Self-funded retirees still relying on government support

Peter Terlato 8 September 2016


Number of retirees is up 27% in 8 years.

Australia's ageing population continues to swell, as new research reveals a 27% lift in the number of intending retirees over the last eight years.

However, the findings also reveal the average gross wealth of these self-funded individuals is below estimates sufficient for a "comfortable lifestyle".

New survey data released by Roy Morgan Research shows 415,000 Australians intend to retire in the next 12 months. In 2008 this figure was just 327,000.

Superannuation plays a significant role in equipping retirees with the funds needed to live out their lives.

The average gross wealth (total assets excluding owner-occupied homes) of intending retirees has risen 32% from $231,000 in 2008 to $306,000 in 2016.

Super makes up 64% of this generated gross wealth in 2016, up from 52% in 2008.

Other investments have fallen over the last eight years, down from $112,000 (48% of gross wealth) in 2008 to $109,000 (36% of gross wealth) in 2016.

Average net wealth is reduced to $281,000 after debts (average $25,000).

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) estimates individuals need $545,000 to retire comfortably, while couples need $640,000.

This means that despite their increasing wealth, self-funded retirees only have about half the money (51.55%) needed to retire and will require government benefits at some stage.

Want to learn more about super? Check out our guide to the most frequently asked superannuation questions, discover why bigger funds aren't always better and get some great tips and strategies to maximise your retirement potential.

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