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Home Super & retirement Retirement Planning for retirement

Planning for retirement

Retirement might be three or 30 years away, but if you have big ideas of how you'll spend your time, we can help you understand how much money you need & how you can make a difference now.

Here are 10 questions to contemplate in the lead-up to the later years.

Here are 10 questions to contemplate in the lead-up to the later years.

  1. When will you retire?
  2. What kind of lifestyle will you be leading, and what's on your to-do list?
  3. How much money will you need to live the life you want, and how can you reach that goal? 
  4. Where will your income come from when you finish work?
  5. Will you be debt-free by the time you're ready to retire? 
  6. Will you be eligible for government entitlements?
  7. Are you considering relocation or downsizing?
  8. Have you sorted your Estate planning? 
  9. Do you need to reassess your investment preferences and insurances?
  10. Do you need some help to build a plan?  

Like any new chapter, preparation can go a long way in ensuring you’re emotionally and financially ready for the changes ahead. We're here to make sure you're on the front foot when it comes to being retirement-ready.

When can I access my super?

Preservation age

You can retire, or semi-retire, and draw on your super once you have reached your preservation age. Preservation age ranges from 55 to 60 years depending on your date of birth as shown below: 

Date of birthPreservation age
Before 1 July 196055
1 July 1960 to 30 June 196156
1 July 1961 to 30 June 196257
1 July 1962 to 30 June 196358
1 July 1963 to 30 June 196459
1 July 1964 and onwards60

What happens to your super in retirement?

When it's time to access your super, there are different options to meet different needs.
You can choose one, or a combination of all. 

  • Leave your super in your super account (the accumulation phase)
  • Take a lump-sum withdrawal from your super account to your bank account
  • Use some or all of the money in your super account to draw down an income from an Account-Based Pension. There are different retirement income options available, to suit different needs.

How much super do I need?

One of the most important steps in planning for your retirement is figuring out how much you'll need to spend each year to live a comfortable lifestyle. Developing a budget for future needs can be difficult, particularly when retirement is many years away.

This information provides some general insight into how much money Australian's need to finance retirement and our calculators will help you see how you're tracking. This information isn't tailored to your exact circumstances, but you'll get an idea of the income and standard of living to expect and an overview of likely expenses.

The following refers to information published in the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard (March 2021 Quarter).

Modest lifestyle

A modest retirement lifestyle is considered better than the Age Pension, but still only able to afford fairly basic activities. 

Comfortable lifestyle

A comfortable retirement lifestyle enables an older, healthy retiree to be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreational activities and to have a good standard of living through the purchase of such things as; household goods, private health insurance, a reasonable car, good clothes, a range of electronic equipment, and domestic and occasionally international holiday travel.

Budgets for various households and living standards for those aged around 65 (March quarter 2021, national)


Modest  (per year)Comfortable (per year)
Single$28,254$44,312
Couple$40,829$62,828

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 over the period of retirement.

Superannuation balances for a comfortable retirement

The lump sums required for a comfortable retirement assume that the retiree/s will draw down all their capital, and will receive a part Age Pension. 


Savings required at retirement
Single$545,000
Couple$640,000

 All figures in today’s dollars using 2.75% AWE as a deflator and an assumed investment earning rate of 6 per cent. These figures don't take into consideration your own personal needs or circumstances.

Detailed budget breakdowns

ASFA produces detailed budgets of what singles and couples would need to spend to support their chosen lifestyle. It's updated quarterly to reflect inflation. Read more here.

Knowing how much you'll need when you stop work is a good starting point. The key is to act now and do as much as you can to grow your super. For more on how much is enough visit: 

Total Superannuation Balance Cap

Your Total Superannuation Balance as defined by the Australian Tax Office. The total amount you have across all  superannuation accounts, including pension accounts, other super funds  & SMSF's. This is reduced by the sum of any personal injury structured settlement amounts contributed to super. 

The Total Superannuation Balance Cap is indexed periodically.

Transfer Balance Cap
2019/20 $1.6 million
2020/21 $1.6 million
2021/22 $1.7million
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If your Total Superannuation Balance is over the general Transfer Balance Cap at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year, any further non-concessional contributions in the financial year will be in excess of your non-concessional contributions cap. Contributions over the cap may be taxed at a higher tax rate.

Super and the Age Pension

Many people assume that they can rely on the Age Pension when they retire. However, as part of your financial plan, it’s crucial to know if you qualify for it and how much you could receive.

To find out more about eligibility, and what you might qualify for, you can get more detailed information from the Department of Human Services website.

The qualifying age for the Age Pension is currently 66 years. It will increase by 6 months every 2 years until Age Pension age is 67 on 1 July 2023. This is different from your superannuation preservation age. 

Your eligibility for the Age Pension may be impacted by how you access your super – whether as a lump sum or via an income stream.

We're here for you

We know that super can be complex and retirement savings can be daunting - but you don't need to be an expert in all things superannuation, that's why we're for you you. As a legalsuper member, you have a dedicated team of experts on hand to offer you personalised and tailored support whenever you need it. 

Meet with our Client Service team

Our team is based nationally and is dedicated to building strong relationships to help you achieve your retirement goals. 

All Client Service Managers are registered on the Australian Securities and Investment Commission Financial Adviser Register. This register shows where a financial adviser has worked, their qualifications, training, memberships of professional bodies, and what products they can advise on. 

As a legalsuper member, you have unlimited access to our Client Service team. There’s no cost and no obligation, simply personalised service whenever you need it; providing factual information, general advice, and limited personal advice in relation to all things super.

Book an appointment today

Send us a message, and we'll reach out to book an appointment. 

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