Menschik says planning for a post-working life has become easier for same-sex couples with children. This is because of improved legal rights, such as same-sex marriage and being able to nominate a same-sex partner as a superannuation beneficiary.
However, single parents face the challenge of planning a retirement with only one income. And while, as McCrindle notes, the divorce rate is generally declining, it has increased slightly among those aged 65 and over. “This is where the idea of ‘un-retirement’ comes in,” he says. “Where someone was retired but suddenly needs to go back to work.
Or perhaps they’re moving from a couples pension to a singles pension.” When it comes to divorce at an older age, Menschik adds that women who haven’t been the main breadwinners and who weren’t across the couple’s finances often come off worse in this scenario.
Looking ahead, the composition of Australian families is expected to continue to evolve. The Australian Bureau of Statistics predicts that by 2029 the most common type of family will be couples without children.
These couples will accumulate much more wealth for retirement, McCrindle says. Whatever your family situation, there is no room for complacency, says Menschik, who argues retirement planning should start as early as possible. "When you've got a plan, you can always go back and revisit it," she says. "But at least you can relax a bit.