menu

Financial wellbeing impacts happiness

Superannuation  |  11/12/2018  |   3 min read

The link between financial well-being and personal happiness appears to be supported by the recent Australian Unity Wellbeing Index survey undertaken by Deakin University.

At its most fundamental level, the survey identified a significant difference in average life satisfaction between those who can pay off their credit card every month (77.1%) and those who cannot (69.4%).

The age group that is reported as least satisfied with life is 46 to 55 at 73.3%, compared with 75.5% for those 26 to 35 and 77.1% for those 66 to 75.

Wellbeing-graph.jpg

The report’s author, Dr Delyse Hutchinson from Deakin’s School of Psychology, said that while many middle-aged Australians were travelling well, about one in eight were struggling to get by.

“What was different about the middle-aged group is that they are much more likely than others to have relationship problems, including separation and divorce,” she said.

“The middle adult years are no doubt a time of added life pressure, when jobs may be at their most intense, costs of living at their highest and caring responsibilities both for children and potentially ageing parents at their most demanding.”

Dr Hutchinson’s report says that Australians aged 76 plus have consistently had the highest well-being of any adult cohort, but there had been a significant decline over the 16 years of the survey.

Older people reported declining scores for future security, personal relationships, achievement in life and standard of living, although health metrics remained fairly constant.

Young adults have become happier with life over the same period, improving from 73.4% to 77.8%. Dr Hutchinson said this was counter to the view that young Australians are being burdened with issues such as housing affordability, education debt and isolation created by digital technology.

“Other national survey data may be relevant to this. For example, rates of alcohol use and smoking among young Australians has declined over the years,” she said. “Significant areas of improvement were seen in personal safety, community connectedness and standard of living.”

Check your retirement income with the Equip calculator