Cost of a comfortable retirement rises modestly in September 2018 quarter

The cost of living for retirees rose modestly in the September 2018 quarter, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has found.

Based on the ASFA Retirement Standard the cost of a ‘comfortable’ retirement, at age 65, for couples is now $60,843 (up 0.4% from the previous quarter) and $43,200 for singles (up 0.6%).

The ASFA Retirement Standard is a benchmark of the cost of a ‘modest’ and ‘comfortable’ retirement, based on detailed budgets of goods and services.

For age 65 the ‘modest’ Retirement Standard was up 0.6% for both singles and couples.

ASFA CEO Dr Martin Fahy said: “The fact that the cost of retirement over the most recent quarter only increased by a relatively small amount is welcome news for retirees but relatively low rates of price increases are more the exception than the rule in Australia over the longer term.”

“Retirement can stretch over three decades or more and retirees need to be prepared for and invest for the long term.”

“We recommend you get in touch with your superannuation fund to find out what options are available to you, so that you have the best chance of coping with future price increases and living your post-work years free from major financial worries.”

ASFA said that the continued drought was likely to put upward pressure on the cost of food (up 0.5% for the quarter), and this would likely be exacerbated by the cost of fuel.

The largest price increases in September quarter were international holiday travel and accommodation, up 4.3%, domestic holiday travel and accommodation, up 2.4% and fuel, up 1.4%. Though the change in the cost of travel was due to peak holiday seasons in Europe and America.

The largest price falls were for telecommunications equipment and services, down 1.5%.W

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