Retirees not always well advised on finances

Marty Silk
(Australian Associated Press)


Australians at retirement age are seriously lacking in financial advice and planning despite financial security being their biggest single concern, a new survey shows.

A St George Bank poll of 50-to-75-year-olds has found that almost three out four respondents – 73 per cent – have never received any financial planning advice.

However, respondents ranked financial security in retirement as their biggest concern, followed by health issues and losing independence, maintaining a sense of purpose, and estate planning.

Despite the risk of changing circumstances, St George said more than a quarter of respondents had never reviewed their financial plans either.

About 27 per cent did not feel they were on track for a comfortable retirement, and the 42 per cent who did feel like they may be headed for a rosy retirement said they wanted to have more money set aside.

St George retail general manager Ross Miller said the results were a reminder of the importance planning for retirement.

“It’s eye-opening to see only one quarter of respondents have sought professional advice, despite the research signalling that older Australians are more worried about their financial security in retirement than they are about their health, losing independence, or maintaining a sense of purpose,” he said in a statement.

“With more than 40 per cent of our customers over the age of 50, we know their lifestyle priorities and spending habits are rapidly changing and financial planning should reflect that.

However, the survey results weren’t all bad: 24 per cent of respondents said they review their plans yearly and a further 22 per cent said they do so every six months.

Additionally, about 22 per cent believed they were on track for comfortable retirement as well.

The survey was conducted among 1000 Australians aged 50 to 75.


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