The Real Concerns Index, is the first annual index that uncovers the concerns and shifting beliefs of Australians.

Economist and Lecturer at The School of Economics, Finance and Property at Curtin University, Dr Yashar Tarverdi  discuss the findings of the Real Concerns Index with the Big J.

The index reveals that nine in ten (88.5%) Aussies under 55 are consumed by life’s daily expenses, whilst long-term saving goals, such as owning a home, planning a family or building a nest egg for retirement seem out of reach for many Australians.

Close to nine in ten (88.5%) Aussies under 55 admit they are consumed by life’s daily expenses and the burden of keeping up with increasing living costs. Rising energy and fuel prices, slow wage growth, job insecurity, economic instability, and the cost of healthcare top the list as key financial-related concerns. Whilst long-term saving goals, such as owning a home, planning a family, investing in a university education or building a nest egg for retirement seem out of reach for many Aussies.

Released today, The Real Concerns Index, is the first annual index for Real Insurance that aims to uncover the real concerns and shifting beliefs of Aussies. With over 5,000 surveyed, current matters were rated out of 100 to determine the overall Concern Index scores. The following concerns came out on top: financial constraints (51.4/100); climate change and environment (49.9/100) and work and education (46.8/100).

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The financial concern index score further highlights the anxieties under 55s have with the rising costs of living and the drivers behind not being able to reach long-term saving ambitions. More than two-thirds (68.5%) surveyed say that wage growth is not aligning with rising living costs, ultimately leaving this group in a position of simply keeping up with daily expenses without the ability to save for future assets.

Ambitions to earn a degree even seem out of reach with more than two in five (44.8%) of those under 55 feeling uneasy with the cost of university and tertiary education fees for the next generation, fearing they will start their adult life with debt and an irrelevant qualification.

Furthermore, saving enough money to cover the whole of retirement is an increasing barrier, with close to three quarters of Aussies (70.9%) citing this as a key concern.  For these individuals, factors driving this concern include, difficulty saving enough in time (54.0) and maintaining a standard of living while retired (53.4%). In addition, just under half (46.9%) claim they are not clear as to how much they need to save for a comfortable retirement.