Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stimulants needed by retirees - but not financial!

I am involved in a project right now that is researching whether people either retired or approaching retirement have any concept of risk - financial or personal. Given that our pollies have been trying to scare the bejezuzz out of us, throwing money this way and that to stimulate us, it appears that distributing viagra might have dealt with retirement concerns better than money.

Our anecdotal evidence appears to be that the GFC has had little impact on those Australians planning or living in retirement - at least conceptually. That, or they are so underfunded already that the GFC's impact has been minimal. Lop 50% off nothing and you still have nothing!

When our project group commissioned the research, we thought of all the possible risks that older Australians might be concerned about but, as is usual with good research that is allowed room to explore, our gray-haired community produced one 'risk' from left field that we hadn't considered - relationship risk.

This is because retirement often throws lifelong partners together for whole days instead of a few hours each day. So, at least for some, longevity risk is not a financial issue, but a personal one. How long do you really want to live, if you're forced to live cheek by jowl with your partner around the clock? Hmmmm... perhaps our research is showing that a stimulant other than financial might be the key to long and happy retirement!

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