1st Mar 2019
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The states where you’ll feel most financially stressed
States with the most money stress

More than half of all Australians feel some form of financial stress, with more than 85 per cent saying it adversely affects their health and wellbeing.

The Financial Fitness whitepaper conducted by Mortgage Choice and CoreData analysed Australians’ financial attitudes and behaviours.

The whitepaper revealed that financial stress affects the wellbeing of Australians to varying degrees, with 90 per cent of female respondents being affected compared to 77 per cent of males.

The research also revealed that more than two in five respondents are embarrassed by their debt.

“A number of factors may be contributing to people’s level of financial stress resulting from the shame associated with debt, poor planning and a general lack of understanding of their financial situation,” said Mortgage Choice chief Susan Mitchell.

Respondents from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria are the most concerned, with as many as 85 per cent in Queensland, 84 per cent in New South Wales and 81 per cent in Victoria claiming financial stress negatively affects their wellbeing.

Analysis revealed that not having a clearly defined financial strategy could be a major cause of stress. Over 26 per cent of respondents said they do not set financial goals and, of those who do, only 20 per cent monitor them.

“It is no secret that a sound financial plan with defined objectives give people looking to get financially fit a clear purpose and subsequently, peace of mind,” said Ms Mitchell.

“Setting clear financial goals is one of the key foundations of financial wellbeing. I would urge anyone who is looking to gain control of their finances to first reduce their level of personal debt, namely any high-interest non-tax deductible debt such as personal loans and credit card debt.”

The research also found that almost two in 10 respondents do not save.

“Setting aside an emergency or rainy-day fund will teach you to save and will give you financial security in the short-term if you suffered personal tragedy or loss. I urge people to not underestimate the value of planning for the unexpected such as the breakdown of a marriage, illness or death,” said Ms Mitchell.

“Getting financially fit is no simple task and as the research findings reveal, many people feel overwhelmed and do not know how to help themselves, which is why it is important to engage a qualified financial adviser. An adviser can help give you the peace of mind that you are on track to achieve the goals that are important to you.”

Mortgage Choice Financial Planning advisers recommend the following tips to feel good about your finances:

  • Write down your short term and long-term financial goals in a notebook.
  • Print out your bank and credit card statements and identify what spending you can reduce or cut out so it can be saved or invested to reach your goals.
  • Create a defined budget and stick to it.
  • Save some of your salary in a separate savings account each pay cycle.
  • Track the progress you have made on your short- and long-term goals regularly. For example, consider a fortnight, six months and New Year review and remember to celebrate reaching your goals!

After the banking royal commission, could you trust any financial advisers? Do you follow these tips? What are your suggestions for maintaining, regaining, or creating financial fitness?

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    1st Mar 2019
    11:12am
    Of course those who want to spend and have life style should not expect to be financially secure. That's not new although hard to explain to the have nots that their plight is in nearly all cases, with a few exceptions, their fault and of their choosing.
    The issue you have not taken up Leon is those who live in Sydney or Melbourne where housing has always been expensive but is now out of reach because the current political class have kept down wages and handed taxpayer money to the top end of town. This will ensure that most of us cannot get on and you may want to write more on this subject.
    Grateful
    1st Mar 2019
    2:56pm
    Mick. Why not an honest analysis of WHY housing has become too expensive and/or is the cause of very much of the financial stress that so many find themselves in?
    (a) Far too generous taxation benefits to investors.
    (b) Far too irresponsible lending by banks to those that simply could not afford the loans.
    (c) Own fault, where people, be they investors or home buyers, bought properties that they couldn't afford and accepted those irresponsible bank loans.

