New research reveals that while most Australians are taking the right steps towards financial fitness, the pressures of modern living are creating financial stress.
A recent Mortgage Choice/CoreData white paper measured the financial fitness of Australians and it turns out that while over 85% of Australian’s financial concerns and eight out of ten Australians say financial stress is negatively impacting their overall well-being, only 30% will seek financial advice.
The study did however show that many are taking valuable steps to boost their wealth.
The study found that almost one in two Australians own their home, with a further 25% saving for a place of their own – a figure that rises to 39% among 20-somethings. A further 11% own an investment property.
Nine out of ten Australians regularly monitor their finances, and 73% have set financial goals to work towards.
There are some weak spots though. Almost one in five (18%) Australians admit to saving nothing each pay day – 8% say they spend more than they earn.
Over half (45%) of us have some debt – and for two out of five of these people, their debt is a source of embarrassment. In fact, one in three (33%) even try to hide their debt out of embarrassment.
The research also highlighted that 35% of Australians feel pressured to keep up appearances and maintain their lifestyle, rising to 50% of those aged 30 and under.
Some danger zones are less obvious. One in two (52%) Australians are concerned that their children won’t be financially secure. Yet on the flipside, many are jeopardising the financial wellbeing of their family by failing to hold adequate personal insurances including 76% who do not have income protection cover.
Estate planning is also fairly haphazard, with only one in four people (28%) having a will.
A range of financial worries
Not surprisingly, the study found that the vast majority (85%) of Australians have financial concerns. Chief among them are:
- 55% – rising cost of goods and services
- 46% – not having enough money to be able to retire comfortably
- 33% – not having enough money to travel
- 31% – insufficient money to buy a home
- 23% – being unable to stick to a budget.
These concerns are impacting quality of life. Eight out of ten Australians say financial stress is negatively impacting their overall wellbeing.
The support of a professional
The survey also found that Australians often fail to seek financial advice to better manage their money. Almost seven out of ten (69%) have never used a financial adviser.
This may partly be because of misconceptions about how financial advice can help. One in four would only see an adviser if they were in financial distress. A further 38% would only see an adviser if they suddenly came into a substantial amount of money through say an inheritance or a lottery win. Two out of five believe they need greater wealth before an adviser becomes relevant to their needs.
Plenty provides online financial advice that can help people at all stages of their life – find out how we work here.
To download the full Financial Fitness report, click here.
This is a guest post by Nicola Field – a senior finance writer from Mortgage Choice.