Number 33: Structure and distribution of household wealth in Australia: cohort differences and retirement issues

This report reviews the composition of the assets and debts of Australian households in the last quarter of 2002. It highlights issues relating to the distribution of wealth and to the prospects of mature-age Australians being able to fully or partly self-fund their retirement.

This paper analyses the 2002 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) wealth module data. to derive the following information:

  • the structure and composition of household wealth and debt and whether this has changed in recent years
  • the distribution of wealth, including among and within age cohorts and between the most and least wealthy cohorts
  • retirement issues, focusing on the capacity of pre and post-retirement cohorts for self-funding during retirement
  • the wealth and debt levels of vulnerable groups in society, especially income support recipients and lone parents
  • the main factors (demographic, educational, income related) that determine levels of wealth and debt.

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