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Retirement expectations ‘at odds’ with reality

Retirement

Two-thirds of pre-retirees associate retirement with freedom, but only 15 per cent of couples have enough super to meet the target, AMP has said.

Noting that 66 per cent, or 9,000 respondents linked retirement with freedom, AMP’s director of strategic marketing and customer experience, Rod Finch said it appears as though “many Australians’ expectations for retirement are at odds with the reality they enjoy”.

That’s because according to a University of Melbourne and Willis Towers Watson study, only 15 per cent of couples and 5 per cent of singles between 40 and 64 are on track to have enough in superannuation savings to achieve a comfortable retirement.

He pointed to another AMP-commissioned study which found 51 per cent of respondents “strongly agreed they want to be in control of their finances”; while half said they wanted to have a happy and secure retirement.

However, while there’s “nothing particularly radical” about the fact that 41 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women identify “financial security” as the main factor influencing when they retire (according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures), Mr Finch argued that they represent a disconnect from the reality.

“Thankfully, those figures increase substantially when other assets, investments and income are factored in (53 per cent of couples and 22 per cent of singles), though it’s still less than the 66 per cent of respondents to our quiz who linked retirement to freedom,” he added.

Reflecting on how people’s expectations can be managed and met, he suggested: “One way we’re helping people think about their financial future is to get them thinking less about the dollars and cents and more about what they intend to use it for; their goals.

“Then, taking it a step further, breaking those goals down into smaller, achievable, steps that will make a big difference later.”

Retirement expectations ‘at odds’ with reality
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