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Why millions of Aussies are worried about retiring

How much money do you need to retire? Millions of Aussies are worried they won’t have enough.

Young people walking through city in Australia. Australian money notes. Retirement superannuation concept.
Millions of Aussies are worried they won’t have enough money when they retire, new research has found. (Source: Getty)

Millions of Aussies are worried about their retirement, and it all comes down to money.

More than three in five (62 per cent) Aussies are concerned about having enough money when they retire, according to a Finder survey of 1,057 people.

More than a quarter (28 per cent) didn’t think they’ll have enough money to get by, while 34 per cent said they would “manage” but would need to cut back on their spending.

Women were more doubtful about their retirement prospects, with just 11 per cent saying they were confident they would have enough money to live well in retirement, compared to 26 per cent of men.

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The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) estimates that a couple retiring at 65 needs $68,014 per year to retire comfortably, while singles need $48,266.

For a modest retirement, couples need $44,034 per year and singles need $30,582. These figures are based on the retiree owning their home.

Finder superannuation expert Alison Banney said super was often put into the “too-hard basket” because it couldn’t be accessed until retirement. But switching to a high-performing fund could help boost your retirement savings by thousands, she said.

“If you haven't checked how your fund is performing for a while, this is a timely reminder to compare super funds – fees and performance – and if you’re not getting the best deal, make the switch,” Banney said.

“Switching super funds is a lot easier than you think, and your new super fund actually does most of the work for you.”

Ways to boost your super

You could also boost your super through extra contributions, Finder said. One way is through salary sacrificing, which is when your employer puts some of your pre-tax salary into super.

If you are in a couple, you could consider topping up your partner’s balance. According to ASIC’s Moneysmart, if your spouse earns a low or no income, you may be able to claim a tax offset if you contribute to their super.

If you are one of the many Aussies with multiple super funds, look at consolidating them. Multiple smaller balances do not compound as well, Finder said, and you would be paying several sets of fees.

Lastly, it’s worth seeking professional advice on how you can maximise your super based on your individual circumstances and retirement goals.

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