Research reveals how older Australians strive to leave a legacy

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Leaving a financial legacy is becoming less important to older Australians, many of whom are hoping to be remembered instead for the emotional, social and environmental impact they leave behind.

The Leaving a Legacy study, released by the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency this week, revealed that the vast majority (85.8 per cent) of over 50s say they plan to pass down a financial bequest for younger generations. But close to nine in 10 (88.8 per cent) also hoped to leave behind a positive emotional legacy by passing down non-financial inheritances to the younger generations in their family.

When reflecting on the future for younger generations, the shifts in the job market and fast-paced lifestyles are causes for concern.

Older Australians are concerned with the younger generations’ job prospects (59.6 per cent), as well as their emotional or mental (58.1 per cent) and physical (49.0 per cent) health and wellbeing.

According to the research, women over 50 are more likely to focus on their emotional influence as role models, with almost nine in 10 (89.7 per cent) eager to see younger generations overcome personal life challenges and over three quarters (76 per cent) hoping that their offspring will have the ability to foster successful relationships.

In comparison, men over 50 are more likely to want younger generations to avoid the same mistakes they have made (43.5 per cent vs. 30.2 per cent).

Three in four (75.7 per cent) older Australians wish they had known about the impact their generation was having on the environment when they were younger.

Close to four in five (79.9 per cent) older Australians say they have encouraged the younger generations of their family to stand up for themselves and not go along with trends they are not comfortable with.

The large majority (70.6 per cent) of those surveyed felt they had been a role model to younger family members when it came to accepting others even if they don’t fit social norms.

The vast majority believed that their emotional (92.5 per cent), environmental (86.4 per cent) and social (84.2 per cent) contributions will be more enduring than their financial legacy.

As part of this, many hope to see the younger generations in their family develop the ability to stand up for their own personal beliefs (84.2 per cent), have the financial know-how to live within their means (77.6 per cent) and foster successful relationships (71 per cent).

What sort of legacy do you want to leave to future generations?

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 13
  1. 0

    Vehemently against deliberately leaving anything. Put yourself first, use what you have for you, then if anything left, so be it.

    • 0

      This is the attitude of the soulless amongst us. Greed, self fulfillment and selfishness on steroids.
      I guess your parents did not leave you a razoo. Sad.
      Decent people anywhere provide for their offspring. Rates don’t. Never been any different OG.

  2. 0

    We provide time and help to our children when needed but our children are way better off financially than we were at their age so we’re giving away as much as we can each year to charities, in our case to help animals and the environment as only 3% of money donated by Australians go to these causes, the rest going to human relevant charities.

  3. 0

    I have no intention of leaving my kids anything and hope to spend it all before I depart this mortal world.

    • 0

      Yes I read your post above OG.
      Low life! You must be a pretty pathetic excuse of a human being mate. I for one do not understand how anybody can be so miserable. And you wonder why you are unhappy in life!

    • 0

      None of your business MICK how OG chooses to acquit his finances. It’s not for you, or anyone else to judge what he does with his money and you are certainly in no position to be calling him names.

      However, it is difficult to see how this would work given OG has on many occasions said he amasses far more wealth than he needs and cannot possibly spend it all. Oh well, none of my business either.

    • 0

      Mick I’m unfortunately not unhappy at all. I embrace and love life to the fullest.

    • 0

      I’m quite happy gifting to the kids when they need it or when it suits me. That the high income earning kid is gifting back is nice too. That is one of the advantages of not having Centrelink running your life for you I suppose.

      I’m currently handing over all sorts of bits and pieces. Why wait until your dead and can’t enjoy the giving.

      I’m saving for an au pair. $240 a week plus bed and board for 40 hours work sounds like a bonus. If it’s good enough for rich folk’s kids it should be good enough for rich kid’s old folk as well.

  4. 0

    My children and grandchildren will benefit from two parents who have given them what they need. They will have good memories of their time with us. Unless anything calamitous happens they will also receive a healthy financial boost (they have already received substantial assistance with their housing needs). At the same time, I have been able to travel and spend about three months a year overseas. A significant amount (thousands of dollars a year) is donated to organisations that are helping people in need.

    I see no reason to change my lifestyle now. I received legacies from my grandfather (a long time ago) and my mother (after I had already retired) so am thinking of that assistance when I leave a financial legacy to my children and grandchildren.

  5. 0

    Everyone is entitled to decide for themselves what they will do with any financial legacy. But I cannot see the reasoning behind those who would live in hardship in order to preserve funds for their offspring. It simply makes no sense to me at all.



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