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The Baby Boomer bubble is over, what’s next?

The intergenerational transfer of wealth in this country is picking up pace. COVID has seen many older people reassess what they want going forward, a big part of which is determining how to provide for the next generation.

Put simply, we’re at the end of the Boomer phase and the beginning of the Millennial/Gen Z phase. The wealth management industry will deal with the Boomers retiring, the transition of Gen X to being the elders of the workforce, and the rise of the Millennials/Gen Z. The way it will do this is to change its products and services, and in today’s digitised world that means primarily through changes in technology.

The generations

While marketers, media and politicians love to talk about ‘Baby Boomers’ and ‘Millennials’ using arbitrary windows of time, it is important to remember that lives are bigger than categories and we can be prone to over generalisation.

That said, ‘generations’ are a useful tool for analysis. This paper uses the definition provided by Australian Bureau of Statistics shown in table 1.


Source: ABS

The defining characteristic of the table is the commencement of the reconstruction era that started in 1946 after the end of World War 2. From that point, the Boomer generation is generally accepted to be a 20-year generational period, and then each generation is a subsequent 15-year generational period.

The best way to understand why the Baby Boomer generation has been so consequential is to look at the total fertility rate in Table 1.

The over-representation of one demographic cohort has been characterised as a “bubble” in the population numbers, which is why the “Baby Boomer bubble” has been a constant fixture in discussions about generations and their needs and wants. It’s fair to say that the Baby Boomer bubble has been the defining force that has cleared all before it, and its members have also collected resources and wealth as the systems changed to accommodate them and their looming retirement and aged care. And for good reason too, as up until now the Baby Boomers have been the largest and most consequential demographic cohort in Australia since the post war era started.

The boom required more resources such as larger houses, schools, hospitals and cars, the economy expanded rapidly as it consumed to catch up to the needs of the new generation, and the infrastructure of the country grew to support it. Then as the Boomers grew up, they needed education resulting in an expansion of the university system. As they then moved into work, the workplace had to accommodate a workforce that was not just larger from population growth but was also larger because the post war era embraced feminism and women’s rights meaning that women were also available for work.

At this point we can also add to this population boom and economic growth the fact that improvements in the areas of general healthcare and medical technology also meant that life expectancy was also increasing, and so governments became aware of the growing need to plan for the fact that pension and aged care systems were going to have to digest age care demands that were simultaneously going to be more expensive and over longer time frames than what the previous pension system was designed to support. This meant saving for retirement needed to be a priority which gave rise to the “Superannuation System” that has become the bedrock of financial services in Australia today.


Source: ABS

On the cusp of intergenerational change

The Baby Boomer bubble is starting to deflate before our very eyes.

Table 2 shows the percentage of each cohort that will be of working age during our 5 years planning horizon and Figure 2 shows the same data for only the Gen Z and Boomer cohort.

Within 5 years, all Baby Boomers will be eligible for retirement and the Baby Boomer bubble will have all but deflated out of the workforce by 2028. And it doesn’t stop there.

In 2029 the first of the Baby Boomers will reach their statistical age of death (Men 81, Women 85) which means that the Baby Boomer bubble will start to deflate completely.

The impact of this on the wealth management industry is three-fold:

  • Baby Boomer superannuation balances will start to deflate out of the superannuation system through retirement consumption, followed by disbursement through the inheritance process.
  • Gen X are now the group preparing for retirement and they will become the large balance superannuation account holders.
  • With Gen Z fully deployed into the workforce, the predominant demographic groups needing to be serviced by the industry will be Millennials/Gen Z.


Source: ABS


Source: AIHW

Financial flow changes

The exit of the Boomers from the workforce means that for the first time in its history, the retirement system is going to see retirement phase withdrawals from its largest accounts, as those in the 60-64 age group have an average balance of $323,000 compared to the younger generations where those in the 30-34 age group have an average balance of $45,000.

While it is difficult to predict the future and how the money will flow from where, to whom, and where it will end up, we can make inferences based on what we see in the superannuation balance and housing data that we know today. If we start with superannuation balances, we find that the facts don’t really match the prevailing narrative, that super is an inheritance tax planning device.

