Why It Sucks To Be A 30-Year-Old In Australia Right Now

Every generation thinks they have it tougher than their predecessors. But arguably, 30-year-olds in Australia right now actually do. 

In this episode of The Briefing, host Bension Siebert dives into this topic with Russel Howcroft, a 59-year-old businessman and familiar face from the ABC TV show The Gruen Transfer

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Howcroft argues that millennials are facing unprecedented challenges, making it the toughest time to be 30 in Australia.

Howcroft said that today’s 30-year-olds are contending with staggering HECS debt, exorbitant housing costs, and a job market that is far from secure. 

Unlike previous generations, millennials are often unable to achieve the financial milestones that were once considered standard, such as homeownership and financial stability. 

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“I was able to afford an inner city Melourne house that I was able to create a family home, and my wife didn’t work,” he said.

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When Howcroft was 30, a house cost three times his annual salary. Today, it costs eight times a 30-year-old’s salary. 

He said this drastic increase makes it nearly impossible for many young Australians to enter the property market.

Educational costs have also skyrocketed. Over the past 15 years, HECS debt has doubled, leaving many graduates with burdensome loans. 

“I have a tertiary qualification, which I got for free. I don’t have a HECS debt. My daughter has a $15 ,000 to $20 ,000 HECS debt on top of her desire to progress in life.

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