Retirement uncertainty creates planning opportunity

Opportunities abound for both superannuation funds and financial planners as Australians grow increasingly concerned about their retirement prospects, according to the latest research from Investment Trends.

The research, released today, reveals only 44 per cent of Australians over the age of 40 felt prepared for retirement, down from 49 per cent in 2015. More alarmingly, it found that 51 per cent of those already retired expected to outlive their retirement savings, up significantly from 33 per cent in 2013.

Commenting on the research, Investment Trends senior analyst, King Loong Choi said Australians’ confidence about their retirement had deteriorated significantly over the past few years.

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“The ability to accumulate sufficient wealth, potential falls in the share market and regulatory changes to the superannuation rules are all contributing to Australians’ growing angst about their retirement future,” he said.

Asked what level of income they would need in retirement, half of working Australians said at least $3,000 per month to have a comfortable lifestyle, yet only one in three currently feel they would be able to achieve this.

The research also found that two in three working Australians recognised they needed to turn to financial professionals to help them reach their retirement goals and that these Australians were most inclined to first turn to either a financial planner or their super fund for this help.

“Super funds and financial planners are best placed to inform, educate and advise Australians on their retirement finances,” Choi said. “While retail funds have been top of mind for Australians’ retirement needs, the concerted effort from industry funds over the last few years in strengthening their retirement proposition has made them serious competitors for Australians’ retirement monies.”

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The greatest problem stems not from having sufficient money in a retirement fund. It is a result of the inability to contribute sufficient funds to a retirement fund and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle leading up to it.
50% of Australians reach retirement with mortgage and personal debt, so when deciding to pay off the debts with super monies, there certainly isn't enough left to have a comfortable retirement.
Yet the government reduces the contribution amounts to super instead of increasing the ability to contribute through financial literarcy. The government is as complicit as the retailers and lenders when it comes to driving Australians to poverty, yet they all walk away with lifetime pensions and holiday units.
Forget about super until all debt is paid off and then use that same money to fund retirement. Those are the Money Rules.

I like how they advocated for a "simpler Super system"..... now with all these changes consumers will need to worry more about excess contribution caps, lifetime caps, taxation within super & pensions etc.

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