03 Jun 2016

Young investors taking positive steps to saving: MLC Wealth Sentiment Survey Q1 2016

Young Australians are getting serious about saving and plan to increase their levels of investment in the coming months, the latest MLC Wealth Sentiment Survey shows.

Released today, the quarterly survey of over 2,000 Australians found that 42 per cent of 18 – 29 year olds added to their savings in the last three months, compared to 29 per cent of people aged 30-49, and 21 per cent of the over 50’s. Younger investors are also more likely than any other age group to invest more in the next quarter.

While young investors are demonstrating optimism, older people are taking a more conservative approach – with debt consolidation and superannuation the main priorities.  On balance, Australians added more to their superannuation (+2 per cent) and paid down more of their debts (+6 per cent) in the last quarter.

The survey found that the retirement savings gap is still a looming concern for many Australians, who now expect to retire with just over $450,000 on average – down from $501,000 last quarter.  Men, on average, expect to retire with $192,000 more than women.

MLC General Manager Corporate Super Lara Bourguignon believes the focus on building super and reducing debt is a positive sign.

”We can see that Australians are taking action to contribute more to their super to address their concerns about how much money they will retire with.

”While we are moving in the right direction, it’s also important for people to consider long-term investment options to help maximise their retirement savings.

”Our research found that over 40 per cent of Australians have never used a financial planner and don’t have a financial plan, so there is more work to be done to ensure that Australians are adequately prepared for their later years,” said Bourguignon.

The survey includes results from MLC’s Investment Intentions Index, which measures whether Australians are planning to invest more or less in the next three months.

While overall investment intentions improved this quarter, rising three points to -5 points, the number of investors who are planning to cut back the amount they invest still outweighs those planning to invest more.

Additional findings include:

  • In the past three months, one in four Australians have added to their savings and deposits, whilst one in five have elected to pay off debt.
  • Almost one in three women believe they’ll have ”far from enough” to retire on, compared to one in five men.
  • Fifty-six per cent of women don’t think they will have enough to retire on and live to their desired standard, compared to 46 per cent of men.
  • One in five of us expect to have less than $100,000 in savings when we retire – which may explain why almost one in five of us also plan to keep working into our 70’s.
  • One in five young Australians expect to retire before 60, compared to less than one in ten of those over the age of 50.
  • Significantly more men (43 per cent) believe they are holding more super than their partners. Just 14 per cent of women believe they hold more super than their partners.
  • Around one in five ”don’t know” how much they’ll have in retirement

About the MLC Quarterly Australian Wealth Sentiment Survey

The MLC Quarterly Australian Wealth Sentiment Survey interviews more than 2,100 people each quarter. It aims to assess the investment environment by asking questions related to current financial situation, investment intentions, level of concern related to superannuation and other investments, change in life insurance, and distance to retirement and investment strategy.

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