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How Much Does the Average Person Need to Live a Comfortable Retirement?

Written by Aaron Alston 

I wrote an article in the Hudson Report March last year with the minimum annual cost of a comfortable or modest standard living in retirement for singles and couples.   The figures are reviewed regularly and updated quarterly in line with inflation.  I have provided updates below:

December quarter 2021 update for retirees aged 65-85

ASFA Retirement Standard Annual Living Costs           

Couple – modest $41 929
Couple – comfortable $64 771
Single – modest $29 139
Single – comfortable $45 962

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. Effective 20th March 2022 the aged pension for a single person is $987.60 per fortnight and a couple is $744.40 each per fortnight. Depending on your circumstances however you may or may not be eligible for the aged pension.

Aged Pension Shortfall for a Single person aiming for a comfortable retirement as per ASFA
$20 284 per annum

Aged Pension Shortfall for a Couple aiming for a comfortable retirement as per ASFA
$26 062 per annum


As the cost of living rises 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. Hudson can also advise you how much your investments are required to return p/a before you begin to deplete your capital.

For further information refer to the below websites:

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 above of course is a guide and depending on your personal financial situation, objectives and needs your annual living requirement could be much less or greater than the above. To meet your current living requirements, you may require $30 000 per annum or $100 000 per annum.

There is no one size fits all approach so 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 we can discuss further what is involved.

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