Control key to retirement ease

financial control retirement

Control over one’s financial circumstances is a critical factor in the ability for an individual to enjoy a higher level of well-being in retirement.

The latest industry research into the retirement experiences of Australians aged 45 and over has revealed having a greater sense of control over their financial situation has a direct correlation to the life satisfaction these individuals enjoy, reflecting favourably upon SMSF trustees.

“We found control was really critical in terms of building a sense of satisfaction and well-being. Those who had a lack of control, it was almost chaos for them and their life satisfaction was pretty low,” Fidelity International head of client solutions and retirement Richard Dinham noted during the release of the firm’s “New Life, Old Life” report in Sydney today.

This concept of control centred on critical decision-making determining when they retired and how they went about their retirement, Dinham added.

Given the importance the sense of control is playing in a retirement with a lower level of worry, the SMSF members who took part in the survey demonstrated the healthiest levels of well-being.

“Control is a major driver of well-being and engagement with your money is a major driver of well-being, and the SMSF trustees are having an easier time of life [in retirement],” Mymavins consulting partner Jason Andriesson said.

Research consultancy Mymavins confirmed the survey found SMSF trustees were most engaged with their money, were accepting slightly greater risk in their investment portfolios and worried less frequently about their situation in retirement than any other responding cohort.

Dinham pointed out this finding was to be expected due to control being the dominating factor behind the decision to establish an SMSF.

“Almost by definition [SMSF trustees] have taken control of their own [superannuation] fund, they’re more engaged, so yes that sense of control is much in line with SMSFs,” he said.

Further, the higher level of financial literacy shown by the people running their own retirement savings vehicle was another positive element favouring this cohort.

The quantitative research was performed by Mymavins on behalf of Fidelity International. It analysed the responses to an online survey conducted in August 2022 from 1207 Australians over the age of 45, some of whom were still working full-time, some of whom were semi-retired and some of whom had been retired for a few years.

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