Money can't buy happiness for Aussies

by Adam Smith13 Dec 2011

Nearly half of Australians list property ownership as a long-term goal, but just over 10% rank it as a way to measure their prosperity.

The rediATM Prosperity Survey, commissioned by credit union network Cuscal, found that Australians rate intangibles as better measures of prosperity than actual assets.

The survey’s respondents listed factors such as health, family wellbeing and love or partnership as more important indicators of prosperity than home ownership. Gen Y respondents were particularly keen on love and relationships, ranking them the number one measure of prosperity.

“Many Australians are now reassessing how they view their broader personal wealth with traditional aspirations such as health, happiness and family wellbeing increasingly being prioritised as more important than material or financial gain,” Cuscal general manager David Heine said.

These shifting priorities were reflected in the sacrifices respondents said they were willing to make. Sixty-three per cent said they would forgo travel in order to prioritise their family’s health, their children’s education and home ownership, while 53% said they would put off home renovations to meet other family needs.

The survey also revealed a reasonable degree of optimism, with 46% of respondents saying they felt at least “quite prosperous” in some way.

This optimism was tinged with caution, though. Ninety per cent of respondents said they were struggling in some way to meet prosperity goals, and 25% said their primary struggle was simply not having enough money.