Australians are a laid back tribe. We love our relaxed lifestyle, great food and the incredible freedom to live life exactly as we want, but are we really living the Dream?
Research undertaken by Mark McCrindle recently, assessed the ‘regrets, dreams and attitudes’ of Australians to give a snapshot of how we see ourselves and what prevents inner life satisfaction. It’s apparently quite easy to pinpoint where we find comfort but many struggle to know what’s required for success.
Those surveyed said that living the Dream meant:
- Having the lifestyle of my choice (57%)
- Financial freedom and independence (54%)
- Having safety and security (49%)
- Owning a home (41%)
- Having a family (41%)
- Pursuing hobbies and interests (40%)
When assessing their lives against that criteria, finance was the biggest block to attaining the Dream with 48% blaming the impacts of a low bank balance through lack of saivngs.
Other barriers were debt (26%), not enough time (28%), lack of self belief (22%), poor planning for the future (14%) and not enough support from others (12%).
These Australians live with regret and are more likely to use their situation as an excuse to stay in the same position. Naturally, if you have a low bank balance and carry debt, you are instantly stopped from living the Dream and having financial freedom and independence.
Many of the Gen Ys interviewed were drowning in credit card debt because of their addiction to over spending on consumer items.
It takes solid, concerted effort to reverse the process and take back control of your finances. The great news is that when the decision is made to take that action to manage the debt, your financial position can change quite quickly.
The really interesting part of this survey was that only one in four Australians believed that they were mostly, or definitely living the Dream. By and large these people were not doing anything really special, but they did take action in four areas:
- They were 5 times more likely to plan and stick to their plans
- They were 5 times more likely to meditate
- They were 3 times more likely to seek investment advice
- They were 3 times less stressed about money
What gave them the edge was the discipline of getting advice on their particular situation and planning for the future. There were no excuses made and they didn’t deviate from their plan. Consequently, they were less stressed about money.
Having that essential plan in place makes sense to achieving short term goals (e.g. saving for a deposit for a property) and long term goals ( achieving financial freedom through an investment portfolio).
To achieve an investment property portfolio is no different as it takes a plan and then consistently sticking with the plan over the long term to achieve the ultimate result.
My experience shows that without a plan, investors tend to react to market conditions or property cycles and cash out of property when times get tough. Instead, it’s essential to believe you can achieve it, get advice and go after it – essential criteria for living the Dream.