Step 8

Nail Your Retirement Number

The aim of the Donald Bradman Retirement Strategy is simple: to ensure you’ll never run out of money.

However, to do that we’re going to turn traditional retirement planning on its head. And we’re also going to flip the bird at financial planners who say ‘you need $1 million to retire’.

Strap your pads on. Grab your bat. It’s time to take a swing at the biggest fear people have.

‘You need $1 million in retirement,’ say most financial planners.

‘$2 million might not even be enough,’ wrote a financial planner in the newspaper recently.


If you’re in your 50s these retirement figures will likely scare the bejeezus out of you. After all, the average Aussie couple retires with $200,000 in super.

Let me be clear: you do not need a million dollars in super to retire.

A million dollars is way above what you actually need. At a minimum, you need a paid-off home, plus:

Couples: $250000 in super
Singles: $170000 in super.

Make this your ‘retirement number’. To be clear, this is the number you need to nail before you even think about retiring—and that’s in addition to owning your own home outright.

So how much dough does a comfortable retirement cost?

According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA):

$59000 a year for couples.

$43000 a year for singles.

At this point you’re thinking, ‘Does this plan of yours involve me holding up convenience stores with cricket bats? Because I can’t see how my $250000 will afford me a $59000 per year lifestyle’.

You can’t retire until you’ve nailed your retirement number as a minimum (more money is better): $250000 in super for couples and $170000 for singles.

Hang on, what’s so special about these numbers?

This is the maximum dollar amount of assets (excluding your family home) that you can have and still get close to the maximum rate of Age Pension. At the time of writing, the maximum rate of Age Pension is $34252.40 per year for couples and $22721.40 for singles. And it will get you 60 per cent of the way towards your comfortable retirement number on its own.

Think of this as your safety net: it’s guaranteed by the government, it’s indexed twice a year to keep up with inflation and it will be paid until the day you die.

Get the full Donald Bradman Retirement Strategy in my brand new book and learn how it took a 65-year-old couple, with $200,000 combined in super, and gave them a comfortable retirement. Order your copy of The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need here.