Aged Care

Report highlights retirement income worries for Aussie seniors


A recent government report has shed light on the growing concerns many Australian retirees have about making ends meet after leaving the workforce. The findings reveal an increasing number of people are retiring with fears about having enough money to live comfortably.

A report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that financial security is the main factor influencing when someone decides to retire. With the cost of living on the rise, more and more seniors are feeling the pinch and worried their retirement income won’t be enough.

According to the stats, the government pension remains the primary source of income for most retirees. However, with household debt levels high, retiring with a mortgage or other outstanding loans is becoming increasingly common. This situation is leaving many newly retired Aussies in a tough spot financially.

Daniel Gannon from the Retirement Living Council says this data should serve as a wake-up call for the government to prioritise affordable housing options for seniors.

“This report tells us what we already know – Australia is fast approaching a ‘silver tsunami’, bringing with it significant socio-economic challenges for the nation,” Gannon says. “Given household debt and financial security are impacting the age at which Australians are retiring, suitable and affordable housing options are more important than ever.”

The report found that Queensland saw the largest increase in retirees over the past few years, while South Australia had the highest proportion of people retiring. Meanwhile, Tasmania experienced a decline in its retired population.

Related: Retirement age holding steady at 65, but many working longer

Gannon believes retirement communities could offer a solution to the income challenges many seniors face. “Units in retirement communities are priced on average 48 per cent lower than median house prices in the same postcode, meaning these communities can help address retirement income challenges.”

“There is also an important role older Australians can play within housing markets when they consider ‘rightsizing’ into homes better designed and suited to their ageing needs.

“This serves a dual purpose in freeing up housing stock for younger aspiring home buyers, but it also frees up retirement income given the affordability value proposition of retirement communities,” he said.

However, he’s critical of the lack of support for retiree housing in the recent federal budget, saying, “The unfortunate reality is that Australians aren’t getting any younger, and every day that passes without a plan to house and care for older Australians appropriately and affordably is a missed opportunity.”

With over 700,000 Australians intending to retire within the next five years, including 226,000 in just the next two years, the need for action is clear. Retirees are a rapidly growing segment of the population, and many are facing significant financial hurdles as they age.

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