14th Nov 2009 by Tobias John Sterling
Calculating what sort of lump-sum superannuation balance you'll need by the time you retire in order to fund your retirement is no easy task. At best all you can do is make a rough estimate, and even then there are several factors totally beyond your control which could make a mess of your calculations. Here are some of the considerations: 1) Whether you are (or rather, will be) living alone or with a partner; 2) Whether you will have to pay for accommodation; 3) How long you live for after you retire, and 4) Whether you want to have a comfortable retirement (with eating out, gifts, luxuries, international travel) or are content with having a more frugal one. Once you've arrived at a rough lump-sum figure, calculating what sort of contributions you'll need in order to have that balance by the time you retire is something else again. Luckily, there are plenty of resources online to help you with these calculations -- try for example the superannuation calculator at http://www.fido.asic.gov.au/fido/fido.nsf/byheadline/Superannuation+calculator. If your affairs are complex, consider seeking professional financial advice.
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