Study: more Australians are 'happy' with their lot

Date: Oct 04, 2011

Most Australians are happy with the way their lives have turned out, according to a recent report performed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS General Society Survey shows that 78 per cent of respondents aged 18 years and over were happy with their lives - an increase of two percentage points over the same time last year.

Principle to the findings was that people who had regular contact with their family and friends outside of their household arrangement were significantly more likely to be pleased with their lives, with 78 per cent saying they were enjoying their current lifestyle arrangements.

Those people who had experienced no recent contact from loved ones registered a distinct difference in attitude, with only 33 per cent replying in the positive - and of those who had no family or friends outside their current dwelling arrangements, only 28 per cent considered themselves to be happy.

Marital status also seems to play a part in the equation, with those who were had never married, were currently in a matrimonial arrangement or who had been widowed returning consistently higher volumes of positive results than those who were separated or divorced.

While most Australians were shown to have contact with family and friends external to their households on at least a weekly basis, the levels of online communications was shown to be playing an increasing role in this area - making it easier to keep in contact regardless of geographical location.

With these factors firmly in mind, it may be surprising to note that more than half of Australia’s population does not have a legal will in place.

It could be that many people are so content with their current lot that they fail to think about the future.

The generally sunny outlook of those who keep in regular contact with their friends and family members could be said to be stopping them from planning ahead.

But some problems can arise when a person dies intestate - without a valid will - and their loved ones do not have adequate instructions.

The estate planning process can help people to lay out legal instruction on how their executor is to divide up their assets - taking into account the financial positions of family and friends in the process.

By talking to a lawyer who specialises in this area, Australians can get the assistance they need to ensure that their loved ones are provided for in their absence - and reducing the chances of a potential estate dispute.