Baby boomers take hands-on approach for a better retirement

4 May, 2009: Baby Boomers1 are showing signs of resilience in the face of the global financial crisis by taking a hands-on approach when it comes to planning and saving for their retirement, according to a survey released today by the Commonwealth Bank.

The Bank’s Retire Ready2 survey revealed that although Baby Boomers are concerned (88 per cent) about the situation in global financial markets, most (85 per cent) are not considering changing their investments directly but are instead actively reviewing their retirement objectives to include options like continued employment, increased savings strategies and portfolio diversification.

Tim Gunning, General Manager Commonwealth Financial Planning said: “This generation is continuing to take a prudent and well-balanced approach when it comes to their investments. With retirement not far off for some, many have taken a more active role in their retirement planning.”

A significant jump in the amount of independent research being conducted by Baby Boomers was recorded in 2009 (46 per cent, up from 36 per cent in 2008).

“Interestingly, it seems that although Baby Boomers may be sitting tight, they’re not letting their investments go out of sight. In fact, they’re probably doing the opposite to previous generations and are educating themselves when it comes to making the right financial decisions,” Mr Gunning said.

Making additional savings – both inside and outside of super – and building up shares and other assets remain top strategies for Baby Boomers when it comes to saving for the lifestyle they desire in retirement.

The survey found that despite the decline in the number of Baby Boomers (50 per cent) who expect to be able to afford the lifestyle they want in retirement, only 25 per cent will consider postponing their retirement.

Rather, the trend continues to lie with the idea that Baby Boomers will transition to retirement by continuing to work for their current employer, at reduced hours. “Continuing to stay in the workforce is proving to be a more viable option than many think, 43 per cent of Baby Boomers expect to continue to work for their current employer at reduced hours during retirement.

“Working part-time is an extra source of income but also a way to stay challenged and mentally active and sustain a link to the community they have been a part of for most of their lives,” Mr Gunning said. As many as two thirds of Baby Boomers also want to take up volunteer work in retirement.

“It is interesting to note that this generation view retirement very actively – as a series of phases – rather than a period where everything coming to a stop. Gone are the days where working life ceases and retirement begins, particularly with the Baby Boomers who are becoming more and more educated about how they can maximise their wealth into retirement and beyond.

“With retirement lifestyle needs and desires changing with each generation, seeking the right advice as early as possible has been a positive move for Baby Boomers with 60 per cent of them currently receiving advice from a financial planner and 68 per cent of them believing they are better off through doing so,” Mr Gunning said.

Overall, almost half will seek advice from a financial planner going forward and among those who will use a financial planner 84 per cent of these people have used one in the past. To help Australians achieve their retirement goals, the Commonwealth bank will be holding a series of free financial planning seminars nationally throughout May.

To learn more about seeing a Commonwealth Bank financial planner or the seminars simply call 1300 360 645, visit or drop into your nearest Commonwealth Bank branch.

  • 1 For the purpose of this study Baby Boomers refer to 45 – 64
  • 2 The Retire Ready survey was conducted by Galaxy Research on half of the Commonwealth Bank in March 2009 by telephone among a representative sample of 392 respondents aged 45 – 64.


For more information contact:

Noelle Waugh

Public Relations and Wealth Communications

Phone: 02 9303 6412

Mobile: 0415 193 624



Elise Havenstein

Public Relations and Wealth Communications

Phone: 02 9378 3768