Vast majority of working-age Aussies worry about money

Eighty per cent of working-age Australians are feeling stressed about their finances, new research from the Financial Planning Association of Australia reveals.

The FPA’s "Live the Dream" national report also found that of that 80 per cent, one in four is experiencing acute stress levels.

According to the report, 37 per cent of women are very or extremely stressed about money compared to 22 per cent of men, while younger Australians (Generations X and Y) are the most stressed about finances, with more than one in three indicating that they are feeling extremely stressed or very stressed.

The report defines Generation Y as those born between 1980 and 1994, Generation X as those born between 1965 and 1979 and Baby Boomers as those born between 1946 and 1964. It used a survey taken of 2,635 Australians in June 2017 to inform the data.

Forty-one per cent of respondents listed owning a home as what living the dream meant to them. The most common response (57 per cent) was having the lifestyle of the respondents’ choice, followed by having financial freedom and independence (54 per cent).

A low bank balance was listed by 48 per cent of respondents as an element preventing people from living the dream, making it the most common response; 26 per cent listed debt and 11 per cent listed “not enough friendships”.

For Generations Y and X, the issues of debt and a low bank balance were listed with higher frequency, with 53 per cent of Generation Y respondents and 51 per cent of Generation X respondents listing having a low bank balance as one of the top five barriers. Debt was listed by 28 per cent of Generation Y and 32 per cent of generation X, compared to 17 per cent of Baby Boomers.

In terms of regrets, the most common response was not having saved enough (37 per cent), followed by poor decisions (30 per cent). Sixteen per cent of respondents have no regrets.

[Related: 9 in 10 parents worry about housing affordability]

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Lucy Dean

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