Wrinkles, pizza and "that Zimmerman dress": BT grads talk about their future

6 min read

The latest batch of 2015 BT graduates is fresh out of university and ready to get moving in life. How does this smart, ambitious group of millennial men and women view their future? Why does super matter to them? What are their worries as they head into the great unknown? Here’s what they told us.

Every year BT hires around 15 young people for our Graduate Program which gives them the opportunity to accelerate their careers within BT and the wider great Westpac Group, getting experience across a diverse range of roles. This year our chosen ones include Liz (22), Maddy (22), Sam (23) and York (25).  We rounded them up for a quick group interview about stuff that people of their age don’t seem to talk about that much – but should.   

What worries you about the future?

Sam: I worry about any health issues that might pop up. I’m pretty healthy now luckily but I do have a few friends who have had some pretty bad medical issues and seeing how expensive that is and how many bills they got from going to hospital... that worries me so I’m very conscious of making sure that I have enough insurance to cover any of those unforeseen health issues.

York: I worry about getting sick – that’s one thing that I can’t really control.  Or if there was another GFC… But I suppose you can’t really worry too much about it because there’s nothing much you can do about it.

Liz:  I’m really worried about owning my own place. I don’t want to rent, I want to own my own property but in Sydney’s house market it’s looking a bit impossible now so it might take me a few more years.

Maddy: I worry about having to pay rent while trying to save money and maintain my lifestyle. I don’t want to sacrifice having a good time.

When you think about your retirement what comes to mind?

Sam: I look at retirement as the point at which I’ve got enough money in my super to maintain my lifestyle and continue as I have been. And not having to work. Once I reach that point it’ll be easy living! (laughs... lots)

Liz: Yeah like Sam, I just want to be able to continue what I’ve been doing. I want to have flexibility. If I want to travel, I want to be able to go and travel. I don’t want to have to worry about not being able to afford it.

York: I don’t think I’ll ever retire, I’ll probably just work a bit part time, be some kind of consultant to people, maybe work one day a week to supplement my income to buy the things I want to buy.

Maddy: Retirement’s meant to be this ‘prime of your life’ but I’m going to be old and wrinkly so I think I just want to hang out in Italy and eat pizza and drink wine and chill out.

What about insurance. Do you have any?

Sam: I’ve got private health insurance which I organised once I rolled out of my parents’ health insurance. I’ve also got car insurance and some life insurance through my super.

Maddy: Health, death TPD and salary continuance insurance. I want to know that if I can’t work for some reason my insurance will cover my expenses.

York: How I see it is if I were to get injured or sick or permanently disabled, how would my life be, with or without insurance? If I didn’t have insurance, all the responsibility would go to my parents which is not a burden that you want to give someone. It’s not a comfortable life for me either if something happened to me.

Super

Liz: My super is all in one place which is great so I pay less fees. I sorted that out at the beginning of the year. I just wanted to have all my super in one spot. I’m a bit tight with my money so I want to pay as little as I can with fees and save as much as I can with super. My friends don’t really see finance as an issue currently. Super isn’t even on their radar. They’re thinking, ‘Why do I even need to worry about that. It’s 50 years away’. But I don’t want to have to catch up later on down the track. The extent of my friend’s financial talk is ‘I want to save for that car’ or ‘I want to save for that Zimmerman dress’.

Maddy: When I started at BT at the beginning of the year I thought ‘it’s going to be a bit embarrassing if I don’t have my super in order’, so I rolled over all my old funds from previous retail jobs and now I’ve got it all in one place.

Sam: I’m actually that embarrassing person who hasn’t rolled their super over into one place. I’ve had so many employers previously and I haven’t yet gotten round to bringing them all into one.

York: The way I see it is it’s 40 years down the track, or maybe 50 or 60 years before I retire and who knows what’s going to happen between now and then. But right now I’m getting contributions so I’m hoping it will be enough by the time I retire.

Getting Financial Advice:

Liz: I’ve grown up with a single mother who has her own property, she has a great job, she has a lot of savings and has the ability to do what she wants to do when she wants to do it. So I base my savings on what she’s taught me so that I will have enough no matter what... A man is not a financial plan!

York: If I decided to invest in shares, I’d research on the internet.  And if I needed some extra advice I’d pay someone. But most of the time the internet’s enough for me. My parents didn’t give me specific financial advice, if anything I’d be giving them financial advice. I’m the first graduate from my family.

Sam: For super advice I’d talk to mum or dad or I’d talk to some of my colleagues because they’re probably more knowledgeable in that field. My mum went through a financial adviser who was really quite good and he helped her sort her finances out so she’s managed to retire a lot earlier than she expected. She’s living quite comfortably maintaining her lifestyle.

What are your investments:

York: I used to love buying the latest in gadgets, the newest phone, new TV whatever, but I recently bought a property with my girlfriend so now we’re going to be saving and not spending anything if possible. Buying our first property felt good. It’s really scary because you think about how much money you’re spending. But it’s ok, we bought off the plan and it won’t be ready for another two years which gives us plenty of time to save.

Sam: I don’t see myself investing in property for the foreseeable future… I’m comfortable with investing in shares.  I encourage a lot of my friends and family to look into it. I understand that a lot of people aren’t exposed to that world or way of thinking as much as I have, studying it and working in the industry… I think it’s the fear of the unknown, people who get a lot of their information through media or movies or whatever… but it’s actually a lot simpler than that.

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This information is current as at 08/10/2015.

This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it.

There is no charge for accepting any rollovers, however before requesting the rollover, you should consider where your future employer contributions will be paid (if your employer contributions are currently being paid to another fund) and check with your other fund(s) to determine whether there are any exit or withdrawal fees for moving your benefit, or other loss of benefits (e.g. insurance cover), noting that you may not receive the same type or level of benefits after the rollover. You may not be covered for injuries or illnesses that have arisen since you took out previous insurance, and you may lose loyalty benefits.

For illustrative purposes only. Based on a real life examples.