Australians aged under 35 years old are more “unrealistic and confused” about their retirement future than older generations, according to research from Aware Super.

Aware Super commissioned the research amid the cost-of-living crisis to understand the retirement aspirations of Australians, and how the current economic climate is impacting their goals and behaviour towards their retirement savings.

The sample of 3500 Australians found those aged between 16 and 34 are more optimistic about retiring earlier compared to the next oldest cohort (35-54 years old) surveyed. Specifically, 48 per cent of Australians aged between 16 and 34 are more likely to think they will retire before 55.

Surprisingly, when asked how much savings they would need to retire comfortably, almost one-third of young Australians (29 per cent) think they need under $500,000, or do not know how much they need to retire (8 per cent). This demonstrates a significant gap between reality and retirement aspirations.

Young Australians are also more confident (41 per cent versus 35 per cent for 35–54-year-olds) that they will have enough money to retire comfortably, yet 45 per cent do not feel the need to check their superannuation accounts regularly.