The cost of medical services rose steeply in the June quarter, according to new research from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), placing increased financial pressure on retirees.
The most significant price rise this quarter was a 4.6 per cent jump for medical and hospital services, which occurred mainly as a result of the increases in private health fund premiums effective from 1 April 2014, ASFA stated.
In the last quarter of the 2013/2014 financial year, the expenditure required for couples wanting to live a 'comfortable' retirement, in accordance with ASFA’s retirement standards, rose by 0.5 per cent to $58,128 per year.
Single retirees faced a similar increase in costs, with expenditure for a 'modest' retirement recording a 0.5 per cent increase from the previous quarter to $23,363 per year, ASFA stated.
"Big jumps in the cost of items such as health care and medicines can hit retirees hard, particularly if they don't have much money to spare. This is where saving more superannuation can give you peace of mind, knowing that you will be able to cope financially as costs increase,” said ASFA chief executive Pauline Vamos.
"Knowing how much you will need to spend in retirement is also a good first step in planning to save more. The younger you are, the more your retirement savings will benefit from the effects of compound interest.”
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