‘Rethink the Big R’ says Commonwealth Financial Planning as survey reveals the new modern-age retiree

5 May 2003

Retirement is changing with the emergence of a new modern concept, according to a new Newspoll survey commissioned by the Commonwealth Bank*.  Just under half of working pre-retirees (those aged 45-64) plan to be fully retired by age 65, while 16 percent intend to work as long as they are able. This changing attitude towards retirement expands beyond financial planning habits and is evident in lifestyles, romance and aspirations.

The survey on retirement forms part of the Bank’s ‘Rethinking the Big R’ initiative, encouraging pre-retirees to think more about the possibilities that effective financial planning can provide for retirement.  A large proportion of pre-retirees have given little or no thought to planning financially towards their retirement - 50 percent say they have not made financial plans or seen a financial consultant, with one third of these aged 55-64. Only 7 percent of pre-retirees consider financial planning for their future to be a top priority, from a list including spending time with family, keeping fit and healthy and getting satisfaction from work.

Commonwealth Bank’s Executive General Manager, Retail Customer Service, Stephen Morrow comments: “Pre-retirees today are truly aspirational – no longer should we perceive retirees as people who wear fluffy slippers.  While our research shows that pre-retirees want to be adventurous, travel and do the things they’ve always wanted to do, we also found that they haven’t necessarily been planning for it financially. Now is the time to start integrating financial planning into your life - it’s never too late.”

Retirement today is no longer seen as something for old people with one in two pre-retirees claiming to feel up to 10 years younger than they are. Pre-retirees are generally kicking up their heels, with over 80 percent believing that now is the time to do the things they have always wanted to do.  Overwhelmingly, in retirement, pre-retirees want to broaden their horizons, looking to travel (81 percent) or try something new and different in the future (71 percent).  But with an aging population and higher life expectancies, pre-retirees are going to have to stretch their financial resources even further to compensate for this lack of planning.

TV Personality and pre-retiree Denise Drysdale was a guest speaker at the Commonwealth Bank’s “Rethinking The Big R” campaign launch.  Denise shared her personal views on how she is facing retirement, her aspirations and the issues and questions that face pre-retirees today.
As part of the Bank’s national initiative to encourage pre-retirees to think about financial planning, Commonwealth Bank branches throughout Australia will stage a “Big R Reality Day” giving local residents an opportunity to visit a Commonwealth Financial Planner for an informal, obligation-free discussion.  Beginning Monday 12 May and continuing through to Monday 5 June, themed trucks will arrive into townships in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

Find out where and when the "Big R Reality Days" will be staged around Australia. (Excel 38KB)

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Commonwealth Bank representative, please contact:

Bryan Fitzgerald - Group Corporate Relations
The Commonwealth Bank Group
Phone: 02 9378 2663
Mobile: 0414 789 649
Email: fitzgeb@cba.com.au

* This study was conducted by telephone in April among 448 respondents aged 45-64 years nationally.