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?