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Dr. Mark Sinclair
Dr. Mark Sinclair, Mentor Education

Global survey shows Aussie retirees hardest hit by GFC

20 September 2013






A global study of retirees by HSBC has shown that Australians have been the hardest hit by the global
financial crises.

The results of the report titled HSBC’s Future of Retirement: Life after work highlights that the financial crisis has caused the biggest drop in incomes for Australians entering retirement among the 15 countries surveyed and the reported reason is “the big exposure that superannuation funds have to shares.”

Graham Heunis, HSBC Australia’s head of retail banking and wealth management, has commented that “Australians have felt the GFC acutely and for a prolonged period because of the strong links between our pension and superannuation systems and equity markets, which saw more than 50 per cent falls following the crisis.” He added that it has been a contributing factor as to why Australians’ retirement plans had been disrupted.

It has been reported that almost 80 per cent of Australian retirees reported an income fall upon retiring and more than 40 per cent reported their income dropped by half. As expected the fallout of the GFC took some of the responsibility for the drop in Australian retirees income, as did unexpected events or expenses such as children moving back home, health-related expenses as well as insufficient planning. While forty per cent of retirees say they did not prepare adequately or at all for a comfortable retirement and 60 per cent said that their preparations for retirement turned out to be at least adequate.

Alarmingly, the report also showed that one-in-six working age Australians believe they will never be in a financial position to fully retire with Australians working longer but also embracing semi-retirement in greater numbers.

The survey is based on responses from 16,000 people in 15 countries, including 1000 within Australia and was conducted online between July 2012 and April 2013.

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