MetLife study highlights Australians' financial and climate fears

Aussies more pessimistic about the future than the global average, survey found

MetLife study highlights Australians' financial and climate fears

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

A recent global survey by MetLife Inc (MetLife) has highlighted significant worries among Australians about financial inequality and climate change.

The study, which encompassed 12 countries, including Australia, indicated that locals are more pessimistic about the future than the global average, with many anticipating that conditions will worsen before improving.

The survey included responses from over 18,000 people globally, with 1,522 participants from Australia.

Changes in people’s needs and attitudes

MetLife conducted the research to better understand how people’s needs and attitudes are evolving in a world filled with uncertainty.

Lina Saliba, MetLife Australia’s chief customer & marketing officer, explained the motivation behind the study.

“Deeply understanding customers is what’s driven this research. We know that customers are affected by what’s happening around them and we’re here to help them build a happier, healthier, and more secure financial future. By understanding what people say they will be concerned about in the future, we’re able to design products and services that are valuable and enhance the lives of our customers,” she said. “Our research tells us people are seeking out organisations that offer products and services that address their needs now and in the future. They are also looking for visionary leaders who are looking ahead to address the issues society is facing to help provide a sense of security and certainty.”

Australians look 10 years into the future

According to MetLife’s report:

  • 82% of Australians (compared to 73% globally) expect things to deteriorate before getting better, with 70% worried about financial inequality and 65% about climate change in the near future;
  • 91% of Australians (85% globally) believe that leaders with a long-term vision are crucial to addressing societal challenges;
  • 68% feel that society is not well-prepared to handle current crises; and
  • 73% struggle to imagine the world in 2035, and 66% do not feel ready for it.

These findings suggest a need for organisations and leaders to take proactive steps.

Australians’ insights on longevity and retirement in the future

According to the report, 56% think that living to 100 will become common by 2035. Additionally, 85% believe that traditional education and career paths need to be rethought, while 90% feel that the concept of retirement needs to be redefined.

With an aging population, expectations around lifespan and retirement are changing. MetLife Australia’s research showed that half of Australians lack a retirement plan, and 70% of those aged 40 to 60 are concerned about outliving their savings. To address these concerns, MetLife has expanded its 360Health program to include parents of customers at no extra cost.

Australians see wellbeing as business imperative

MetLife’s report found that 87% of the respondents want society to prioritise wellbeing. Additionally:

  • 86% think that societal wealth will increase if community wellbeing is properly prioritised;
  • 86% believe businesses will grow if employers focus on wellbeing; and
  • 80% want organisations to make long-term commitments to people, communities, and the planet.

The research underscores the link between wellbeing and productivity, suggesting that businesses which integrate wellbeing into their strategies will see benefits.

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