Older Australians panicking about retirement

Peter Terlato 24 November 2016

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More than one third of seniors worried they don't have sufficient savings.

Elderly Australians are most concerned with having enough money to retire comfortably, however, just one-fifth of seniors feel confident their financial future is secure, according to new research.

St George Bank's latest research survey reveals more than one third of Australians aged 50 to 75 (36%) are worried they don't have sufficient savings to live comfortably once retired.

Of these anxious individuals, around one in ten (9%) don't plan on retiring anytime soon.

Two-fifths (42%) of respondents said that although they felt on track for a comfortable retirement, they would like to have more money set aside.

Despite their insecurities, three quarters of these individuals (73%) have never sought or received financial planning advice. Around one quarter (26%) of respondents admitted they had never reviewed their financial plan, while a similar proportion (24%) only review their plan once each year.

Of the few respondents that had sought professional advice (25%), more than half (55%) utilised a financial adviser, one-fifth (21%) spoke to their superannuation fund and a smaller proportion (14%) received guidance from their bank.

Just one-fifth of senior Australians (22%) felt they were "definitely on track" in terms of retirement savings.

These responses echo the attitudes expressed in Investment Trends' latest sentiment report, which revealed less than one in ten super fund members were "confident" they could fund their retirement.

Other major retirement concerns for those aged 50 to 75 were health issues, loss of independence, a sense of purpose and estate planning.

Given Australia's ageing population, superannuation is becoming more important for retirees.

This week, the federal government passed its super system reforms, expected to contribute almost $3 billion to the budget's bottom line and help sustain the system for future generations.

Retirement should be a time to do the things you’ve always wanted. The earlier you put some thought into your retirement savings the better.

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