    Your very correct, those in very serious financial difficulties, i.e. mainly those with huge housing mortgages really only have themselves to blame. Sounds harsh, but, nobody FORCED them to take out those un-affordable mortgage loans. The banks and governments simply aided and abetted them.
    And, the banks and financial institutions compounded the problem with credit card debt to "assist" those people, taking their expenditure to 150% of their income and gleefully accepted by those same people turning a problem into a crisis.
    And to rely on a wage rise or an interest rate cut to "justify" taking out those mortgages is the height of irresponsibility both by the lender and the borrower.
    Old Man
    1st Mar 2019
    4:19pm
    I agree with your first paragraph, MICK.
    Anonymous
    1st Mar 2019
    9:29pm
    Mick usually starts off with a generic no brainer but then descends to his normal labor / leftie political rhetoric, That's when normal thinking intelligent readers switch off
    Magic Touch
    1st Mar 2019
    12:02pm
    You had retired and following the plan with the money you have to spend. Then out of this change of this government pension rules all your plan are upside down and had to over spend to make ends meet.
    No pcc card for consession so every bills had to pay in full but you had retire so no wages income to top up your expense and no oap part payment.
    The problem it,s you had bank loan to pay and the money to spend on all the bills so how to manage when your income are so limited because you already retired years ago, you can,t go back to the boss and ask for the job you had retire because other person had fill up your posistion.
    That why the AUSTRALIAN PENSION SYSTEM it,s stinks.
    Blossom
    1st Mar 2019
    12:22pm
    I can understand why NSW is concerned. In many cases wages aren't much different to SA but Housing is a lot more expensive, In most Both parents need to work full time and at least one to ovetime or have a part time job a well. Centre in payments do not vary between states at all.
    patti
    1st Mar 2019
    12:41pm
    I don't think it matters where you are really - not enough income to meet essential expenditure equals difficulty - and it's becoming more difficult all the time. Especially for those who relay solely on the Age Pension.

    1st Mar 2019
    9:36pm
    2 in 5, 2 in 10? wtf
    this is whats dumbing down the population
    can the average person not understand percentages
    or is this presented in such a way to sensationalise a non issue
    2 in 5 embarrassed by their debt . wtf does that mean????? im sure 9 in 10 are embarrassed by their wives/hushands
    8 in 10 wish they had lesser paying jobs
    9 in 10 wish they didn't have to vote labor
    GeorgeM
    1st Mar 2019
    10:28pm
    Is YLC now promoting Mortgage Choice? Surprise, surprise, a Mortgage Choice survey suggests all to use Financial Advisers! Haven't they been listening to the RC? Aren't they aware that most FAs let down their customers, while arranging a nice income stream (without penalties for failure) for themselves?

    With "...more than 85 per cent saying it adversely affects their health and wellbeing", clearly a new, fresh approach is badly overdue.

    The Old Age Pension system is fully Broken. The leaders MUST now consider a serious change in direction - say to Universal Age Pension (at Age 65, and Residence of say 15 years), with NO other tests, and taxation of all other income (after allowing a capped limit on Super returns) - to get rid of the stress for MOST Retirees. Also, the stress from dealing with Centrelink can be removed by this simple scheme, as the ATO can send out the payments following a simple online (or hard copy) application.

    All Retirees & Pre-Retirees, who understand these issues better than others, have a duty to fight for this with their MPs or vote them out if they don't listen.
    joy44
    2nd Mar 2019
    12:47pm
    Stop non residents / foreign investors buying up our real estate .
    Problem solved
    kram
    4th Mar 2019
    10:15am
    It certainly does not solve the problem but is a good start,

