New study reveals concerning savings habits

by Julia Corderoy18 Jun 2015
Australians are neglecting to plan for their financial future, a new study reveals, with more than half saying they have no financial plans in place.

The National Mortgage Survey, commissioned by CUA, also revealed that almost two thirds of Australians aged 40-49 don't have any financial plans for the next 5-10 years, while 42% haven't even thought about planning for their financial future.

CUA head of partnership products, Ren Mazza says the results are concerning, especially the findings about older Australians who are nearing retirement. 

“It’s alarming that so many Australians are failing to look ahead. Without a clear plan in place to manage their money and grow their assets, people are missing an opportunity to set themselves and their families up for a comfortable and secure future,” he said.

“In particular, it’s worrying that so many Australians in the later years of their working life – those who have only 15-20 years until they reach retirement age – haven’t got financial plans in place. In fact, less than 1 in 10 people aged 40-49 said they had a comprehensive financial plan in place for their property, investments, insurance, savings and budget.”

On the lighter side, younger people aged 25-29 were more likely to say they had had financial plans in place, including one in five who said they had a comprehensive plan in place for the next 5-10 years.

However, head of alliance and distribution at Bridges Financial Services, Jason Kriss says very few young people had longer term investment plans in place. Instead, they tended to focus on more short-term goals and assets like a car, or supporting their family.

“It is important to understand that you can never start planning for your financial future early enough,” he said. Bridges Financial Services has a partnership with CUA to assist its customers with financial advice.

The survey also found that three quarters of Australians with a home loan were likely, or very likely, to make extra repayments if their mortgage repayments decreased as a result of falling interest rates. 

Only 5% of those with a home loan were very likely to treat themselves to a holiday, dining out or other hobby, while one in four ruled it out entirely. 

One in seven people with a variable interest rate mortgage were planning on moving to a fixed interest rate within six months.