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Aaron Alston

Annual Update – How Much Does the Average Person Require $ Per Annum to Live a Comfortable Retirement?

Wrtitten by Aaron Alston

I have provided an update on the estimated annual cost to live a comfortable or modest standard of living in retirement for singles and couples.   The figures are reviewed regularly by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) and are updated quarterly in line with inflation.  I have provided the latest update below:

September quarter 2023 update for retirees aged 65-84

ASFA Retirement Standard        Annual Expenditure             

Couple – modest                          $46 620

Couple – comfortable                  $71 724

Single – modest                            $32 417

Single – comfortable                    $50 981

Note:  The assumptions are based on retiring at age 65 and living an average life expectancy until 85.  The assumptions also assume you own your home.  A general rule of thumb is two-thirds of your pre-retirement income to maintain a similar standard of living in retirement.  Living expenses may vary depending on your personal needs and the above is not to be solely relied upon.


Whether or not you are single or in a relationship aiming to live a comfortable retirement, the age pension alone won’t get you there.  The age pension for a single person is $1 096.70 per fortnight and the age pension for couples is $826.70 each per fortnight.  Depending on your personal circumstances however you may or may not be eligible for the aged pension (you must be age 67 to apply).

Aged Pension Shortfall for a Single person aiming for a comfortable retirement as per ASFA.

$22 467 per annum!!

Aged Pension Shortfall for a Couple aiming for a comfortable retirement as per ASFA.

$28 736 per annum!!


As the cost of living continues to rise for all Australians, it has never been more important for retirees to review their annual living requirements and their investment strategy with a financial adviser regularly.  Just because you are retired, it doesn’t necessarily mean you cease investing.

If you are aged 65, you could potentially be alive for a further 35-40 years.  Hudson have financial modelling software whereby we can forecast your financial goals and annual living requirements to determine whether you are on track to reaching your desired objectives.  Hudson can also advise on % return your investments are required to generate per annum before you begin to deplete your capital.


Services Australia –

The retirement standard breaks down annual expenses in key categories such as: Daily essentials (housing, groceries, transport, clothing & footwear), Staying fit & healthy (health insurance, pharmacy, doctor visits, exercise), Staying socially engaged (movies, attending sports games, day tours) and connecting with family (computer, mobile phone, domestic flights).


  • The information disclosed in this article is a guide only as your annual living requirement could be higher or lower than the stated averages above depending on your personal financial situation, objectives, and needs.
  • To meet your current annual living requirements, you may require $75 000 per annum or $100 000 per annum, however there is no one size fits all approach.
  • If you are concerned about your retirement and think you would benefit from receiving a tailored financial plan, please call 1800 804 296 or submit a contact form directly on our website and the team at Hudson can discuss in more detail how we may be able to assist.

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