Our nation is more optimistic than it has been in years, according to research released by the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) into Australia’s financial hopes and fears for the future.
One in two of us dream more about our future now than we did five years ago, and 82 per cent of us are full of self-belief in our ability to achieve our goals, which include full financial independence (59 per cent) and more free time to spend with those we love (43 per cent).
Property is still a big part of the ‘Great Australian Dream’, even for the younger generation. Despite record high property prices and general assumptions about what Generation Y want out of life, a massive 57 per cent include property of some sort in their top five financial dreams – 37 per cent wanting to buy a first home and 20 per cent wanting to buy a first investment property.
Surprisingly, few of us have made intentional plans to bring those dreams to fruition. A massive 63 per cent of Australians report having made “no plans” or “very loose plans” for how to practically achieve the future we dream about.
And one in four of us (25 per cent) never seek advice from others when making financial decisions.
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The Dare to Dream national survey of 1016 working age Australians conducted by McCrindle Research was released by the FPA last year.
FPA chief Dante De Gori hoped the survey would raise awareness of the power of sound financial advice to unlock people’s dreams.
“To be honest, we had a very different outcome in mind when we first commissioned the Dare to Dream research,” Mr De Gori said.
“We expected Australians to be struggling under the burden of the highest level of personal debt in the world and record property prices to the point they couldn’t imagine life beyond short-term financial struggles.
“It was surprisingly wonderful to see in the results that we’re actually daring to dream as a nation again.”
For all its optimism, the FPA’s Dare to Dream research also showed most of us have financial regrets – namely that we have not saved (47 per cent) and not invested (27 per cent) as much as we thought we should have.
Reflecting a strong conservative streak in our traditionally “happy go lucky” nation, one in four report having never done anything risky in the past with life or money; and looking ahead, a significant 55 per cent are risk averse, wanting to minimise future financial risks.
Consumers can find out their “Dreamer Personality” by taking an FPA quiz found at www.fpa.com.au/dreamerprofiles. The quadrants reflect the research findings into aptitude for risk and forward planning:
- POKER MASTERS – daring when it comes to finances and willing to take substantial risks
- MOVERS & SHAKERS – focused on saving for the future
- RULE KEEPERS – like playing it safe by taking minimal risks
- EASY RIDERS – often spontaneous about spending money.