Renato Mota (left) and Mark McCrindle

Housing can no longer be viewed as the backbone for the wealth creation for Australians and financial advisers will soon have to develop wealth strategies to adapt to this evolution.

Insignia Financial partnered with social researcher McCrindle to develop the Financial Freedom Index to track the changing aspirations of Australians.

The core proposition of the index – which found a score of 49 out of 100 – showed more needed to be done for Australians to reach financial freedom.

Generation X (43- to 57-year-olds) and Baby Boomers (58- to 76-year-olds) want financial independence, but Generation Z (13- to 27-year-olds) want to own a home – which ultimately plays into that independence. The research found the most critical aspiration for Australians is achieving financial independence (55 per cent), regular holidays (50 per cent), maintaining work/life balance, and home ownership (both 45 per cent).

Generation Z are the only cohort prioritising home ownership as their main aspiration, with 63 per cent citing it. However, 54 per cent of Millennials (28–42-year-olds) instead named work/life balance as their main aspiration.

Overall, 60 per cent of Australians are more willing to pursue their dream life, versus 40 per cent that would prefer to own their own home.

The findings of the research are similar to that done by AMP earlier in the year which found Australians view wealth as more than simply owning a house.

McCrindle founder Mark McCrindle tells Professional Planner the data backs up the notion that Australians have been re-balancing their life since the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s about work life/balance, it’s about enjoying the journey not just in this case, the financial destination,” McCrindle says.

“It’s taking holidays; dream life, not just dream home; ensuring they can have a financial plan and retirement nest egg, but it’s also about having finances that can make their life work now and give them options.”

He adds the lines up to what the researcher has found in its work – that Australians have taken of a broader view of life since the pandemic.

“They want to make sure there’s flexibility at work, whether it’s achieving goals or time with family,” McCrindle says.

Insignia CEO Renato Mota says he was surprised by the prioritisation of dream life over dream home.

“For a nation that’s been obsessed with property for a long time it feels like there’s a shift, a real structural shift there,” Mota says.