There can be a lot of competing information about the different strategies and tools available for assessing your retirement fund. When you’re seeking to define a target lump sum for retirement, there are various calculators and projection tools available to help.
When assessing your retirement fund, it’s important to understand that these calculators will:
estimate your life expectancy based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, then
factor in an assumed rate of inflation and return on investment, to
create an estimate of the lump sum you will need.
We suggest you take this further:
First, build some fat into the numbers by projecting beyond your life expectancy.
Understand your personal position. Will Centrelink be payable? How could that influence the longevity of your funds?
When can you access your super?
Being clear on an appropriate investment strategy is another critical point, given different levels of risk will equate to different returns and levels of volatility.
Ultimately, most people are not in a financial position to achieve everything they want in retirement, so it is necessary to prioritise what is most important to you.
Write down and work through all the options that are available to you, so that you can make a retirement decision that you are empowered by and feel comfortable with.
It sounds to me like you are looking for the more detailed modelling that a financial planner prepares, because we will take into consideration all of the variables and more as they relate to your personal circumstances.
A financial planner can also provide advice on how you can potentially positively influence your end position as well, in ways that you are currently not aware of and that a calculator can never provide, as it is first necessary to understand the implications of the inputs, to truly understand how you can then influence the outcome.
With this said, using a simple-to-use calculator like ASIC’s Moneysmart or the others you have mentioned, to work out your possible income and how different factors such as contributions and retirement age affect your income from super is still a good place to start for anyone to consider.