Heterogeneity in needs and purchases in Australian retirees

Asher, A., Boonen, T.J., Chang, L., Khemka, G., and Roberts, S.P., 2023, Accounting and Finance, forthcoming

To plan for retirement, it is important to understand how needs and purchases may change. We use data from a survey of elderly Australians to see how needs and purchases changed in different categories of goods and services. We looked especially at those who had experienced financial or health shocks. Our analysis shows variation in people's experiences, particularly for health costs, which increase with age. Having private health insurance appears to increase the level and volatility of health costs – presumably as a result of out-of-pocket costs. This information can be useful for financial advisors and superannuation trustees.