A study from the University of Melbourne has found that as people age, their ability to manage their finances and access property increases and they have fewer resources to save for retirement.
The study, published in the Australian Journal of Sociology, analysed the finances of 5,500 Australians over a two-year period.
The researchers found that while most of those who rented their home during the study were not living in poverty, there were some who were in financial difficulties.
“In particular, the elderly were more likely to have insufficient income to cover their rent or mortgage repayments and to have a negative net worth,” the researchers wrote.
“This could have a knock-on effect on their ability not only to meet their housing costs but also their ability, over time, to invest in their own retirement.”
The study also found that the median income of the people renting their homes was $37,200, while the median household income was $54,000.
The median income and net worth of the elderly is the same as that of people who are working in the same industry.
The study was undertaken in order to understand how older Australians’ financial resources and their access to assets may be affected by changes in housing market conditions and the ageing population.
“While most older Australians are not in financial difficulty, they are at greater risk of being impacted by the economic downturn,” the authors of the study said.
This research is the latest in a series of studies examining the impact of ageing on housing.
Professor Scott McNeil from the Department of Sociological Sciences at the University, said: “This is a very interesting study that provides further insight into the financial situation of older Australians.”
The study suggests that some older Australians have less disposable income than the median worker.
“[This] is a situation that has a significant impact on their overall financial situation, but also has implications for their ability and willingness to save and invest in the future.”
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