Three great places to retire in Australia

Three great places to retire in Australia

By statistical measure, Australians ought to pop open a bottle of champagne and make a toast to their health. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that male life expectancy is currently 80.1 years, while women can expect to live to 84.3. 

This will have a major effect on Australians’ savings accounts, as future retirees will need to save more to fuel the increasingly larger period of time that they won’t be working – along with those unexpected strains to their pockets. But retirees will also need to factor in the rising cost of living as they age. 

“Retirees often have less flexibility in their budgets, which means policy changes that increase the cost of non-discretionary items, such as electricity or fuel, may mean they have to cut back in other areas, and lower their standard of living,” said Association Superannuation Funds of Australia CEO Pauline Vamos in a statement.

Once you’ve got your savings account into order and planned your retirement, you may want to consider these three locations as options.   

The Sunshine Coast

You could make these your golden years by waking up every morning to the invigorating kiss of the sun. Not only does its many kilometres of coastline make for a beautiful sight every day, the Sunshine Coast is also filled with a ceaseless cavalcade of events and activities that will ensure you’re never bored. You could take a cruise around its beautiful shores, discover the heritage of the area through its numerous museums or visit its dozens of art galleries. It’s even more affordable than you think. When housing was excluded, the Queensland Government Statisticians’ Office (QGSO) found that the Sunshine Coast was 7.1 percent cheaper than Brisbane in a 2013 report. 


Though Toowoomba is generally forgotten about next to its bigger brother Brisbane, the city has a lot of advantages for retirees, particularly if you happen to be looking for something on the quieter and more affordable side. The QGSO consistently placed it as one of the cheapest places in the state to live, rating five percent less than Brisbane. Housing in Toowoomba was also 20.4 percent less expensive than Brisbane. And the attractions are top notch. The art deco wonder that is the Empire Theatre is the largest regional theatre in Australia, while the Japanese Gardens are perfect for a Sunday stroll.  

Hunter Valley

They say a glass of wine is good for your health. If so, then call Hunter Valley the healthy choice for retirement. With some of the oldest wine families in Australia, the Valley is a perfect spot for any connoisseur, whether fully-fledged or just starting out. And with relatively low prices, you won’t have to rely entirely on your high interest savings account to make the very most of your retirement. According to, median house prices in towns like Maitland, Cessnock and Kurri Kurri are an affordable $280,000.

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Learn more about savings accounts

How can I get a $4000 loan approved?

While personal loans and medium amount loans don’t offer guaranteed approval, there are steps you can take to help increase the likelihood of your application being approved, including:

  • Fulfilling the eligibility criteria (providing ID, proof of residency, proof of income etc.)
  • Checking your credit history (you can order one free copy of your credit file per year, and make sure that there aren’t any errors that may be bringing down your credit score)
  • Comparing carefully before applying (making multiple loan applications can mean having your credit checked multiple times, which can look bad to some lenders and reduce your chances of being approved by them)

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account in which you earn interest on the money you deposit. This makes it one of the easiest and safest investment tools.

Can I overdraft my savings account?

A lot of savings accounts won’t let you overdraw. Some will allow this feature but you’ll need to apply first. It’s best to read the fine print and check with your lender whether this is a feature they offer. It can be a helpful addition, but as your lender can charge you a fee as well as interest for going into negative numbers, it’s best to avoid overdrafting when possible.

How to open a savings account for my child?

Some banks and financial institutions allow parents to open a bank account for their child as soon as it is born, and start depositing funds to go towards the child’s future.

Children’s savings accounts generally don’t have fees, and are structured to help develop positive financial habits by limiting withdrawals, encouraging regular deposits, and earning interest on the savings, similarly to standard savings accounts.

How to make money with a savings account?

Savings accounts make you money by earning interest on your savings. The more money you deposit, the longer you leave it in the account, and the higher the account’s interest rate, the more interest you’ll be paid by the bank or financial institution, and the more your wealth will grow.

To make sure your savings account makes money and doesn’t lose money, it’s important to maintain a large enough minimum balance that the annual interest earned exceeds any annual fees charged on the account.

Can you set up a savings account online?

Yes. Several large and small banks offer online applications for savings accounts, and there are also online-only financial institutions to consider.

Online-only savings accounts are often less expensive than other savings accounts, though they may not offer the same flexibility, features, or face-to-face service as more traditional savings accounts.

Who has the highest interest rates for savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to know who currently has the highest interest rate is to use a savings account comparison tool.

How does interest work on savings accounts?

The type of interest savings accounts accrues is called compound interest. Compound interest is interest paid on the initial deposit amount, as well as the accumulated interest on money you have. This is different from simple interest where interest is paid at the end of a specified term. Compound interest allows you to earn interest on interest at a higher frequency. 

Example: John deposits $10,000 into a savings account with an interest rate of 5 per cent that he leaves untouched for 10 years. At the end of the first year he will have $10,512 in savings. After ten years, he will have saved $16,470.

Can you direct deposit to a savings account?

Yes. You can make one off payments or set up regular direct deposits into a savings account. This can be organised easily through online banking or by making deposits in a branch. Talk to your lender to find out the easiest way for you to set up direct deposits.

How do I open a savings account?

Opening a savings account is a relatively simple process. If you’ve found an account with a suitable interest rate, you’ll just need to get in contact with your chosen lender via a branch, phone call or hop online to begin the process. 

You may be required to provide:

  • Personal details, including identification (driver’s license, passport etc.)
  • Tax file number
  • Employment details

Can you have a joint savings account?

Yes. Joint savings accounts can be useful for two or more people wanting to combine their savings to meet shared financial goals, including spouses, flatmates and business partners.

Some joint savings accounts require all parties to sign before they can access the money. While less convenient, this extra security can help encourage all parties to meet their shared financial goals.

Other joint savings accounts allow any of the account holders to access the money. These accounts can be convenient for financially responsible couples that trust one another implicitly. 

What is a good interest rate for a savings account?

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with savings accounts is to look for a rate that is higher than the CPI inflation rate. This number is constantly changing, so check the Reserve Bank of Australia’s page. If you aren’t earning interest above this then the value of your money will go backwards over time.

How much money should I have in my savings account?

A good rule of thumb when working out a minimum balance for your savings account is to make sure that you’ll earn more in annual interest on your savings than what you’ll be charged in annual fees.

If you’re saving with a specific goal in mind, prepare a budget so the interest you earn on your deposits will help you efficiently reach this goal. Online financial calculators may be helpful here.

What is the interest rate on savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to look at interest rates on savings accounts is to use a savings accounts comparison tool. When you look at the savings rate check what the maximum and minimum rates are. Often banks will offer you a promotional rate for the first few months which is competitive, but then revert back to a base rate which can sometimes be less than inflation. Ongoing bonus rates are often a safer bet as they will keep rewarding you with the maximum rate, provided you meet their criteria