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Why 12 million Aussies are scared of retiring

A couple looking through papers and at a computer screen to represent retirement savings.
Many Aussies are worried they won't have enough money to retire. (Source: Getty)

Ever found yourself dreaming of leaving your day job behind and living a life of leisure? While that day is meant to be inevitable once you retire, for many, the dream seems totally out of reach.

Finder conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,057 Aussies and found three in five (62 per cent) - equivalent to 12 million people - were concerned they wouldn’t have enough money to retire.

Worryingly, 28 per cent of respondents said they didn’t think they would have enough superannuation to stop work, while just 18 per cent believed they would have enough to retire comfortably.

Finder superannuation expert Alison Banney said insufficient superannuation was a growing problem for Aussies.

“Millions of Australians are not actually able to save enough to walk away from their jobs,” Banney said.

“Most people aspire to retire in their mid 60s, but many don’t have enough for a comfortable retirement. The cost-of-living crisis has made it especially hard to plan for.”

Men were much more assured about their ability to afford retirement, with 26 per cent confident they had enough money to live well in retirement, compared to only 11 per cent of women.

Finder’s research revealed only 18 per cent of Australians made additional salary-sacrificed contributions to their superannuation. Those that were putting away extra savings were contributing $713 a month on average.

One third of Australians (34 per cent) said they would “manage” but would have to cut back on spending.

How can I boost my super?

Banney urged Aussies to pump up their retirement nest egg as soon and as regularly as possible.

"If you're able to contribute a little bit extra to your super now, it will make a big difference by the time you retire,” she said.

"Making extra contributions isn't the only thing you can do, though. The first step is to make sure you're in a super fund that has low fees and a history of strong long-term performance.

"It's also important to make sure you've only got one super fund in your name, so you're not losing thousands of dollars to multiple sets of fees. If you have more than one, consolidate them as soon as possible."

The myGov website makes it easy to find and consolidate multiple superannuation accounts. It will show you which accounts are tied to your Australian Tax File Number and you can consolidate them online.

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