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A report by National Seniors Australia and Challenger.

The National Seniors Australia (National Seniors) study reported here was an online survey designed to collect information as part of the 2017 National Seniors Social Survey (NSSS) (Wave 6).

It asked participants about their experiences, intentions and attitudes across a range of areas including health and social wellbeing, finance, work, and retirement.

National Seniors and Challenger have mutual interests in the financial literacy, financial security and broader well-being of older Australians. They formed a corporate partnership in 2012 to support the National Seniors Social Survey, broader research and some philanthropic endeavours.

The highlights from this year’s survey are:

The thing that mattered most to people about their finances in retirement was having regular, constant income that meets essential spending needs. More than three quarters were ‘savvy’ about the risks of increasing longevity, being both aware and planning for the possibility of living longer. Conserving capital to leave money for the next generation is no longer a key consideration for senior Australians. Only 3% of respondents intended to preserve all their savings for the next generation, whereas 10% expect to spend all their money on themselves. The remainder of respondents were split between those who wanted to spend most of their savings (41%) and those who intended to preserve some and spend some (46%). The clear majority of people said they used a financial adviser to get advice and information about retirement. This corresponds with previous surveys, and shows that seniors are more likely than younger Australians to see a financial adviser. A substantial majority (70%) of retirees over 75 responded that their spending had been similar, with only 6% noting an increase in spending through retirement. This year, the survey went online for the first time. The number of responses was more than double that of previous years, confirming the readiness of Australian seniors to embrace the online world.

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