What older Aussies are still buying despite rising costs. And what they’ve cut

what are older aussies still spending on

With cost-of-living pressures continuing to bite, research reveals what older Aussies are prioritising when it comes to their spending, and what they’re cutting back on.

New data from the National Australia Bank (NAB) shows an interesting trend among older Australians. Despite escalating living costs, they remain committed to private health insurance.

According to the research, this pattern underscores the economic sacrifices older Australians are prepared to make in order to safeguard those elements they truly cherish – such as their health.

According to the YourLifeChoices Older Australians Insights Survey, almost 70 per cent of older Aussies hold private health insurance and more than 80 per cent of those aim to keep their health cover for life.

But many have cut out treats, according to the NAB research, in areas such as eating out and take-away coffees.

Claire Righetti, NAB’s head of everyday banking, says the rising living costs have forced Australians to prioritise their spending on the things they value most.

“Despite feeling the pinch, people are making cutbacks on things like coffee and cinema outings,” she says.

“Australians are becoming more ‘considered consumers’ and saving an average of $286 each month through small thoughtful cutbacks. It means they can still spend on those things that really matter. For some people it’s the family pet and for others it’s getting extra help around the home.”

The NAB research indicates spending on pets has remains elevated, despite these uncertain economic times.

The findings align with NAB’s financial wellbeing survey, which indicated pets are the leading positive influence on individual wellbeing at 58 per cent. Family and personal relationships placed second at 49 per cent, followed by satisfaction derived from one’s own house at 46 per cent.

Ms Righetti says most NAB customers were broadly in good financial shape, but suggested some could monitor their finances more closely.

“We’ve continued to add features into our mobile app to help customers track their weekly spending habits, helping them be better informed about where they spend their money,” she says.

However, if customers are feeling financially stressed, Ms Righetti says they should reach out for help quickly and not wait for problems to arise.

“If customers are feeling concerned about their financial situation, the best thing they can do is get in touch with their bank,” she says.

“More than 90 per cent of customers who speak to our NAB Assist team early are back on their feet financially within 90 days.”

Have you made any recent changes to your spending? What could you not live without? let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Cost of retirement keeps rising

Written by Brad Lockyer

Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


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  1. Regarding health insurance: why, on earth, do I still need cover for pregnancy, birth and assisted fertilisation at the age of 84!!!!!!. Myhealth insurance company (although, because of long time membership, 40 years,, is the most economical) will not remove these items from our cover.
    So maybe cover for people who need these items should be a bit dearer, and cover for us seniors a bit more economical.

  2. Same here inezruyter@gmail.com, but to lose the pregnancy-related services also means losing some things that may be necessary. And a lower level of cover is ridiculous too, for example, they cover all things fertility and IVF but not the results of that treatment! Not that I need either. And things got no better after the government laid down benchmarks for each tier of cover. All the insurance companies did was add + e.g. Silver+ There are no policies actually designed for older people at all which means we pick up the bill for services we will never use.

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