Cost of retirement up in March quarter

The cost of retirement has increased during the March quarter with petrol, eating out and entertainment costs rising. 

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard March quarter 2021 figures indicated that couples aged around 65 living a comfortable retirement needed to spend $62,828 per year ($44,412 for singles) – up 0.4% on the previous quarter. 

Retirement budgets were up 0.1% from the previous quarter, which reflected the different expenditure pattern in such budgets, as they were less likely to be affected by the increase in petrol prices which were up 8.7%. 

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Glen McCrea, ASFA deputy chief executive, said the March quarter saw a return to more normal conditions. 

“In the previous few quarters there were suspensions or delays in certain price increases but now price increases are returning to a more standard pattern," McCrea said. 

"There was around a 0.5% increase in the price of meals out and takeaway foods, in part due to demand pressures as more consumers were able to dine away from home.” 

While health insurance premiums remained unchanged for much of the year, these increased from 1 October, 2020, by around 3% for many retirees. 

There were now 2.2 million Australians aged over 65 with private health insurance, up from 2 million three years earlier. 

Table 1: Budgets for various households and living standards for those aged around 65 (March quarter 2021, national) 

 

Household type 

Single Modest 

Couple Modest 

Single Comfortable 

Couple Comfortable 

Housing – ongoing only 

$102.60 

$115.29 

$120.36 

$125.70 

Energy 

$32.81 

$44.07 

$41.57 

$51.55 

Food 

$94.68 

$175.54 

$122.42 

$212.77 

Clothing 

$20.49 

$38.94 

$27.37 

$50.97 

Household goods and services 

$34.39 

$40.38 

$76.80 

$94.48 

Health 

$51.45 

$99.30 

$105.37 

$197.24 

Transport 

$89.62 

$95.73 

$146.26 

$158.68 

Leisure 

$97.37 

$152.82 

$188.35 

$283.16 

Communications 

$17.85 

$20.11 

$22.33 

$29.06 

Total per week 

$541.27 

$782.17 

$850.81 

$1,203.60 

Total per year 

$28,254 

$40,829 

$44,412 

$62,828 

Table 2: Budgets for various households and living standards for those aged around 85 (March quarter 2021, national) 

Household type 

Single Modest 

Couple Modest 

Single Comfortable 

Couple Comfortable 

Housing – ongoing only 

$102.60 

$115.29 

$120.36 

$125.70 

Energy 

$32.81 

$44.07 

$41.57 

$51.55 

Food 

$94.68 

$175.54 

$122.42 

$212.77 

Clothing 

$20.49 

$38.94 

$27.37 

$50.97 

Household goods and services 

$52.59 

$75.37 

$155.41 

$186.12 

Health 

$89.03 

$124.51 

$147.55 

$232.86 

Transport 

$40.38 

$50.48 

$45.43 

$55.52 

Leisure 

$63.50 

$90.99 

$131.19 

$184.39 

Communications 

$17.85 

$20.11 

$22.23 

$29.06 

Total per week 

$513.94 

$735.29 

$813.61 

$1,128.94 

Total per year 

$26,827 

$38,382 

$42,470 

$58,930 

Source: ASFA 

 




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