How to budget for your social life in retirement

If you’re in or approaching retirement, you may be prioritising things such as living costs, utility bills, health care and even potentially helping the kids out with their future financial goals.

With many Australians looking at a retirement (which in reality, could span a few decades), another thing to give some thought to is keeping some money aside for your own recreation and social life.

What activities are on your to-do list?

Think about what you enjoy doing, what you’re likely to want to do more of, or even get into with more time on your hands.

  • Eating out– restaurants, beach barbecues, picnics, food fairs
  • Travel – interstate breaks, overseas holidays, road trips, caravanning
  • Entertainment – cinemas, concerts, events, stage shows
  • Sport – golf, tennis, cycling, yoga, pilates
  • Hobbies – fishing, sailing, photography, drawing, woodwork
  • Volunteering – hospitals, soup kitchens, animal shelters
  • Club associations– Rotary, Leagues, Surf Life Saving
  • Tournaments – trivia, bridge, chess.

How can you budget for the things you enjoy?

If you need a guide, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) benchmarks the annual budget needed to fund a comfortable and modest standard of living in retirement, with figures based on an assumption people own their home outright and are relatively healthy.

According to June 2020 figures, individuals and couples around age 65, looking to retire today, would need an annual budget of $43,687 and $61,909 respectively to fund a comfortable lifestyle, or $27,902 and $40,380 respectively to live a modest lifestyle.

According to ASFA, a comfortable retirement lifestyle would enable an older, healthy retiree to be involved in a broad range of leisure and recreational activities, whereas a modest retirement lifestyle would enable an older healthy retiree to afford more basic activities.

How much are you likely to spend on recreation anyway?

According to research, singles and couples (aged 65 to 85) living a comfortable lifestyle in retirement would spend about $184 and $277 of their weekly budget respectively on leisure and recreation.

This takes into account a broad range of recreational activities, including:

  • Lunches and dinners out
  • Domestic and international holidays
  • Movies, plays, sports and day trips
  • Things like streaming services
  • Club memberships.

Making your money go further for the fun stuff

  • Make use of your Senior’s Cardfor transport concessions and other discounts
  • If going overseas isn’t in your budget, you could consider a road trip interstate
  • Pack a rug, food basket and esky, and head to the park or beach for a picnic
  • Swap a visit to the day spa with a DIY manicure and candle-lit bubble bath
  • Have the troops over for a poker night or take turns hosting dinner parties
  • Find cheap accommodation on Airbnb or consider listing your own place to earn money while you’re away.


Source: AMP Insights

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