AUSTRALIA - The cost of living in retirement has increased by over 8% in the past three years, according to the Westpac Association of Super Funds Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard.
Figures produced for the quarter ending June 2007, showed a couple with a modest lifestyle would need an annual budget of AUS$26,154 (US$21,357), an increase of over $2,105 from June 2004 levels.
Couples living on what the report classed as a ‘comfortable’ basis would need an extra $3,641 to live on, totalling a budget of $48,374 in 2007.
Food costs have reportedly risen by a massive 15% and petrol by 30% since the first Westpac ASFA report in 2004.
In a separate development, the Association of Independent Retirees (AIR), submitted a paper to the senate community affairs committee in July this year, advising that minimum pension levels should be adjusted quarterly.
AIR suggested the current state age pension was below the levels needed for a modest lifestyle, but due to the Superannuation Contribution Guarantee, requiring citizens to save from their salaries, most people retired with some additional savings.
The AIR paper said the government should use a similar benchmarking strategy to that of Westpac ASFA to measure the effect of inflation on retirees.
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