Australians believe now is a good time to pay off debt and top-up their super but many say they can't afford to put money away after living expenses, according to a new survey by MLC.
The latest MLC Wealth Sentiment Survey also shows that 50% of Australians do not use a financial planner, or even have a financial plan. MLC general manager corporate super, Lara Bourguignon, finds that worrying.
"Our recent Australia Today whitepaper showed that Australians want it all when it comes to lifestyle. But, having it all doesn't just happen overnight. Getting yourself a financial plan and the right help, guidance and advice is critical.
"A financial plan can not only help you to achieve your immediate goals, it can also help make sure you're putting enough away for a comfortable retirement," Bourguignon said.
The quarterly survey also found that not having enough money to invest after taking out our living expenses is seen as the biggest barrier to saving for retirement.
"We know that too many Australians face a retirement savings gap," Bourguignon said. "If you find yourself living pay check to pay check, finding the time to make a financial plan can help you find savings opportunities. Every little bit you can put away for super will help you to save for retirement."
The survey also found that 40% of Australians don't know how much they have saved in super.
About 40% of Australian women do not expect to have enough money to retire on, compared to around 31% of men. A quarter of Australian women also believe that they will have "far from enough" to retire on.
People expect to retire with around $500,000, but nearly a fifth expect to have less than $100,000 and another one in five don't know. Only 7% of men and 4% of women believe they will have more than enough to retire on.