Personal finances the biggest cause of stress in Australia

Eclipse

While the Australian lifestyle is one not often related with stress, it seems many of us have emotional tensions that run deep under the surface – particularly when it comes to our finances.

According to a new piece of research by the Australian Psychology Society (APS), almost half of us (49 per cent) admit to feeling the heat over our personal financial situations. Whether it's our complicated SMSFs and the ability to grow a sizeable nest egg or concerns over buying property in the Whitsunday Shire, there's admittedly much for local people to become stressed by.

It seems we're perhaps not completely the carefree and relaxed individuals we appear to be to the world – except when playing England on the cricket oval. The APS found that 26 per cent of Australians have levels of anxiety that are above the norm, while 26 per cent say it is moderate to extremely severe, leading to depression and other illnesses.

As little as 16 per cent of all Australians have a suitable level of income protection insurance.

It's important to put these issues to bed when we can, then. The ways people do this in the short term, APS's study shows, is by watching television or movies (as 85 per cent reported), spending time with friends or family (81 per cent) or listening to music (80 per cent).

However, there are more suitable, substantial and long-term ways to remove finance-related anxiety: by getting your financial position in a better place – for the good of your family's and your own stress levels.

What is income protection?

While 2015 statistics from Safe Work Australia show that the number of workplace injuries and illnesses is steadily falling, there's no way to guarantee you won't be left out of work and without a paycheck should you become ill or injured. It's not only an incredible financial burden should it happen, it is also a cause for stress among the majority of Australians.

Income protection is a way for Australians to secure their finances in case they can't work due to accident or injury. And yet the vast majority of us are uninsured or at least underinsured through very basic worker compensation cover.

What if people are injured outside of work, or are simply unable to live comfortably from a minimum worker compensation payout? These are big and stressful questions, and somewhat explain the worrying findings from APS.

Financial stress is keeping some Australians up at night.Financial stress is keeping some Australians up at night.

A 2013 study by Rice Warner shows that as little as 16 per cent of all Australians have a suitable level of income protection insurance. The statistics around life insurance are better, though still concerning.

Less than two-thirds (62 per cent) have basic coverage, and only 42 per cent have the level of cover needed to maintain their family's current standard of living should they need to make a claim.

If you live in the Whitsunday Shire and wish to take the stress out of securing your own and your family's financial future, Eclipse Financial Services is here to help. Our team is on hand to help you find appropriate protection, as well as provide advice around every aspect of your finances.