Queensland emerges as the ultimate retirement haven, new data shows

Sep 06, 2023
Retirement dreams are blossoming in Queensland as recent data reveals a shift in where to best spend your golden years. Source: Getty Images.

As we imagine the perfect retirement, it’s common to picture basking in the warmth of a beautiful, sunny location.

Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals that many retirees are turning this dream into reality by relocating to Queensland, Australia’s fastest-growing state, as they savour their golden years.

During the financial years of 2018-2019 and 2020-2021, the Sunshine State saw its retiree population swell by over 76,000. While Queensland has always been a favoured retirement destination among older Australians, the pandemic period triggered a noticeable shift in population dynamics, making it an even more appealing choice.

Speaking to ABC News, social researcher Mark McCrindle said “Since COVID, we’ve seen a rebalancing of our population away from the southern states and the capital cities that were dominant like Sydney and Melbourne, and to the regional areas, particularly to Queensland”.

“The number of Queenslanders aged over 80 has increased by 50 percent,” he said.

“So, it does highlight not only that people are living longer but that more older Australians are moving to Queensland.”

Source: Getty Images.

In addition to more retirees making the move to Queensland to fulfill their retirement dreams, the latest statistics by the ABS also point to an increase in the average age of retirement in Australia.

There are a few factors that explain this trend with the the rising cost of living being cited as a reason for Australians choosing to work longer.

However, the experts have also indicated that this may also be due to a “longevity boom”. On average Australians are living longer and some are choosing to voluntarily stay in work.

“The value of a worker actually grows with age because their contacts, their experience, and their knowledge grows,” McCrindle said.

While many older Australians are remaining in work for longer, for those who wish to retire on their own terms, Stockspot’s Head of Superannuation and Partnerships, Enid Lal recently offered some valuable advice to ensure you can retire when you want, possibly in sunny Queensland. 

Lal suggests the following strategies to give you the best chance of retiring when you want:

1. Increase your superannuation contributions if you have not utilised your full concessional (before tax) contributions in previous years. Making additional contributions to your super will boost your retirement savings.

2. Consider making salary sacrifice contributions by sacrificing a portion of your pre-tax income. This reduces your taxable income whilst accelerating your retirement savings.

3. Pay off your high-interest debt, such as credit cards and personal loans to increase your retirement savings.

4. Review your investment strategies across superannuation and other investments. Ensure that they align with your risk tolerance and retirement goals. You may seek advice from a financial adviser to help evaluate your investment strategy and maximise returns.

5. Downsizing your home can free up equity that can be used to maximise your retirement savings and lower costs associated with maintaining a large home.

6. Continue to review your expenses and identify areas you can reduce unnecessary expenses.

7. Consider future health care expenses you may face in retirement and plan for them. It’s a good habit to review your private health insurance options and understand the coverage provided by the public health system. It’s important to note that there are out-of-pocket expenses that are not covered by Medicare or private health insurance.

8. Consider part-time work or explore flexible work options to provide you with additional income while still allowing you to enjoy a relaxed, semi-retired lifestyle.

9. Review your superannuation account and check to see if you’re eligible to withdraw your super or meet a condition of release.

10. Understand the government benefits available to over 60s such as the Age Pension, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Pensioner Concession Card, Energy Supplement, Rent Assistance etc. Check your eligibility for these programs to ensure you’re receiving the benefits you’re entitled to.

For up-to-date information on these benefits, visit the Services Australia website or seek help from a financial adviser who specialises in retirement planning.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.

Where do you plan to retire?

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