The gift that keeps on giving – the gift of a financial plan

This year, the Financial Planning Association (FPA) conducted research into the gift spending habits and expenses of Australians.1 With the festive season almost upon us, we look at the FPA’s research into how much we spend on gifts, what we give and gift preferences. We also discuss the gift that keeps on giving – the gift of a financial plan.

How much do we spend and who do we buy for?

The research found that Australians spend almost $20 billion on gifts each year. Or, an average of $100 each per month ($1,200 per year).

Here’s what the FPA found the average Australian adult spends on gifts for loved ones each year:

  • $437 for our spouse or partner.
  • $361 for each of our children.
  • $201 per parent.
  • $115 for our pet.

Gift budgeting

It seems that, for most us, the money we spend on gifts each year, isn’t accounted for in our household budgets, with only one in four of us having a specific budget for gifts. Perhaps it shows an overall lack of budgeting and provides an opportunity for us to boost our financial conscientiousness by budgeting, planning and giving in a way that brings longer-term joy without going into debt.

Spending at Christmas

Australians spend an average of $93 on a significant Christmas gift. The most popular gifts identified in the research survey were cash or gift cards (31%), food and alcohol (14%) and tech and gadgets (12 %).

Longer-lasting gifts

More than four in five Australians who regularly give gifts (81%) think about how long a gift will last when they choose a gift. This desire for gift longevity is even stronger among the younger generations. Almost nine in ten Gen Z (88%) and Gen Y (88%) would like to give gifts that last longer than the ones they have given before.

The tendency for the younger generation to want to give gifts that last, is also true in their preferences for gifts they like to receive.

The gift that keeps on giving – the gift of a financial plan

Those under 30 are particularly interested in receiving the gift of time with a financial adviser. Overall, the research found that three in five Australians (57%) would like to receive the gift of time with a financial adviser.

A financial plan is a gift that keeps on giving by allowing recipients to sleep at night knowing their finances are organised, debts are being paid down appropriately and they have a clear view to achieving their financial and lifestyle goals.

The role of a financial adviser

A qualified financial adviser can work with you, or your loved one, to understand your specific situation and unique circumstances. They will tailor a financial plan to help you achieve your short and long-term goals as well as protect you and your assets.

A financial adviser will help you:

  • identify your financial and lifestyle goals
  • invest tax-effectively
  • choose the most appropriate investment strategy
  • make the most of your super
  • protect you and your assets
  • protect your family
  • plan for retirement.

Importantly, research tells us that the benefits of financial advice extend far beyond measurable financial gains, to improved physical health and wellbeing and increased personal happiness.2

If you’re interested in giving the gift of a financial plan, contact your adviser or you can find an adviser through the IOOF website. We will put you in touch with an adviser in an area that best suits the gift recipient.

Of course, if you need financial advice please contact your financial adviser. If you don’t have an adviser, we can put you in touch with one.

1 This article is based on research and commentary by the Financial Planning Association in the ‘Gifts that give’ research report, 2019.
2 IOOF, ‘The true value of advice’ survey, 2015.