The randomness of luck (or lack of it) is something worth contemplating. I’m not talking about luck with the horses or on the dogs — that’s insignificant in the scheme of things.
I’m talking about luck in a greater sense: the arbitrary doling out of life’s fundamental facts at your birth. Things such as the country and family you are born to, the physical and environmental stimuli that surround you and your access to food, clean water and healthcare, all of which combined have a huge impact on your quality of life. This kind of luck profoundly affects you and directs your passage in the world.
If you’re reading this now you’re doing well (I would even say you’re extremely lucky). In a pool of an estimated 6 billion people (and growing by the second) your luck is almost miraculous, considering only 26 percent of people have access to the Internet, half of the world’s population exists on less than $2 a day and there’s only an 18 percent chance of being born in an industrialised country. Let’s just say you got a VIP ticket for this ride.
But often the clincher is the luck that comes with being born into a family that owns property. This is particularly so considering intergenerational passing of wealth is set to hit record levels in Australia, as Bankwest reported recently.
According to Bankwest’s report Inherited Housing Report 2010, the elderly and baby boomers own nearly half of the nation’s total housing stock of $3.5 trillion.
Bankwest Retail CEO Vittoria Shortt said the Inherited Housing Wealth Report was based on ABS Census data and life expectancy figures and showed that $407 billion worth of housing assets is projected to be inherited by Australians over the next 15 years.
“One in 10 homes owned by households will potentially be given away by 2025, which represents an unprecedented baton change in intergenerational wealth, the likes of which we have never seen before,” Shortt said in an recent media release.
If nothing else, these figures help to explain the curious ability of many young people to purchase $1 million homes. But what about the rest of us?
Given the chances outlined above we’re all outrageously lucky to be here, in an industrialised country with access to the food, water, healthcare and the Internet. But if you stand to inherit a home by 2025 you’re 10 times luckier than me.
No hard feelings, of course. As luck would have it, I bought my own place (the small, one-bedroom, good for rental variety).
Oh, and because I want to see my children earn their privileges, I don’t intend to pass it on.
With Australia’s projected population growth and a steady increase in housing prices many families are hoping to inherit wealth. Will you? Will you pass it on? Share your thoughts below.