Research from The Association of Superannuation Funds in Australian (ASFA) shows that while it is true that there are some large accounts, Australian Tax Office (ATO) data in 2018-19 showed that there were only 322,200 accounts with balances above $1 million. This number will have increased given investment returns since that time, however the system favoured the older participants as they had the benefit of a period when contribution limits were not as restrictive as they are for today’s participants, and so the younger generations are less likely to be able to accumulate such large balances, in inflation adjusted terms. Regardless, these accounts are outliers that can be ignored when looking at the mechanics of the system given that the total number of superannuation accounts is 23.3 million.

If we look at the ASFA data on the group that will retire and leave the system over the next 20 years, the average balance across genders for those in the 60-75-year-old group is just under $400,000, however it is highly skewed by the larger balances. If we look at the median, the balance across genders in this group is approximately $180,000, which means that 50% of account holders in this age group have $180,000 or less in their retirement savings accounts. In other words, the larger share of the flow of money will be completely out of the system. This also corresponds with research from ASFA which shows that 80% of those who died over 60, and 90% of those over 80, had no super at death.

The question arises as to where this money will flow? If we look at Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) research into home ownership across the generations, we see that only 19.4% of Baby Boomers own their home outright, with 46.4% still having a mortgage, and 30.2% renting. While the value of their properties will have increased in capital value, it is not a stretch to assume that retirement funds will be used to pay down mortgages, especially if a large cash balance reduces access to pension entitlements.

Another tailwind behind the money leaving the system is the increasing cost of living and the impacts of high inflation as the global economy transitions through a regime change, away from cheap money and low inflation to higher interest rates and high inflation. Recent ASFA research shows inflation added 9% for singles and 7.8% for couples to the balance needed to have a comfortable retirement. The balances required to have a comfortable retirement are an estimated $690,000 for couples and $595,000 for singles. These numbers will compound again in 2024 as we already know that inflation is still high. An uncomfortable reminder about the thief that is inflation is that these numbers assume an annual investment return of 6%. This means that in the current environment of high inflation, retirement accounts are going backwards in real terms. At this time, you have to save more to stand still, while you are also living in the present with increasing living expenses.

Finally, let’s deal with the assumption that organic growth from future contributions and market returns will replace the older accounts with the younger accounts. The mandated contribution level is 11% and will continue increasing by 0.5% every year until it reaches 12% from 1 July 2025. The net total amount in superannuation has been clouded by recent events with COVID impacting savings rates (they were higher due to less consumption) and early access to super (this reduced some balances), however net contribution flows had been stable at around $10 billion per annum prior to that time and have recovered to slightly above this since the COVID period. Total benefits payments have been increasing and have increased from $20 billion to $25 billion per annum from 2018 to 2022. There was a net -3% decrease in total assets from 2021 to 2022 caused by volatility in financial markets.

So, the system is still in net positive contributions with positive inflows being supported by increases up to 12% in the mandated participation rate, we have seen flat to decreasing returns, benefits payments out of the system are increasing, and inflation is going to put pressure on the cost of living. Among all this volatility all we can say with certainty is that there is change happening, and that more monitoring is required to track how the system and regulators respond to the changes that have been identified in this paper.

With almost universal participation in some form of investment through superannuation and over 35% of Australian adults holding investments on an ASX Chess Account, direct and indirect investment in shares in publicly traded companies was a bedrock of the Baby Boomer retirement preparation phase, and it will continue to be the bedrock of wealth management for all the generations that come after it.

Cultural changes

It is important to note that as the Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce, the values and motivations of their generation are also leaving with them. It also follows then that the values of the new Millennial and Gen Z generations are going to ascend. It’s a clear generalisation, but no one would be surprised if I said that Boomers expected work environments and those who worked for them to be rigid and hierarchical and social life to be kept separate from work, while Gen Z expects work environments to be fluid and better accommodate their lifestyles and they will blend social and online lives into their work. This alone is a significant cultural change, yet it is added to an environment where the new generations live in an economic world that is far different and more challenging than what the Boomers experienced. Consider the following issues that we can see already.

Baby Boomers exiting the economy creates significant costs for the remaining generations as they stop providing free services such as family-based childcare, and they also require increased medical care. As an example, while accounting for only 21% of the adult population, half of Baby Boomers have a long-term health condition which accounts for 34% of all adults in the population that have a long-term health condition. These are costs that will need to be paid for by the younger generations.

