Live the Dream: Research into Australians living a successful life

Monday, August 21, 2017

McCrindle has been delighted to partner with the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) again this year to conduct new research into the regrets, dreams, and attitudes to matters of money and life across generations, genders and geographies.

The new research shows almost one in four Australians (23%) believe they are ‘definitely’ or ‘mostly’ living the dream. These enviably content people are nearly three times more likely to seek the advice of a financial planner (24%) than those who describe themselves as not yet living the dream (9%).

Not everyone is 'living the dream'

Not everyone is content, however. The research also shows 80 per cent of working-age Australians are stressed about money and finances, with 1 in 4 indicating acute stress levels. 

Gen X and Gen Y are the most stressed about money and finance, and are the generation most likely to struggle with planning. Half of Gen Y (53%) finds planning their life very/somewhat hard. Two in five Gen X Australians feel the same way (44%), while Baby Boomers are the most likely to find planning easy to do (25%).

Owning a home is no longer a dominant Australian dream – slipping to a distant fourth place in the dream stakes. Most of the measures Australians attribute to “living the dream” in 2017 are linked to personal finance. While 57% believe living the dream means having the lifestyle of their choice, a similar proportion (54%) believe it means having financial freedom and independence. 

“The great Australian dream once meant home ownership, and the security which came from this, but these once-dominant goals have been replaced with lifestyle and financial freedom aspirations” stated Social Researcher, Mark McCrindle.

“Money is not the sole enabler to ‘living the dream” as Generation Y are much more likely than the wealthier Generation X to state that they are living the dream. However a lack of money and high debt are the biggest blockers for the 3 in 4 Australians who are not currently living their dreams.”

Australia’s four financial action personalities

Four distinct personality types are identified in the national data based on people’s ability to dream and act on their plans. The results are summarised in the infographic below:

About McCrindle 

At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends.

Our expertise is analysing findings and effectively communicating insights and strategies. Our skills are in designing and deploying world class social and market research. Our purpose is advising organisations to respond strategically to the trends and so remain ever-relevant in changing times. As social researchers we help organisations, brands and communities know the times.

Feel free to Contact us to find out more about our research services.

McCrindle in the Media

Thursday, August 25, 2016

As Australia’s leading social researchers, we regularly assist our clients in identifying newsworthy angles in their research to help communicate the insights effectively with the broader public. Our senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary, and the communication of key research findings. At McCrindle we are passionate about communicating insights in clear, accessible and useable ways.

Our recent research commissioned by the Financial Planning Association found that one in two of us dream more about our future now than we did five years ago. Check out our latest media activity that we have been cited in just in time for Financial Planning Week (August 22 - 28).


Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the mega trends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways.

From the key demographic transformations such as population growth and the ageing workforce to social trends such as changing household structures and emerging lifestyle expectations, from generational change to the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends.

With academic qualifications in community engagement and postgraduate studies in international development and global health, Eliane brings robust, research-based content to her engaging presentations and consulting. As a social researcher, she has been interviewed on these topics on prominent television programs such as National Nine News and Today, as well as on radio and in online media.


To have Eliane present at your next event, please feel free to get in touch via email to or call through to 02 8824 3422

Dare to Dream Research [Case Study]

Monday, August 22, 2016

McCrindle has been delighted to partner with the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) in conducting new research into Australia’s financial hopes and fears for the future. The research, released in time for Financial Planning Week 2016, shows that one in two of us dream more about our future now than we did five years ago.

Daring to dream again

Australians are a resilient and indefatigable, even when faced with difficult economic times. A buoyant 82% of us are full of self-belief in our ability to achieve our goals, which include full financial independence (59%) and more free time to spend with those we love (43%).

We are also hard-working, creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial. Nearly half of us (45%) daydream about the future every few weeks or more, thinking ahead and planning towards our financial dreams.

Yet many Australians have made few concrete steps to turn financial dreams into reality. 63% of Australians report having made “no plans” or “very loose plans” for how to practically achieve the future they dream about so optimistically, and one in four (25%) never seek advice from others when making financial decisions.

The research also shows most of us have financial regrets – namely that we have not saved (47%) and not invested (27%) as much as we thought we should have. Only 35% of women aged 20-51 are happy with what they’ve achieved in life so far.

Life goals linked strongly to financial goals

Australians are most likely to indicate their biggest life goal is a financial goal (34%). Personal (31%) and relational (25%) goals follow closely behind. There is a seeming disparity, however, between vocational and financial goals with only 10% of Australians suggesting their biggest life goal is a career related goal.

Australia’s Four Dreaming Personalities: Risk versus perspective

Four distinct dreamer personalities types emerged from the research. Some working-age Australians prefer investing in long-term goals, while others spend their money as soon as they earn it.

Risk taking varies, with some willing to take significant financial risks, while others prefer to play it safe, only taking calculated risks, or none at all.

Many dream about the future and consider the steps they can take to make it a reality, while others deal with the reality before them and instead live in the present.

Click here to download the infographic, and visit to take a free online quiz to determine your own financial dreamer personality.

About McCrindle

At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends.

Our expertise is analysing findings and effectively communicating insights and strategies. Our skills are in designing and deploying world class social and market research. Our purpose is advising organisations to respond strategically to the trends and so remain ever-relevant in changing times. As social researchers we help organisations, brands and communities know the times.

Contact us to find out more about our research services.

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