Super access well preserved
Q: I was recently advised that I cannot access my super, even though I’m in my early 50s. Is this true, as I thought that I could? I’m also worried that I will not have enough to live comfortably for my retirement and I’m concerned at how long I will need it all to last. Murray - Subiaco A: If you plan to retire early, the superannuation preservation age (when you can access your super) is slowly increasing.
It was 55 for many people, but now it is phasing gradually to age 60 for those born after June 30, 1964.
If you have enough money saved up, you should be able to retire and access your super at that point.
So you can (probably) retire at 60 and according to recent data, you’ll need around $42,000 a year to live comfortably, but how many years will you need to plan for?
In 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the residual life expectancy (how many more years you can expect to live) for 65-yearolds was 19.1 years for men and 22 years for women.
That figure had increased for both sexes by approximately 10 years over the previous decade.
To illustrate this, if you are 55 years old now, in 10 years time you can expect to need savings for around 21 years if you are a man and 24 years if you are a woman.
To enjoy a comfortable retirement from age 65, men will need at least $882,000 and women will need even more: $1.008 million.
Taking the average residual age of men and women, a couple would need $1.305 million for 22.5 years of comfortable retirement.
A study in 2010 showed that the average superannuation balance for Australian men was $198,000 and for women, it was only $112,000!