Aussies call for redefining retirement for a longer lifespan

21 December 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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Over half of Australians hope to live to 100 years, according to MetLife, and 90 per cent believe retirement should be redefined to account for a longer lifespan.

For its Future Insights 2023 report, MetLife conducted quantitative research earlier this year with 18,506 individuals across 12 countries, including 1,522 people in Australia.

It found 53 per cent of people in Australia hope to live to 100 years, and 58 per cent globally believe it will be commonplace by 2035.

The idea of a longer lifespan has flow-on effects around education, employment, retirement planning and health, and in the changing requirements for employers and financial providers to meet those goals. 

As a result, 90 per cent of Australians believe retirement should be redefined, and 78 per cent are interested in changing the traditional idea of retirement. 

While the benefits of a longer life include more money to spend in retirement from a longer time in the workforce, it also has drawbacks in terms of outliving savings, health fears, and funding outsize purchases such as houses and cars.

Over half (56 per cent) said their financial safety and stability have declined over the last three years, higher than the global figure at 49 per cent.

The firm’s earlier Australia 2023 Retirement Study found 69 per cent are concerned about outliving their savings, and 52 per cent expect their monthly needs will exceed their actual monthly income in retirement. 

Although they have these fears, over half said they have not calculated their income needs in retirement or created a retirement plan. 

MetLife said: “There is great opportunity for organisations that identify and move with these changes. Those that don’t will be left behind. There are also implications for individuals who now know they’re likely to live longer but who are not quite sure what that will mean to them, or if they’re even prepared. 

“A knowledge of what’s coming, and of people’s attitudes around that change, is powerful in terms of decisions made today, for tomorrow.”

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