Retirement reality a long way form best-laid plans

NEW research has revealed Australians' expectations of retirement are different to reality with uncontrollable triggers derailing even the best plans.

The Mercer-conducted research, released on Thursday, revealed 40% of Australians were forced into retirement, due to redundancy or illness, before they were financially ready.

The research found on average working Australians aged 50-80 expected to retire at 68.

Of the 1500 people surveyed, 42% expected to retire at 70 or older.

However, the research found the reality was most Australians retired closer to 60 and only 3% retired aged 70 or older.

Mercer managing director David Anderson said the research showed uncontrollable triggers could derail retirement plans.

"We are living longer but retiring earlier than we expect which means more years to fund in retirement and less working years to save for it," he said.

"This disconnect could leave a gaping hole in our hip pockets in our golden years."

The report also concluded that only 36% of Australians retired because they had enough savings and less than one third, or 28%, of working Aussies aged 50-80 believed they would have enough savings to retire when they wanted.