Retirement, Superannuation

Financial security drives retirement contentment

Retirement income products Retirement Financial advice Challenger

A majority of senior Australians nominated the ability to fund their retirement independently as a key factor in determining their level of happiness.

The latest research performed by Challenger into the drivers of retiree happiness has shown financial security remains a priority for a majority of senior Australians, with access to advice and retirement income products key to addressing these concerns.

The “Challenger Retirement Happiness Index”, drawn from the survey responses of 1049 Australians aged over 60 and conducted in collaboration with independent research firm YouGov, found almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of respondents were worried about confidently funding their retirements.

The rising costs of living was the primary contributor to a lack of confidence for most of the respondents (65 per cent), with 72 per cent believing a guaranteed income would better help them manage their retirements.

According to Challenger customer chief executive Mandy Mannix, the findings indicate a holistic, long-term approach must be considered when it comes to improving outcomes for senior Australians.

“A better retirement is about so much more than finances but having a degree of confidence that your savings will last plays an important role,” Mannix noted.

“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.

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

Additionally, 77 per cent of those surveyed believed education and guidance regarding financial options would also give them more confidence in retirement.

“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,” Mannix said.

To that end, almost half of the participants stated they had previously consulted a financial adviser regarding their retirement plans, however just 17 per cent were currently receiving advice.

The findings emerge as the government has raised concerns about the current system, releasing a discussion paper to examine how superannuation can be better used in retirement in December.

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