His points are generally intended for an American audience, and there are important differences between their system and ours, not the least being the large pot of superannuation savings we have set aside. But it makes you pause.
One of my major concerns (held for many years, so perhaps unjustifiably) is the sheer amount of debt taken on by Australian citizens over the past few decades. Whether you look at it as a percentage of GDP or, as in the chart below left, as a percentage of disposable income, the growth in debt since 1990 is frightening.
Of course, interest rates are down and so the overall cost of servicing that debt hasn’t grown anywhere near as much, as shown in the chart on the right. But the burden is big and painfully exposed to higher interest rates.
That debt picture for our country is doubly concerning when you take into account the aging population. In just 12 years from 1996 to 2008, the median age of Australia’s citizenry increased from 34 to 37.3 years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It would be closer to 39 today.
More importantly, that population bulge known as the baby boomers is rapidly transitioning from one of the most productive periods of life—late career—into one of the least productive and most expensive periods—retirement.
All thing being equal, the older a nation’s population is, the more reason it has to be wary of debt. Clearly, Australia never got the memo.
Functional cookies Always active
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.