GEN-Y are redefining the Australian Dream because the Australian dream was simple when our parents were young.
They’d get jobs in a handful of sectors, buy a humble brick home in the suburbs for less than $100,000 and have a couple of kids. Four television channels and board games provided entertainment. On weekends friends were invited around for barbeques. To communicate with people outside the home people used telephones that were connected to the wall. Our parents certainly couldn’t have predicted that their millennial children – born between the early 1980s and mid 1990s – would grow up to be digital natives whose own aspirations would be entirely different. After spending super chilled summers running around under the sprinkler in the backyard, we must come to terms with the fact that a bit of lawn and enough room for a Hills Hoist may no longer be a given when we have families of our own.
According to Prof. Sgro, we’re better educated than our parents, so although we may appear frivolous at times, he’s sure we’ll wind up with more than Instagram snaps of our travels when we get old. ‘Culturally and socially we’ve been sold on the idea of having a house and security,’ Prof. Sgro says, but adds that the next generation of investors will think beyond the picket fence and put their income into profitable activities, commercial properties or shares. He suggests that bright digital natives are more entrepreneurial. We’ll use our skills for start-ups and invest in business ventures. ‘Gen Y is mobile. They have better things to do with their money than have it sitting in a house,’ he says.
Economist Brian Haratsis suggests that millennials shouldn’t rule out owning a home entirely, in the process of GEN-Y – Redefining the Australian Dream they may find it may take longer to get into the market than it has in the past. ‘The big issue now is your deposit,’ he points out. ‘If you look at what the future repayments are, it’s not that bad compared with the past. It’s thinking creatively about how you get your deposit so that you can enter the market.’ He says if you need $60,000 for a deposit and can’t save it then you should get into the share market. Safer bets like BHP, Coles and Woolworths will enable people to accumulate wealth over time. ‘As you move through your financial life those shares may form part or all of a deposit for an investment,’ he explains.
It seems that uncertainty is the only certainty for GEN-Y’s redefining the Australian Dream, but if any generation is equipped to handle it, it’s this one.