02 Apr 2018

Aussies say $830,000 is the “magic number” for financial freedom

  • Most Australians say they need $830,000 to be “financially free”.
  • Those living in NSW say they need $1 million, while Tasmanians need $337,000. Every state increased on last year, except in Victoria where the figure reduced to $788,000.
  • Men need $45,000 more on average than they did last year (now $899,000), while women require $92,000 extra (now $759,000).

Australians believe $830,000 would give them “financial freedom”, and would use it to pay off debts, save, and help their families.

“Many Australians dream of a major financial windfall to change their lives – but it turns out we don’t need a mega-million dollar jackpot to feel financially free,” NAB Group Chief Economist, Alan Oster, said.

The NAB Special Insight Report into Financial Freedom, now in its third year, found those living in NSW would need $1 million to feel financially free, while Tasmanians believe $337,000 would be enough.

At $809,000, South Australians recorded the second highest amount, overtaking Victoria, which was the only state where the amount decreased on the previous year (from $864,000 last year to $788,000).

“For some, being “financially free” means being able to pay off all their debts, for others it could be no longer having to earn a salary, or it might just be not being stressed about money.”

“Unsurprisingly, where you live, how much you earn, your gender, and your relationship status impact how much you think you will need,” Mr Oster said.

The Report found Australians living in capital cities need on average $950,000, compared to $615,000 for those living in regional cities.

High income earners (those earning more than $100,000 a year) still believe they need the most, at $978,000, while those in the second highest income category ($75,000 to $100,000) think they need almost $250,000 more than they thought they needed last year ($963,000).

When it comes to gender, men say they need $899,000 ($45,000 more on average than they did last year), while women require $759,000 (up $92,000).

The Report also asked how Australians would spend the money.

With multiple responses allowed, most said they would pay off debts (36 per cent), save, or use it to help their families (32 per cent), while others said they would take holidays and travel (28 per cent), use it to invest (20 per cent), or keep it for emergencies (19 per cent).

“Very few Australians, in fact just 1 per cent, would spend it on luxury personal items, while only 4 per cent said they would work less or retire,” Mr Oster said.

Click here to download the NAB Financial Freedom Survey (2018)

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