You’re young, you don’t need to worry what your retirement will look like. That’s ‘Future Yous’ problem. Except … except there are things you can do now that will make a stratospheric difference to how much money you will have when you retire, because do you know what the maximum age pension is for retirement? $22, 805 a year for singles. That’s around $440 a week. Could you live off that?
We asked a 28-year-old to do exactly that. She’s not happy with us.
I very rarely think about my superannuation, every now and then I will check the balance and stare at it longingly, desperately wishing I could withdraw it to use for a house deposit. I think about getting old even less, at 28, retirement is literally the last thing on my mind. It wasn’t until I accepted the challenge to live on $440 a week that I even knew what pensioners were expected to live on. So, here’s how I went.
Rent – $233
I spend $100 on groceries and six hours cooking so that I would have all meals ready for this week. I realise that your average pensioner can’t afford to spend $100 a week when taking into account regular expenses. However I wanted to buy fresh meat, fruit and vegetables.
My mum used to work in aged care and would often tell us that her clients she saw on home visits lived off tinned soup. I am beginning to understand why!
Total spend: $100
Monday to Thursday
Considering I only have $103 to spare in this challenge, I spend nothing this entire week, luckily my Opal card was already topped up so I didn’t have to pay anything for transport. I eat my breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner. I have no choice. For the most part it is okay, however I do longingly stare at my colleagues on Thursday when they head off to eat a delicious halloumi and chicken salad at my favourite lunch spot. However at $13 a pop, I can’t justify it.