HomeRetirementThree-hour course dramatically improves retirement readiness

Three-hour course dramatically improves retirement readiness

Is there a better way to make sure Australians are ready for retirement? That’s a rather vague question, one that can be construed in many ways. It probably requires answers other than a standard ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as well.

But stripping it back to basics, it would seem the answer is yes, there is a better way to retire. Or at least there should be a better way to retire, according to the results of one survey. That survey indicates about two-thirds of Australians don’t get to retire at a time of their choosing.

Of course, there are those for whom the choice is taken out of their hands. An accident or ill health can bring one’s working life to an unexpected early end. And in some cases, this can also mean early retirement for the person’s partner, too. 

In fact, nearly 30 per cent of Australian workers retire due to ill health. On top of that, 7 per cent of Australians retire due to their partner’s ill health.

Notwithstanding these unforeseeable instances, getting closer to achieving a preferred retirement date is possible, according to another study. And evidence suggests that making that improvement is achievable through a three-hour online course. 

The study, funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and industry partner Allianz Retire+, split 829 participants into four groups. One group completed three online modules, and had a general health check. They also spoke to a career consultant and a financial consultant.

The second group completed the online modules only, and the third group saw a financial consultant only. The fourth and final group had no interventions at all, acting as a control.

All four groups were then measured on a set of metrics, including financial decision making, estimated retirement spending, health goals, retirement age confidence, and retirement preparation.

What did the study teach us about retirement preparedness?

Results showed that even a simple three-hour, three-module course was enough to produce improved metrics over the control group. Those who had only a financial consultancy alone also produced better results.

But those who did both, and had a health check, produced the best results of all.

Macquarie University Professor of Psychology Joanne Earl said the results indicated retirement planning required a holistic approach. Prof. Earl led a team that developed the three-module course. She said most people concentrated on their finances when planning for retirement without thinking about health or career.

Prof. Earl said that the course could also help plan how retirement was structured. This could include deciding whether or not retirement included some form of work.

“We want people to ask themselves … how and why they want to retire,” she said. They should also have an idea of what they are planning to do with their time when they do retire.

The Holistic Retirement Planning Program: eTraining Course is available through Macquarie University’s OpenMQ platform at a cost of $50.

Do you feel prepared for retirement, whenever that time may come? Does the idea of the online course appeal to you? 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.
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