The ‘great Australian dream’ of home ownership is fairly widely accepted these days. It’s seen as natural to want to own your own home – or more specifically, a stand-alone home on a quarter acre block. But when you ask people why they want to own a home, it gets a bit more complicated. Things like security to raise a family, the ability to renovate and decorate, and the freedom to own pets are often cited. But those objectives shift when you’re heading towards retirement. That’s why it’s important to think about the role that homeownership plays in your overall retirement plan.
From the time you buy your home, to the life of your mortgage and beyond, the way you deal with your home as an asset can have a big impact on your quality of life once you’ve retired.
Aussies love travelling overseas – it’s a simple fact. According to ABS stats, more of us head abroad for our holidays than ever before (ABS, 3401.0). This is despite the fact that the Aussie dollar hasn’t fared too well of late, making it more expensive for us to get our hands on other currencies to make purchases at our destinations.
So how does one afford an overseas holiday with an underperforming Aussie dollar? It’s not necessarily about resorting to hitchhiking and staying in backpacker hostels. Rather, it’s about being smart with your choice of destination. There are a number of countries around the world where luxury hotels, shopping and local activities are still affordable for Australians.
“While money can’t buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.”
Groucho Marx might have been joking when he said this, but there’s no getting around it: money is a prime source of tension in marriages and domestic partnerships right around Australia. A survey by Relationships Australia found that 70% of couples are affected by disagreements about money. 84% of respondents said money troubles would be more likely to push people apart than bring them together. Cooperating on financial matters is well worth it for most couples. It’s not just your bank balance which will benefit from working together. Working through money issues with your partner can help develop communication skills, improve bonding through a sense of teamwork, and set up shared values to pass on to children.