Should wealthy older people feel guilty?

Older people in the western world are getting much wealthier, statistics prove it. But should they be made by younger generations to feel guilty for their success? Or should those who have worked for their wealth be able to enjoy it without concern?

These are the big questions where you can have your say.  We’ll be addressing one each day. This is an open space for discussion about some very confronting debates in out society. How do you feel? What do you think? 

According to the 2016 Census, many people [in Australia] under 45 have struggled to save enough money to access the housing market in Australian cities. These are a generation who plead that the big Australian dream of home ownership will elude them and some of them blame their parents for over-capitalising on property.  

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Data from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2016 Census shows that older Australians are holding onto an increasing share of the nation’s wealth, and the housing boom is a major cause of the growing divide between the generations, causing resentment.  

So let’s debate the problem! 

FOR: As you can see in the following chart, households headed by 65-74-year-olds were on average A$480,000 wealthier in 2015-16 than households in the same age group 12 years ago. And that’s after taking inflation into account and despite the damage caused by the global financial crisis. Households headed by 45-54-year-olds are A$400,000 richer.

In contrast, households headed by 35-44-year-olds are on average only A$120,000 wealthier – and for 25-34-year-olds the figure is just A$40,000.

So should they feel guilty?

AGAINST: Most Baby Boomers and beyond who are now enjoying wealth have worked extremely hard for it.  Few have grown up with “money” and many have grown it through their entire lifetime and now feel an incredible sense of reward to have achieved the success.  

Today we want to hear your opinion on the subject.  Should wealthy older generations feel guilty for their success?