Retirement costs outpace rise in CPI
Retirees were hit with an increased cost of living in the September quarter, prompting calls for them to get in touch with their superannuation advisers.
The ASFA Retirement Standard September quarter figures show that couples aged around 65 and living a comfortable retirement needed to spend $59,619 a year, while singles had to spend $43,372 a year.
This was a 0.8 per cent increase in living costs for both age brackets compared to the previous quarter.
Budgets for older retirees – those aged 85 and over – increased by 0.9 per cent, outpacing the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rise of 0.7 per cent in the September quarter.
“The increase in cost of living in retirement highlights the need for saving an adequate amount for retirement,” ASFA CEO Martin Fahy said of the figures released.
"In order to achieve a comfortable standard of living in retirement, an individual requires a minimum of around $545,000 and a couple around $640,000,” Mr Fahy said.
Only around 30 per cent of all retired couples now are able to support a standard of living at that level, pointing to a need for retirees to speak to their superannuation fund or adviser to find out what super investment options are available to them.
Mr Fahy said the figure would lift to 50 per cent or more of retirees, provided the rate of compulsory contributions rises to 12 per cent and individuals make voluntary contributions.
“A low interest rate and investment return environment provides challenges, although a low inflation rate by historical standards is of some assistance to current and future retirees,” he said.
According to the research, the most significant price increases were fruit (up 19.5 per cent), vegetables, electricity, property rates and charges, while the biggest price falls were petrol, and telecommunication equipment and services.
Retirees have been urged to get hold of a pensioner concession card to help lessen their increasing financial burden.