The long, hard road out of COVID-19

Vanessa Stoykov,  creator,  No More Practice

More than a third of Australians will have to work a lot longer than they anticipated, with a further 6% revealing sadly that they simply won’t be able to afford to retire at all, following the crippling financial impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, a new report has shown. 

The statistics, derived from research that my company evolution media group commissioned* into the financial effects of COVID-19, shows that of those saying that they will be at their jobs much longer, men in particular (43%) were facing that grim outlook, vs. 37% of women stating this to be the case.

When asked how much longer they expected to work, 23% said a few extra years, whilst 10% of respondents said a significant outlook of 5-10 years further. When looking at the location of Australians impacted, given the severe and debilitating second wave on their economy, 46% of Victorians believed this to be the case, closely followed by those in NSW and SA, with 35% of Western Australians, and the lowest to anticipate this in QLD at 33%.

An unsurprising but still devastating figure: of the Australians impacted negatively, 54% were in the 18-to-34-year-old bracket. 43% of were aged 35-54, and 23% were 55-74, a tremendous blow given how close this cohort is to retirement.  

This is a very tough knock to many Australians, particularly those so close to living out their retirement dreams. There are some truly sad stories out there of people being made redundant whose job prospects, due to their age, are very limited.  

But what I found really shocking when looking at the data was that the need to work longer sentiment was felt almost equally amongst all salary brackets. The leading group, however, which did surprise me most, were those who earned $80K to $119K (46%). This perhaps demonstrates that respondents at this salary bracket often commit themselves to heavy mortgages and luxuries that may simply not fit their means.   

On a more encouraging note was that a small percentage of people that were impacted initially by the pandemic were able to get ahead of the curve by either securing another job or finding an additional income stream to compensate for any of the loss experienced, which I believe is exactly where we need to be heading.

For those faced with a longer working life, there are some things you can do now that will pay off in the long run:

  • Look after your health. This may sound odd but working longer requires you to be physically fit. You are your most valuable asset, so I strongly recommend you prioritise both your physical and mental wellbeing to ensure you are healthy long into the future. 
  • Lower your debt. Even if it means changing your life significantly by selling your house with a large mortgage or moving to a slightly more remote area. The national debt helpline can help you achieve a debt-free life and it is free. 
  • Stay positive. Anything you do today will help you tomorrow. It’s been a really tough year, and rather than pushing yourself too hard it’s important to try and keep perspective, and feel content in doing everything you can.

 

*Research was conducted and analysed by The Digital Edge Research Company. The data is based on analysis of over 1,000 Australians responses in October 2020. The ages used for this study were 18-62+ years old, and consisted of a mix of both male and female respondents.


The opinions expressed in this content are those of the author shown, and do not necessarily represent those of No More Practice Education Pty Ltd or its related entities. All content is intended for a professional financial adviser audience only and does not constitute financial advice. To view our full terms and conditions, click here

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