Add to this that the Millennial/Gen Z generations also have far more grim income and financial prospects than those who came before them. A recent Pew Research study found that when asked how children in their country will fare financially when they grow up, a median of 70% of adults across 19 countries (72% in Australia) say they will be worse off than their parents. The recent burst of inflation, plus the focus on stifling wages growth that reduces their purchasing and savings power, could mean that their prospects are even more difficult. The superannuation industry does not escape this change. A 2017 study by the Financial Services Council also found that even though 70% of Millennials had a superannuation account, they are uninterested and unengaged with it.

We have a new generation entering the system that has low expectations of being able to build wealth, strong indicators that suggest that it is indeed true that they have lower economic prospects, and they are also disengaged. This indicates that there will be a considerable cultural shift in how and why the younger generations engage with the wealth management industry, and how the industry attempts to engage with them.

 

Patrick Salis is the CEO of AUSIEX.

 

39 Comments
Clint
November 21, 2023

Every generation blames the one before it.
I’m Gen Z. I’m just happy I don’t have missiles going off around me and am thankful that the baby boomers mum and dad fought in devastating wars so they could survive incoming invasions and war to then have us. We don’t have it hard, we just think we do because we use new technology to view daily what the 0.1% of the worlds wealthy are doing on social media and think why aren’t I on a yacht in the Greek islands. Get off the phone and get working. And also look after your parents, you’ll need their cash when they die.

SMSF Trustee
November 23, 2023

Good comment Clint.

As a now retired boomer, I pick up on your last point and remind my children that I don't have to leave my estate to them in my will. If I leave it to charity, they have no legal case to claim any of it because they can't demonstrate a greater need. That is less likely to happen if I have a good relationship with them. It's an outworking of one of the 10 great commandments, which I might rewrite/paraphrase as to honour your father and mother so that your days might be long in the prosperity your family has been given. Failing to honour your parents' generation has consequences!

dj
January 31, 2024

blackmail what a great strategy. what is that old phrase? "you can't buy love"

SMSF Trustee
January 31, 2024

dj not blackmail just a statement of fact. If my daughter continues to prevent us from having anything to do with our grandsons then her husband's presumption that she'll inherit might not be valid. But they won't know that until I'm gone so I'm not using it as a weapon.

Paul V
July 30, 2023

All is not lost, I have made my children and grandchild aware of how to accumulate wealth. The result is my three children aged 27-52 and two of my grandchildren aged 31 and 29 own their own homes.

Lyn
July 17, 2023

My the comments, as I sit in fingerless mitts of leftover old wool kept just in case, 90yr old stone hot bottle at feet, LED lamp til peak rate ends then cook dinner from the garden at off-peak rate, we're supposed to feel guilty for generation that is ours? We are product of WW2 & shortage, make do & mend, saved, ate seasonal goods, etc., how does that make us the baddies when we left little evironmental toe-print other than coal for powering trains and electricity yet in my time alternatives have been discovered. The author above is right, change is coming and youngsters must engage & grab it, with better education and technology they grew up with, far smarter than we were. Use it as world at your feet. In the 'green ' world you want make a start by demanding quality goods that last and repair, re-birthing skills for future repair demands---know any quality shoe repairer under 60? My gem at least 65, 1 in 15K radius where used to be cobbler in every suburb turning hand to repair all leather goods for re-use. As Rick said always generational differences, but the young can take best from all of them.

AB
July 29, 2023

You're not the baddies! That would be the Boomers.

Gordon Lucas
July 17, 2023

Hey Frank, Wow, talk about how us Boomers are environmental thugs, etc etc. My experiences observing X’ers, Millennials is that Boomers are in many cases the ones pushing strategies to combat Climate Change while many younger people appear to spend, travel and consume. Take cafe breakfasts, fashion, travel. But, Boomers didn’t take an hour off work each morning for our coffee; travel OS when we were teenagers, have incredible technology to allow us to keep in touch with everyone, excellent health care and so on. As someone has already stated, each generation has advantages & disadvantages.

Rick
July 17, 2023

Thanks for the pointy article Patrick. It appears to me to quite loose on interpretation leading into a negative outlook. Perhaps even a tad provocative - always good for reactionary reviews. While this is a $media centre and is focussed so, human nature rarely shifts so each of us is personally responsible to find a way through our wants and needs that in part includes taking the family..society... economy in total along with us. Money without society is meaningless. In Australia, I think, we still have a broad desire for the collective to do well. It appears under strain as polarised social media and politics indicate. Just as we are responsible for our political choices we are all responsible for the general welfare of all we live in. While this remains I think we have a chance to thrive in every generation.

