Have the choice of a modest vs comfortable lifestyle in retirement

Modest vs Comfortable Retirement Lifestyle

Sep 19
modest vs comfortable

Modest vs Comfortable Retirement

You may have grand plans for travel, leisure and living the good life in retirement, but how easily will these things be within your reach? Will you have the choice of a modest vs comfortable lifestyle?

Assuming you own your home outright and are relatively healthy, the current figure stands at $43,695 a year for single Australians and $60,063 a year for a couple. All people aged between 65 and 85.

But what exactly does a comfortable retirement look like? It differs from a modest retirement lifestyle, at $24,270 a year if you’re single, or $34,911 a year for a couple.

A comfortable retirement is a subjective question, as one person’s luxury is another’s making do.

However, in the context of the ASFA Retirement Standard, a ‘comfortable’ retirement is a step up from ‘modest’, which in turn means being able to afford basic activities above a retirement on the Age Pension.

In contrast, ‘comfortable’ retirement means you can be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreational activities, have a good standard of living, and are able to afford things.
Things like:

  1. household goods,
  2. private health insurance,
  3. reasonable car,
  4. good clothes,
  5. range of electronic equipment,
  6. domestic and international holiday travel.

And with careful planning, and clever budgeting and saving, you’ll be in a better position to get the most out of your money. So that even those living on a more modest retirement budget may still be able to afford some of life’s little luxuries.

Modest vs Comfortable Lifestyle


It’s estimated those living a comfortable retirement lifestyle will be able to afford one annual holiday in Australia. While those on a modest retirement budget will be limited to one or two short breaks close to home each year. Of course, saving over a few years will give you different options.

Dining out

If you’re living on a comfortable retirement budget, you should be able to regularly eat out at restaurants, while those on a modest budget will probably only be able to afford infrequent meals at cheaper restaurants.

Enjoying a drink

Bottled wine is within reach regularly for those with a comfortable retirement budget. A modest retirement budget may only extend as far as cask wine.

Your home

A comfortable retirement budget may enable you to update your kitchen or bathroom once in a 20-year period, but those with a modest budget will probably only be able to afford repairs, not renovations.

Your car

You should be able to afford to buy and run a reasonable car on a comfortable budget, but a modest budget means you’ll probably have to settle for an older car.

Leisure activities

If you plan to regularly take part in a range of leisure pursuits, you’ll need a comfortable retirement budget. A modest budget is likely to only cover one paid leisure activity, done infrequently.


If how you dress is important to you, you’ll probably need a comfortable retirement budget to afford to update your wardrobe regularly with good quality clothes. As on a modest budget it’s likely you’ll need to be more careful with what clothes you buy and you won’t be able to update as frequently.

Always stay on track of your retirement income, in order to determine whether any adjustments need to be made depending on your situation at the time. In case you are not on the pathway you desire, it’s not too late to figure something out.

There are a few ways to give your super a boost, such as:

  • searching for lost super
  • salary sacrificing
  • making additional before-tax or after-tax contributions
  • receiving contributions from your spouse.


We’re here to help

A financial adviser can provide you with advice to help you save more in super. To find out more, contact Avante Financial Services on 1300 788 650 today. 

Online source: AMP Retirement , 31 August 2017


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