Seniors aren’t feeling secure in their futures and unlike other generations say they haven’t benefitted from years economic growth in Australia, a new study has revealed.
While many may think seniors are financially stable and coping with the pressures of every day life, according to the national poll by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) over-50s are actually feeling let down by the government and its ability to help them through the second half of their life.
With many thinking about retirement and hoping for a financially stable future, the report suggests the added expenses of electricity and costs of managing health problems encountered as people age are taking their toll on Australia’s Baby Boomers.
CEDA’s Melinda Cilento said over recent decades there has been a narrative that growth equals prosperity but the results suggest that many Australians do not feel they are getting ahead.
“A decade of stagnant incomes and cost of living pressures in areas such as health and electricity are contributing to this feeling but waning trust in business and politics are also likely factors,” she said.
While over-50s believe the government should step up and help, particularly in the areas of health, aged care and law and order, the majority of the 3,000 study participants said large companies, senior executives and foreign shareholders have gained the most through the country’s economic growth.
A total of 30 per cent also said they found it difficult or very difficult to even live on their current incomes, while most indicated the gap between the richest and poorest in Australia was not acceptable.
“The top five most important issues to people were reliable, low-cost basic health services; reliable, low-cost services; access to stable and affordable housing; affordable, high-quality chronic disease services; and reduced violence in homes and communities,” Cilento said.
“The most important issues nationally were high-quality and accessible public hospitals; strong regulation to limit foreign ownership of Australian land/assets; increased pension payments; high-quality and choice of aged care services; and high-quality and accessible public schools.”
On the other hand, the issues least important to over 50s were a strong private school system, lower company tax, increased humanitarian intake of refugees, less business regulation and less restrictions on using natural resources.