New research has confirmed that Australians are continuing to put off thinking about their retirement and retirement incomes adequacy until it is almost too late.
The research, conducted by Roy Morgan Research, suggest that little significant progress has been made in getting Australians to think seriously about their retirement needs much before they reach age 50.
"Up to 21 years, most people (70 per cent plus) feel that retirement is too far away to plan for, but this improves a great deal by around 22 to 24 years, by which time 56.7 per cent think that retirement is too far away," the research analysis said.
"It is a potential problem that just under a third (31.4 per cent) of 35 to 39 year olds still believe they are too far from retirement to plan," it said, noting that in the critical pre-retirement years of 50 to 54, 16.6 per cent also still considered that retirement is too far away to bother about planning.
Commenting on the survey findings, Roy Morgan Research industry communications director, Norman Morris said it was concerning that many Australians would not have adequate superannuation or other investments to fund their retirement and that this was attributable to a lack of long-term planning and other priorities.
"Although those in their 30s and 40s generally realise that they should be planning their finances for the future, they have other priorities like home loans and families that are likely to put longer-term planning on the back burner," he said.
Morris said the superannuation industry and the government had roles to play to make people aware of the benefits of financial planning, such as creating a more stable set of conditions and rules for superannuation that would improve confidence in being able to plan for the long term.
"Frequent changes or speculation of changes to the rules governing superannuation do not instil confidence in what for most people is a 40-plus year time frame," he said.