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Optimistic but overwhelmed: insights into Aussie financial sentiment

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The Reserve Bank’s rate cut today will no doubt come as relief to many Australians nationwide. According to new research from Macquarie’s Banking and Financial Services Group, while 65 per cent of Australians are positive about their lives and lifestyle, only a quarter are confident they are in control of their finances. Though they might not be too confident, more than half of Australians want to be seen as financially secure and savvy.

Of those surveyed, Baby Boomers displayed the highest levels of decision-making confidence, choosing to write down plans for the future and discuss them with family. However, 44 per cent of Baby Boomers did say they were concerned about having enough for retirement.

Generation Y, on the other hand, displayed the lowest levels of confidence in their financial decision-making. Among this generation, the biggest concerns were housing affordability and finding the time to do the things they wanted to. Across the generations, the biggest concern was not having enough money in case of emergency, with more than one-third indicating this was a major worry.

“The research clearly reveals that Australians with more substantial assets are found to be more positive about life than those with above average income,” says Macquarie Banking and Financial Services Group analytics research manager Gary Lembit. “Those who plan for the future and are more in control of their finances say they are happily enjoying life.”

When it comes to getting advice on matters of money, three-quarters of Aussies rely on family, friends and colleagues, while a comparatively low 45 per cent seek out the advice of experts. However, the survey found that those who did get advice were much more confident about their financial decisions than those who hadn’t.

Of the other methods Australians took in helping determine financial decisions, 59 per cent spent time thinking before taking action, 57 per cent researched extensively on the internet, and 48 per cent read far and wide to become better informed.

Tony Graham, head of Macquarie Adviser Services, says the research show the "traditional Australian resolve remains strong".

“[This] is a great starting point to address the general feeling of under-confidence when making financial and life decisions,” he says.

For advice you can trust book a complimentary first appointment with Switzer Financial Services today.

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Wednesday, December 07, 2011

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