The Role of Financial Literacy and Financial Adviser Anxiety in Older Australians’ Advice Seeking

National Seniors Australia and the National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre have just producted a Federal Government report about the level of anxiety that older Australians experience when accessing financial advice. It makes for interesting reading, especially for anyone in a role with the responsibility for imparting information to older Australians, of course it is related to financial advice but does have broader application.

The authors of this report are Paul Gerrans from the University of Western Australia and Douglas A. Hershey from Oklahoma State University. This project investigated the role of financial literacy and financial anxiety in the financial decision-making of older Australians, specifically the decision to seek personal financial advice from a finance professional.

Reaching and maintaining a level of financial independence is a key objective for older Australians. A feature of government policy over the past twenty years has been to transfer the responsibility for major financial decisions and significant financial risks to households. At the same time the level of sophistication of financial products has also increased (Davis, 2007). Therefore, achieving financial goals has become more challenging.