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What are older Australians spending their money on?

hand holding australian dollar money older australians abs retirement

Since 2009-10, households headed by someone older than 55 years old saw spending on goods and services increase by more than 20 per cent.

According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), households with a reference person between 55-64 saw goods and services spending grow by 21 per cent in 2015-16 over the 2009-10 figure.

Meanwhile, households headed by someone over 65 years of age had goods and services spending increase by 22 per cent.

While the average household spent $1,425 on goods and services in the 12 months to June 2016, those headed by a person over 65 years of age spent “significantly less”, the ABS said, at $888. Those with a reference person of more than 75 years spent even less, at $671.


Lone person households headed by someone older than 65 years old spent just $539, the least out of all categories.

So, where’s the money going?

Households in the 75-and-over bracket spent the most out of all age groups on food and non-alcoholic beverages, at 18.9 per cent of spending. Those aged 65-74 years old followed at 17.8 per cent. For both groups, this type of spending took up the largest portion of all expenditure.

However, those in the 65-74 year old bracket were spending the most out of all groups on tobacco products. This was still a relatively small percentage; 1.1 per cent of household spending.

The ABS figures also report that 65-74-year-olds are having the most fun, spending the highest proportion of any group on recreation (15.5 per cent), followed by the 55-64 year old tier (14.1 per cent).

For young Australians, housing costs take the biggest chunk of expenditure at 25.4 per cent for those between 25 and 34. That’s more than 10 per cent more over what 65-74-year-olds spend (14.4 per cent).

In terms of income, Australian households headed by those between 65 and 74, and those that are headed by someone 75 or older reported their main source of income was from government pensions and allowances, at 51.5 and 73.3 per cent of households in those respective age brackets.

What are older Australians spending their money on?
hand holding australian dollar money older australians abs retirement
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