Nearly 80% of current and prospective retirees failed to get any financial advice during the recent market crash, according to Allianz Retire Plus, despite four-in-five feeling their investments are not safe from a downturn.
The firm’s survey of over 1,000 current and prospective retirees found only one-in-five retirees felt they could easily receive access to professional financial advice and a third felt that advice was only ‘for the rich’.
This was concerning as it indicated there were still misconceptions about access to financial advice, although those who did see an adviser said they felt more confident after.
Allianz Retire Plus chief executive, Matt Rady, said: “We have to change perceptions of financial advice among retirees and increase access to affordable advice. The advice proposition is proven to be an integral part of providing individuals with confidence and certainty in retirement. Those who use an adviser told us they feel more confident and secure in their financial position.
“Some 68% of those who were advised during COVID-19 said they were sticking to their financial plan. That means advice is definitely deterring people from making sub-optimal decisions based on a fear or lack of understanding.”
Three-in-four retirees were not confident about how long their money would last in retirement and 18% felt their investments would be safe in a market downturn. Nearly half of respondents said they had been monitoring their investments during the downturn.
Those approaching retirement were most likely to be affected by the downturn with 40% of prospective retirees said they lost money during the recent downturn.
“There is an enormous sense of uncertainty and clear dissatisfaction that needs to be urgently addressed if the system is to work as intended. We have a huge opportunity to get the Australian system right and while there are pressing matters to attend to post COVID-19, this is one of them. There’s a real danger here if policy change isn’t swift and imminent,” added Rady.