The day before a big game, regardless of the sport, a team's coach or star player is often asked, "How will you stop the opposing team tomorrow?" The answer typically goes something like this: "We can't worry about the other team. We just have to play our game."
From: December 17, 2012 State of Mind: What's Really in the Balance in the Crisis Fallout?
The after-shocks of the global financial crisis are still being felt – and not only in dollars and cents. The psychological health of retirees (and those nearing retirement age) is suffering, according to a study by researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, which shows depression and anxiety have been running higher post-crisis than when the crisis was in its most acute phase. The research underlines the need to prioritise mental health issues for older Australians and to ensure employment opportunities for those who are able. The risk is generating a new underclass, experts warn.
From: March 20, 2012 Population Ageing: How to Turnaround Attitudes to Older Australians?
Attitudes towards older people have changed. The group once seen as needy and deserving is often considered a burden these days, says Hal Kendig, chief investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, based at the University of New South Wales. Stereotypes are unhelpful in the drive to support an increasing number of older people towards productive and healthy later years. Australia will need its older workforce in the future, and a new body of research highlights its capabilities. Signs of a turnaround in attitudes are also on the horizon.
From: March 05, 2012 Paying for Retirement: Enhancing the Allure of Annuities
With the federal government's announcement of impending superannuation reforms, the spotlight is again on how to pay for increasingly longer retirements. Since saving for life after work became mandatory in the early '90s, Australians have shown a marked preference for cashing out super. The appeal of investing in an income stream through an annuity has been miniscule. But in Switzerland about 50% of the accumulated pension wealth is annuitised. The "generous" means test for the pension in Australia, in part, may explain the difference, as Monika Bütler, dean of the School of Economics and Political Science at University of St Gallen, told a recent Australian School of Business seminar. But that may not hold if the government keeps changing the rules.
From: September 27, 2011 The High Price of Living Longer: Pay-as-you-go or No Frills Aged Care?
The Productivity Commission's controversial recommendations for aged care have provided food for thought for policymakers, insurers and many older Australians. The news that an ageing population must fund its own care costs, where possible by drawing on that treasured asset, the family home, was only the beginning. The insurance industry is confronting market failure for its inability to provide long-term care products. While many are hoping the government will pick up the slack, a few older Australians already have taken flight for less costly living offshore. But, as Australian School of Business actuarial professor Michael Sherris says, the huge issue of funding aged care won't go away so readily.
From: September 13, 2011 How Gender and Personality Count in the Age of Who-Pays-Wins Retirement
The need to revolutionise the aged-care sector in the wake of the newly released Productivity Commission report has put a fresh focus on retirement and the demands of an increasingly ageing population. Ideally everyone should be saving, rather than relying on government assistance later in life, but research shows some are better at it than others. Financial literacy is just one critical factor that informs an individual's ability to save, says Olivia Mitchell, a professor at the Wharton School. Now a new study shows how behavioural characteristics, such as impatience, play a part in how readily people delay gratification and accumulate wealth.
From: August 16, 2011 Superannuation: What's Wrong with Australia's Retirement Plans?
Australia's superannuation savings may be the envy of the world with A$1.23 trillion now in the pot to help its ageing population live more comfortably in retirement. But Australia's approach to retirement saving is only half right, according to David Blake of the UK's Pensions Institute, who spoke at a recent Australian School of Business conference on longevity risk. Substantial super savings may have helped the nation to weather the financial crisis, but they will not go the distance as people live increasingly longer lives. It's time for Aussies to hedge their risks, and annuities are the way to go.
From: April 27, 2011 The Insurer's Dilemma: Future Cause of Death Unknown
Planning ahead would be a lot easier if we all knew when and how we were going to die. As populations are ageing across many developed nations, policymakers and insurers are in a pickle over calculating life expectancy. Actuaries warn of dangers in assuming past mortality trends will continue. Advances in medical science, social interventions and the spread of diseases are just some of the factors clouding the view. But future infrastructure, the price of retirement products and the viability of insurers hinge on predicting mortality with reasonable accuracy. And while many young people look set to reach their 100th birthdays, not everyone is celebrating.
From: April 11, 2011 The Big Financial Stretch: Preparing for Those Later Decades
Baby boomers want to keep working to remain useful and active but are woefully unprepared for their later decades. Studies show that most workers in the United States and other countries have given little thought to long-term financial planning, even though many are at risk of running out of money during retirement. Nor have they given much thought to the type of work they want to do in "encore careers" designed to help them remain engaged with society and mentally and emotionally fit.
From: December 14, 2010 The 'Silver Tsunami': Why Older Workers Offer Better Value Than Younger Ones
The world's workforce has grown grayer despite predicted labor shortages as the baby boomers start to retire. While older workers can be skilled members of the workplace, many employers are reluctant to hire them because of myths about their cost and productivity. Other employers, however, recognize the value of older workers, suggesting that attitudes toward them are gradually changing.
From: December 14, 2010