“The lower level of financial wellbeing amongst people with disability or long-term health conditions is a complex problem,” says Prescience Research’s contributing researcher David Blackmore. Improving the situation isn’t straight-forward either. He highlights factors that improve financial wellbeing for those aged 65 years plus with disability/health condition including:
- home ownership/housing cost stability
- pension income that at least keeps pace with the Consumer Price Index (CPI)
- help with savings and
- ensuring adequate access to treatment for mental and physical health conditions.
“For people under 65 with disability and/or health conditions, potential financial wellbeing improvement seems likely from facilitating access to higher education and workforce participation, support for increased levels of home ownership, support for savings programs (particularly matched savings programs like Saver Plus),” Blackmore says.
“Also adequate access to treatment for mental and physical health conditions and, for parents, discussion of financial management issues with any of their children living with a disability or long-term health condition.”
To address the significant gaps in financial wellbeing for people with disability or long-term health conditions, reducing barriers to employment, social support and housing security all have a role to play.
Programs to develop financial confidence and positive saving and spending habits, such as MoneyMinded and Saver Plus, can provide skills to improve financial wellbeing, however further support is critical. Key contributors to building financial wellbeing for Australians with disability are the structural supports that enable their full inclusion.
“What is clear is we all have a role to play in supporting people with disability to build financial wellbeing,” says ANZ Group Executive Australian Retail Maile Carnegie. “This includes helping people build financial confidence and resilience and ensuring the supports are in place to enable people with disability to participate to their full potential in the workplace and the broader community.”
Read the full research report here. ANZ’s latest Accessibility and Inclusion Plan can be found here.
Natalie Paine is ANZ’s Social Impact Research and Reporting Lead.