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.
Questions to contemplate in the lead-up to the later years
- When will you retire?
- What kind of lifestyle will you be leading, and what's on your to-do list?
- How much money will you need to live the life you want, and how can you reach that goal?
- Where will your income come from when you finish work?
- Will you be debt-free by the time you're ready to retire?
- Will you be eligible for government entitlements?
- Are you considering relocation or downsizing?
- Have you sorted your Estate planning?
- Do you need to reassess your investment preferences and insurances?
- 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?
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 birth||Preservation age|
|Before 1 July 1960||55|
|1 July 1960 to 30 June 1961||56|
|1 July 1961 to 30 June 1962||57|
|1 July 1962 to 30 June 1963||58|
|1 July 1963 to 30 June 1964||59|
|1 July 1964 and onwards||60|
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 modest retirement standard budgets for a retirement lifestyle that is slightly above the Age Pension and allows retirees to afford basic health insurance and infrequent exercise, leisure and social activities with family and friends.
*The following refers to information published in the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard (March 2023 quarter).
The comfortable retirement standard allows retirees to maintain a good standard of living in their post work years. It accounts for daily essentials, such as groceries, transport and home repairs, as well as private health insurance, a range of exercise and leisure activities and the occasional restaurant meal. Importantly it enables retirees to remain connected to family and friends virtually – through technology, and in person with an annual domestic trip and an international trip once every seven years.
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.
For more information on how much super is enough:
Total Superannuation Balance
Your Total Superannuation Balance, as defined by the Australian Tax Office, is generally the total amount you have across all superannuation accounts, including pension accounts, other super funds and SMSFs. This is reduced by the sum of any personal injury or structured settlement amounts paid to your super.
If your Total Superannuation Balance is:
• equal to or over the general Transfer Balance Cap ($1.9 million from 2023/24) at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year, you will not be able to make any further non-concessional contributions in the financial year (without exceeding your non-concessional contributions cap); or
• less than the general Transfer Balance Cap at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year, you may make after-tax contributions but your Total Superannuation Balance will determine how much you can contribute.
For further information on the Transfer Balance Cap, please refer to the ATO website or speak to your financial adviser regarding your individual circumstances.
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 the 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.
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. Get to know the team here.
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 who can offer you personalised and tailored support. 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.