The arbitrary boxing of generations is by nature segments therefore pins us against them. Our nature to want to keep what we work for is natural so creating Gen segments naturally sets us against another and can never be easy to resolve. What we still have as a life in Australia is brilliant in comparison to third world poverty. I am not ignoring many with great hardship - eg the first nation or first world poor. But it is comparative. (Disclaimer: I am a white entitled 1960s bloke). VOTE YES!
We can always find someone, or thing wrong, unreasonable, unfair, always someone that has more- the nature of life.

The first of industry had it tough, WW1 had it tough, so did WW2 Gen, Baby Boomers had to rebuild our worlds, Gen X had to explore the consequences of WW1 & 2.... and it goes on, but life has improved in many ways, some ways not. No one's life is easy, we all fight for social balancing, we all have personal demons, that is the brilliance and stupidity of humanity. I still see life evolving, good or not. Our natural brilliance is the desire and need to live together... we gotta make it work!

If we really f***up, look over our historical shoulders for the consequences.

For the record my attempt to look back over time a few hundred years with my mob, there has and is a general improvement in life and liberty albeit with some seriously nasty corrections along the way.

Okay, back to my meds
( subsidised but paid for).

Graham Wright
July 16, 2023

We lived through it but very few understood what they were participating in. It started in 1960s with mass coal exports with profits going to US. When Whitlam refused to tax those profits, the mine workers demanded and got 25% pay rises. The start of the rot. That 25% spread nationally. Want to talk inflation? look at it then. In 1980s the rot really set in when Hawke & Keating established Compulsory superannuation payments for workers AND castrated by moving union leadership from the shop floor to ACTU. This opened the way for business to have more control over working conditions and successive Govts since then have moved more and more wealth from Wokers to Upper management and owners. And they have used Govt legislation to enable all this, including changing the superannuation scheme to a wealth and estate management scheme more beneficial to the upper class than the workers it was intended to benefit. The only scheme left for workers was house ownership but in recent times even that is coming more under the control of big business. The biggest achievement of the boomer generation has been the movement and subsequent preservation of wealth from the poor to the rich. Remember Shakespeare "A rose by any other name would but a flower be". Boomers renamed everything to obfuscate the ordinary flowers that bloom throughout our countryside. And for the record, I started my apprenticeship 1962 so I have lived through all this, and later uni degrees only allowed me to see how our world has been taken further and further out of the control of the ordinary person. I have great faith that we are reaching the end of that era and my grandchildrens generation will start a major correction.

michael
July 16, 2023

"Regardless, these accounts are outliers that can be ignored when looking at the mechanics of the system given that the total number of superannuation accounts is 23.3 million.
If we look at the ASFA data on the group that will retire and leave the system over the next 20 years, the average balance across genders for those in the 60-75-year-old group is just under $400,000, however it is highly skewed by the larger balances. If we look at the median, the balance across genders in this group is approximately $180,000,..."

It is not always correct or useful to ignore the outliers.
* arguably, if the mean is 180 & average is 400, then the outliers are significant.
*the so-called 1% are always outliers. Should we ignore them?

Bill Shirley
July 15, 2023

Hi, What about us ancient people's group called "The silent ones", does anyone know how we fit into the picture? Bills

Joe
July 15, 2023

It's in the name....

But seriously, your generation helped rebuild after the war and suffered your parents trauma from fighting in it. You set up the boomers with free education and helped them make it, they took that blessing and kept running with it closing their eyes to those who follow and even now deny facts and figures and instead focus on arbitrary things like take away coffees and avo on toast. It's the human condition, for some. Luckily during the time they will need the next generation most, they will be making the rules and there is a lot of negative sentiment with their legacy. Especially this constant denial, keep feathering the nest...

Geoff R
July 16, 2023

"there is a lot of negative sentiment with their legacy."

I really feel that this negative sentiment and jealousy is largely the result of brain washing through viral social media feeds.

In many ways the younger generations have got it way better than ANY previous generation in history, with the advances in technology and medicine etc. Sure things are not perfect (global warming being a major case in point) but the average standard of living is way higher than it has ever been.

