How to budget for your social life in retirement

How to budget for your social life in retirement

18 Jan 2019

Have you considered what’s on the agenda, such as how often you see yourself eating out and whether you want to travel domestically or afar?

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 I 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 September 2018 figures, individuals and couples around age 65, looking to retire today, would need an annual budget of $43,200 and $60,843 respectively to fund a comfortable lifestyle, or $27,595 and $39,666 respectively to live a modest lifestyle1.

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 activities2.

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 $180 and $270 of their weekly budget respectively on leisure and recreation3.

This takes into account a broad range of recreational activities, including4:

  • 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 Card for transport concessions and other discounts
  • If going overseas isn’t in your budget, you could consider a road trip interstate
  • If you enjoy dining out, find two-for-one deals nationally via sites like TheHappiestHour
  • 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.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for other money tips, check out the AMP Financial help hub for further insights.


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