March 20 2024

Retirement planning checklist

While the idea of retirement might not cross your mind every day, the earlier you start to plan in terms of your super the better. Here are three steps to get that retirement planning underway right now.
Retirement checklist

Step one: Consider how much you'll need

The first thing to consider is the type of retirement you want. Is it a quiet life spent with your family? Are you sailing into the sunset without a care in the world? Is it a little of both?

And then there’s your finances. Will you have access to other income (like property investments)? What about remaining debts and ongoing costs (such as medical expenses or rent)?

If you’ve still got a while until retirement, you should think about rising life expectancy to help predict when you’ll retire and how long you’ll be retired for.



ASFA estimates that the cost of a comfortable retirement is $51,278 p.a. for singles and $72,148 p.a. for couples (aged 65-84 who own their own home).*

* Source: ASFA Retirement Standard, December 2023 quarter.

Step two: Calculate how your super is tracking

With the help of Rest's handy calculators, you can connect the dots between how much you have and how much you need.

Step three: Think about your long-term approach

Once you do steps one and two, you can start thinking about any lifestyle or super contribution changes that you might need to make to get where you want to be. Here are some questions to consider at this stage:

  • Will you need access to your cash at all times? Or are you comfortable having it tied in investments?
  • Do you have a low or high tolerance to risky investments?
  • Do you feel confident managing your super yourself?

By taking the time to plan in advance, you can be prepared for when you say farewell to work.

When can I access my super?

If you’re retired or starting your move from paid employment into a retirement income, you’ll need to check whether you’ve reached what’s known as your Preservation Age. This is the age you become eligible to access some or all of your super, and it depends on the year you were born.

In addition, there are also specific conditions of release you need to meet, set out by the Australian Government. Take a look to see when you qualify:

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
Date of birth Before 1 July 1960
Preservation age 55
Date of birth 1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961
Preservation age 56
Date of birth 1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962
Preservation age 57
Date of birth 1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963
Preservation age 58
Date of birth 1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964
Preservation age 59
Date of birth From 1 July 1964
Preservation age 60

You can access some, or all, of your super when you satisfy a condition of release such as:

  • permanently retiring from the workforce after you reach your preservation age (if your preservation age is under 60)
  • starting a Transition to Retirement strategy after you reach your preservation age
  • turning 60 and leaving or changing your employer
  • turning 65

Want to learn more?