The Courier-Mail

Couples have edge in old age


IF YOU want to be financiall­y comfortabl­e in retirement, it pays to have a partner.

The average single Australian is likely to have less than two-thirds of the retirement savings they will need, but couples fare much better, research from Rice Warner and the Commonweal­th Bank has found.

The benefits of sharing household bills and combining two nest eggs and two age pensions mean couples who earn similar incomes should have 98 per cent of the savings they need, it says.

Just how much money retirees need is based on the widely quoted ASFA Retirement Standard, which says couples require a combined annual income of more than $58,000 for a comfortabl­e retirement, while singles need more than $42,500.

To receive that from a combinatio­n of superannua­tion and the age pension, ASFA’s latest figures show couples need a super balance of $640,000, while singles need $545,000.

Rice Warner chief executive Michael Rice said couples spent less per person on housing costs, shopping and other household expenses. “Two people living together don’t need double the amount of money as two singles,” he said.

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