Uncovering the aspirations of modern Australia

Insignia Financial wanted to understand how the aspirations of Australians today have changed in a post-pandemic, high-inflation environment. Social research agency McCrindle was commissioned in September 2022 to explore the aspirations of Australians across generations, genders, and demographics. This research was supplemented in April 2023 with questions focused on people’s current sentiment around finances.

The Financial Freedom Report is the collation of qualitative and quantitative data gained through focus groups and an online survey of 2,511 Australians, and representative by age, gender and location. Along with the development of the report, a Financial Freedom Index has been created to measure how Australians are currently positioned to live a life of financial independence and freedom, allowing them to achieve their dreams.

Key research findings

Woman walking in street

Australians' priorities have changed

The aspirations and priorities of Australians have changed.

Today, financial independence is the most common aspiration held by Australians (55%).

Additionally, Australians are also aspiring to take regular holidays (50%), while home ownership (45%) is held in the same regard as having a good work/life balance (45%). Developing meaningful relationships follows closely, with some two in five (44%) eager to have a trusted group of family and friends.

Two people at beach hitting hands

Australians seeking their dream life

Whether it’s due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic or the increased cost of living pressures or difficulty purchasing a home, it appears Australians are now more inclined to pursue a lifestyle – to seek their dream life, rather than their dream home.

When it comes down to it, if they can only select one. Australians are more likely to desire living their dream lifestyle (60%) than having their dream home (40%).

It’s Gen Z who drive the push to live their dream life over having their dream home (71% cf. 58% Gen Y, 60% Gen X, 57% Boomers, 54% Builders).

Man looking at beach view

Australians eager to improve financial literacy

Three in four Australians would like to do more with their finances, with more than one in five (22%) claiming they are not at all satisfied with their financial situation, and more than half (55%) considering themselves somewhat/slightly satisfied with the state of their finances. 63% are dedicating more time than 12 months ago to increasing their financial knowledge.

While three in ten Australians (31%) report receiving no financial education in their childhood, young Australians in particular are eager to improve their financial situation and are more likely than their older counterparts to look for sources to improve their financial knowledge (28% Gen Z, 27% Gen Y cf. 21% Gen X, 13% Boomers, 3% Builders).

Woman mechanic

Females working hard to achieve their dreams

Australian females are dreamers and doers. They are more likely than males to have thought extensively/a fair bit about their dreams (60% cf. 52%), and what they specifically want to achieve.

More than half of females are highly motivated to achieve their dreams (55% extremely/very motivated cf. 44% of males). In fact, it is younger females who are being more active in planning for their futures, being more likely than younger males to have thought about their dreams (71% Gen Z females, 66% Gen Y females cf. 60% Gen Z males, 71% Gen Y males).

Financial Freedom Report cover

The findings of this report explore what Australians aspire to and the various dreams they are hoping to fulfil. Central to many of these aspirations and hopes is a sense of financial wellbeing.