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Press release
Fashion and Lifestyle|Social and Strategic Research|Australia|English

Australians more pessimistic about retirement than most other countries

Sydney, 20.10.2015

• 36 percent of Australians are not confident in having enough money to live the “life they want” when they retire
• Younger Australians under 40, and men are more confident of having enough money
• The closer to retirement age, the less confidence in retirement life quality consumers have.

As part of its regular Consumerlife studies, GfK recently asked consumers around the world whether they agree that they would have enough money to live the life they want when they retire. Close to three in ten internationally lack confidence in affording quality life during retirement, but 42 percent believed they will have enough money for the life they want.

GfK surveyed people online in 19 countries, including Australia, and globally men and women hold very similar levels of confidence. But the story is more interesting when compared against age groups. The older age groups show the highest percentages who say they have little or no confidence in being able to afford the life they want in retirement. 

Australians though are generally more pessimistic about retirement than the global outlook. 16% of Australians surveyed have no confidence they have enough money to live the life they want when they retire, as opposed to 11% globally. Likewise, only 12% have complete confidence that they do have enough compared to 18% globally. 

Unlike the global picture, Australian men do tend to have higher levels of confidence than Australian women. 15% of men had complete confidence and a total of 43% either agreed somewhat or completely. Whereas only 8% of women agreed completely and 31% in total agreed at all, but 42% had little or no confidence in their retirement. 

Australians over 40 years old have lower total levels of confidence than those younger. Only 7% of those aged 40-49yrs have complete confidence and a quarter disagree completely. Those 60+ years have the lowest total levels of confidence with only 29% having any sort of confidence in their retirement. Conversely, 20-29 year olds have the highest levels of confidence with a combined total of 47% agreeing somewhat or completely. In short, the closer to retirement age one gets, the less confidence one has. 

Andrew Therkelsen, Head of GfK Australia’s Social & Government team, comments, “These findings present financial organizations and others with valuable insight into the thinking of men, women and those of different age groups about their retirement prospects. For example, the almost half of 40-49 year olds who show concern about their financial comfort are an ideal audience for pension plan marketing that focuses on better leveraging existing contributions and assets. Similarly, there may be an opportunity to market financial products specifically to the 4 in 10 women who aren’t confident in their retirement finances.”  

Countries with highest and lowest confidence in affording a good retirement 

Looking at other countries, USA, China, Russia and Spain are the most confident in having enough money to live the life they want when they retire. This is led by the USA at 22 percent, followed by China at 21 percent and then Russia and Spain level at 17 percent.   

Sweden, Poland and France, by contrast, mark themselves the most as completely lacking confidence. Sweden and Poland both have 21 percent disagreeing completely with the statement of confidence, followed by France at 20 percent. Interestingly, Russia – who is in the top three people in complete agreement – also comes fourth for people saying they disagree completely (19 percent), pointing to strong polarization in this market. 

For more information on GfK’s international research into people’s attitudes and behavior, please contact press@gfk.com 

About the study 

GfK’s ConsumerLife conducts an online survey with over 23,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 19 countries including 1000 consumers in Australia. Fieldwork was carried out over the summer 2015 and the data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The countries included in this press release are Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.  

About GfK 

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.  

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Norrelle Goldring
Norrelle Goldring
Australia and New Zealand