Time to Re-think Your Life Stages? 28 Is the New Start of Adulthood

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It’s time to say goodbye to the traditional stages of life because 28 is the new beginning of adulthood.

According to new research, Australians are now considered to enter adulthood at 28 and are not classified as “truly old” until they reach 77 years old. This shift in timelines has prompted savers to reassess their retirement goals.

Demographer Bernard Salt reports that life in the 1950s was divided into three categories based on age: child (0-12), adult (13-60), and old (61-69).

In a report by wealth manager AMP, commissioned to The Demographics Group, the four stages of life in terms of age brackets were child (0-12), teen (13-19), adult (20-64), and old (65-77) by the year 1990.

Currently, there are six recognised life stages. Childhood spans from ages 0 to 12. Adolescence, also known as the training stage, includes ages 13 to 28. Adulthood is split into two stages: 29 to 55 is a shortened period, while ages 56 to 64 are considered the lifestyle period in which semi-retired or early retired Australians balance work and leisure. Retirement is recognised as ages 65 to 76, and old age begins at 77.

The research analysed census data on home ownership from 1911 to 2021 and discovered that the ownership percentage had decreased from 73% in 1966 to 63%.

“While many people still desire to own a home, having 10% of their income available for other options, such as investing in superannuation, creating savings, and being prepared for unexpected events, can provide more flexibility,” he said.

Mr Salt stated that including a “retired” group indicates Australians are increasingly concerned about their lives after retirement.

“It’s possible to consider that the Baby Boomer generation and the generation before them are the first ones to experience retirement since their grandparents typically passed away at earlier ages in the 1950s and 1960s, around 61 or 62 years old,” he said.

“Policymakers may struggle to address the issue due to a lack of understanding and corporate memory.”

AMP CEO Alexis George’s report showed that personal financial advice has become necessary given the priority change from just home ownership to having the financial means to follow individual passions and goals.

“Australia’s financial literacy is lacking, and many people cannot access financial advice despite the country having a high GDP, a strong economy, and a good education system,” she said.

“To attain modern-day wealth, it’s essential to determine our objectives and create a financial plan. Starting the process early increases our chances of accomplishing those objectives.”

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