In other words, the living costs of single retirees
are certainly not half of those of their married counterparts - far from it.
The latest ASFA Retirement Standard report, released
this month, reports that a "modest" lifestyle costs a single retiree $21,930 a
year against $31,675 for a couple. (These figures are adjusted for the December
quarter 2011 CPI.)
And a single retiree would have to spend $40,407 for a
so-called "comfortable" lifestyle whereas a couple would have to pay $55,249.
(Of course, there could be endless debates about what constitutes a
A long-time single person who recognises that the gap
between the living costs of singles and couples is not as wide as many perceive
is arguably in a better position to save for retirement.
However, individuals who unexpectedly become single,
perhaps late in their working lives, following the breakdown of a relationship
or death of a partner can find their retirement planning suddenly turned upside
Obviously, prudent retirement planning makes much
sense whether you are currently single or in a relationship.
Taking into account your personal circumstances,
perhaps the fundamental issue to consider when planning for retirement is
whether your regular savings are enough to eventually produce a sufficient
retirement income. This can lead on to other matters such as the
appropriateness of your portfolio's asset allocation and your tolerance to
By Robin Bowerman
Principal & Head of Retail, Vanguard Investments Australia
1st March 2012