21 Dec 2015

How much money would improve your life?

Many Australians dream of a financial windfall that would significantly improve their lives forever, but how much is enough?

In this special report, we ask over 2,000 Australians to tell us how much they need.

On average, around $760,000 is the magic number, but this hides some big differences depending on where you live, your age, gender, income and other factors.

According to NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster, “this life changing amount of money ranges from around $850,000 for those living in NSW/ACT to just over $170,000 for people in Tasmania”.

The range was also great in dollar terms depending on income. Very high income earners, perhaps accustomed to greater spending, require almost $1.5 million, while lower income earners need considerably less.

A similar trend was also evident among professionals and those with higher levels of education.

More surprising, given the cost of raising a family, the amount needed by those with children ($757,000) was very similar than for those without ($796,000).

Men ($814,000) require more than women ($703,000).

Australians aged 30-49 ($815,000) need the most to improve their lives, but particularly men ($1 million compared to just $640,000 for 30-49 year old women).

“Middle-aged men usually also have the highest debt to income levels and the highest levels of mortgage debt”, said Mr Oster.

Interestingly, despite households in capital cities generally having higher debt levels than those in regional areas, Australians living in regional cities ($835,000) needed about the same as those in capital cities ($794,000), but much more than those in rural towns and the bush ($530,000).

Read the full report here: Financial Freedom (Q4 2015)

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