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Generation Game #4 – Retirement

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Welcome to Finder's Generation Game – a weekly series looking at how each generation compares when it comes to the big personal finance topics.

Fancy yourself a generation genius? See if you can predict which generation comes out on top with our interactive quizzes.

Retirement might not be front-of-mind for many Australians, but it's a crucial chapter in the financial lives of everyone.

So how do the different generations think about superannuation and investing, and how positive are they about their own retirement situation?

A super set-up

There's plenty of number-crunching available on the amount of money you'll need in retirement, but how much do the different generations think they'll need in super by the time they stop working?

Submit your guess above.

The results

It might come as a surprise, but gen X are the ones who think they'll need the biggest super balances for retirement.

The average gen X thinks they'll need $751,813 in super for retirement, followed by millennials on $628,190, gen Z on $594,909 and boomers on $545,548.

Perhaps the relative closeness of their retirement has gen X more preoccupied with their retirement plans than the younger generations. Or maybe they just have more expensive tastes.

Enough to get by

For most Australians, super is arguably the key to a comfortable retirement, but how confident are the different generations when it comes to having enough when they retire?

Submit your guess above.

The results

Another potential surprise, but it's gen X again that are the most concerned about their super balances in retirement.

29% are worried they won't have enough in super or other investments to get by after they finish working.

It's actually the younger generations that are more optimistic, with only 20% of millennials and 15% of gen Z concerned they won't have enough super for retirement.

Is this simply the naivety of youth?

On the other side of the coin, 26% of boomers believe they'll have enough super to live comfortably in retirement, but this drops to 16% for gen X, 13% for millennials and 12% for gen Z.

However, uncertainty is a common theme across generations, with a quarter of all Australians unsure if they'll have enough in their super for retirement.

Early access

Its singular purpose is to help support retirement, but which generations would be keen to get their hands on their super now if they could, and what would they spend it on?

Submit your guess above.

The results

It turns out millennials are the most gung-ho about their super, with 69% reporting they would choose to put it towards something else if they were able to access it early.

65% of gen Z would also access their super early if possible.

24% of millennials and 25% of gen X would use it to put towards buying a home. A further 11% of millennials and 13% of gen Z would put it towards an investment property, which tells you everything you need to know about attitudes towards the Australian property market.

In comparison, 47% of gen X would consider accessing their super early, as would 41% of boomers, but both would be most likely to put it towards cost of living support.

Other investments

Of course, super is just one aspect of retirement and there's plenty of alternative options for those looking to invest in their future.

But what are the generational attitudes to other investments?

Submit your guess above.

The results

As you might expect, there's a stark generational divide when it comes to crypto.

32% of gen Z and 28% of millennials consider it a good investment and this drops to 14% for gen X.

By comparison, only 3% of boomers have a positive view of crypto as an investment.

Submit your guess above.

The results

It won't come as much of a shock, but boomers are the biggest investors in the stock market. The average boomer has $37,938 invested in shares, followed by gen X on $26,142.

There's something of a drop-off to the younger generations with the average millennial only having $8,723 in shares and the average gen Z only $3,956.

There's undoubtedly the simple fact that young people have had less time and opportunity to invest (and ongoing cost of living pressures), but the gap also suggests there's slightly less enthusiasm in the younger generations towards more traditional investments.

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