Case study: boosting retirement income for Carly and Joe

Carly and her husband Joe have recently retired. They are conscious that their superannuation savings are not large compared to how long they expect to be retired for and they would like to earn extra income so that they can put off drawing down on their super savings, preserving their capital as long as possible.   

Meeting with Melinda from IncomeConnection helped them to appreciate that they could earn a good income stream without much extra work. Their five bedroom home, which is located in the suburbs of Sydney and close to public transport, presented them with several opportunities. These included:

  • Offering the extra space that they don’t need for their neighbours to use for storage,
  • Sharing the bedrooms with a flatmate or flatmates,
  • Listing the space on Airbnb or
  • Hosting overseas students.

The last option of hosting overseas students was most appealing to Carly and Joe for several reasons: 

  • The regular reoccurring income,
  • The ability to choose older, independent students of university age, and
  • The ease of dealing with one hosting agency for liaison, payments and resolution of any issues.

Carly and Joe also greatly enjoy the cross-cultural contact with the students.  

Carly and Joe have their bedroom downstairs and upstairs the four students each have a bedroom and share a bathroom. The students are responsible for keeping their own space clean and tidy. There was no need to make any modifications to their home and the university students use the same furniture that Carly and Joe's children used when they were living at home.

Carly and Joe earn:

$292.50 per student X 4 = $1,170 per week

There are increased outgoings, such as from utilities and food, and wear and tear from having more people in the home. Despite this, the $1,170 represents a significant financial return from the otherwise wasted space. 

Many of my friends downsized their homes after their children left but they made very little money due to the high transaction costs. When they tried to buy smaller, one level houses in good locations, they found they were expensive as it’s what everyone in our situation wants. Staying in our house has enabled us to earn a solid income. -Joe


Carly and Joe checked out the impact taking this step would have on their age pension and tax. They also consulted with their house and contents insurer. 

Boosting income in retirement case study.jpeg