Cost of living climbs again

ASFA cost of living retirees

The cost of living for retirees has increased for the fifth consecutive quarter, rising to new record levels as the price of daily necessities remains high.

The cost of living for retirees has continued to grow to record levels, driven by increases in the price of daily staples and extending a two-year upward trend, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA).

In its most recent Retirement Standard figures for the June quarter, released today, ASFA stated the cost of a comfortable retirement for a couple was now $70,806 a year and $50,207 for a single person, having risen 0.5 per cent in the quarter for an annual increase of 6.1 per cent.

It is the fifth consecutive rise and the new record high in the cost-of-living standard follows a 1.1 per cent increase in the March quarter and a 2.5 per cent lift in the December quarter 2022.

ASFA deputy chief executive Glen McCrea said: “Retiree budgets have been under substantial pressure for nearly two years due to high costs of essential goods and services.

“Price rises in the cost of food were significant in the June quarter. The price of bread increased more than 5 per cent and is up 14 per cent over the year.

“The cost of vegetables was up almost 4 per cent over the three-month period, with the noticeably higher cost of potatoes due to a shortage linked to unfavourable growing conditions last year.

“Once again, putting dinner on the table became more expensive, with the cost of poultry, dairy, vegetables and potatoes up significantly.”

ASFA noted house, house contents and motor vehicle insurance increased by 5.3 per cent in the quarter, which was the largest rise since 2000 and follows a 3.5 per cent increase in the March quarter.

McCrea noted the ASFA comfortable standard includes daily expenses, such as health, communication, clothing and household goods, and was consistent with community expectations and changing lifestyle expectations and spending habits.

Looking forward, the superannuation industry peak body stated the scheduled increase in the super guarantee to 12 per cent in 2025 would “be critical to help future generations of Australian retirees to achieve a dignified lifestyle in their post-work years, as well as improve the sustainability of the age pension and take pressure off future federal government budgets as the population ages”.

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