Given a never ending bank account, I’m one of those people that could quite happily spend 12 hours or more per day sitting in front of a computer researching stuff. Just stuff. It doesn’t have to have a purpose or reason, I just love information for it’s own sake.
Because of that, I often end up on the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) webpage. There’s more info in there than I know how to use but quite regularly I find a juicy morsel that i think may be of interest to people whose lives I touch in my role as a Financial Planner.
And so it was this morning.
Like many people of this generation, the first thing I reached for when I woke up this morning was my smart phone. I’d had an idea during the night to compare the demographics of the two suburbs that sit either side of my employers office, Nundah and Clayfield on Brisbanes Northside. I wanted to compare the statistical financial differences rather than just the face value things such as Clayfield is home to both Clayfield College and St Margarets private girls schools while Nundah in comparison has it’s own Centrelink office.
The problem with being a self confessed closet research nerd is that once you’re following a tangent, it takes a long time to come back to your starting point. It didn’t take me long to go from comparing the demographics of my local area to asking the question “How are other Brisbane residents getting along?”. And quite frankly I was shocked. You always hear stories about how much harder it is for outer suburbs residents to live because of their lower incomes and required commuting times to work.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the amount of money these people fork out just to house their families. I’d just always assumed that lower incomes were balanced by lower housing costs. Clearly thats not the case as my table below indicates.
A call to arms
My fellow planners and advisers, I well understand the increased cost of doing business in a compliance heavy world where the focus has moved from helping people to making sure all your paperwork is perfect but there are hard working Aussies out there who are genuinely struggling despite the effort they’re making. Is there room for some of them in your business model? I’m not saying send yourself broke trying to help people that can’t afford your Premium product offer.
I’m just asking you to find some room somewhere in your business model for people who need someone they can trust to steer them in the right direction. Maybe, you can show them how to reduce their mortgage faster, protect their family without costing them an arm and a leg, help them grow their retirement funding. Or more likely, in this heavily marketed world, show them how to take back control of their cashflow.
Because no-one that works for a living and pays taxes should have to give up 41% of their income just to put a roof over their family’s head.