It’s common knowledge that many older people in Australia struggle to get by in later life, due to the inadequate age pension as well as unforeseen costs such as health and aged care. Now, new research has revealed exactly what concerns Aussie seniors the most when it comes to money.
According to a study carried out by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency, a large number (64.7 per cent) of older Australians confessed to worrying about falling into poverty in their senior years, despite 69.4 per cent of those surveyed saying they actually felt more content with life now than they did in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
The Ageing Perceptions report also revealed that almost half of those surveyed have no faith in the system to look after them in retirement, while an astonishing 75.8 per cent of seniors have uncertainties when it comes to their financial security, and a further 70 per cent admitted to having serious concerns about how they would cope financially were their partner to pass away.
“Aussie seniors are clearly concerned about their financial future, with the cost of living continuing to grow,” Simon Hovell from Australian Seniors Insurance Agency said.
“Our research shows that there are trust issues when looking at the systems in place, and a great feeling of unease amongst seniors who aren’t sure they’ll be adequately supported in retirement. The fear of poverty gives an indication of just how dire some seniors feel their situation may become once they retire.”
It isn’t just money that seniors are worrying about either, as 47.7 per cent believe that ageism is increasing across the country, claiming it is far worse than it was two decades ago, while the vast majority (86.8 per cent) believe that society views getting older as an inevitable decline.
However, according to a report published earlier this year, older Australians are allegedly better off than younger generations due to home ownership and an increase in the Age Pension.
The Inequality in Australia report, compiled by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and University of New South Wales, claims the average wealth of older Aussies (64-plus) is increasing, while the wealth of younger generations has declined, broadening the gap of wealth inequality.
The findings revealed that households headed by a person aged over 64 saw their average wealth grow by 57 per cent, to $1.3 million, between 2004 and 2016. However, households headed by someone under 35 saw growth of just 22 per cent to a total of $300,000.