The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

Australians’ biggest financial regrets and how to avoid them

Generations X and Y most stressed about finances

The Aussie “no worries” attitude is being challenged today with new research from the Financial Planning Association (FPA) revealing 80 per cent of working-age Australians are stressed about money and finances, with 1 in 4 indicating acute stress levels.

Generations X and Y are most stressed about their finances, with at least one in three claiming they are extremely or very stressed about it. Women (37%) are much more likely than men (22%) to feel extremely or very stressed about their finances.

Significantly, the FPA “Live the Dream” national report shows a quantitative link between people living a “dream life” and financial planning. Also true in reverse, the data shows the most stressed younger generations are also more likely to struggle with planning than those who are older.  More than half of Gen Y (53%) find planning their life very or somewhat hard.  Two in five Gen X Australians feel the same way (44%), while Baby Boomers are most likely to find planning easy (25%).

“The good news is our high stress levels around finances is an entirely reversible trend. With almost 13,000 FPA members, there are a record number of highly qualified professionals able to get those stress levels down, and help more Australians live their dream life,” says FPA CEO, Dante De Gori, CFP®.

The FPA’s “Live the Dream” national research findings were released this week to mark Financial Planning Week (21-27 August).


Most regret not saving enough

Not saving enough is the biggest life regret of Australians across all generations. Australians not “living the dream” are nearly twice as likely to regret not saving enough (47% compared to only 24% of those living the dream).  One in five rate poor financial planning as one of their biggest financial regrets in life so far (21%). One in five (19%) regret not investing enough and one in ten (10%) regret investing in the wrong things.

The “Great Australian Dream” has morphed into intangibles like financial freedom and lifestyle, rather than traditionally significant identifiers like owning a home. Gen Y is the only generation to include “owning a home” in their top five definitions of what it means to be living the dream (see graphic).  Living the lifestyle of their choice rated highest among the older generations (64% Baby Boomers and 58% Gen X).

McCrindle Research conducted the research among 2,635 Australian respondents aged 23 to 71 with a statistical representation from all states and territories.

For more information on the FPA’s research into Australians living a dream life visit

SOURCE: FPA “Live the Dream” national research report (August 2017).