The price of financial freedom

Findings of a survey released earlier this year revealed that Australians think they need an average of $830,000 in savings to feel financially free.

Each year, the National Australia Bank conducts its Financial Freedom Survey. This year, the ‘magic’ number for both men and women jumped by $45,000 and $92,000 respectively.

People living in New South Wales say they need $1 million, South Australians say they need $809,000, while those in Tasmania need $337,000.

Victoria was the only state where the freedom figure actually dropped from the previous year – from $864,000 last year to $788,000 this year. 

What would Aussies do with that magic amount? Most would pay off debts (36 per cent), use it for travel (28 per cent), invest (20 per cent), keep in case of emergency (19 per cent), and help out their families (32 per cent).

Interestingly, just one per cent of those surveyed would spend the money on luxury personal items. Four per cent said they would work less or retire early.

“Many Australians dream of a major financial windfall to change their lives – but it turns out we don’t need a mega-million-dollar jackpot to feel financially free,” said NAB Group Chief Economist Alan Oster.

“For some, being ‘financially free’ means being able to pay off all their debts; for others, it could be no longer having to earn a salary, or it might just be not being stressed about money.

“Unsurprisingly, where you live, how much you earn, your gender, and your relationship status impact how much you think you will need.”

The report showed that people living in capital cities need around $950,000, in contrast to $615,000 for regional residents.

How much ydo ou think you need for financial freedom in retirement? This amount is not meant to be a ‘want’ or ‘win-the-lotto’ type of number, but rather, an amount that would enable you to live without money worries. Why not share your answer n the comments below?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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