Over-65s 'fastest growing age group'

Date: Mar 04, 2014

Australia's population is ageing, and with people living longer than ever before, estate planning has never been more important.

Latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows people over the age of 65 are now the fastest-growing demographic in the country, which will undoubtedly put more pressure on services.

Over the past year, the rate of growth for older ages has stood at 3.7 per cent, which compares to just 1.4 per cent for the working age population - individuals aged 15 to 64.

In 1993, the ABS revealed the number of people aged 65 and over stood at 11.6 per cent, but it has now increased to 14.4 per cent in the present day.

"Over the last 20 years Australia's median age has crept up; back in 1993 the 'average Aussie' was around 33 years old; today, that average Aussie should be starting to worry about grey hairs, as they would be around 37," explained Bjorn Jarvis from the ABS.

Tasmania has witnessed the largest percentage increase in this age group, rising from 12.2 per cent 20 years ago to 17.3 per cent at the present time.

As a result, Tasmania is now the oldest state, with an average age of 41.2 years, compared to the Northern Territory where it is just 31.7.

Life expectancy is increasing across the country, meaning it is essential to ensure your affairs are in order to avoid the likelihood of an estate dispute arising further down the line.

With facilities such as hospitals and care homes likely to find themselves under increasing pressure, making your wishes clear in your will can help eliminate some of the burden on your loved ones.

A large number of Australians pass away every year without making their wishes known - this is known as dying intestate.

Not only can this create significant stress for your family, but it could also mean your assets are not distributed as you would have wanted, potentially leading to estate disputes.

You may feel you are too young to write a will, but in reality nobody knows what is around the corner, so being prepared is always the best option.

Although the average age is increasing across Australia, there is no room for complacency - to ensure your wishes are met in the event of your death, make sure you speak to an expert.

The team at Craddock Murray Neumann are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about estate planning and how to go about writing a will.