This is why retirement isn’t what you thought it would be

A leading market researcher has revealed that 40% of Australians and New Zealanders aged 50 to 70 years have little

A leading market researcher has revealed that 40% of Australians and New Zealanders aged 50 to 70 years have little or no retirement savings, and will have to cut spending throughout the golden years. It’s a stark reality which contrasts with how many of us pictured retirement.

According to research firm Colmar Brunton, there’s a perception that people born between 1946 and 1964 are a wealthy generation.”We often think of baby boomers as all being relatively well off and cruising towards early retirement but that’s not the case for many”, said executive director Chris Vaughan.

Half of us have individual incomes of $47,000 each year, whilst one quarter make do on a total household income of $47,000. In order to get through retirement, many baby boomers will have to curb our spending habits, in the years when we should be enjoying life.

There is a group of baby boomers who are living large, though. One third have a household income of over $93,000 – along with savings or investments to that value. “It’s clear there are some baby boomers who are relatively wealthy and asset rich, but there are a larger number who are or will be under financial stress in their retirement”, explained Vaughan.

When surveyed, Aussies and Kiwis alike felt unprepared for retirement, with many planning to depend on government pensions. “It’s a concern that the majority don’t have much idea how much they will need for retirement”, said Vaughan. However, planning for retirement and taking small steps such as creating a budget or savings plan can help alleviate some financial pressure.

Does retirement look different to how you imagined? What steps do you take to save money?


  1. Anonymous  

    Retiring on the 31st Dec but am definitely not financial enough to do so!

    • Marjorie, if you have had to live on a budget as I did while working, you will find its really no different. Just take advantage of all the great sales when you need anything as I don’t pay full price for anything, yet I don’t go without either. You can do it, good luck.

    • i have more savings now than when i worked. do not use all my income every week. just been on a 10day cruise. if you own your own home no problem.i am a pensioner

    • Marjorie Sealey  

      June my home has 4 wheel and is 27ft long

    • Marjorie Sealey  

      So I should be right then thanks ladies as I too work from a budget
      Goodnight to you all and Merry Christmas

  2. I don’t know where you got that figure of $47,000 dollars from, I would be happy if I was living on that amount however I’m not and I would say there are many more like me who have no where near that amount to live on. It comes down to living within your means and take advantage of genuine discounts on anything you need including holidays and fine dining when they are available also stick to a budget, and you can still live a happy lifestyle in retirement.

  3. Is it only me or do other over sixties feel like grey blendy people.
    Where we are no longer recognised for our individual achievements or personalities. We are now just grey haired old farts waiting for someone to recognise us before we have finally disappeared altogether.

    • Frank  

      if you’re waiting to be recognised, that might be like sitting at home waiting for a new relationship to materialise – probably won’t happen.

      Probably not this article – but somewhere yesterday was an article about older women ‘happy to be invisible’ – as an older guy I was thinking the other day – when younger I used to worry what other people thought of me – now I simply DGAD – I’m happy to wander alone, enjoying the blue sky, green plants and beautiful flowers – a grandkid said ‘old people slow down for beautiful things – like flowers’ – that I do – and love it.

      • Herma  

        I agree with you Frank. We don’t have much money but enjoy life whenever we can. I love my “Pot” garden as we don’t have the room for much else. It is full of colour and flowers and glorious perfume from shrubs.
        We will travel again when we have saved up enough but until then,Quite happy!!

    • Perhaps that’s what we thought about our old relatives I thought my Nan was ancient lol, what comes around goes around.

    • It is often your attitude and feeling of self worth within. If you think you are wonderful other people will too.

  4. Retirement has been a big disappointment for my husband who has forgotten that you need money to do all the things he wants to do. I have settled into it better than him. He has no interests so he is bored. !!!!!

    • I have two friends poles apart, one planned for retirement by getting involved in activities whilst working and so it was just a happy experience when he retired. The other dedicated his life to work 24/7 and when he retired had no interests and so in his words was bored s***less by retirement. You have to develop interests after you retire to enjoy the retirement experience.

      • Frank  

        ‘dedicated his life to work 24/7 and when he retired had no interests and so in his words was bored s***less by retirement’

        thanks – that confirms my understanding – that the people most likely to climb the walls after retirement are those who were workaholics and spent all their time focusing on their career – so struggle with life after retirement.

        I’ve heard of one guy at my partner’s work – lives alone, pretty useless at work, seems to have no other interests, but keeps telling his work colleagues that ‘you couldn’t survive without me’ (they scoff internally – ‘we survive in spite of your uselessness’) – he seems to be setting himself up for hanging around his old workplace when he’s finally forced out.

  5. Were sailing along nicely with super , salary sacrifice etc, going without big O/S holidays, thought we’d do when retired. Then the global financial crisis happened, wiped out nearly 100K of super. Maybe should have worked a bit longer, but spinal injury hastened it. However very happy now, have learned to modify spending ( almost) . Life is a gamble. Don’t rely too much on what your super is going to provide. Enjoy Life!!!

    • Yep similar circumstances Joy. My experiences seem to be the more money you have, the more you spend. Then adjusting to pension worried me at first but I do with what I have & have not been happier. Enjoy your hard earned retirement. Every day is Sunday 👍

  6. Lesley  

    Is it time for pensioners to get angry, very angry? The last straw must be Joe Hockey who at the the age of 50 is given a government pension of around $90,000 plus perks a year and has just been given a job worth $360,000 a year on top. Joe Hockey, who told pensioners that his razor gang had their sights on the pension and that they couldn’t access the age pension until 70, doesn’t see anything wrong in double dipping for himself. It seems that government puts the country into debt then uses the age pension to get themselves out of it.

  7. John Prior  

    Not sure what I expected of retirement. I was lucky in that I worked for Commonwealth Govt and accrued CSS pension which was the best scheme ever except it is only indexed to Cost of living index so loses real value year by year, also had savings which are invested. However the way cost of living has risen including home insurance, private health insurance etc and the way stocks and shares are at moment we have to be careful and I could not afford to retire completely but I enjoy part time work.

    • Frank  

      ‘lucky in that I worked for Commonwealth Govt and accrued CSS pension which was the best scheme ever except it is only indexed to Cost of living index so loses real value year by year’

      wow – way to complain about the ‘best scheme ever’ that most members of PSS or later schemes only dream of !

      I like the ‘complaint’ that it’s ‘only indexed to Cost of living index’ – most folk don’t have that at all – and folk I’ve known on defined benefit schemes like CSS chortle that they can walk away on approx. the same salary they earning while working – indexed for life – fantastic, wonderful, unbelievable dream for most folk ! But still you can complain about it – hey.

      um – and also – no mention of any other savings for retirement – guess that was the grandkids – how’s that investment working out paying the bills for you ?

  8. julie  

    i dont have any retirement i am an unpaid carer have been for years i get 2.50 an hour so how do u save on that ??

  9. *** After I got married I gained a lot, but in 2015 I managed to lose weight 28 pounds with the technique I found this site here 3BestDiets .Com

    • Herma  

      I’m sure like me, there are several people who are getting sick of your post about “weight loss” there are other things in life that are more interesting.!!!

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