One area I think younger generations may have fair reason to complain is that they will be working to pay pensions for older folk who will live longer than ever before. It does seem unfair that someone could own a multi-million dollar home in Melbourne or Sydney and still get free taxpayer money in the form of government aged pensions. Hopefully this will eventually change and all welfare will be treated as a loan, such that the pensions will be repaid from a person's estate or whenever their house is sold. The trouble is that it would be extremely hard politically to get that through due to self-interest and entitlement.

And there in one word lies the problem - "entitlement". No matter what age or generation, people should only feel entitled to what they themselves earn and save rather than constantly putting out their hand for other people's money. (And then often complaining about those who are subsidising them!) And sure there will always be disadvantaged or disabled people who need a helping hand via a safety net, but I am referring to able-bodied and able-minded average people who feel (and are encouraged to feel) the world owes them a living.

Marc wigan
July 16, 2023

We are the ones who did the rebuild after WW2, and lived with ration books to out late teens while doing it-yet are treated abominably by the boomers! Their ageism is starting in turn to bite them- but we are completely ignored (read the RC and cringe). I note we are left out of everything,analyses, advice, etc the ageism is brutal and the very substantial intellectual, financial, mentoring etc contributions we still make are zeroed out as nothing. So would firstlinks kindly do sone analyses to help us! Not just our profligate children!

Nelum Soysa
July 17, 2023

Yes. We built the post war world. We had oral contraceptives. We breast fed on demand and gave Lego to our kids. We saved scrimped and were joyous. We will continue to do what we like till dementia or death come. We will be the grand survivors…..and ignore the financial planners

Frank
July 15, 2023

Maree, do you know how voting works? And that the boomers are the largest generation ever and therefore are responsible for the elected governments decisions, you know this right? You can't just "blame the dictator" there isn't one. The boomers had the largest political influence AND influence over their children's votes, at least for the first few years of their no thinking voting history.

Irene
July 14, 2023

Can't agree more with you. Baby boomer generation works very hard to built their security. And the 'I want it and I want it now' attitude. Regarding why some of the younger generation got this thinking? Blame their parents! The parents give their kids whatever they want.

Elizabeth
July 15, 2023

Omg, it's not the attitude of some of the younger generation that's the problem here people. There are ALWAYS I want it now people in every generation, god. It's the lack of future opportunities that are NORMALLY available to successive generations that is the issue. The fat boomer generation has vacuumed up all the wealth as a consequence of their outsized size and therefore influence. It's not just hard work that creates wealth, it's hard work and luck, luck of circumstances and timing, this is basic knowledge. Blame the parents is a great one, no lazy people in the boomers generation, oh wait, what were hippies again?

Cam
July 17, 2023

I’m not big on defending boomers, but the I want an all know is much more prevalent in Gen Y than other generations. If you want a newish car, newish house and overseas holidays, that’s I want it all now.All the calls to address the gender super gap are Gen Y focused. A couple can earn over $500k and still get child care subsidies. The anti boomer sentiment is nothing compared to what the anti Gen Y sentiment will be, because Gen Y are getting more than X and Alpha, and are complaining way more than other generations.

A Gill
July 14, 2023

The millennials are unknowingly getting ready for the future, where climate change will become a threat to our existence. In addition, generative AI will automate most of the office and industrial work. There will be limited work opportunities. A large number of people will likely be on social security. How will Super or Financial institutions operate after 20-30 years from now?
The boomers were not responsible for this Anthrocepene Epoch nor the development of AI, which started in the 1950s or earlier.

Elizabeth
July 15, 2023

:) it's AI's fault that the boomers voted for selfish policy their whole lives....
The boomers had nothing to do with AI cause it started being developed before their generation was arbitrarily defined?!? Really....

Aaron Smith
September 17, 2023

Thank you for trying to follow that whiplash thinking

Kym
July 14, 2023

We hear a lot about how difficult it is/will be for the generations after the Boomers and we also hear about the "largest ever inter-gen wealth transfer" ever to be witnessed but the two don't seemed to be related?
How can the Boomers pass on their wealth and not make their kids wealthy? The wealth isn't going to evaporate

Elizabeth
July 14, 2023

Easy, a "wealthy" boomer couple with 2 kids instantly splits "wealth" into "not wealth." Not all boomers are actually wealthy and those boomers statistically had more kids to leave nothing to. Also the inheritance of wealth, without a death tax to spread it back out, concentrates wealth over generations. The wealth will be transferred to fewer people, not to everyone. The average will still be the same but the median, much much more important, will drop significantly. 

