The Great Australian Dream: now a Gen Y & Z pipe dream

By Rhianna Dews ·

As we reach the end of 2020, many Australians - particularly millennials and zoomers - find themselves with a shifted sense of what the future holds, especially following the economic fallout of COVID-19.

In fact, according to a ME Bank study conducted in September this year, nearly 70% of the 1,000 Gen Y and Z Aussies surveyed said the ‘Great Australian Dream’ is now just an out of reach pipe dream for their generation.

The survey also found that 82% of young Aussies believe that owning their dream home, working in a dream job and retiring by 65 was far more realistic for previous generations. What’s worse is that 62% fear that their future children will face similar struggles too.

Making milestones in a post-COVID world

As if inflation alone wasn’t enough, younger Aussies will now have to battle a post-COVID-19 economy when trying to achieve various financial goals.

When assessing the likelihood of meeting various milestones after COVID, 53% of those surveyed viewed scoring their dream job as unlikely and 58% said owning a dream home was also unlikely.

Additionally, 65% felt that retiring either by or before the age of 65 in the post-pandemic economy is unlikely and 55% said they won’t have enough superannuation to support themselves in the future.

69% of young Aussies put their dreams on hold

What really stands out was the fact that 69% of young Australians are now delaying major life goals due to the Coronavirus pandemic, with roughly half predicting these aspirations won’t be achieved for at least another 1-3 years.

“This is the first recession many young Australians have experienced and it will take some adjusting to,” said Andrew Bartolo, ME general manager home loans.

Bartolo also touched on the unfortunate reality that, for now, goals around international travel or buying a house have taken a back seat while things are still so up in the air in 2020.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Despite all the doom and gloom, young Australians are still being encouraged to set their sights high and look for ways to improve their financial futures.

“The best thing young Aussies can do right now is not to lose hope but reassess their goals, upskill the management of their personal finances and seek support when they need it,” said Bartolo. 

Financial support resources:

  • ME’s Ed – School of Money: ME Bank’s free online course ‘Ed – School of Money’ is designed to help teach Aussies how to better manage their money and debt.
  • National Debt Helpline: For additional support, you can contact the National Debt Helpline for free financial counselling.

Be sure to check out Mozo.com.au’s never-ending range of guides and articles for tonnes of money tips and tricks!

Rhianna Dews
Money writer

Rhianna Dews is a lending writer and millennial money expert here at Mozo. Her work is aimed at keeping twenty-something readers up to date with the latest trends in finance and providing budgeting and debt busting tips. She has a Master of Journalism and Communications from the UNSW.