Dying richer than you retire? A reality for many

MANY older Australians, reluctant to spend their superannuation, may be dying richer than they were at retirement, new research could soon reveal.

The CSIRO Data61 project was expected to be released in the next few months, the group's behavioural economist Andrew Reeson said.

Preliminary findings showed many retirees, irrespective of their income or super balances, were only drawing down the minimum amount.

Mr Reeson said the research was finding most people were "consuming their super slowly - so slowly in fact they will die with a significant amount left in their accounts".

While he could not comment on superannuation policy, Mr Reeson said it seemed people were reluctant to spend their super, possibly due to concerns about running out of money before their death.

"Essentially it's a difficult transfer for people to make - to go from a life of working and investing to not working and drawing down on their accounts," he said.

"To be able to draw down the right amount, you need to know your expenses and when you're going to die - a very hard and uncertain thing to predict."

While he said uncertainty about stock markets could concern for some, products like annuities could remove some risks. Mr Reeson said it was always worth considering people's behaviour as "many people don't make rational decisions" about their finances.

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