Advised retirees see improved living standards

Retirees who are most content with their financial situation are also those most likely to have sought financial advice, according to new research from State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) covering the Australian retirement landscape.

The Australian Retirement Vision Survey is based on a study of 1,200 super fund and SMSF investors, conducted with consultant Rice Warner, and has revealed that more than 29 per cent of retirees who received financial advice say their living standards have improved since leaving the workforce, compared with just 21.7 per cent of unadvised retirees.

However, it appears the perception of financial planning remains a stumbling block for Australians deciding to seek advice.

While advised investors were confident it would help them achieve their goals, others may not appreciate the benefits of advice. Two thirds of advised investors are confident or extremely confident their financial planner will be valuable, compared with just 12.6 per cent of investors who have yet to seek advice.

More than half of unadvised investors expressed a lack of confidence in the value of financial planning.

This lack of understanding of the value of financial advice is in stark contrast with research findings showing the benefits of advice in preparing for retirement, the report said.

The report also revealed that Australians desire financial information in a number of formats.

Around one third (32.3 per cent) draw on their primary adviser as their exclusive source of advice, with younger investors most likely to rely on a single adviser.

However, other investors choose to either consult multiple advice specialists or to make their own decisions after consulting their advisers.

"The research reaffirms that investors want to interact with their advisers in a variety of ways, underscoring the need for flexible and scalable advice models that can cater to both self-directed decision-makers and more traditional, holistic advice clients," said Dan Farley, chief investment officer of SSGA's investment solutions group.

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