The age you retire in Australia isn’t set in stone. You can really retire whenever you want to, but a number of factors could play a big part in your decision.
Your financial situation, health, employment opportunities and coordinating with your partner, if you have one, could all play a role in helping you determine when you might retire from the workforce.
Below is a list of things to consider when timing your retirement, noting at last count, the average age people intended to retire in Australia was around 65 and a half1, with the main factor influencing their decision, financial security2.
Things to think about when timing retirement
When you can access your super
Typically, you can access your super when you've reached your preservation age and you retire.
Your preservation age will depend on your date of birth. See table below for details.
|Date of birth||Preservation age|
|Before 1 July 1960||55|
|1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961||56|
|1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962||57|
|1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963||58|
|1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964||59|
|From 1 July 1964||60|
There could also be special circumstances under which you might access your super early. For more information, see our page – When can I access my super?
Whether you’re eligible for the Age Pension
Your eligibility for the government’s Age Pension will come down to three things – your age, residency, as well as your income and assets, which will need to be below certain limits.
Similar to when you can access super, the age you might qualify for the Age Pension will depend on your date of birth. Check out the table below to see at what age you might qualify.
|Date of birth||Age Pension eligibility age|
| Before 1 July 1952
|1 July 1952 - 31 December 1953||65 and a half|
|1 January 1954 - 30 June 1955||66|
|1 July 1955 - 31 December 1956||66 and a half|
|From 1 January 1957||67|
For more information about residency requirements and what the income and asset cut off points are, see our page – Am I eligible for the government’s Age Pension?.
Funding a longer retirement
Australians are living longer, so more people require a bigger pool of savings to fund the additional years after they finish working, with many having to explore the possibility of working for longer too.
To put it into perspective, the average life expectancy in Australia for a man around age 65 today is about 85, while for a woman around age 65 today, it’s 88, noting you could live longer depending on your situation3.
As for how much money you might need each year, June 2021 figures from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) show individuals and couples, around age 65, who are looking to retire today, would need a certain annual budget to fund different types of retirement lifestyles4.
ASFA figures are based on the assumption people own their home outright and are relatively healthy5. See the suggested annual budgets below compared to current Age Pension rates being paid by the government6.
|Comfortable lifestyle||Modest lifestyle||Full Age Pension rate|
|Single (annual budget)||$44,818||$28,514||$24,770|
|Couple (annual budget)||$63,352||$41,170||$37,341|
Your current state of health
Health is a key factor when it comes to participating in the workforce, particularly as you get older. This can affect your ability to accumulate super and other savings to fund your retirement.
This means that if you’re saving for retirement or contributing to your super fund, it may be helpful to start sooner rather than later.
Employment opportunities will often come down to skills and experience, and there are resources out there to help you if you do feel like working for longer to potentially build more savings for your retirement.
Check out the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website, which includes a Mature Age Hub, as well as details around the government’s jobactive initiative and New Business Assistance for those looking to become self-employed.
Your social life and recreational activities
Australians are living longer and more active lives, and according to ASFA, singles and couples living a comfortable lifestyle spend a bit over 20% of their weekly budget on leisure and recreation7.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to give some thought to the hobbies and recreational activities you want to pursue once you exit the workforce. After all, your retirement is hopefully the time to sit back and enjoy some of the things you love.
Where to go for more information
Check out our 7-point retirement planning checklist for further tips and for more information, speak to your adviser about what might be right for you.
If you don’t have an adviser, but would like to speak to one, our directory could help you find one nearby.
1, 2 ABS Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia - Reference period 2018-19 financial year
3 Australian Government - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – Life expectancy and death
4, 5 ASFA Retirement Standard – June 2021 figures
6 Services Australia – Age Pension – How much you can get – September 2021
7 ASFA Retirement Standard – Detailed budget breakdowns – June 2021
Complimentary Retirement Health Check
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What you should know about creating your will and estate plan13 October 2021 | Manage my money If you want to protect your family and assets, it’s worth documenting what you’d like to happen if you can’t make your own decisions later in life or if you pass away. Read more
How A Transition To Retirement (TTR) Pension Works13 October 2021 | Plan my future A TTR pension could allow you to withdraw up to 10% of your super each year whether you’re still working full-time part-time or casually. Read more
Any advice and information is provided by AWM Services Pty Ltd ABN 15 139 353 496, AFSL No. 366121 (AWM Services) and is general in nature. It hasn’t taken your financial or personal circumstances into account.
The retirement health check is a general advice conversation only. It is provided by ipac Securities Limited ABN 30 008 587 595, AFS Licence No. 234656 (IPAC) to eligible members of the AMP Super Fund. IPAC is a wholly owned subsidiary of AMP.
It’s important to consider your particular circumstances and read the relevant product disclosure statement, Target Market Determination or or terms and conditions, available from AMP at amp.com.au, or by calling 131 267, before deciding what’s right for you.
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