Will you outlive your savings? 72



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Did you plan for your retirement in a way that will allow you to live in comfort for the next 20-40 years, get in your dream trips, afford a year or two in aged care then write a cheque to your undertaker and have it bounce?

That is, according to MLC’s latest Investment Trends report, how we should plan for our retirement, but sadly, 44 per cent of people over 50 will outlive their savings, up 33 per cent from last year. It is a terrifying fact that 51 per cent of today’s retirees worry about outliving their savings. And it stems back to when people actually retire.

Do you realise that 24 per cent of your life will likely be spent in retirement? When they asked people in a recent survey, MLC found that most people expect to retire at the age of 64, and expect to spend 20-22 years in retirement.

In the research, 49 per cent of people surveyed at the age of 64-65 said they expect to live past 84, 29 per cent expect to live past 90 and 9 per centexpect to live past 100.

In reality, people are underestimating the number of years they will spend in retirement by seven years. “Life rarely goes to plan”, said Recep Parker, Senior Analyst for Investment Trends.

“Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face”, Mike Tyson famously said, and Andrew Barnett, the GM of Retirement Solutions at MLC, firmly agrees. “People are retiring earlier than planned, often due to illness or retrenchment, at an average of 59 years of age and when they do so they aren’t necessarily very prepared for it”, he said.

Only ten per cent of Australians that are approaching retirement today feel prepared for what lies ahead of them. “We often hear people saying that they think Financial Advisers are only for the wealthy, especially if they have less than $400,000 in their superannuation fund,” said Mr Barnett. “But this is so untrue. A financial adviser can significantly change the way someone approaching retirement feels about their money, and how confident they are to invest it”.

And this is very important given the increasingly well-known insight that MLC quote, that 60 per cent of your wealth is created AFTER you retire if you remain exposed to appropriate growth assets.

“Retirees today cannot afford to ignore growth assets, yet so many people who have not seen a financial adviser take their superannuation as cash, pay down their debts, and then struggle to make ends meet in retirement. With proper advice they could have used their money differently to achieve much higher growth on their invested cash”.

The statistics are frightening about the lack of financial understanding many Australians have about superannuation and how it can contribute to a comfortable retirement, whether you are there yet or not. Sadly, 44 per cent of Australians who don’t have enough to retire comfortably say they expect to end up retiring on the pension, while 43 per cent have accepted they will have to work much longer than they would like to. Only 17 per cent said they would seek financial advice to help them address living their life to its fullest.


When you look forward in life do you see yourself living past 84, past 90 or past 100? Have you stopped to think about how much money you will really need to do this?


Starts at 60 is support by MLC. If you’d like to speak to an adviser, click here.

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. Unfortunately none of us Oldies know when our time is up. Bit hard to plan carefully for that. We can only HOPE our savings last. P.S. take out a funeral fund then no bouncing cheques at the end.

    2 REPLY
    • If we planned ahead for retirement (we now find we are faced with harder times.).. Then we are working hard and working and saving and struggling and not having pleasure or fun or enjoyment cos we got to work work work work to pay pay pay for when we can’t work anymore for our future visits to doctors hospitals and dying.. We pay our tax houses and cars to get to work only for it all to be taken away from us when our organs and bones can’t work any more..

    • If you put the same money for you funeral plan into the stock market, you will ten time more that the funeral plan will pay for.

  2. I put as much as I can into my super, and have always done so. Still worry it won’t last me – and yes I take financial advice.

  3. I think planning for your retirement should occur during your working life well before actual retirement.

  4. I have been retired for 20 yrs, with a very small super, my husband & I travelled a lot while we were still working , got to enjoy your life while you still got your health. We go on a cruise each year and small holidays around OZ .We Never planned to be the richest people in the cemetery.

    2 REPLY
    • Agree. I don’t want a funeral I dont want a head stone either . what a waste of money funerals are… Just a rip off…. U hope my family obey my wishes…

    • No point in scrimping and saving and doing without for years then being too mean to spend it now we’re retired. We enjoy our money that we put away for our retirement.

  5. My husband n I salary sacrificed during our forties and didn’t put our money into a super fund for someone else to manage…..so now we pretty well do as we please holidays , diners, etc…..not lucky just careful.

  6. No, no planning, one day employed next day on a DSP. No planning whatsoever.

    1 REPLY
    • Don’t feel bad as you are not alone… I know some that worked for government and when they were made redundant government took half their super to prop up the state ( S.A. labour) .

      1 REPLY
  7. Took Financial advice. Have a good planner. Hope the money lasts. Can sell our house and go into care or something cheaper if we start to run out. Leaving nothing behind!!!

    2 REPLY
    • Sad isn’t it that one can’t leave something for the kids… When I get too sick I’m not going into age care I’m going to buy a pack of rat sack

    • Husband and I neither expected or received an inheritance . Our beautiful parents gave us a fabulous start to life, with their love and care. Enjoyed their retirement their way.
      Really sad if kids expect an inheritance .

  8. there are ways you can live well, downsize, may mean moving to a country town use any money left over and e joy when u die the house will mote than finance your funeral

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