Australian Demographer Bernard Salt wrote an article for The Australian observing “young people who order smashed avocado with five grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more”.
Australian Demographer Bernard Salt wrote a tongue in cheek article for The Australian in 2016 about observing “young people who order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more”. He suggested that this money could have gone towards a deposit on a house instead of frequenting hipster cafes. The image of an avocado smashing hipster millennial became a global media sensation (and inspired my own animation below of how a smashed avocado is made).
But are hipster café’s and premium breakfast options really the reason why Millennials cannot afford their own home? A report by the Grattan Institute entitled “Generation gap: ensuring a fair go for younger Australians” busts this popular myth.
The report found that whilst the Australian population is generally healthier and wealthier than our counterparts 100 years ago, not everyone has benefited equally. Younger Australians have been spending less than their predecessors, especially on items such as alcohol and entertainment.
In comparison with their counterparts in the last 20 to 30 years, Younger Australians are:
The challenges of today might pale in comparison to the challenges the millennial generations could face tomorrow including:
After reading this depressing news, a Millennial may need to partake of some stronger stuff (perhaps an economic DIY homebrew rather than avocado toasts or shakes).
The report recommends a range of policy reforms around economic growth, housing affordability, age-based tax breaks and intergenerational transfers. Unsurprisingly, it is a complex issue to resolve which will require significant tax, stakeholder consultation and policy change impacting older and younger Australians.
Some of our clients put plans into place to support their Millennial children to get a head start. These options are varied and include:
If you are considering any of these options, speaking to a professional Shadforth Adviser can help you understand:
Whilst the debate is still very alive between which generation is getting a better deal, we should not forget that older Australians have worked very hard to save and also deserve the ability to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
When next in your local café, take a few minutes to observe who really is eating smashed avocado toast. Perhaps see if you can spy a hint of grey hair emerging from their hipster beards?
Adrian Kwa - National Head of Advice