What age can you retire?

This is a strange question. I think it is asked either because people have different interpretations of the word ‘retire’ or because the majority of us so ingrained with the 3 common stages of life – learn, earn, retire.

We are encouraged to stay in school to get good grades and a well-rounded education. This will help us to get a well-paid, respectable job, so that we can earn enough to enjoy a certain lifestyle now, while sacrificing just enough to ensure a comfortable retirement in the future.

What is retirement?

I believe the definition of retirement to be the ability to cover your living expenses with passive income. I believe the definition of passive income to be income received without requiring personal exertion. An example of this would be bank interest or share dividends.

What age can you retire in Australia?

So, taking this into account, what age can you retire?

Well, theoretically you can retire at any age. It all really depends on what your living expenses are. What does it cost you to live? This includes paying rent/mortgage, electricity, groceries, fuel, entertainment, insurances, school fees, memberships… EVERYTHING!

This doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to work. It just means that you have the ability to choose how often you work and be more flexibility with the type of work you perform.

To give you an example, if you lived a very modest lifestyle and were able to cover all of your expenses with $385/week, you could retire once you have accumulated about $400,000 in savings. On the other hand, if you required say $1,500/week to cover expenses, you would require about $1,500,000 in investment assets.

 Here’s what you’re probably looking for (unfortunately)

I do realise when you ask ‘what age can you retire’ you were not looking for the information above. I say ‘unfortunately’ because I think it is sad that we don’t use our skills and imagination to determine ways to ‘retire’ as soon as possible. Everyone is happy to plod along working 40 hours/week until they retire at the common age of 65.

what age can you retire in australia

My guess is that you wanted to know what age you can access your superannuation savings and/or what age you can apply to receive the Age Pension.

I just wanted to highlight that you can retire at any age. It all comes down to your priorities. How much are you willing to give up now in order to stop working sooner. And.. what level of income do you require in retirement?

Accessing Superannuation

If you’re born prior to 1 July 1960 you can access your superannuation  in full if you are permanently retired over age 55 with no intention of returning to work. Alternatively, you may be able to have limited access to your savings in the form of a restricted income stream if you are over age 55 and still working.

Much more information on Accessing Superannuation can be found here.

Government Age Pension

Detailed below are the Age Requirements for applying for the Age Pension for both men and women, unless stated otherwise:

Date of Birth Qualifying Age At
Women born before 1 Jan 1949 64 years and 6 months
Women born between 1 Jan 1949 and 30 June 1952 65 years
Men born before 1 July 1952 65 years
1 July 1952 to 31 Dec 1953 65 years and 6 months
1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955 66 years
1 July 1955 to 31 Dec 1956 66 years and 6 months
From 1 January 1957 67 years

If this didn’t help answer your question, What age can you retire in Australia?, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.

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Chris Strano

Chris Strano is a specialist independent superannuation author for SuperGuy.com.au - one of Australia's leading superannuation information resources.

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