Money for your retirement
Most retirees get income from at least a couple of sources, like
super and the Age Pension.
If you're thinking about retirement, it's important to consider
where you'll get the money you'll need to live on, and set up a
plan to make it last.
Sources of retirement
Your retirement income can come from many sources including:
These income sources can be combined so your money lasts longer,
and you have a more comfortable retirement. However, it's worth
remembering that one income source can have an impact on another.
For example, if you decide to sell the family home, your Age
Pension may be reduced or cut off.
For information on how your different income sources will affect
your Age Pension, speak to a Department of Human Services'
Financial Information Service (FIS) officer. FIS officers can
also talk to you about taking control of your finances and help you
plan for your retirement, and their services are free.
Plan for your retirement
Assess your financial position
To prepare for retirement, the first thing to do is to work out
how much money you have now, how much you might have in the future
and where it will come from.
Bring this information together by finding out:
- what assets (houses, savings, investments) you have and how
much they are worth
- how much super you have and when you can access it
- whether you are likely to be eligible for the Age Pension and
when you can apply for it.
Find out when you can get your super and the Age Pension.
pension age calculator
Make a long-term financial plan
The next step is to think about how your needs might change over
time. For instance, in the first few years of retirement, you might
want to travel or take up a new hobby. Later, you may want to
replace your car or renovate your kitchen. Further down the track,
you may want to move into a retirement village.
Think about how you can use your different income sources to
fund the different stages of your life. Seek financial
advice or speak to a FIS officer if you are unsure what to
The retirement planner will estimate your future income from
your super and the Age Pension. You can also explore ways to
improve your outcome.
See how your retirement's looking.
Make your money last in
There are ways to stretch your retirement income to make your
money last as long as possible.
Consider getting financial advice
Depending on your circumstances, you may want to seek financial
advice to maximise your retirement income. For instance, if you
have a substantial amount of super and want to invest some of it, a
finance expert can help with investment options and tax
Diversify your investments
With many retirees living beyond the age of 90, it's a good idea
to invest at least some of your money in assets that will grow over
time, like shares
and property. This will help ensure
your capital will grow in value to keep pace with inflation and your income needs. Spread
your investments to avoid financial heartache in the future.
Manage your spending
A simple way to make your money last longer is to watch your
spending. Use the budget planner to see how you currently
spend your money and see where you can cut back to save for special
Take advantage of your entitlements
Even if you don't get the Age Pension, you may be eligible for
other benefits, such as travel concessions, cheaper medicines and
reduced council and water rates. The Seniors Card will also give
you discounts on travel and some retail services. See our webpage
on Over 55s -
Also see the Department of Human Service's
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card webpage for more
Part-time work is a good option to ease into semi-retirement
before fully retiring, or a way to keep extra income coming in.
Here are some benefits of working part-time:
- Conserve your super balance - as you will be
earning an income, you won't need to draw as much from your super
and can continue to contribute to the balance.
- Earn an income before the Age Pension - if you
are not yet eligible for the Age Pension, working part-time allows
you to semi-retire but still have some income.
- Tax incentives - if you are aged 55 or over
you may be able to take advantage of a transition to retirement
strategy, which allows you to supplement your pay by drawing down
from your super after you have reached preservation
age. You pay no tax on your super income from age 60 and your
employer will continue to top up your super.
- Government incentives - earning extra income
will potentially reduce your Age Pension; however, the Government
has incentives to encourage people to work past the pension age.
work bonus scheme for more information.
Where to get more information on
Here are some websites where you can get free and independent
information about planning for retirement.
- Council of the Ageing (COTA) - Independent
consumer organisation run by and for senior Australians. See cota.org.au.
- Department of Human Services (DHS) -
Information on the Age Pension. See
- Department of Human Services' Financial Information
Service (FIS) - An independent, face-to-face service to
help you make the right decisions about your financial affairs. See
humanservices.gov.au or call 13 23 00 to make an
- Department of Veterans' Affairs - Information
and support for veterans and their dependants, including pensions,
compensation, healthcare and counselling services. See dva.gov.au.
- Financial Planning Association of Australia
(FPA) - Professional body representing Australia's
financial planners. Has information on choosing a financial
planner. See fpa.com.au.
- National Seniors Australia - Not-for-profit
organisation that provides a service to help people aged 50 years
and over. See nationalseniors.com.au.
If you are thinking about retirement, learn as
much as you can about your income options before you make any
decisions. By developing a flexible financial plan that uses a
combination of income sources, you can make sure your retirement is
Last updated: 14 Feb 2019