HomeRetirementRetirement PlanningRetirement advice – how much are we willing to pay?

Retirement advice – how much are we willing to pay?

Earlier this week, YourLifeChoices broached the subject of retirement readiness. “Is there a better way to retire?” we asked, and the research tells us there is indeed.

A simple online course could make a big difference. Combining the course with professional retirement advice increases your chance of a happy, healthier and more comfortable future.

That all sounds great, but what about the cost in achieving that preparedness? The online course we covered earlier will set you back $50. For most thinking about retirement, that’s not going to break the bank.

But what about retirement advice? How much could you afford to pay for it, and how much would you be willing to pay?

This is a topic examined recently by financial data analyst Investment Trends. According to its 2023 Financial Advice Report, as many as 11.8 million Australians have unmet financial advice needs.

How much are Aussies willing to pay for retirement advice?

Most Australians would be familiar with the phrases ‘‘I’ll tell you something for nothing’ or ‘I’ll tell you something for free’. The words that follow may or may not be factual and/or useful, but you’d be likely wary of them, depending on the source.

To get advice you feel you can trust, you’re likely to seek out an expert on the subject at hand. More often than not you’ll have to pay for that advice, one way or another. For retirement advice, the Investment Trends’ report indicates most of us would be willing to pay up to $800.

Is that enough? Or is it too much? According to the report, there are 1.3 million Australians still looking to see an adviser in the next two years. However, only 3 per cent of them would be willing to pay more than $2000 in advice fees. 

This might seem fair enough at first glance. Many Australians would struggle to stump up $2000 in a hurry. But if the advice is good and results in you being tens of thousands of dollars better off in retirement, you’d call it a worthwhile investment.

Investment Trends’ analysis suggests that some Aussies are not aware of this. Its report found a lack of clarity regarding costs was a barrier to seeking advice for 30 per cent of respondents.

This was in fact one of the top three such barriers to seeking retirement advice. The other two were not having enough to invest (33 per cent) and a belief that the cost was indeed too high (41 per cent).

Reconciling cost concerns with the need for advice

The Investment Trends report shows cost is a key issue here. Australians either lack knowledge of the costs involved or think they are too high. But that does not mean Aussies don’t believe retirement advice is a good idea. Indeed, the same report shows that 80 per cent of unadvised Australians see the benefits in receiving advice.

For these Australians, digital advice such as the aforementioned three-hour course may help. But finding a way to make the cost of human retirement advice more palatable may be better still. If the advice is sound, it could result in a financial win for both parties. 

Have you investigated the cost of receiving retirement advice? How much would you be willing to part with up-front? Let us know via the comments section below. 

Also read: 10 signs you won’t run out of money in retirement

Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Andrew Gigacz
Andrew Gigaczhttps://www.patreon.com/AndrewGigacz
Andrew has developed knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income and government entitlements, as well as issues affecting older Australians moving into or living in retirement. He's an accomplished writer with a passion for health and human stories.


  1. The crux of this is getting sound advice, I retired 14 years ago, the advice fees ranged from about $400 to the most expensive this came in at $6500, the upfront fees are not the most difficult to navigate. The dilemma is trawling through the information regarding ongoing fees, different organisations charge differently, some charge a management fee ranging from .3% to 2.5% on top of that they charge an investment advice fee, depending on the risk you are prepared to take and how regular you want communication. It’s extremely difficult to advise anyone and I would be reluctant to advise anyone except maybe family and that’s a big maybe, I did find industry super seemed to have the lowest fees and some enjoyed good performance over an extended time. Not sure this will continue with all the talk about fiddling with super, time will tell.

  2. I used to work in an industry superannuation fund, and the advice for potential retirees was free. The line of products available is limited but the choices are clear, succinct, and fit for purpose. The question for potential retirees is what lifestyle they want in retirement and how to finance it. Do not expect your superannuation-allocated pension will provide all you need in retirement unless you have a million dollars as capital in the account. Superannuation Funds depend on the vicissitude of the fortune in the equity market. Sometimes, it is not for the faint-hearted. During your working career, you should save for additional investment to subside your superannuation returns in retirement. It is to provide a safety net of a safety net. Trust your own instinct.

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