Survey shows Australians some of the world’s worst off in retirement 95



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In some sobering statistics today, HSBC has revealed that Australians expect to spend 23 years in retirement, yet our money will run out after just 10 years. This gap of 13 years is the fourth-longest in the world and the longest in the Asia region – and it is already a sad reality for so many retirees.

The HSBC Future of Retirement report assessed 15 countries on their citizens’ quality of retirement and it’s safe to say that we aren’t looking too good. We are outliving our life expectancies and as us baby boomers only collected compulsory employer super contributions since 1992, so many of us do not have savings to last us very long after we retire.

45 per cent of Australian pre-retirees said that they cannot afford to prepare adequately for retirement because of financial commitments such as their mortgage or loans. On average, we have $67,000 per person less than the amount we actually need to fund an adequate retirement, let alone a comfortable one. A survey by super fund REST last year found that baby boomers were misinformed about what retirement would really be like and what the reality is.

A whopping 35 per cent of baby boomers told REST that they were completely unprepared for retirement while only 14 per cent were feeling ready and prepared. In 2014, 25 per cent of over 50s had less than $50,000 in their super account, which, if divided into the annual pension amount for a single ($22,000), is just over 2.5 years worth of self-funded retirement funds. That is very concerning.

Our super system is now among the best in the world with a compulsory employer contribution of 9.5 per cent, but it’s too little too late for so many baby boomers. We did not have the benefit of that policy when we were beginning our working lives and so many of us did not have that forward thinking to put money in ourselves.

There are some who are living comfortably now as pre-retirees, however even those who have a $90,000 income will still not be guaranteed to have a comfortable retirement. It’s a sad truth that our wage growth has slowed and in turn we burn through more money in retirement as the cost of living goes up. You can go back to work in retirement however this isn’t always an option so some have no choice but to live off the Government pension.


What do you think of these new survey statistics? Are you surprised? Or is this the reality for you? Tell us below.

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  1. I think those of the previous generation, especially the women, were much worse off. My mother’s mantra was, of necessity ” whichever is the cheapest’, holidays were out of the question and anything new had to be saver for for ages. By comparison my retirement years, and I am NOT a baby boomer but pre date them, are proving much more secure: I’m not rich but think I’ll get by with a little to spare for little treats/luxuries.

  2. And yet a couple of weeks ago they were saying the baby boomers were well off and were better off than their kids. What a joke. Baby boomers were paying home loan interest rates of between 15 and 17%. Had $2 a month child endowment. No baby bonus or child care subsidies. And as stated in the article compulsory super didn’t come in till 1992. It wasn’t till the late nineties for women. How were we supposed to raise a family, pay a mortgage and save for retirement. It wasn’t possible for someone on the average wage.

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  3. I was so unprepared for retirement , as a child I contracted polio missed out on schooling , due to years in hospital, however at age 15 my 1st job was grape picking from there my job prospects picked up , mainly clerical , married at age 24 divorced at 38 , raised 4 children on my own , often working 2 jobs , my only thought at that time was one day at a time , feed , clothe & educate my children , easy peasy NOT . I thought polio was over & done with , once was enough , right ? , wrong, it started to revisit in the early 80’s , pain, fatigue etc , IT turns out to be Post Polio Syndrome , in 1996 my youngest son died , followed by my eldest son in 1997 . 9mths & 1 week apart , I tried my damnest to keep working ( at the time of my sons deaths, I was 56 & 57 , however with the emotional & physical pain it was beyond me. I now in Public Housing & each time the pension goes up so does the rent only higher , so yeah , I find retirement very hard . I am Blessed with 2 loving children & grandchildren however day to day living is very difficult . This is the 1st time I have shared this with anyone ! & now it is on FB !!

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    • You sound like a strong and determined lady. Sorry to hear of your worries and the loss of your sons. Hope that 2015 will be a good year for you.

  4. I am a baby boomer, had 2 useless husbands, ran my own business, owned a house, and lost the lot thanks to him. I am now on a DSP, in public housing and I am happy with my life. I might not have much, but what I do have I own, and with the love of my children and grandkids, that’s all I really want. I never had super or anything, just worked for myself, so I don’t have the luxury of getting money when I need it.

  5. Why retire if you have a good job? There is no law stopping you from doing what you like whether it be travelling Australia or the world – I prefer the world

  6. We get by ok . We live a good life and are content . No ooverseas holidays or cruises ,but enjoy a meal in town sometimes .We have private health insurance for security against hospital waiting lists. Life is all about choices . Contentment is what counts .

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  7. I went to my doctor yesterday and was embarrassed when I fessed up that I retired at 57 and he is 93 this year — sharp mind and a great doctor !!!!—– retired 6 years and always live within my means without a single visit to Centrelink.

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  8. We are on full aged pension & seem to manage well. Tithe, health ins. Ph, internet, R & M rego etc, fuel, food, but we are travelling in our van full time & having a ball. The final result will be in a resident contribution retirement unit. We do quite well even save a bit but stick to a strict budget. Not “easy” but doable

  9. The politicians want us all dead, then they won’t have to pay us as pension.

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    • yep and it will only get worse..why Hockey is saying someone in the world may live to be 150 is he wants to cut pensions and charge us for medicare, they have no concept of how ordinary Aussie’s live

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