Australian retirees more careful than most

Australian retirees tend to be more conservative than their peers in the US and remain comparatively conservative throughout their retirement, according to AMP Capital ipac portfoilio management chief investment officer, Jeff Rogers.

Rogers told the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds (CMSF) on the Gold Coast that while US retirees exhibited more conservative behaviour later in their retirement, members of AMP super funds tended to be conservative throughout, opting to take the regulatory minimum in allocated pensions even though this might not be considered the best strategy for them.

He said this tended to indicate the importance of defining the needs of retirees, starting with their spending requirements and flexibility.

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The conference also heard from University of Queensland Professor of Clinical Psychology, Kim Halford that there was a need to understand family structures in dealing with retirement and particularly couple relationships.

Halford pointed to the high level of divorce among 50 to 60 year olds and the need to understand the dynamics behind that fact.

He said his research showed that couples who planned did better in retirement and that meant doing more than just financial planning.

Halford also said that, generally, men were far less ready than women to deal with life after retirement.

"Money matters, but so does people's health, social engagement and meaningful activities," he said.

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