, one in two Australians retire earlier than expected, often due to unforeseen circumstances like illness. That's why it's crucial to start planning now, regardless of your timeline.
Whether you're considering working for a few more years, transitioning into retirement, or you're ready to retire now, taking a few simple steps today can significantly improve your future financial security.
Start by asking yourself these key questions:
- When would you like to retire or slow down your work?
- What kind of lifestyle do you envision?
- How much money will you need for your desired lifestyle?
- Where will your retirement income come from?
- Do you have plans to become debt-free?
- Are you eligible for government entitlements?
- Are you considering relocation or downsizing?
- Have you addressed your estate planning?
- Is it time to review your investment preferences and insurance?
- Do you need help creating a retirement plan?
By thinking about the answers, you're halfway to having a plan. This way, you'll be emotionally and financially ready for any changes you need to make.
Understanding retirement basics
When it comes to retirement, there are some fundamental questions you may have. To get started, here are a few straightforward answers and resources to help grasp the essentials.
When can I access my super?
Your access to super is determined by your preservation age, which ranges from 55 to 60, depending on your date of birth. Knowing your preservation age is the initial step in retirement planning.
|Date of birth
|Before 1 July 1960
|1 July 1960 to 30 June 1961
|1 July 1961 to 30 June 1962
|1 July 1962 to 30 June 1963
|1 July 1963 to 30 June 1964
|1 July 1964 and onwards
Tax in retirement
You need to know how taxation, before and after your preservation age, can impact your retirement savings and income.
Tax before preservation age
If you're thinking about accessing your super before turning 60, it's important to understand how taxes can affect this decision. When you withdraw your super early, taxes might be involved, but don't worry – there are strategies that may reduce the & taxes you'll pay.
Tax after preservation age
After you've turned 60 and are ready to access your super, there are special tax rules and benefits you should know about. We can show you how these tax advantages work and help structure your retirement savings for better tax efficiency.
How much super do I need?
Planning for a comfortable retirement involves understanding your future expenses. Our information offers general insights into how much you may need, and our calculator can help track your progress. While this information isn't customised to your specific situation, it can provide a glimpse of expected income, living standards, and everyday expenses.
Plan your retirement finances with these insights in mind:
This budget slightly surpasses the Age Pension, covering basic health insurance, occasional exercise and leisure, and social activities with family and friends. These figures assume that the retiree(s) own their own home and relate to expenditure by the household. This can be greater than household income after income tax, where there is a drawdown on capital throughout retirement.
This standard provides a good post-work life, covering essentials like groceries, transport, home repairs, private health insurance, various activities, and occasional dining out. It also supports regular connections with family and friends through technology and periodic domestic and international trips.
*The following refers to information published in the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia Ltd (ASFA) Retirement Standard (September 2023 quarter).
Savings in super
The lump sums required for a comfortable retirement assume that the retiree/s will draw down all their capital and receive a part Age Pension.
The necessary savings for retirement at age 67 are:
These figures are in today's dollars, use 2.75% AWE as a deflator, and assume an investment earning rate of 6%. They don't take into consideration your personal needs or circumstances.
Need a more detailed budget breakdown?
ASFA produces detailed budgets of what singles and couples must spend to support their chosen lifestyle. It's updated quarterly to reflect inflation. Read more here.
For more information on how much super is enough:
What happens to super in retirement?
When the time comes to access your super, you have options to suit your needs. You can:
- Leave your super in your super account: This keeps your funds in the accumulation phase.
- Take a lump-sum withdrawal: Transfer money from your super account to your bank account.
- Create an income stream: Use your super account to draw down an income through an Account-Based Pension, with various options available.
Unlocking your 'downsizer contribution'
If you're 55 years old and meet the eligibility criteria, you can make a downsizer contribution of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling your primary residence into your super account. Unlike regular contributions, downsizer contributions have unique rules - they aren't subject to existing caps and restrictions for the year they're made.
However, it's essential to note that the $1.9 million Transfer Balance Cap (for 2023/24) and Age Pension means test will still apply, and these contributions will count towards your total superannuation balance tests in subsequent years.
Couples can take advantage of downsizer contributions from selling one home, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. Please be aware that downsizer contributions are not tax deductible and may impact your eligibility for the age pension. To determine eligibility for downsizer contributions, visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for more information.
We can help simplify your retirement strategy
Our retirement income strategy is designed to make planning for retirement easier for members. We can help in three key areas:
- Maximising your retirement income
- Managing risk for income stability
- Accessing funds in retirement
You can download a detailed retirement income strategy document here.