Save now or else

By BELINDA SCOTT

MANY Coffs Coast baby boomers won't get to retire, even if that is what they have planned.

A report released by the Australia Institute shows a lucky few baby boomers don't want to retire and the majority won't be able to afford it.

The report, by Myra and Clive Hamilton, has found many baby boomers, people now aged 45 to 60, have unrealistic expectations about how they are going to fund their retirement, believing they won't have to rely on the aged pension.

But Myra Hamilton said this did not gel with Treasury projections, which showed a much higher percentage of people of pension age would be drawing some kind of pension in the years ahead.

"Our impression from the focus groups is that many baby boomers are in denial or have unrealistic expectations about their financial situation in retirement, including opportunities to find employment or run small businesses," the study's authors said.

Former building company executive Deb Kuhn, 51, has dreams typical of many people her age and her business experience has helped her to plan carefully for retirement.

"It's my personal wish not to be drawing from the pension but from my own resources," she said.

But according to local retirement planner David Rushworth, the likes of Ms Kuhn are in the minority.

"I have spoken to people who wanted to retire at 50 but by 60 they'd be broke," he said.

Tables published by financial firms show if you hope to retire tomorrow with today's average income you will need to be a millionaire to fund it, even for an average life expectancy.

Today's retirees are a healthy lot and may well be around a whole lot longer than the present average lifetime, which for women is already well into the 80s. Retirement advisers prepare individual budgets for clients, but the rule of thumb is that retirees need 60-70 per cent of pre-retirement income.



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