How to retire well

Super Informed
28 Jul 2022
3 min read

A lot of dreaming and a little planning can help you prepare for life after work. It’s important to plan financially and emotionally to give yourself the best chance of achieving lasting wellbeing in retirement.

Woman holding surfboard

Considerations for a comfortable retirement

Retirement is your opportunity to enjoy all the things you might not have had time to do in your working life. You might be looking to finally start that road trip around Australia. Maybe you’re going to learn a new hobby or renovate the house. Maybe you just want to spend more time with family.  

Retirement is one of life’s biggest transitions, so regardless of how you’re looking to spend it, it’s important to plan financially and emotionally to give yourself the best chance of achieving lasting wellbeing.

Financial considerations

It can be hard to know where to start when planning for retirement. One of the most common questions we’re asked is ‘how much is enough?’ Having an idea of what a modest retirement might look like versus a comfortable retirement is a good place to start.  

According to the ASFA Retirement Standard (December quarter 2021), if you own your home, are in good health and aged around 65, couples will need about $63,000 per year to live comfortably and $44,000 to live modestly. Singles require around $45,000 to live comfortably and around $29,000 to live modestly.  

If you’re planning a more comfortable retirement, consider growing your super by making extra contributions on top of your employer contributions. You could set up a salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer whereby part of your before-tax income is added to your super instead.* You might want to speak to a financial adviser before setting this up.  

Voluntary after-tax contributions are a simple and effective way to top up your super. You can make these from your savings or take-home pay and make a one-off contribution, or regular contributions. The easiest way to contribute to your super is with BPAY®.  Making after-tax contributions means you could also pay less tax and take advantage of compound interest.  

By making after-tax contributions, you could also be eligible for the government co-contribution.* From 1 July 2022, If you earn under $57,016, the government could match up to 50 cents of every dollar you add to your super as an after-tax contribution, up to $500 each financial year.  

You can use our Retirement calculator to estimate how much super you’ll have when you retire and how long it’ll last.  

If you want to hear more about retirement planning, our Retirement considerations webcast can help. You don’t have to be a UniSuper member either. 

Non-financial considerations

Even though you’ve earned your retirement after years of hard work, stepping away from the workforce is likely to lead to a significant shift in your daily routine and this could negatively impact your mental wellbeing.  

But there’s things you can do to stay happy and healthy in retirement, such as: 

  • staying connected 
  • keeping active and healthy  
  • sharing knowledge and volunteering.  

You might also be considering moving into aged care. It’s a big decision for you and your family, but we have resources that can help. You can start planning right now by considering which retirement living options are the best fit for you. 

If you’re thinking about retirement in the next five to 10 years, our Retiring well webcast can help you plan for the changes retirement offers. You’ll hear from SuperFriend’s Dr Jillian Bull, a registered clinical and counselling psychologist. You don’t have to be a UniSuper member to access this webcast.

We’re here to help

If you’d prefer to speak to someone about growing you super, you can make an appointment with one of our super consultants. They provide information and general advice across a range of topics at no extra cost, whether you’re a UniSuper member or not.  

Book an appointment in-person on campus, via video or over the phone, or call 1800 823 842.  

*Consider UniSuper Limited’s PDS and TMD on its website and your circumstances before making decisions. Issued by UniSuper Limited ABN 54 006 027 121 the trustee of the fund UniSuper ABN 91 385 943 850.

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