Online Retirement Calculators Mislead Australian Retirees
PR Log - Jul 03, 2012 - The review found that the assumptions online calculators make can dramatically overstate a consumers financial position at retirement, which leads to a false sense of financial security.
FPCA spokesperson Tyron Cleine CFP stated, "retirement calculators attempt to oversimplify a complex area of financial planning...the fewer questions a calculator asks, the more assumptions it must make, which means less accurate results"
The lowest scoring retirement calculator tested simply projected consumers superannuation balance only and made no attempt to account for non-super assets or age pension entitlements.
One surprisingly poor result was the Government’s MoneySmart.com.au retirement planner, which also doesn’t consider non-superannuation assets, meaning consumers with shares, term deposits or investment properties would receive inaccurate results. The age pension calculation is also inaccurate because non-super income and assets are not counted toward the age pension entitlements test, potentially overstating pension entitlement at retirement.
The top scoring calculator in the test was AMP.com.au's "My Retirement Simulator" which scored 4 out of 5 stars. AMP’s calculator scored highly because it included superannuation and non-superannuation income and assets, allowed for lump sum purchases at retirement and included an accurate age pension calculator.
Another key feature was the ability to project ‘what if’ situations to see the impact adding making small changes to your retirement strategy.
The FPCA warns that if consumers want an accurate retirement projection, then they should consult a licensed financial planner who specialises in retirement planning. A qualified professional can accurately project your retirement position and then provide strategies to help you maximise your situation.
The FPCA can help consumers who would like an accurate retirement projection by offering a free initial consultation with a local FPCA accredited retirement planning specialist. Request a free appointment by visiting http://www.FindAFinancialPlanner.com.au