Andrew
July 15, 2023

Apologies but to the research I have done states that inheritances slowly dilute over generations (disregarding wealth taxes). This is because Eg 5% wealthy families even if only half marry other wealth families leads to a slow dilution over time with 2.5% diluting each generation.

Elizabeth
July 16, 2023

Hi Andrew, that research will be based on the historic norms or family size. It's now down to 1.6 in Aus so less than 2, 2 rich adults become 1.6 (on average). Going forward this will concentrate wealth, two wealthy families with 1 child that married another single child wealthy family,that then only have one child, you can see what is going to happen. Very different if there were 4 children per family, those days are gone, western societies import their growth, they don't have kids anymore, it's all about the numbers. Your research was right, it's not now. Thanks.

Jay
August 30, 2023

Ok so if you pass me enough to pay my electricity bill in 1960, and I take that money and try to pay my electricity bill now, do you think it will cover it? There's your answer.

The annoying part for me, is the sheer inability if boomers to understand a future economy or any future beyond themselves.

Its classic " i did it why can't you" mentality. "Oh I don't know Susan maybe because I work 20% more hours on average for the same wage to pay for things that are 2-10 tines more expensive" honestly!

A single income used to buy a house and raise kids, now 2 incomes struggle to do one of those things. Yet they expect us to fix the ecological damage, AND pay for the aged care of the largest generational populous, after they failed to account for it, and left us with record GDP to debt ratios and our own cost of living crisis??? It's laughable, and the terrible standard of aged care they get will not play on my mind a bit. I'd rather do the right thing and invest in the future of the next generations after us and teach them to keep paying it forward, like boomers failed to do.

James
August 31, 2023

"I'd rather do the right thing and invest in the future of the next generations after us and teach them to keep paying it forward, like boomers failed to do."

Ever occurred to you that it's not actually "The Boomers", but gutless governments that don't do what they should?

Anne
July 14, 2023

The so-called baby boomers generation mythology is nonsense. Many of those born from the late 50s onwards never had the much vaunted advantages, with a series of recessions starting from the mid 70s - when those born in the latter half of the generation had just left school or university.

Generation X in reality starts in 1960, if not earlier.

Geoff R
July 16, 2023

"Generation X in reality starts in 1960, if not earlier."

I would agree with that although there is always a transition period as in reality there is no clear cut delineation date - just some arbitrary date someone decided. By chance I am officially a boomer whereas my wife, born a few years later, is Gen X. She and her friends tease me endlessly about being a boomer when we are only talking of a few years age difference!

Along with several others here, I hate the intergenerational finger pointing and jealousy. My feeling is that all generations have their pros and cons. I have had a lucky run as both my grandfathers were in WWI and my father served in WWII. They also lived through the great depression when welfare was nowhere near as good as it is today. I was too young for Vietnam and so have not been involved in wars. Australian Gen X and Millenials etc also have avoided wars (well unless they deliberately chose a job in the military and were posted overseas).

The technology advances have given most people today a quality of life unimaginable a few generations ago. And ditto with medical advances and vaccines. While it always sounds like the "Four Yorkshiremen" Monty Python sketch when we talk of how easy the young people have it these days, there is more than a grain of truth in it. We take for granted that we can flick a switch and have light or heat, or see and talk to someone on the other side of the world. And so on and so forth...

Dr David Arelette
July 20, 2023

Too true - I was going to make this point - Baby Boomers are the product of their parent's experiences which had changed by 1960 - my parents met in 1947 a year after they were demobilised after both serving 5 years serving in the 2nd AIF - their experience of the 1930s depression was made even more focused by the discipline of military service to secure their own progress one step at a time. By 1960 even as a 9yo I could see this was changing to buy now, pay later.

June
July 13, 2023

Very interesting article. I note the use of the term "disengaged". Speaking as one of those "boomers" who are self-funded, managing our own finances and SMSF, you missed one vital point. The current generation has a much more "we want it now" focus. Possibly exacerbated by the trauma of COVID. Be that, the latest tech, fashion, holidays, eating out etc. My husband and I came from working class families with nothing at the start, did two jobs to cover our 17% mortgage interest and childcare. There was never any new stuff in our house until we were in our 50's. We see the work hard and suck it up ethos in our children, but our grandchildren exchibit all of the have it now characteristics. Yes, we have helped them all and yes, it's a different world, but I get very sick of Baby Boomer bashing!

