Financial Security vs Home Ownership

There has been a change to what most of us perceive to be the “Great Australian Dream”.

The white picket fences no longer hold the same allure they once had. Now we want to have financial independence or financial security and are happy to sacrifice home ownership in the process.

A new survey by superannuation fund SunSuper has found “owning a big house in the suburbs” is well down the list of our priorities.

The survey asked 1,300 respondents across generations X , Y and baby boomers to name their “great Australian dream”.

Only nine per cent of respondents listed “a big home in the suburbs”, placing it in equal third place alongside having a good job and winning lotto.

Financial independence at retirement (37 per cent) was by far the most popular `dream’, followed by early retirement (13 per cent). Many people look to use their home loans as their personal bank and access available equity for further investment with the view of generating revenue.

Professor Peter McDonald, director of Australian National University’s Demographic and Social Research Institute, said longer life expectancy and cost of living pressures contributed to the importance placed on financial independence at retirement.

IN the past owning a home was enough and people were content to live off an age pension – not so today.

Australians are living much longer than they did 40 years ago, so now people can be much more optimistic about what they can do in retirement.

It is not that people no longer seek home ownership, they want to have a better quality of life and they are prepared to apply for mortgage refinance to get it.

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