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Australian households have never been wealthier

170517.Household wealth Picture

High level aggregate data suggest household balance sheets are in good shape …


In both actual dollar terms and relative to household incomes, Australian households have never been wealthier. The chart below (or a variant of it) is often used to demonstrate that despite the potentially worrying levels of debt being taken on by households, net wealth as a percentage of income has completely recovered from GFC lows and now exceeds the previous pre-GFC, September 2007, high.

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“wealthcheck” and retirement preparedness

“wealthcheck” is revealing at all stages of your working life

wealthcheck and retirement preparednessIn our previous article, we introduced our new service called “wealthcheck”. We consider it the personal finance equivalent of a medical check-up with your doctor or a physical at the local gym. It’s for people who want to know where they stand financially, but don’t feel comfortable self assessing, and know that their friends’ financial behaviours aren’t likely to be a good guide for them.

In this, and our next couple of articles, we demonstrate the power of the “wealthcheck” framework to assess the financial vulnerability of couples that superficially appear similar, at various years from their desired retirements (or desired time of financial independence). Financial vulnerability is measured relative to a goal of financial independence – the ability to finance your desired lifestyle indefinitely from your investment wealth, without the need to work.

This article considers two couples, John and Jan Johnson and Greg and Gina Green, who are both seven years away from a desired retirement date. Subsequent articles consider the position of couples who are seventeen and twenty seven years away from a nominated retirement date, demonstrating the applicability of the framework regardless of stage of working life.

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