MLC’s latest Wealth Sentiment Survey found 42 per cent of Australians in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket grew their savings in the first quarter of 2016 – a considerably larger percentage than other age groups.
Twenty-nine per cent of the 30 to 49 bracket reported increases to their savings, with only 21 per cent of the over-50s seeing any increase.
According to the report, the March quarter also saw an increase in the number of Australians hoping to invest more money in the next quarter, rising three points on MLC’s Investment Intention Index.
While this is a positive sign, the index currently sits at -5, with the number of people planning top cut back the amount they invest still outweighing those looking to increase.
The survey also noted that those in younger age brackets are the most likely to invest more in the next quarter, with members of older age brackets looking to “take a conservative approach”, prioritising debt consolidation and superannuation instead.
Retirement savings were reported to be a “pressing issue” across the board, with the average Australian expecting to retire with savings of $450,000, down $50,000 on last quarter.
MLC general manager for corporate super Lara Bourguignon said there is currently a focus on building super while reducing debt.
“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,” Ms Bourguignon said.
Over 40 per cent of Australians said they have never used a financial planner, which could limit the potential to save for retirement, she said.
“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,” Ms Bourguignon said.
Concerns about superannuation were more common among women, with 56 per cent concerned they won’t have enough to retire on, compared with 46 per cent of men.
The survey also found the average retirement savings of women to be $192,000 less than their male counterparts.
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