With almost half of over 45-year-old Australians financially unprepared for the future, MetLife is encouraging this age group to have a conversation with a financial adviser about life insurance.

Here, MetLife’s Head of Advice Strategy, Jeff Scott, talks about the importance of reminding over 45s about the importance of having enough cover as they move closer to retirement age.

“Even though many have significant financial commitments,” he says, “It’s still important to think about ways to create financial wellbeing and security.”

MetLife and associated research show that, while 66% of people over the age of 45 understand the importance of financial planning, 51% are more concerned about today than tomorrow1 and:

  • Only 51% are on track to meet their financial goals1
  • 29% are still living pay to pay1
  • 95% of families don’t have adequate insurance, which means Australia is underinsured by $1.37 trillion2.

The risks of being underinsured later in life include:

  • Not being able to pay the mortgage and basic living expenses
  • Not being able provide for children now and in the future.

The research also shows this age group is largely underinsured due to a changing world notes Jeff, highlighting some common challenges including:

  1. Debt – "This age group is likely to still have significant debt, with a growing number of 55-64-year-olds still paying off the mortgage," says Jeff. "This rising trend of older Australians carrying mortgages into retirement will have a negative impact on the wellbeing of an increasing percentage of Australians as the population ages."
  2. Boomerang kids – "Many Australians in this age group are also parents to the boomerang generation, with adult children living at home for longer due to unaffordable housing, low wages, and an insecure job market with low full-time employment rates," explains Jeff. "This is driving a trend of young people leaving home but returning when financial pressures get too much."
  3. Divorce – "One in three Australian marriages end in divorce3, which can have a long-lasting financial impact," says Jeff. "For example, the likelihood of mortgage payment stress is twice as high for divorcees4."
  4. Retiring later – "Financial pressures mean an increasing number of over 45s will need to keep working and retire later5," adds Jeff. "But 23% will be forced to retire due to sickness, injury or disability6 potentially making them financially vulnerable.”

“MetLife Protect has been designed to provide smart solutions for this changing demographic and may help over 45s on their journey to financial security,” Jeff says.

Reference

  1. MetLife Employee Benefit Trends Study 2019 
  2. Rice Warner Underinsurance Report (2015) 
  3. Fast facts on marriages in Australia – McCrindle research
  4. Mortgage stress and precarious home ownership: implications for older Australians – AHURI 
  5. Older Australia at a glance – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare research
  6. Australia's welfare 2015 – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare research