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Retirement savings too low

A SIGNIFICANT proportion of Australians are relying too heavily on superannuation to tide them over when they stop working, a survey has found.

The Australasian Ideals survey found 17 per cent of Australians surveyed had no retirement savings at all, while 24 per cent put $150 or less aside for retirement each month, excluding superannuation.

However, 22 per cent said they would need between $770,000 and $1.15 million to retire comfortably, with another 22 per cent estimating their retirement needs at between $460,000 and $770,000.

The survey also found few respondents expected to be bankrolled in retirement. Only 9 per cent said they thought their families would support them after they stopped work.

Australia was one of thirteen Asia Pacific countries surveyed.

Other participating nations were China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Australians are no worse when it comes to saving than anyone else in the region.

However, retirement expectations of those in other participating countries were lower, with the majority citing $460,000 to $770,000 as the amount needed for comfortable retirement.

The recent economic turmoil in the Asia Pacific region has not affected Australian savings habits. Only 17 per cent claimed they are now saving more because of the Asian crisis.

The Asian crisis had a greater impact elsewhere with 44 per cent regionally saying they were now putting more money aside for retirement.

Travel topped the list of preferred activities after retirement, with 43 per cent saying this was what they most looked forward to after finishing work.

For Australians, recreational activities came second with 12 per cent of Australians citing recreation as their favourite post-retirement activity.

Relaxing came third at 12 per cent while 7 per cent said they were looking forward to spending more time with their children and grandchildren.

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