Australians are living longer. According to the World Health Organization, we enjoy the fourth best life expectancy in the world behind Japan, Switzerland and Singapore.

Great news for Millennials! Your life expectancy has been tabled at 74 for men and 80 for women. Astounding advances in medical technology could mean you will live much longer! With all that living to be done, how on earth will you fund it?

Well there’s always the Bank of Mum and Dad, right?

Doubtful, you see, according to a 2017 joint survey by National Seniors Australia and Challenger, the main issue concerning older people is ensuring they have regular and sufficient income.

This is because they are also living longer and are structuring their affairs to ensure they don’t outlive their savings. Your parents are healthier and more financially savvy than their own parents were and they’re considering their options.

It might seem like an historical event now, but self-funded retirees took an unexpected hit during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Ten years on, and investments have still not recovered. A recent report by the SuperGuide announced the top-performing super fund for the last ten years to June 2017 earned an average of 6.1%. That’s not much.

It’s probably not a good idea to rely on an inheritance either. From the survey mentioned above, only 3 percent of respondents planned to leave their savings to their children.

A combination of longer life expectancy and sluggish investment growth has seen many retirees opting for strategies like downsizing their homes to supplement retirement income.

It’s common to live with Mum and Dad to save a healthy home deposit. Sometimes parents even offer financial assistance to give their children a leg-up into their first home. As a result, it’s quite reasonable to assume there’ll be further help later on.

These days, it’s increasingly likely that you’ll find your parents are simply not in the position to give further help, much as they’d like to.

But independence is empowering! It means taking control.

Borrowing from family can be awkward; they may want a say in how you spend the money, or it can leave you feeling you must consult them before making decisions.

Controlling your own destiny might be challenging, but financial self-reliance is rewarding. You just need to know where to start.

Financial advisers consider your income, expenses and financial goals. They work with you to tailor a plan to manage debt and develop a good savings habit to put you on track to getting what you want.

Contribute even the smallest regular amount and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.

This is because interest is calculated on your savings balance. Regularly topping-up your balance – even once a month – really boosts your savings as the interest combined with your contributions compound one on top of the other, over and over. It’s like free money!

What could be better? Only the fact that professional advice costs less than you might expect.

So, next time you need a favour from your parents, why not surprise them by asking for a referral to their financial adviser?