News » Super in your 60’s. It’s still not too late!

For most Australians, their 60’s is the decade that marks retirement. For some this means a graceful slide into a fulfilling life of leisure, enjoying the fruits of a lifetime of hard work. However, for many it means a substantial drop in income and living standards. So how can you make the most of the last few years of work before taking that big step into retirement?

Are we there yet?

Allowing for future age pension entitlement the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) calculates that a couple will need savings of $640,000 at retirement to maintain a ‘comfortable lifestyle’. (ASFA equates ‘comfortable ‘ to an annual income of $60,604.)

How are we tracking as a nation?

In 2015-2016, 50% of men aged 60-64 had super balances of less than $110,000. For women the figure was a more alarming $36,000 – not even enough to provide a single personal with a ‘modest’ lifestyle. (ASFA estimates that to upgrade from a ‘pension only’ to a ‘modest’ lifestyle would require a retirement nest of $70,000.)

Last minute lift

If your super is looking a little on the thin side there are a few ways to give it a boost before retirement.

Bye bye tax, hello aged pension?

One reward, just for turning 60, is that any withdrawals from your super account will be tax-free. This applies to both lump sum withdrawals and income stream payments. Depending on the preservation status of your funds you may need to met a condition of release to access your superannuation.

Based on your date of birth, somewhere between age 65 and 67 you’ll reach age pension age. The age pension is subject to both an assets test and an income test and some advanced planning can boost your eligibility for the pension. For example, the family home is exempt from the assets test. Releasing cash by downsizing may reduce your eligibility for the age pension.

Get it right

This important decade is when you will make the key decisions that will determine your quality of life in retirement. Those decisions are both numerous and complex.

Quality, knowledgeable advice is critical, and wherever you are on your path to retirement, now is always the best time to talk to your licensed financial adviser.

As at June 2018


The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia Ltd – ASFA Retirement Standard