What kind of retirement you’d like, starts now

Planning for retirement isn’t an end goal, it’s a lifestyle set up. Simply think about the life you’d like to keep living, and set up small steps to get there.

Small steps

Thinking in achievable goals rather than one big goal can be less daunting. Making small investments now, can have great benefit later.

Even when retired, think about taking your money out year by year (instead of all at once), to keep earning more from your investment.

A big part of living

Many of us will spend more than a quarter of our life retired, as people are now living until an average age of 86 years (if you’re male) and 89 years (if you’re female). And life expectancy is expected to rise to 91 for males and 93 for females by 2050.

That means you’ll need a decent amount of money to keep living the life you wish.

International Retirement Standards

According to International Retirement Standards, to have a ‘comfortable’ retirement, an individual will need $594,000 in retirement savings, and couples will need $697,000. You can use this to estimate how much money you’ll need to have a ‘comfortable’ or ‘modest’ retirement lifestyle.

Comfortable Lifestyle Modest Lifestyle NZ Govt Super Lifestyle
Individual
$47,297 p.a $30,209 p.a $22,039 p.a
Couple
$66,836 p.a $43,589 p.a $33,228 p.a
Future possibilities
Replace kitchen and bathroom over 20 years No budget for home improvements. Can do repairs, but can’t replace kitchen or bathroom No budget to fix home problems like a leaky roof
Better quality and larger number of household items and appliances and higher cost hairdressing Limited number of household items and appliances and budget haircuts Less frequent haircuts or getting a friend to cut your hair
Can run heating Need to watch utility costs Less heating in winter
Restaurant dining, good range & quality of food Take out and occasional cheap restaurants Only club special meals or inexpensive takeaway
Replace kitchen and bathroom over 20 years No budget for home improvements. Can do repairs, but can’t replace kitchen or bathroom No budget to fix home problems like a leaky roof
Fast internet connection, big data allowance and large talk and text allowance Limited talk and text, modest internet data allowance Very basic phone and internet package
Good clothes Reasonable clothes Basic clothes
Domestic and occasional overseas holidays One holiday in Australia or a few short breaks Even shorter breaks or day trips in your own city
Top level private health insurance Basic private health insurance, limited gap payments No private health insurance
Owning a reasonable car Owning a cheaper more basic car No car or, if you have a car, it will be a struggle to afford repairs
Take part in a range of regular leisure activities One leisure activity infrequently, some trips to the cinema or similar Only taking part in no cost or very low cost leisure activities. Rare trips to the cinema

The Standard is updated four times a year to take into consideration the rising price of items like food and utility bills, as well as changing lifestyle expectations and spending habits. The Standard includes the cost of health, communication, clothing, travel and household goods.

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