    and referencing 'Patti', those who get NO PENSION can be in a worse position than those subsidized by the Govt teat.
    Magic Touch
    4th Mar 2019
    10:36am
    No Pension due to those asset test & income test it,s already very very hard to go on. But take away the PCC card make it more streessed. Because Pension Consession Card (pcc) are means for Pensioner also take away plus add in the Land Tax to the hard working Old Age Pensioner almost had nothing leave for the Pensioner.
    Cheezil61
    2nd Mar 2019
    10:42pm
    Mick said it for me... i don't smoke, drink alcohol rarely & don't go on expensive holidays, am reasonably careful (do have a budget) & although I'm working & earn good money am unable to save (live from pay to pay) & am unable to afford health insurance or any medial expenses (ie glasses, xrays, doctors that don't bulk bill, etc) but i hope to finally be debt free in 2 or 3yrs time when I'm 60 (not much point having $ in bank but having a big mortgage). I am going to be unable to do this current job much longer (shiftwork ruins your health,believe me) so i don't know what I'll do then; sell home & live in my van i guess.. not much to look forward to! Consider myself well off compared to some! It really is a battle to get by in this expensive world!
    Cheezil61
    2nd Mar 2019
    10:42pm
    Mick said it for me... i don't smoke, drink alcohol rarely & don't go on expensive holidays, am reasonably careful (do have a budget) & although I'm working & earn good money am unable to save (live from pay to pay) & am unable to afford health insurance or any medial expenses (ie glasses, xrays, doctors that don't bulk bill, etc) but i hope to finally be debt free in 2 or 3yrs time when I'm 60 (not much point having $ in bank but having a big mortgage). I am going to be unable to do this current job much longer (shiftwork ruins your health,believe me) so i don't know what I'll do then; sell home & live in my van i guess.. not much to look forward to! Consider myself well off compared to some! It really is a battle to get by in this expensive world!
    Cheezil61
    2nd Mar 2019
    10:42pm
    Mick said it for me... i don't smoke, drink alcohol rarely & don't go on expensive holidays, am reasonably careful (do have a budget) & although I'm working & earn good money am unable to save (live from pay to pay) & am unable to afford health insurance or any medial expenses (ie glasses, xrays, doctors that don't bulk bill, etc) but i hope to finally be debt free in 2 or 3yrs time when I'm 60 (not much point having $ in bank but having a big mortgage). I am going to be unable to do this current job much longer (shiftwork ruins your health,believe me) so i don't know what I'll do then; sell home & live in my van i guess.. not much to look forward to! Consider myself well off compared to some! It really is a battle to get by in this expensive world!
    Cheezil61
    2nd Mar 2019
    10:42pm
    Mick said it for me... i don't smoke, drink alcohol rarely & don't go on expensive holidays, am reasonably careful (do have a budget) & although I'm working & earn good money am unable to save (live from pay to pay) & am unable to afford health insurance or any medial expenses (ie glasses, xrays, doctors that don't bulk bill, etc) but i hope to finally be debt free in 2 or 3yrs time when I'm 60 (not much point having $ in bank but having a big mortgage). I am going to be unable to do this current job much longer (shiftwork ruins your health,believe me) so i don't know what I'll do then; sell home & live in my van i guess.. not much to look forward to! Consider myself well off compared to some! It really is a battle to get by in this expensive world!
    MD
    3rd Mar 2019
    6:20pm
    Well of course the bleedin hearts, poor me's, why me's, losers, gamblers and spendthrift's are going to find themselves a statistic (or number of) a percentile as disclosed.
    I doubt we need to ask ourselves the why's and wherefore's of how or why this currently happens to be a particular problem.
    Historically, hasn't it ever been so? (Little Johnnys) 'Battlers', have/will ever be present and no amount of brow beating, self flagellation or pompous didactics is likely to alter the status quo.
    What exactly is the aim of these stats - do they lend justification for a renewed, reinvigorated push for a pension increase? Could it be justified? Can the (supposed) statistical claims be substantiated ? Of those depicted as 'hard done bye's', how much is the result of gross mismanagement and/or stupidity?
    Why is it that most everyone seems comfortable with laying the blame solely at the feet of gubbermint - for that matter, anyone other than themselves? Are we to assume that subject percentiles have conducted their affairs studiously and therefore are blameless?

    Maybe it's high time we collectively and socially conducted some degree of introspection...prior to becoming yet another statistic in an exponentially presumed threat to our self centered, self evident well being. Or try living within our means - be it age pension or otherwise.


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