Australians feel too poor for advice: MLC

Australians feel too poor for advice: MLC

73 per cent of Australians believe they need to be wealthy in order to seek financial advice, while some consumers have cited performance-based fees, proof of success and more personal interactions as things advisers can improve on, according to research from MLC.

The latest MLC Wealth Sentiment Survey Q1 2017 has found that 73 per cent of Australians indicated they haven't received professional financial advice in the last five years.

Those that haven't seen a financial adviser would be prompted too if they had more money, thought they would benefit, if financial advice was cheaper or their financial needs were more complicated, the research found.

When asked what a financial adviser could do to improve their life, consumers said, “Actually demonstrate previous examples of success”, “Contact me more frequently to tell me what’s happening with my investment”, “Be available as an individual rather than an organisation”, “Assure that I am on the right path to being very comfortable” and “Have lower fees or introduce performance-based fees”.

MLC general manager of customer experience, superannuation, Lara Bourguignon said, “We certainly need to start changing our view around advice being only for the wealthy; it’s for all of us.”

The research also identified a significant disconnect between the retirement Australians want and the one they expect to have.

To retire comfortably, Australians believe they’ll need around $1,142,000 in savings (excluding the family home) at retirement, the research found.

However consumers expect to have little more than half of that amount saved by retirement – $638,000 (excluding the family home) – leaving a shortfall of just over $500,000.

This may partly explain why paying off debt is still the main focus for most Australians, the research stated.

“While economic indicators are quite strong, at an individual level it’s apparent that Australians aren’t feeling confident about their finances, and this may be causing anxiety about retirement,” Ms Bourguignon said.

Encouragingly, the majority of Australians who sought financial advice did so for post-employment planning, the research found.

Australians feel too poor for advice: MLC
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