When it comes to our financial wellbeing and that of our families, we often avoid talking about the ‘what if’s’. Sarah Brown-Shaw, a senior financial counsellor at the National Debt Helpline, told ABC that people often feel they have to deal with financial hardship all on their own and don’t seek help. It has also been found that more than half of Australians have given up on a personal dream for financial reasons.
It doesn’t help that we’re very rarely taught financial literacy in school, resulting in studies like the one that revealed thousands of people in Australia scored only 59 out of 100 in ANZ’s financial wellbeing survey. This kind of ignorance can lead to incredibly tricky financial situations.
This could be an unexpected event which triggers a scenario where you find yourself forced to borrow to meet your day-to-day living costs, or where you could lose your car or even your house.
This is exactly the reason why you need to ask yourself the ‘what if’s’ – especially if you’re working in construction. This is because, although having traditionally been some of the most in-demand jobs in Australia, tradies are very susceptible to economic downturns, and it can be difficult to predict when you will be in-between projects.
This is especially true in the construction industry, which, although it is the third largest employer in Australia, has been experiencing a downturn for over a year. April 2019 was the worst month in recent times for low activity levels.
Not only that but being a tradie is one of the riskiest jobs. In the most recent report by Safe Work Australia – released in December 2018 – nearly 10 out of 1,000 workers in this sector every year are forced to make a serious claim due to injury. Construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry and fishing are the industries with the highest rates of serious claims.
Over the past decade, the average median period of work time spent recovering from injury has risen 32 percent from 4.4 working weeks to 5.8. Should this be you, then having income protection insurance or a suitable cash reserve could be the only thing that will keep you afloat.
Experts believe a cash reserve should be able to last you at least three, but upward of six, months. Although this reserve should be measured in time and not in dollar amounts, the amount you do save should also take any dependents and debts into consideration.
For many people, any amount of time spent off work could be financially crippling; for most, having a cash reserve that’s sufficient to sustain you and your family during a time of recovery can feel like a pipe dream. The team at LiveWell, however, have helped countless people do just that and more.
If your financial stability concerns you, get in touch.
Our free financial health check will help identify if you are at risk and our team of experts can help plan a roadmap towards future financial security. We will help lay the foundations to ensure that you and your family are ready for any ‘what if’ scenario.
Take our free 10-step health check, which also covers wills, powers of attorney, home loans, savings, and all types of insurance, including life, trauma, health and income protection.
If you’re one of the small percentage who are already set up with rainy-day funds but still need some guidance to set you up with full financial security, LiveWell can help with that too. Get in touch with Joel and the team to find out how. ‘What if’s’ can be daunting, but only by confronting them can you secure your financial future.
Complete a free financial health check today and find out how you’re tracking on your path to financial freedom. Don’t procrastinate! It only takes a few minutes to check if your finances need attention, or if you’re on the right track.