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Low savings, high debt impacting lives

Low savings, high debt impacting lives

Four in 10 Australians feel they’re not living their preferred lifestyle – often because of money problems.

A Financial Planning Association of Australia survey of 2,635 adults found that only 23 per cent of respondents believe they are ‘living the dream’.

Another 37 per cent said they are living the dream to a certain degree, while 40 per cent said they weren’t living the dream.

When asked what ‘living the dream’ meant to them, 57 per cent said having the lifestyle of their choice, while 54 per cent said having financial freedom and independence.

The other results were:

  • Having safety and security = 49 per cent
  • Owning a home = 41 per cent
  • Having a family = 41 per cent
  • Pursuing hobbies and interests = 40 per cent
  • Having no regrets = 38 per cent
  • Freeing up time with those I love = 38 per cent
  • Setting myself up financially for retirement = 37 per cent
  • Travelling the world = 36 per cent
  • Having a plan for the future = 29 per cent
  • Completing my bucket list = 21 per cent
  • Excelling in my current career = 21 per cent
  • Having an impact on my local community = 11 per cent
  • Pursuing a new career = 8 per cent
  • Having an impact globally = 8 per cent

Money a leading cause of stress

For those respondents who weren’t living the dream, 48 per cent of them said it was because they had a low bank balance.

Not enough time was nominated by 28 per cent of those respondents, while debt was nominated by 26 per cent.

The other results were:

  • Illness or poor health = 21 per cent
  • Too many responsibilities = 20 per cent
  • Age = 18 per cent
  • Lack of self-belief = 18 per cent
  • Poor decision-making = 18 per cent
  • Poor career choices = 15 per cent
  • Broken family relationships = 14 per cent
  • Poor planning for the future = 14 per cent
  • Not enough support from others = 12 per cent
  • Not enough friendships = 11 per cent

Happy people have minimal financial stress

Financial Planning Association chief executive Dante De Gori said those who are living the dream have the lowest levels of financial stress of all Australians.

“The survey shows that more than one in three are not at all stressed about their finances, compared to 11 per cent of those not living the dream,” he said.

“Just 9 per cent are extremely stressed about their finances, which is true for 26 per cent of those not living the dream.

“Our financial struggles are often exacerbated by our aversion to planning. By identifying our life goals, hopes and dreams – and putting in place a financial plan to get us there – we can reduce stress and work towards making our dreams a reality.”

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