News » How People Can Enhance Their Income Stream in Retirement

February 16, 2024

Building and managing retirement income means navigating a wealth of intricacies and personalised strategies, especially in today’s ever-evolving financial landscape.

For Australian retirees in 2024 or those looking to leave their working positions in the near future, we believe taking the time to learn how to effectively manage a retirement income stream has become more important than ever. The average retirement income in Australia is witnessing shifts in real time due to economic changes and policy updates, and the amount we need not just to survive, but to truly enjoy our golden years, is continually rising, meaning we all need to stay informed and adapt.

In this article, our experts at Aspire2 Wealth Advisers aim to provide comprehensive insights into the current state of retirement in Australia, focusing on the average retirement income, and offering a guide for individuals to assess and enhance their retirement income streams. Whether you’re nearing retirement or already in this next phase of your life, understanding how much income you need and how to maximise it is key to a comfortable and worry-free retirement.

The Current State of Retirement in Australia in 2024

We are moving further into the 2020s, and after a pandemic, surging inflation, foreign wars, soaring interest rates, policy reforms and more, the average retirement income has seen notable changes. Today’s retirees face different challenges and opportunities compared to previous generations. With only marginal rises in support from the pension, they must stay abreast of these trends for effective retirement planning. Have you been wondering, ‘How much income do I need in retirement?’. With the cost of living and healthcare expenses on the rise, Australians need to reassess their retirement strategies to ensure they can maintain their desired lifestyle – after all, there is a growing trend towards more active and longer retirements, prompting a re-evaluation of traditional income sources and the exploration of new ways to supplement income in retirement.

Maximising Retirement Income: Government Benefits and Pensions

We pay our taxes and see a portion of wages filter into superannuation accounts, but actually reviewing, applying and maximising the slew of possible government benefits and pensions available will help to secure a stable transition to retirement. Australian retirees can access various government programs designed to supplement or support their retirement income. In addition to the age pension, this could include:

To maximise these benefits, balance your income and assets, as they can affect the amount you’re entitled to receive. Strategies around restructuring your assets and income streams can sometimes enhance your eligibility for higher benefits. Seeking advice from a financial advisor can also be beneficial in navigating the complexities of government pensions and ensuring you’re making the most of your entitlements.

Maximising Retirement Income: Consider Investing in Annuities

Investing in annuities can be a strategic move to enhance your income retirement plan, offering a steady income stream post-retirement. Annuities function as financial products that, in exchange for a lump sum payment, guarantee a fixed income over a set period or for a retiree’s lifetime.

In Australia, annuities aren’t always a first thought for retirees, given they may already have access to superannuation and begin the transition to the retirement pension. There are, however, various types of annuities available, each catering to different retirement needs and objectives. These include:

When considering annuities, weigh factors like the return rate, fees, and the insurer’s reliability to ensure they align with your retirement income goals.

Maximising Retirement Income: Maximizing Superannuation Benefits

Since its inception in 1992, the superannuation guarantee continues to play a pivotal role in shaping retirement savings in Australia. The recent increase in the superannuation guarantee rate underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing retirement readiness, but as retirees approach their golden years, maximising superannuation contributions can become increasingly beneficial. It’s a period to strategically boost retirement savings, taking advantage of higher contribution limits and tax efficiencies.

For example, a common strategy is to sell assets within superannuation post-retirement to benefit from more favourable capital gains tax conditions.

Additionally, retirees should consider aiming to maximise their tax-free pension limits within their superannuation. Doing so involves careful planning to ensure that you optimise contributions and pension withdrawals for the best tax outcomes, thereby enhancing overall retirement income.

Maximising Retirement Income: Diversifying Investment Portfolios

Diversification in investment portfolios is a fundamental strategy to manage risk and stabilise your retirement income stream. The approach involves spreading investments across different asset classes such as stocks, bonds, real estate, businesses and cash, cushioning against market volatility, as the underperformance of one asset class can be offset by the stability or gains of another.

Fixed-income investments like bonds offer a predictable income, making them suitable for retirees. Additionally, dividend-paying stocks can provide a balance of income and growth potential. It’s also wise to consider the inclusion of real estate investment trusts (REITs) or other property-related investments for added diversity.

The key is to tailor your portfolio to your risk tolerance and income needs, ensuring a steady retirement income stream while safeguarding your capital.

Maximising Retirement Income: Smart Financial Behaviour in Retirement

In retirement, financial discipline elevates to a new level. Many retirees face the choice between periodic lump sum drawdowns and regular, higher payments. While regular payments provide a steady income stream, lump sum drawdowns can be useful for unexpected expenses or special purchases. An advisor can provide insight into how these choices align with long-term financial goals and retirement lifestyle aspirations.

Maximising Retirement Income: Navigating Share Market Volatility

Retirees must navigate share market volatility with a balanced approach, avoiding hasty decisions prompted by short-term market fluctuations. Maintain focus on long-term retirement plans and resist the temptation to make drastic changes to one’s lifestyle or investment strategy in response to market dips and rises. Drawing down a fixed percentage of the portfolio annually can be a sensible strategy, if needed, providing a consistent income while allowing the portfolio to recover and grow over time.


Explore Retirement Planning Services

In the journey towards a secure and prosperous retirement, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the choices in front of you, making professional advice invaluable. Engaging with financial advisors and retirement planning services can significantly optimise your income retirement strategy.

At Aspire2, our experts provide tailored guidance, moving away from the average income in Australia and helping you navigate superannuation complexities and make informed investment choices. We ensure your retirement plan is robust, adaptable, and aligned with your future aspirations. For more information, speak with our specialists today.

This content contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information. If you decide to purchase or vary a financial product, your financial adviser (Aspire2 Wealth Advisers, 08 9322 7028), and other companies within the AMP Group may receive fees and other benefits. The fees will be a dollar amount and/or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investments. Please contact us if you want more information.