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When you retire, you get to choose how much to withdraw from your super each year. You can work out how much money you'll need to live comfortably in retirement in just a few simple steps.

Key points:
  • Show me how to make the right investment choice for retirement
  • How do I know I’m in the right investment option for me?
  • How do I make sure I don’t run out of money?

The right investment choice for retirement is different for everyone

When you open a retirement account you get to choose where the super savings you’ve worked so hard for are invested. It’s important to choose what the right investment option, or mix of options, is for you.

When you decide, it's a good idea to work out where your money in retirement is coming from. And how much money you'll need to fund your lifestyle goals.

How much risk are you comfortable taking on?

Investing in retirement is a balancing act. On the one hand, you want to take on risk to grow your savings and on the other you want to safeguard the savings you’ve built.

When you retire, you no longer have regular contributions going into your account. You’re also withdrawing an income from your super. So any market drop could permanently affect your super balance.

How much of your retirement income will come from super?

To balance between risk and return, it’s important to know how much super you'll need in retirement. Meet Michelle and Nick. Each have chosen different investment options to match their retirement needs.

Case study:

Michelle is 67 years old and has a super balance of $450,000. She and her husband have investments outside super. They have $120,000 in shares and an investment property that generates rental income. Michelle has set up a retirement income stream with Aware Super. She pays herself a monthly income of $2,000, which is more than the minimum withdrawal amount set by the Government.

Michelle decides to invest her retirement savings in our Conservative Balanced investment option.

The Conservative Balanced option has been designed by our retirement experts with the needs of retirees in mind. It aims to:

  • provide a balance between capital stability and capital growth
  • protect against the effects of inflation, and
  • reduce the impact of large market falls on investment returns.

Michelle has modest spending needs, so lower returns are not an issue for her. If she needs to, Michelle can withdraw less from her super so it lasts longer. She'll be able to use her other income sources to support her retirement.


Nick is 64 years old and was a paramedic his entire working life. He was injured 4 years ago and had to retire early.

Nick's balance at retirement of $370,000, which is less than he’d planned. He decides to invest his super for growth in our Balanced investment option. This option has the potential for higher investment returns, which could help Nick get a higher level of income.

This is a riskier option - with returns going up and down more frequently than Conservative Balanced. When COVID-19 hit, Nick’s super balance fell more than it would have if he had been in the  Conservative Balanced option. But it also recovered more when markets rebounded. His income has been higher overall than if he’d invested his savings in a more conservative (or less risky) option.

Nick also gets the Government Age Pension, so he was able to rely on this while his super balance recovered.

Our Conservative Balanced investment option for retirees

If you don’t make an investment choice when you open a retirement account with us, we’ll invest your super in our Conservative Balanced Option. This is where about 60%* of our retired members invest their super in retirement.

The Conservative Balanced option has been designed by our retirement experts with the needs of retirees in mind. It’s designed to provide a balance between capital stability and capital growth.

Find out more about Investing for retirement

*As at September 2023

Where to next?

Explore retirement webinars

Join our experts as they break down super and finances into easy-to-understand topics through our live webinar education series.

Download the retire-ready checklist

There’s a lot to think about and the decisions you make now could change the future you have. Start with the retire-ready checklist.

Find out more about the Government Age Pension

You may be eligible for the Government Age Pension when you to retire to help fund your life in retirement.