One of the greatest fears of many of us is that we won’t have enough money for a comfortable retirement or that our money will run out in retirement.

Far from money running out in retirement, research from the CSIRO has suggested that the majority of retirees are being so conservative with their spending that they are dying with very healthy super balances.1 Why would this be happening? Are retirees taking their good money habits to the extreme – living too frugally when they could be living the enjoyable retirement they worked so hard for?

This could be one factor: to be able to claim a tax exemption on super earnings, retirees must withdraw a minimum amount of their super each year as a pension; currently 5% for those aged 65-74, rising incrementally to 14% for those aged 95 or more. The CSIRO believes that decisions about spending and saving for the future can be so difficult that retirees are selecting the minimum pension payment as a very conservative option. Some are even dying with more in their super accounts than when they retired because, due to investment returns, their accounts are growing faster than they spend it. So, while the minimum pension amount may well suit some retirees, it is clearly not necessarily appropriate for all.

Having sufficient retirement savings is one thing, but the CSIRO suggests there is a need for people to really think about and plan how they’ll spend their retirement savings, not just withdraw the minimum pension amount and live within it.

It seems we are getting the message to save as much as we can, but equally important are decisions about what we are going to do with the savings in the future. Planning retirement spending doesn’t have to be daunting.

If you don’t know where to start, speak to one of our financial planners. The first meeting is cost and obligation free and they can ensure you receive the best possible advice for your personal situation.

You can book an appointment with one of our financial planners by calling 1300 369 901 or visiting eisuper.com.au/appointment.


1 Source: CSIRO-Monash Superannuation Research Cluster, 2013-2017