Our ageing population

Tim Colebatch recently wrote an article in the Age about our ageingpopulation and the future costs to the community of that process.The article was full of quite extraordinary (and some frightening) statistics.The statistics were grounded in the fact that the first baby boomersturn 65 this year, and, leading from this, the proportion of theretired population will increase dramatically over the next 50 years.For example, the ratio of workers to retirees in 2006 was 5.2 to 1.However, by 2056 this ratio will be 2.6 to 1.Colebatch goes on to identify many conclusions from this, based onexisting Australian Bureau of Statistics figures and futureprojections from those figures.The big future picture is of accelerating costs for health care,pensions, aged care, etc., but with an accelerating decline in theproportion of the population of working age able to pay for thesecosts.The only way to avoid the economic catastrophe that will be theinevitable consequence of these figures, Colebatch says, will be forfederal and state governments to act immediately to address suchthings as increasing the retirement age (there is no biological reasonto retire at 65) and raise the age at which superannuation can beaccessed and pensions obtained. These are election losing policieswhich are unlikely to be (and aren’t being) adopted with the urgencyrequired.As Colebatch notes, it is difficult to imagine a topic more importantgiven the stark reality of the statistics staring us in the face.


©Peter J. R. Gauld LL.BGauld & Co. Elder Law SolicitorsSuite 5, 1st Floor,838 Glenferrie Road,Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia, 3122.03 9024 38680401 230 711gauld.co@gmail.com

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