If you were born any time between 1949 to 1964, you can expect to live to around 84 if you’re a man and 87 if you’re a woman, as is reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. And if you’ve maintained an active lifestyle, you’ll likely live longer.

The problem is that most of us who were born within those years didn’t have superannuation until the compulsory Superannuation Guarantee was introduced in 1992. Even with salary sacrifice, not quite 30 years of super isn’t that much. For many of us who owned and ran our own businesses for all or part of that period, we have almost no super at all.

How can I retire with hardly any money?

According to Industry SuperFunds, in Australia, most men retiring ‘between the ages of 60 and 64 typically finish work with $292,500 saved up, while women leave with $138,150.’

That doesn’t seem like much, does it? So what do you live on?

And, if you’ve not yet done any retirement planning, is it too late?

The good news is that if you’ve built up equity in your home, you can still afford to retire on around $200,000.

Some strategies for retirement

1. Super salary sacrifice

Even if you’re older and still working, you can use salary sacrifice to your advantage.

Sacrifice any bonuses or salary increases and not only will you reduce your marginal tax rate, but you’ll be helping your super balance too.

2. Manage your managed investments

If you have investments in a managed fund, check with your financial adviser to see whether they deem it advisable to put a portion into a Growth fund.

The general advice for people transitioning to retirement is to preserve capital; however, if you can afford to wait, and can afford to lose capital should the worst happen, your investment could grow faster and deliver more.

But, as we say, check first with your financial adviser. If you don’t have one, your bank might be able to help, or your managed fund might offer free advice.

3. Free up the equity in your home

By the time you’re ready to retire, the kids have flown the nest, which makes the lawns seem to get larger every year, not to mention the pool which hardly gets used these days.

Consider downsizing to a smaller home, a townhouse, an apartment, or a property out of Sydney where property prices are lower and the lifestyle suits ‘retired you’ more.

With the equity you’ll realise from the sale of your property, you could invest in one of the annuity-type pensions that can supplement your superannuation or government pension.

Tree change, sea change or nomadic lifestyle? It’s all waiting for you.

4. Get sound advice from a local real estate agent

When it comes to selling your home, it’s important to understand all aspects of the sale, including the realistic price you could achieve, and how long your property is likely to be on the market.

A knowledgeable agent can support you through the sale while advising you on how to present your property to give it the best chance of achieving a good sale price.

Can we help with advice on downsizing?

Having navigated the home sale and downsizing process not only for our real estate clients but also for members of our own family, it’s an area in which we’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge. So don’t hesitate to seek out our help – no obligations.

Free downsizers guide

Michael & Rhiff Larkings

As a specialist team, focused on Caringbah South and the surrounding suburbs, we've been providing real estate services for over 20 years. With numerous real estate awards to our name, we're in the top echelon of licensed real estate agents in the Sutherland Shire. We regularly set new street, suburb and area sales records. Most importantly, we understand that real estate is a ‘people’ business where the development of relationships and trust, with both our clients and purchasers, is vital to achieving your all-important sales result.

Get in touch

Discover what your home or investment property is worth in the current real estate market. Whether you are looking for advice about a future sale or seeking out your ideal home, our team are on hand to assist.


Suites 4 & 5, 305 Kingsway,
Caringbah 2229 NSW Australia