Sunday Territorian - - OPINION -

sorb the fi­nan­cial risk?

“Rent money is dead money!” we’re told, mostly by peo­ple who got into the prop­erty mar­ket when it was far more af­ford­able. It isn’t “dead money” though.

Pay­ing rent means you have a home to live in — hardly a waste. When my par­ents — then newly mar­ried and in their early 20s — bought their first house in the outer sub­urbs of Bris­bane in the early 80s, it cost about a year of dad’s in­come as a rookie cop.

That would barely cover the de­posit on the same house today. The me­dian Aus­tralian house price is now seven times the me­dian in­come. If you’re sin­gle, for­get it. Sure, a lot of states, in­clud­ing the NT, have first home­buyer schemes de­signed to help young peo­ple into the mar­ket and boost the sup­ply of homes.

But most of these schemes are limited to new builds.

And with more of those lazy Mil­len­ni­als mov­ing into con­tract or ca­sual work — vol­un­tar­ily or oth­er­wise — it’s easy to see why they would be re­luc­tant to take on mas­sive debts.

Home­own­er­ship does re­duce fi­nan­cial risk in re­tire­ment. But that seems a dis­tant dream for young peo­ple who are told they’ll need close to $1 mil­lion in su­per­an­nu­a­tion or they’ll be eat­ing dog food through re­tire­ment. It makes

“All this reck­less spend­ing on such point­less frip­peries is pre­vent­ing them from us­ing money for its one true noble pur­pose”

sense to en­joy the de­liv­ery mas­saman curry today.

When mum and dad bought that lit­tle house in 1982, they had a fair idea of what was ahead of them. They’d work, have kids, and sooner or later pay it off. That’s a cer­tainty most Mil­len­ni­als don’t have.

We’re told con­stantly that the jobs we do now prob­a­bly won’t ex­ist in a decade or two. It’s dif­fi­cult to mo­ti­vate your­self to save for a fu­ture you can’t imag­ine.

I don’t know where I’ll be in five years time, and for the most part, I love the free­dom that brings. For the time be­ing, I’m happy to take my cues from the Ger­mans.

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