Retirees’ happiness underpinned by financial advice: Challenger

challenger retirement retirees financial advice

5 April 2024
| By Jessica Penny |
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The 2024 Challenger Retirement Happiness Index revealed a score of 70 for Australians over the age of 60, citing financial wellbeing as a primary determinant.

Namely, more than two-thirds of Australians over 60 would be “much happier” if they didn’t have to worry about finances in retirement, according to the study.

Among the more than 1,000 Australians surveyed, 72 per cent said that they would be much happier if they had a guaranteed income for life in retirement, with over four in 10 (42 per cent) strongly agreeing in this regard.

The research underscored the importance of seeking financial advice in retirement, with nearly 50 per cent of Australians aged 60 and over having received professional advice at some point.

According to Challenger, 17 per cent of the population are currently receiving advice, while a third have received it in the past.

Education regarding financial options in retirement also emerged as a key factor influencing contentment, with 77 per cent of respondents indicating that this would have a positive impact on their happiness.

“Almost half of respondents identify financial security as an area they wish to improve, highlighting the work we must do as an industry to safeguard retirees’ golden years and foster a better, happier retirement,” commented Mandy Mannix, Challenger chief executive, customer.

“Reassuringly retirees felt their happiness would improve with access to the right financial education, as well as support through financial advice and a regular income to enjoy a safe, stable retirement. This would empower retirees with the confidence to spend and capacity to pursue their passions.”

Unadvised Australians were more likely to report cost-of-living as having a significant impact to their financial security (39 per cent) compared with those who have received financial advice (25 per cent).

Nonetheless, rising cost of living and affordability remained a growing concern among both groups. Two-thirds of Australians over 60 indicated it impacted their confidence in having enough money for retirement.

Challenger also revealed that unmarried Australians were more likely than their married counterparts to rank not having enough money to do what they want to do as a top three concern they have about getting older.

“We know the fear of outliving savings is a growing concern among older Australians,” Mannix noted.

“Providing retirees with the confidence to convert their retirement savings into a regular income can materially improve their quality of life, supporting better retirement outcomes as well as benefiting broader society and the Australian economy.”

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