Consumption behaviour and financial literacy are primary factors in determining the financial well‐being of retirees. This paper uses an existing financial literacy index to examine how financial literacy directly, and via an interaction with consumption patterns, affects elderly Australians’ financial well‐being. We find that most elderly Australians hold an optimistic attitude towards their financial situation, and those who are relatively older, more educated, healthier and outright homeowners are more likely to report higher levels of financial well‐being. Financial literacy significantly improves financial well‐being. It also helps strengthen the positive effects of meeting more of non‐essential consumption needs on financial well‐being.