Money Talks: Australians are Re-Thinking Our Perception About Wealth

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Money may talk, but Aussies are ready to listen – and re-think the meaning of wealth!

A recent study by financial services leader AMP has revealed that owning a home is no longer the primary factor in measuring someone’s wealth in Australia.

The company commissioned renowned demographer Bernard Salt to conduct groundbreaking research to gain insight into the mindsets of ‘middle Australia’ – those in the median 80% of the wealth distribution. The published results offer an illuminating perspective on how this population views money-making opportunities.

The analysis uncovered a drastic shift in how wealth is perceived, moving away from the traditional “great Australian dream” of homeownership and towards a new ideal: having the liberty to engage in passionate pursuits and support your loved ones.

After examining population figures and analytics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), our investigation revealed that residential ownership achieved its highest rate in 1966 at 73%, yet has dropped to 63% today.

The current shift in wealth to a more individualised view is due to several factors, such as late marriage, increased divorce rates and longer life expectancy. These all contribute significantly to the change we have seen recently.

AMP has attributed the shift to various factors, including increased life expectancy, more women joining the workforce, superannuation systems in place, apartment living becoming increasingly popular, globalisation and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the middle of the 20th century, our lasered-in concentration on home ownership brought a feeling of safety to veterans who had grown up journeying through the hardships of The Great Depression,” demographer Bernard Salt said.

“Marriage, parenting, homeownership and a steady job were all benchmarks of success during that era. These ideals served to shape the prevailing culture at the time.

“Today’s Australians have many ambitions, from owning homes to selecting where and when they work, form relationships, and live their lives. Many of these aspects have undergone an incredible transformation since the 1960s..”

Despite the ever-changing times, some principles remain steadfast:

  • The importance of health
  • Maintaining connections with those closest to us
  • Providing for children and grandchildren

Considering the research, Alexis George – CEO of AMP – expressed that Australians have shifted away from their traditional reliance on home ownership.

“To amass wealth in the present day, we must first determine our intentions and then construct a financial plan. Acting quickly on this is essential for reaching our desired outcomes.” George said.

“By promoting financial literacy, providing increased access to advisement and investment opportunities, and offering retirement solutions for Australians, AMP can help individuals engage more with their finances to achieve prosperity.”

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