Top retirement calculators to help maximise retirement savings

Here are some handy tools to help you save for a comfortable retirement

Preparing for your retirement is no walk in the park, it can be quite daunting.

But new super calculators and digital services are making it easier to plan your retirement and maximise your super.

TODAY looked at some of the things you need to know if you’re preparing for retirement.

How much do you need?

How much super you need will depend on the standard of living you want to maintain. In short, it depends on what needs you have, and what extra perks you would like to be able to afford during your retirement.

Australia’s super industry policy, research and advocacy body, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) calculated in 2016 that the average superannuation balance required to achieve a comfortable retirement was $640,000 for couples and $545,000 for singles.

A comfortable retirement might allow you to eat out more regularly, travel further and enjoy more luxuries.

ASFA’s figures indicate that for a modest retirement at age 65, a single person would need $24,506 per year and a couple would need $35,189 per year.

A modest retirement is a bit better than the age pension and might enable you to enjoy basic activities, like short holidays near where you live or occasionally eating out.

What are some tools to help you maximise your super for retirement?

Superguru

Superguru.com.au has calculators that can help give you a general picture of the way the superannuation system works and how you might be able to make the system work for you.

They can help you estimate how much you’ll have in retirement based on your age, current balance and income. They also have calculators to show you how extra contributions – either pre- or post-tax – can help you boost your retirement savings.

It can also help you work out how much you need to spend per week or fortnight based on your lifestyle you want and where you live plus what small contributions can make.

For example, one less coffee per day would give a 30-year-old today an extra $67,000 in retirement.

Moneysmart

This retirement planner at the ASIC website moneysmart.gov.au will help if you want to know how much super you will have by the end of work, ready for retirement.

It helps you work out:

  •     What income you are likely to have from super and the age pension when you retire
  •     How contributions (pre-or post-tax), investment options, fees and retirement age affect your retirement income from super
  •     How working part-time or taking a break from work affects your super

For example, a 40-year-old who earns $80,000 and has $120k in super but doesn’t contribute other than the super guarantee will have $359,000 in super at 67 – that’s equal to an income of around $35,000.

AMP

This calculator estimates life expectancy and how much you will need for it. We are living a lot longer these days with the average person making it to 82 years old.

Stress is the biggest cause of lessening life expectancy, so plan your retirement with ease by calculating your super, life expectancy and more.

If you want to see how long you’re expected to live: estimating your life expectancy can help you work out how long you’ll need your retirement savings to last.

How can we best prepare for a long, quality retirement?

It’s important to get some advice. Superannuation is treated differently to most other savings. There are special tax treatments and concessions that apply to superannuation contributions to help Australians save for their retirement.

1 in 3 women in Australia retire without any super, mainly due to the gap of income, but also because there is no solid preparation with super.

2 out of 5 people don’t know how much they have in super and the system is awash with $14billion in lost or unclaimed super. Digital services may help change this.

Over the years it’s hard to keep track of all your accounts and supers, how can we tie all of our funds into one?

Your super fund will report you as a lost member if either:

  •    They have not been able to contact you
  •    They have not received any contributions or rollover amounts for you in the last five years, or
  •    Your account was transferred from another fund as a lost member account and no new address has been found.

The ATO maintains a register of reported lost members but the super fund still holds your monies.

You can also search for your lost and unclaimed super by logging on or creating a mygov external link account.

* In highlighting particular offers we are not making specific recommendations as this article does not cover all available products and may not compare all features relevant to you. Any advice provided is general in nature and does not take account of your needs, objectives or financial situation. Individuals should consider their own circumstances, and if in doubt seek appropriate advice, before proceeding.