I’m thrilled to see the enigmatic Mark Bouris, Chairman of the financial services company Yellow Brick Road, fronting new advertisements telling Australians they need a SLAP to wake them up about the realities of their potential financial futures.
Whether you’ve read or believe the research findings that say money can buy you happiness, or the research findings that say money can’t buy you happiness, the reality is, your relationship and mindset around money will impact your life.
And for many Australians, regardless of age, a SLAP is probably just what is needed to get their heads out of the sand and to face up to their financial reality.
I’m an advocate of professional unbiased financial advice that flexibly includes a range of wealth creation and lifestyle protection strategies. Liz and I wouldn’t be living the lifestyle we currently enjoy, nor would we be as confident as we are in our future financial and lifestyle security, without the advice and strategies we have followed from our financial adviser over the past two decades.
I wonder what you think of the advice my Dad gave me as I was growing up. He said, “Put your money in the bank, work hard, stay out of debt, pay cash for everything and life will look after you.”
I know to some people, that sounds like good advice… but my Dad retired on the pension! So sadly, his own advice didn’t really work for him.
Here’s the thing when it comes to advice about money – almost everyone seems to think they’re an expert… especially when it comes to managing their own money.
Besides, most of us must be doing ok because according to the OECD Better Life Index, based on 11 measures (housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance) Australians rank the top of the world in these measures of subjective well-being compared to 36 other nations.
While that’s obviously great news, what does it really mean for the majority of Australians in 2013 as we approach the end of another financial year?
A research survey that I’ve recently conducted suggests that 65% of Australians may not be satisfied with their current financial position and that over a third of Australians report they are not confident that they will be financially secure in the future.
Now we know that a number of research findings from applied positive psychology tell us that up to a certain level of income, once we earn enough to pay the bills, feed and clothe ourselves and have a little left over to indulge every now and then, that increases in earning levels do not necessarily increase our overall sense of well-being… although I’m pretty sure there would be few people ever decide to knock back a pay increase.
What that doesn’t tell us, is the impact that our concern and or lack of confidence in our future security might have on our current sense of well-being and how that might be impacting us in our work and personal life and relationships.
She’ll Be Right
Australian’s historically have been reported as having a “She’ll Be Right” attitude – that in the long run, things will work out ok.
As a nation we now have compulsory superannuation contributions. Now for Gen X, Y and the next generation entering the workplace, they’ll have a work life-time investing through superannuation contributions. The baby boomers however haven’t. And even if they did, regardless of what your generation label might be, most if not all professional financial advisers will advise you that the minimum contributions while adding up over time, may not necessarily be enough to fund the lifestyle you might want in your later years in life.
And so as I’ve said, I’m thrilled Mark Bouris is taking the SLAP to Australia and helping us to take stock of our truth about our current habits and future possibilities.
This is again where the Intentionomics Blueprint of 9 inescapable truths for a prosperous life can help.
Inescapable Truth #1 is to define what a prosperous life means for you – what does it look like?
Unless you’re clear about what lifestyle choices you want to have now and in the future, it’s very easy to adopt a “she’ll-be-right” attitude. But that’s living in a false reality. That’s not to say that everything is about planning for the future and not living each moment to its fullest right now. It’s a balancing act that sadly, as the research suggests, has 65% of people not happy with their current financial situation and 35% not confident that their future financial position will be sufficient anyway.
So we may be the ‘happy nation’ compared to others, but when you dig a little deeper, perhaps it is happiness built on a culture of everything will work out in the end.
What I’m convinced of, and it is supported by a wide range of research, unless you’ve got some clarity around the lifestyle goals you want to achieve, now, medium and long-term, and whether you have now or will have in the future the earning capacity that will fund those goals and lifestyle choices, you’re leaving life to chance driven by a “She’ll-be-right” attitude.