The amount of retirement income Australians need in order to live a comfortable lifestyle has increased, a new study has shown.
The ASFA Retirement Standard for the December 2012 quarter revealed that a couple hoping to achieve a comfortable retirement will need to spend $56,339 a year.
For a modest retirement lifestyle, people will need to have access to around $32,555 a year.
These figures represent respective rises of two per cent and 2.8 per cent on results from the same quarter of 2011.
So what are the drivers behind these rises? ASFA found that domestic holiday travel and accommodation and automotive fuel have increased over recent months, therefore affecting retirement budgets.
However, it is not all bad news for those planning retirement – vegetables, audio, visual and computing equipment and pharmaceutical products have all declined in value.
The 3.5 per cent fall in the price of pharmaceuticals is primarily due to a greater proportion of consumers exceeding the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme safety net compared to the September quarter.
This will offer some relief, as the long-term trend has been for significant rises in health costs, which can have a significant impact on retirement savings.
How to boost your retirement income
With savings under increased pressure, it is important for retirees to start thinking of ways in which they can boost their income.
If you are worried that your money will not stretch as far as you had hoped, it might be time to consider your options.
One strategy could be to work part-time – not only will this increase your income, but also make the transition to retirement that little less daunting.
While you are under the age of 75, your employer can continue to make contributions to your super savings, boosting your savings pot even further.
Should your partner be able to, it may be worth asking if they can make additional contributions to your savings pot – this could give you a little extra cash to make your retirement more comfortable.
Otherwise, you might need to think about delaying your retirement a while longer, just to make sure you have enough money to do all the things you have always dreamed of.
Speaking to a financial advisor is a good way to see what your options are and how much of an impact they will have on your savings – they can offer retirement advice that is tailored to your needs.