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University Of Oxford

How much will you need?


It's a good idea to think about what you'll need to spend in retirement as it helps to create a goal to work towards. It's not just about adding up your day-to-day expenses, you'll need to give some thought to how you'll spend your time in retirement, different phases of your retirement and what that could cost.

Can you picture your future?

The Retirement Living Standards from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) show you practical guidance to help you work out what your retirement might cost based on three lifestyles.

What does this mean for me?

The guidance describes three different standards of living: minimum, moderate and comfortable. They provide you with information about the costs in retirement and cover everyday living expenses and lifestyle choices such as your home, food and drink, transport, holidays and leisure and helping others like buying birthday presents. 

The standards show costs for both couples and individuals. They fit into the retirement income brackets of roughly: £10K – £20K – £30K for individuals and £15K - £30K - £45K for couples *. This provides a useful 'rule of thumb' of how much money you will need each year in your retirement to support the way you want to live.

*Figures are based on the assumption that currently most people when they reach retirement do not have mortgage, rent or social care costs. Based on figures for people living outside of London.

PLSA income levels individual and couple

Once you have an idea of the amount you might need in retirement, you might want to make a note of it and head over to our retirement planner. You can use the number you get from this tool to give you a good starting point for your retirement income goal. 

You can also input details of other pensions you might have, and see how increasing your contributions, even if it’s only a little bit more, could help you to afford the lifestyle you want in retirement.

As things change, you can come back here and run the numbers again to keep on top of your goals and to add or remove some of the things you think you might need to pay for in retirement.