A third of Australians suffer from too much debt. Are you one of them?
When I started this journey to help Australians prepare for their financial future, I was motivated by a couple of factors. Firstly, after working for 24 years in the finance industry, I felt I simply knew too many amazing people who could help people to keep them to myself.
Secondly, was the fact that I have learned the hard way what it’s like to be under financial pressure, and pay for a life that keeps you on a treadmill, and feels like it’s going nowhere.
According to ABS data release in 2017, Australians household debt to income ratio now stands at a record 188.6%. Around 3 in 10 households (29%) were classified as ‘over-indebted’ with mortgage holders and high income earners particularly susceptible.
While the media and our broader population may not care about high income earners (those who earn over $100k) who are in a lot of debt, I know from personal experience that debt and the pressures it brings to life can be debilitating.
Anyone in Sydney who has kids at private school and a mortgage most likely knows what this feels like. However, debt is not just the problem of capital cities. Those who are leveraged with a business, have run up credit cards, or who have taken out personal loans also feel the pressure of making ends meet; and robbing Peter to pay Paul as the old saying goes.
This is why my mission to help people unlearn their limiting money habits and reinvent their future is so important to me. It’s this segment of Australia is most likely to be able to change their circumstance in time to make the pension irrelevant for them in retirement.
If up to 80% of generation X is going to fall short of a comfortable retirement, according to research by Griffith University, then it’s time for us to start changing the financial futures of those who have the time and means to turn it around.
I believe that turning it around starts with a few simple questions:
1. What do I really want from my life moving forward?
2. What could I change to get what I want?
While the questions are easy, the actions may not be as simple. For example, the actions may be selling the house of your dreams to get out of a massive mortgage, or changing your children’s school to lower the fees (and yes, my husband and I have done both).
These may feel like impossible choices, but over time, if you really think about what truly gives you joy and what is causing you stress, you might find it’s not as hard as you think.
Whatever your actions are, the first step toward changing your financial future is recognising what you need to unlearn or change. I recommend taking my five pillars test if you haven’t already to understand what might be holding you back.
This is the first step in many toward getting on the right track to a future that has less debt and stress, and more joy.
I look forward to taking this journey with you.
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