How much do you really need for a modest retirement?

We inherit a $ 750,000 equity portfolio and cash. We have investment property at the positive limit, with principal and interest loans, and we own our house. We have about $ 400,000 in combined retirement pensions and plan to retire early in the next year. We live a modest life. What should we have in terms of a safety net to ensure this is possible? LN

The Association of Super Funds of Australia (ASFA) estimates that you need an income of $ 41,446 per year for a modest retirement, starting at age 67.

You need an income of $ 41,446 per year for a modest retirement, starting at age 67.Credit:Louis Douvis

By budgeting for the life expectancy of a 19-year-old woman, plus five more, you would drop to around $ 830,000 – if funds earn 5% per year after tax and your expenses are indexed at 3%.

As long as you are not too young, your actions and your super should help. Look at both the stock portfolio, focusing on franked dividends, and your investment properties, as rising interest rates can turn positive debt into negative and eat into your income.

I am a 74 year old retired widower with two independent daughters in my mid 40s. Outside of my house, I own a $ 250,000 vacation home interest and a $ 570,000 stock portfolio, paying $ 33,500 per year, including postage credits. Am I eligible for a part-age pension or the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)? IG

For a single owner, the asset valuation threshold for the old age pension is $ 593,000. So no old age pension for you. However, the CSHC only has one income test that cuts $ 57,761 for singles.

Unlike the old-age pension, the income criterion of the CSHC is, in your case, based on the actual taxable income, as evidenced by your last tax notice, plus investment losses and foreign income.

So you could successfully apply for the health card. Apply online on the Services Australia website.

My wife, 70, and I, 78, each receive a partial pension of $ 88 per week. We jointly own investment property valued at $ 675,000 and leasing provides us with additional income of $ 225 per week each before agent fees and expenses. We have 12,215 Telstra shares valued at approximately $ 48,800. Are we getting the right amount of pension? Also, can I work a few hours a week from home (if I can find work) and, if so, how much am I entitled to earn? FM

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