Allianz Retire+ has partnered with Macquarie University on a new research project aimed at better serving pre-retirees through financial advice.
Named Improving Retirement Planning, Decision Making and Adjustment: Towards a Holistic Model of Advice, the three-year research project will be led by Macquarie University Associate Professor Joanne Earl.
The project will track Australians transitioning to retirement, as they are guided to plan their exit or reconceptualise their participation in the workforce, allowing them to revise their plans with each new input of advice. It will research the impact of active planning across different buckets when transitioning
“Rather than just financial advice, early on in the process, we’ll be introducing people to careers counselling or careers advice, as well as a medical assessment to challenge their thinking about health,” Associate Professor Earl said.
“Helping people to go through that decision-making process before they start talking to a financial adviser will give people a lot more information to work with. Those people that have been through this process should make better-qualified decisions than those people that are in a control group.”
Australian retirees and financial advisers will be asked to measure adjustment or “happiness” in retirement as a result of receiving holistic advice throughout the project.
The research team plans to practically apply the resources model, engaging clients in training and discussions about planning for retirement, specifically looking to incorporate career, finance and health advice when thinking about retirement.
The study extends from earlier research conducted by Associate Professor Earl that looked at the importance of resources or “buckets” – health, wealth, social, cognition, emotional, and motivational factors – in helping understand what keeps people well in retirement.
In the latest iteration of her research, Associate Professor Earl said she’s placing greater significance on the timing and conditions of work exit.
“We think the conditions of exit are a really critical part of the retirement planning decision process. We know that there were 177,500 people who said they were retired in phase one who were back out looking for work in phase two according to successive waves of the Multipurpose Household survey,” said Associate Professor Earl.
“The primary two reasons for why this was happening was because they were worried about money and they were bored. That says to me, the question about timing is not as self-evident as you might think.”
Allianz Retire+ head of product and customer experience Jacqui Lennon said the research has the potential to redefine the way advice is delivered to retirees.
“This research has the potential to rescript how we approach retirement advice, so as an industry, we are creating confidence for Australians in retirement,” Ms Lennon said.
“We know from speaking with retirees that when it comes to making decisions about their retirement, it’s never purely a financial conversation. It’s emotional, philosophical and financial.”
Further, Ms Lennon said the research should define exactly what trusted advice looks like and will provide insight into what role advisers can play in setting up people for a happy retirement.
“Post-Royal Commission, many advisers are struggling to define their value proposition, and with 1,000 Australians retiring a day, there has never been a more pressing need to undertake this research,” she said.