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Cash-strapped Aussies can't get no satisfaction

Money can't always buy happiness but a lack of it can be severely dissatisfying, new research has revealed.

A national Colmar Brunton survey, commissioned by QSuper found just one third of Australians are satisfied with their financial wellbeing (35 per cent), while 59 per cent are satisfied with their mental, 50 per cent with social and 45 per cent with physical wellbeing.

One in three of the 1000 respondents lamented a lack of financial freedom, while 29 per cent felt incapable of absorbing financial setbacks. People's top financial concerns were day to day expenses, healthcare costs, mortgage or rent payments, house prices and running out of money in retirement.

QSuper CEO Michael Pennisi said poor financial wellbeing can affect the mental, social and physical forms too.

"Financial wellbeing is an integral part of overall wellbeing and how you define wealth determines how confident you feel both now and in the future." Mr Pennisi said.

"Financial worries..are likely to contribute to an overall sense of unhappiness and dissatisfaction, but there is a lot you can do to take back control. Just as we look after our physical wellbeing with exercise, we can be proactive in improving our financial health through awareness and action."

Thirty per cent of Aussies felt they weren't on track to meet financial goals, with those aged 35 to 54 the most significant at 36 per cent, while housing status affected the sense of wellbeing, evidenced by 48 per cent of renters being dissatisfied.

Home ownership was a perceived milestone that often affected people's sense of satisfaction, according to social demographer Mark McCrindle. "Individuals compare themselves to peers and home ownership has been the wealth vehicle they have used." Mr McCrindle said. "If they are still renting, rather than owning, it can add to their insecurities."

Financial educator Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon said money concerns could spark anxiety and affect relationships with people in your life.

"It's very difficult to be completely happy if you always have that nagging feeling of financial stress in the back of your mind," she said. "Thi data (implies) that were Australians to take steps to improve financial wellbeing it could have a positive flow-on effect in other aspects of their lives."

Experts say getting on top of financial well being starts with education. Financial Advisers, accountants and mortgage brokers are great sources of knowledge, while the Federal Government provide free information through ASICS website.

Make the first step in getting on top of your financial us on 1300 861 143


McIntyre T (9 April 2018) Cash-strapped Aussies can't get no satisfaction Townsville Bulletin pg 16

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