The release of this research is very important to us. It was undertaken over seven months by some of the brightest PhDs in finance at Griffith University. Comprising of more than 50 pages, the report certainly passes the ‘drop test’, but it's the front page that says it all:
“Up to 81 per cent of our generation may not achieve a comfortable retirement.”
That's a very big number.
It also confirms what has become my mission in life: making the pension irrelevant. Generations X and Y need help, and they need it now.
In a world where housing has never been more expensive, jobs are demanding, parents are ageing and kids need education and attention, our generation is feeling the heat in a variety of ways.
I know many of my friends have been wondering for a while where all the fun has gone? Everything seems so serious, and so urgent.
What does not seem urgent is the need to save for retirement. I get it all too well. With so many demands right now, why think about what might happen in 30 years’ time?
But this research proves two things. Firstly, the increasing cost of retirement means it needs to be planned for now to give people time to achieve their goals.
Secondly, the intergenerational wealth transfer is our big opportunity. People need to take the time to really think about how to set up the last third of their lives, and leave a legacy for future generations.
But Australians’ engagement with finances and understanding of investing and money is low. So is the take-up of financial advice, as only 2 in 10 Australians are currently in an advice relationship.
This means our work is cut out for us. But going about it in the same old way is not going to work. The finance industry has not had great success engaging everyday Australians, until they get close to retirement age. And by then it can often be too late.
So we have decided to talk to people differently. For a start, we have made a mainstream TV show about a celebrity investor who begins a journey to engage with our industry.
The results are more than pleasing and I look forward to sharing that journey this week on Channel 9. You can access a sneak peek of the show by viewing our trailer here.
We have also used the research to create a communications platform that urges people to think about their reinvention, not their retirement. As we are living so much longer there is a huge opportunity to plan to live the last 20-30 years in the way we want. Making sure people take the time to dream and then can access the tools and services needed to bring their plans to life is important work.
I would like to thank all the financial advisers who have supported our mission so far. You have given your time and expertise for free, and will no doubt be part of the reason more Australians do get to reinvent the last 30 years of their life.
I also want to thank the fund managers who have put their time and budgets to the cause. Your belief in the transformational power of education is incredibly important; we could not do this work without you.
And finally, to Dr. Mark Brimble and the team at Griffith University who worked on this report: you have proved without a shadow of a doubt that Generations X and Y face the challenge of their lives.
You have also given us a line in the sand and showed us that even a smallish windfall, like $110,000 in inheritance, can be transformational to reinventing retirement. Your work is incredibly important and we will keep supporting your research.
I remain committed to helping Australians engage with our industry. There is way too much at stake not to.
For your copy of the report click here.
All the best,
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