SUPER RETIREMENT REALITY

Written on the 20 February 2012

SUPER RETIREMENT REALITY

MORE than 262,000 Queensland baby boomers believe they won’t have enough super to allow them to live comfortably in retirement and will have to rely on the age pension to make ends meet.

It follows a Suncorp Life survey of Queenslanders that revealed 54 per cent of people between 50 and 65 believe this to be true.

Suncorp Life head of advice solutions Michael Furey says the statistics show a great expectation gap between the dreams many baby boomers had for their retirement and the reality of what they’ll be able to achieve.

“More than 28 per cent will have less than $100,000 in superannuation when they retire, which equates to less than two years of an average Australian worker’s salary or $130 a week over 20 years,” he says.

“While the majority of Queenslanders (52 per cent), said they expected to have a relatively modest retirement enjoying the company of family and friends, relaxing at home and holidaying within Australia, that too required a certain amount of cash.

“Figures recently released by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia show a couple seeking to achieve a ‘modest’ retirement lifestyle need to spend $31,519 a year, while those looking for a ‘comfortable’ retirement need about $54,954 a year.”

Furey says that as with any long-term goal, the key to achieving is to start planning sooner rather than later. He says reprioritising and setting financial goals can deliver rewards.

Another key survey finding was that 83 per cent of Queenslanders had no plans to change their investments or payments despite the current economic climate. “While in many cases sitting tight might be the best strategy, seeking expert help is the best advice for ensuring you achieve the best possible outcome,” says Furey.

Suncorp identified five fundamental steps for getting the most out of retirement including checking annual statements to see what investment option has been selected and thinking realistically about the type of retirement lifestyle you want.

Another important step is for retirees to consider their own personalities and their attitude to taking risks, to plan and talk to a financial advisor who can help set achievable retirement goals.


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