Macquarie University landmark advice research project, in collaboration with Allianz Retire+

'Designing and Evaluating a Holistic Model of Advice to Improve Retirement Planning' is an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant project led by Professor Joanne Earl of Macquarie University in collaboration with Allianz Retire+.

This landmark three-year study will track Australians over 50 transitioning to retirement, seeking to improve their adjustment to retirement, decision making, satisfaction and well-being.  The project aims to improve retirement planning through the design and application of a new model that integrates financial advice with career and health planning to optimise financial and psychological outcomes.

Like to get involved, make a difference, explore holistic retirement planning and earn 9 CPD points?

We’re seeking assistance from financial advisers to help facilitate general advice sessions with our study participants.

Hurry limited positions available. Project commences late March 2022. Register now or find out more, email:

Overall, the study will test a multidisciplinary, holistic model of advice combining specialist knowledge in careers, health, and finance, assessing the comparative success of accessing a broader range of resources or experts during retirement planning. In addition, it will develop an innovative model for the future training and development of financial advisers.

Project Update


The study extends earlier research conducted by Associate Professor Earl (published in the Journal of Vocational Behaviour ) that looked at the importance of resources or ‘buckets’ - health, wealth, social, cognition, emotional, and motivational factors - in helping to understand what keeps people well in retirement.  

If you would like further information; or are a registered financial adviser or a working Australian over 50 years of age and wish to be part of this study, please contact

1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018

2 ABS, 2017

Want to know more? Check out our additional insights on our collaboration with Macquarie University.

Meet the Research Team

  • Professor Jo Earl
    Jo Earl

    Professor Joanne Earl. UNSW. M.Psych; PhD (Psychology) is an Professor and Director of the Masters in Professional Psychology at Macquarie University. She is a Registered Psychologist, an endorsed Organisational Psychologist and a member of the Australian Psychological Society. Her program of research focuses on developing solutions to improve pre and post retirement planning at both the individual and organizational level along with identifying predictors of retirement adjustment for retirees. Recent research projects include exploring how the importance of work determines timing of workplace exit, investigating the relationship between financial literacy and cognitive decline, the application of time perspective theory to explain differences in retirement planning behaviour and the development of online training interventions to promote better retirement planning.

  • Associate Professor Chanaka Wijeratne
    Associate Professor Chanaka Wijeratne

    Dr Wijeratne graduated in medicine from UNSW, and trained in psychiatry in Sydney and London. He then completed a post-graduate research degree in somatoform disorders. He is a Senior Staff Specialist and the Clinical Lead in old age psychiatry at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, and an Adjunct Assoc Prof, Sydney School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Australia. He specialises in the care of older people with depression, bipolar disorder and dementia. He has a longstanding interest in the health of doctors and other health practitioners, and acts as a consultant to the health programme of the Medical Council of NSW. He has led studies of intention to retire and successful ageing in late career doctors, and papers on the rates of mental disorder and barriers to help seeking in doctors across the career cycle.

  • Dr Anna Mooney
    Anna Mooney

    Anna Mooney, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher in applied psychology at Macquarie University. Her primary research interest lies in the promotion of adjustment to various life transitions across the life span using educational interventions. Her current research involves designing and testing an e-learning program that aims to assist older adults to plan for their transition to retirement. Anna has worked on research projects concerning older adults in mid- to late-life stages in areas of mental health, quality of life, late career, retirement preparation, retirement transition and adjustment.

  • Professor Paul Gerrans
    Paul Gerrans

    Paul Gerrans is a Professor of Finance at The University of Western Australia. Paul’s research focuses on consumer financial decision making, particularly within a retirement savings context, and the role of financial literacy in these decisions. This research has included research with not-for-profit and retail retirement savings funds both in Australia and internationally. Paul teaches personal finance and financial planning and undertakes related research into financial literacy and financial advice seeking. He has an interest in all aspects of financial literacy with an emphasis on the acquisition of financial literacy by young adults (e.g. undergraduate students) and the interaction of financial literacy and cognitive decline among older adults.