Australians strive for financial independence
23 May 2023
Insignia Financial’s inaugural Financial Freedom Report highlights the aspirations of modern Australia, demonstrating financial independence is the number one aspiration of 55% of Australians, followed by taking regular holidays (50%).
The priorities of Australians have changed, with financial independence now the nation’s most common aspiration, according to Insignia Financial’s inaugural Financial Freedom Report (the Report). The research, commissioned by Insignia Financial and conducted by social research agency, McCrindle, explores the aspirations of Australians across generations, genders and demographics.
In what appears to be a shift from the past, the most common aspirations held by Australians today are achieving financial independence (55%), followed by taking regular holidays (50%), maintaining a good work/life balance (45%), home ownership (45%) and building a trusted group of family and friends (44%). When it comes down to it, Australians are now more inclined to pursue their dream life (60%), over owning their dream home (40%).
This shift in priorities has manifested at a time when the impacts of COVID-19 and increased cost of living pressures have altered the short-term behaviours of many, forcing three in five Australians (62%) to adjust household spending and budget more. When asked if they would be able to maintain their current lifestyle over the next two years, 56% of Australians were not confident this would be possible, compared to the 44% of Australians who strongly or somewhat agreed this would be possible.
Insignia Financial Chief Executive Officer, Renato Mota, said: "It’s clear Australians have changed their priorities in life from the traditional dream of owning a home to living their dream lifestyle, which, is under pressure from the current economic climate. This Report sets some important benchmarks that helps us understand and support the aspirations and dreams of Australians for years to come.
“Australians are deeply aware of their financial wellbeing because it ultimately enables them to achieve the things that matter most to them, whether that be travel or spending time with loved ones. Financial independence means something different to everyone, and as part of our ambition to create financial wellbeing for every Australian, we want to help bring this to life.”
Australians are on their way to achieving aspirations: Insignia Financial’s Financial Freedom Index
Along with the development of the Report, the inaugural Financial Freedom Index (FFI) has been created to measure how Australians are currently positioned to live a life of financial independence and freedom, which allows them to achieve their dreams.
The FFI measures the behaviour of Australians to determine what actions they are taking to realise their dreams and financial freedom. Australians demonstrate a real desire to achieve their dreams and secure financial freedom, with an overall score of 49 out of 100 according to the FFI, however, there remains more that can and should be done to support Australians.
Comprising three elements – Foundation, Behaviour and Attitude – the FFI reveals Australians score the highest in their Attitude (59), followed by Behaviour (48) and Foundation (40).
This shows that while Australians could be better equipped in their foundational experiences such as early financial education literacy, they have strength in their attitude and sentiment, which over time, could drive a positive improvement in behaviour.
Interestingly, Gen Z (52) and Gen Y (55) receive the highest FFI scores, which is mostly driven by their strong results in Attitude, representing their positive mindset towards achieving their dreams (versus 47 Gen X, 44 Baby Boomers, 45 Builders).