The weekly cost of living in retirement

What does retirement and your working life have in common? Bills! Unfortunately, those cost-of-living expenses continue as long as you do.

So how much will an average week in retirement cost? Our friends at ASFA have run the numbers for couples and singles and given a breakdown for both comfortable and modest lifestyles.

Key learnings covered in this topic

  1. The average weekly cost of retirement 
  2. Different amounts required to fund comfortable versus modest lifestyles 
  3. Amounts required for singles versus couples 
  4. Assumptions made within ASFA’s Retirement Standard that may affect your actual needs 
  5. Seek financial advice through your super to improve your future financial situation. 

Comfortable versus modest retirement lifestyles

ASFA says a comfortable retirement allows retirees to maintain a good standard of living. It accounts for a reasonable car, top level private health insurance, regular entertainment, an annual domestic trip, and an international trip once every seven years.

A modest retirement is less grand with spending being slightly above the Age Pension. It allows retirees to have an older model car, basic health insurance, occasional trips to the cinema or inexpensive restaurants, and an annual short break.

How much will you need a week?

Let’s take a look at the numbers*.

Housing expenses inc. insurance and rates$147.18$135.28$140.98$119.81
Internet and phone$29.70$20.55$22.82$18.25
Household items and personal upkeep$106.50$46.56$85.87$39.58
Clothing and footwear$52.04$39.76$27.95$20.92
Car and Public Transport$195.08$117.40$180.11$110.23
Health including insurance and chemist$216.77$110.20$115.84$57.01
Entertainment and leisure$333.27$179.20$221.80$114.13
Total weekly$1,392.01$907.80$989.07$630.55

This is only a guide as everyone’s needs will be different in retirement, but it’s a handy insight for those planning their retirement income. It’s important to note that both these lifestyle scenarios assume people own their home outright, are relatively healthy, will draw down all their capital and receive a part Age Pension.

For a more detailed breakdown for each category see the ASFA Retirement Standard

We’re here to help

Planning for retirement can be overwhelming as there’s a lot to think about. The good news is, as a CareSuper member you have access to our limited financial adviser team who can provide super specific advice over the phone, at no extra cost to you.** Get information to help you with your retirement planning around things like:

  • Top ways to boost your super so you can live your best life after work
  • Making sure you're in the right CareSuper investment option
  • A review of your insurance needs, and
  • Helping you understand if you're on track for retirement.

If you need more complex advice, our team of comprehensive financial advisers is available.^ We'll consider your whole financial situation, including your spouse, any assets you have outside super, your debts and your financial goals to help you plan your ideal retirement.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

At CareSuper, our role is supporting you, our members, in achieving your retirement goals. So, if you’re lying awake at night wondering how and if you can afford life after work, please give us a call on 1300 360 149.

*Figures based on the ASFA Retirement Standard, Detailed budget breakdowns, March quarter 2024
**Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.
^Advice is provided by one of our financial planners who are Authorised Representatives of Industry Funds Services Limited (IFS). IFS is responsible for any advice given to you by its Authorised Representatives. Industry Fund Services Limited ABN 54 007 016 195 AFSL 232514. 

Information correct as at 6 June 2024.