Retiring in Australia: a complete guide 

1 min readLast updated April 30, 2024by Rachel Carey

Explore the intricacies of retiring in Australia, from navigating visa pathways to managing living expenses.


  • The average retirement expenses in Australia range from $60,000 to $70,000 yearly. 

  • Rental costs in major cities average around $1,915 monthly for houses and $1,550 for apartments. 

  • Traditional retirement visas have been phased out, but a "retirement visa pathway" offers an alternative route. 

  • Unbiased will match you with a financial advisor who can provide expert guidance on planning your dream retirement. 

Is Australia a good place to retire? 

Australia has earned its reputation as one of the top retirement destinations, and it's easy to see why. Its breathtaking natural landscapes, top-notch living standards, exceptional healthcare services, and rich cultural scene make it a magnet for retirees.  

Add to that the laid-back lifestyle, pleasant climates in various areas, and a plethora of leisure pursuits, and it's no surprise that many people opt to retire in Australia. 

What are the pros and cons of retiring in Australia? 

While retiring in Australia offers many benefits, it's important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding to relocate.  

Here's a breakdown: 


  • Quality of life: Australia offers retirees a high standard of living with excellent healthcare services, well-maintained infrastructure, and access to quality amenities for a comfortable retirement. 

  • Beautiful landscapes: From serene beaches to outback rural destinations, Australia's stunning natural beauty provides retirees with ample opportunities for relaxation and exploration. 

  • Outdoor lifestyle: Australia encourages an active and healthy lifestyle for retirees with its mild climate and abundance of outdoor activities. 

  • Climate: The diverse climate offers retirees a range of options, from the temperate climates of coastal regions to the warm, dry climates of inland areas. 


  • No retirement visas: Australia no longer offers retirement visas, so retirees must explore alternative pathways for residency, which can be complex and lengthy. 

  • Eligibility challenges: The “retirement visa pathway” introduced in 2018 has strict eligibility criteria and a limited number of spots available, making it difficult for many retirees to qualify for permanent residency. 

  • Cost of living: Living in Australia, especially in major cities, can be very pricey. Retirees may need to budget carefully to stretch their retirement savings further. 

  • Distance from family: Living far away from loved ones can be challenging. Retirees may need to find creative ways to stay connected. 

What are the best places to retire in Australia? 

Australia offers a range of retirement-friendly locations, each with its own unique appeal.  

When investigating the best place to retire in Australia, there are several cities and regions to keep in mind: 

  • Gold Coast, Queensland: Known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and warm climate, the Gold Coast is a popular choice for retirees seeking a laid-back lifestyle. 

  • Melbourne, Victoria: With its cultural attractions, thriving arts scene, and world-class dining, Melbourne offers retirees a cosmopolitan lifestyle with plenty of entertainment options. 

  • Perth, Western Australia: Boasting a Mediterranean climate, stunning beaches, and outdoor recreational opportunities, Perth is perfect for retirees who love the outdoors. 

  • Sunshine Coast, Queensland: Stretching from Caloundra to Noosa, the Sunshine Coast boasts beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and a warm climate, making it a popular choice for retirees seeking an active and outdoorsy lifestyle. 

  • Hobart, Tasmania: Australia's southernmost capital city, Hobart combines historic charm with natural beauty. This makes it an ideal option for retirement in Australia for those looking for a slower pace of life amidst picturesque surroundings. 

What is the retirement age in Australia? 

There is no set retirement age in Australia.  

However, after the age of 67, retirees can access age-related benefits such as the Age Pension, which provides financial assistance to eligible seniors. 

What is the average cost of retirement in Australia? 

Retirement in Australia is a costly undertaking. The country is currently ranked as one of the world's most expensive countries to retire.  

The average cost of retirement in Australia is around $60,000 to $70,000 per year for living expenses, including housing, healthcare, groceries, and leisure activities.  

However, it's important to note that costs may be higher in major cities like Sydney and Melbourne compared to regional areas. 

For couples, a comfortable retirement (excluding housing) costs about AUD 71,723 (USD 47,375) yearly, while a more modest lifestyle runs around AUD 46,620 (USD 30,795) annually.  

Housing is a big expense, with apartment prices averaging AUD 1,075 (USD 710) per square foot to buy. House rental rates hover around AUD 2,900 (USD 1,915) per month in capital cities and AUD 1,800 (USD 1,190) on average nationwide. Meanwhile, apartment rental units fetch approximately AUD 2,350 (USD 1,550) per month in capital cities and AUD 1,900 (USD 1,255) on average across the nation.  

The cost of buying food may also leave a bitter taste in your mouth, with annual costs for a couple ranging between $4,000 and $8,000.   

Do you pay taxes after retirement in Australia? 

Yes, anyone retiring in Australia is subject to taxes on their income, including pensions, superannuation, and investment earnings. However, tax concessions, such as the Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset, are available for retirees, which can help reduce the tax burden.  

When it comes to taxes in Australia, retirees should keep a few key points in mind.  

Firstly, some taxes are specifically applicable to foreigners, so it's essential to understand the implications before making any financial decisions. 

Regarding income tax, individuals earning less than AUD 90,000 (USD 60,000) face a tax rate of 32.5%, with rates increasing for higher income brackets.  

If you're planning on emigrating to Australia and earning income during retirement, being aware of these tax rates is crucial for effective financial planning. 

Depending on their specific arrangements, retirees may be able to access their retirement funds and Social Security benefits from their home country while living in Australia. Depending on their situation, they may also be eligible for expat taxes.  

What programs are there for emigrating to Australia? 

Emigrating to Australia has become extremely complex. Australia has some of the strictest immigration laws in the world and has phased out traditional retirement visas, such as the Retirement Visa and the Investment Retirement Visa.  

However, the government introduced a "retirement visa pathway" in 2018, offering a potential route to permanent residency for a limited number of individuals who meet specific criteria. If you held an Australian retirement visa on May 8, 2018, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency.  

Alternative options like the Parent Visa or Contributory Parent Visa also exist for those who do not meet this requirement.  

Retirees should carefully evaluate their eligibility and seek professional assistance when considering whether to emigrate to Australia. 

Get expert retirement advice 

Retirement in Australia is an alluring option with its picturesque landscapes, quality living standards, and vibrant cultural milieu. While challenges like the high cost of living and complex immigration procedures exist, meticulous planning and exploring various options can lead to a fulfilling retirement experience. 

As you contemplate the prospect of starting a new chapter in Australia, it's essential to seek guidance from a qualified financial advisor for retirement advice to navigate the complexities of retirement planning with confidence.  

Unbiased can match you with an expert financial advisor who will meet all your needs now. 

Senior Content Writer

Rachel Carey

Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.