Paying off mortgage the ultimate financial goal for Aussies

Outright home ownership is seen as the ultimate financial goal by nearly three-quarters of Australians, followed by the ability to retire comfortably.

According to a survey of 2,004 people by finder.com.au, 74 per cent of Australians listed living mortgage free as the most noteworthy financial milestone, while 25 per cent consider buying their first investment property to be significant.

Nearly 60 per cent (59 per cent) of respondents listed having a comfortable super balance upon retirement as an important financial goal, while 22 per cent listed “helping my children with their first home deposit” and 17 per cent ticked “starting a successful business”.

The ability to expand an investment portfolio to two or three properties received ticks from 14 per cent of respondents but only five per cent aspire to owning a sports car, pipped at the post by the 6 per cent who want to own a boat.

Bessie Hassan, money expert at finder.com.au commented: “It’s encouraging to see that Australians are adopting a long-term mindset and thinking about paying down mortgage debt, having enough funds to retire, and lifestyle values such as travel.”

“While property is still prevalent among our financial aspirations, there are other goals that are highly valued such as having a salary of $150,000 or greater and helping kids get a foothold on the property ladder.”

However, the percentage of Australians reaching their ultimate financial goal is dropping; 2016 census data shows that the proportion of Australians who own their homes outright fell by 110 basis points between 2011 and 2016 to 31 per cent from 32.1 per cent. In 1991, this figure was 41.1 per cent, reflecting a sharp decline in outright home ownership.

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