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Where does retirees’ money go?

Retirees money, retirement, income, retirees budget

Retirees’ budgets are more than just spending; they’re also about societal expectations, the super association has said, while publishing its latest budget numbers.

According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), the average Australian couple aged around 65 needs to spend $60,264 a year to live a comfortable life, while singles need to spend $42,764. These figures are assuming the retirees own their own property.

That is based on ASFA’s budget breakdown for retirees for the March 2018 quarter.

The average retiree couple living a comfortable life spends $200 a week on food, while couples living a modest lifestyle spend $165 a week on food.

That’s followed by a single retiree’s $115.10 spent for a comfortable lifestyle and the $89 spent by a single retiree living a modest lifestyle.

However, along with food, clothing and housing, the budget takes into account the increasing cost of technology.

“New items become available and popular among consumers; this affects how people run their lives and creates pressure for others to do likewise if they are to function effectively in society as individuals and as consumers,” the report explained.

“For instance, when almost everyone else has a mobile phone or a broadband internet connection, it becomes near impossible for anyone to manage without one.”

It said adjusting to the needs of retirees involves adjusting to societal expectations of what is needed.

“An item that was once seen as a relative ‘luxury’ quickly becomes an absolute ‘necessity’. Technology also changes, with, for instance, subscriptions to streaming services substantially replacing purchase of compact discs or DVDs,” the report said.

“Changes of this nature have been made in the revised budgets.”

Breaking it down

These are the current weekly budgets for households and living standards for Australians aged around 65, based on the March quarter 2018 figures and the assumption that these retirees own their own home. 

  Single, modest lifestyle Single, comfortable lifestyle Couple, modest lifestyle Couple, comfortable lifestyle
Food $89.00 $115.10 $165.00 $200.00
Clothing and footwear $20.10 $26.90 $38.20 $50.00
Housing $97.40 $114.00 $109.50 $119.20
Energy $37.80 $47.90 $50.80 $59.40
Household goods and services $33.70 $73.10 $39.40 $89.85
Health $47.35 $97.20 $91.20 $181.70
Transport $87.00 $142.00 $93.00 $154.10
Recreation $92.20 $178.50 $144.70 $268.10
Communication $19.80 $24.70 $22.30 $32.15
Total per week $524.30 $819.20 $753.90 $1,154.5
March quarter 2018 total  $27,368 $42,764 $43,695 $60,274
March quarter 2017 total $24,250 $43,665 $34,855 $59,971
Where does retirees’ money go?
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