Denise
July 14, 2023

You're not wrong. I work with an office full of Milennials. I am stunned at how politically disengaged they are. Heaven knows how they determine any vote - probably on the basis of social media feeds. They have no idea of the world around them. They don't read newspapers or watch TV news and seem to not be aware of the profound effect government decisions [ and therefore their vote ] on their life. This is a worry because their votes will impact on everyone's lives. I'm sure there are exceptions but I also find they don't think that life ought to be a struggle in any way whereas I [ a Boomer ] had a tough life and worked for everything I have, saved, compromised, etc

Lyn
July 17, 2023

Hi Denise, what DO they talk about? Anything of substance sounds off the menu in the break area.

Frank
July 14, 2023

Oh my, life's goal is to discover how everything works, especially how blind we can be to our own lives and how they play out. If you are not aware of yourself and the inherent biases you poses, you will be a scourge on the society you engage with. The 17% interest rate, as high as it sounds, has been shown to be less of the household budget than the 4.1% on a ridiculous over priced mortgage that today's families are paying. A simple calculation will enlighten you. People have never worked more multiple jobs than they do today. The idiotic housing bubble that has been allowed to inflate from boomer focused policies (neg gearing, 50%cap gains discount, gov selling off housing stock and not building extra, giving the mining boom proceeds as tax cuts instead of investment in the future of the country) over the last 30 years has completely destroyed the normal way a generation can slowly build wealth by removing the chance to get in. Those people you reference as "we want it now" are probably seeing that it's not possible, or they are not stupid enough, to pay the ridiculous money for a house today. And every generation has lazy members, I mean your generation were hippies, come on. Also if you aren't aware of the reason why your house was empty and now people have stuff, it's because all the household items are way way way cheaper now and are made overseas, jobs that you and your generation probably sent over there. I don't mind if you want to believe your generation is so great and had it so hard but think about this as you drift off to sleep, your generation politically over-saw the destruction of the environment and did nothing, you inflated house prices, stealing from the following generation, and are leaving the largest government debt to GDP ratio outside of wartime with no plan to pay it back, in fact it will grow with your generations care as you leave and be the largest government debt to GDP ever. Your grandchildren will figure all this out, the numbers won't lie, they won't be unaware of your generations legacy, people will write books on the topic, it will be studied. Thanks guys, remember life is about discovering who you are and being honest with yourself is the first step, most people don't make it passed step one.
P.s. I'm financially well off from hard work (paid for uni, not free) and no inheritance, I feel terrible for people having to pay these house prices and wish my property would half in value, so don't go thinking I'm only in it for me, society won't survive at this rate, we have massive challenges ahead. I bet you won't even read this.

Maree
July 14, 2023

Frank, it is our successive governments' policies of mass immigration that has stolen our children's future.
Competition for everything has increased, prices have risen accordingly, and wages remained low or lowered. We did not vote for this, nor off shoring of jobs. It has been forced on us by stealth, by all political persuasions, to maintain economic growth for big business to the detriment of the middle class.
This is never spoken of.... easier to bash the boomers.

Keith W
July 15, 2023

Frank's 'idiotic housing bubble' could not agree more. Would be interesting to see a survey on boomers wealth minus whats been 'given' to them from the housing bubble. The thought that all you do is buy a house wait a few years and your a millionaire!!! No input required, has Aust benefited? Add insult to injury the million dollar free house now allows a full pension, paid for by who? For clarity i am 64 SFR from my own business and hard work and yes i have benefited from the said idiotic bubble but it doesn't make it right, it just annoys to hear those that have benefited still complain how hard it all is.

Frank
July 15, 2023

Hi Keith, agreed, it would just be nice if all boomers acknowledged the problem and took some responsibility instead of throwing the poop at the younger generation for having a coffee. It's classic, own it, do something about it. Everyone wants the same opportunities, pretending that we all get the same opportunities is delusional. Sounds like you know what you're talking about, I hope you're the loudest speaker at all the events you attend and change some minds! :)

 

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