Paul Clitheroe AM, by his own admission, has made a career on the back of predicting demand and articulating common sense. The founding director of ipac securities, one of Australia’s leading financial planning firms, was the guest speaker at an ipac sponsored Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce (WA) business lunch held recently in Perth.
On the topic of “Lessons over the years: what’s different now for our kids” Paul drew on his Macquarie University based role as Chair of Financial Literacy to deliver an insightful and upbeat commentary on the economic impact of demographic change. Both globally and domestically, he shared his perspective on the future of financial security.
His challenge, that an aging population draws more economic resource, but alongside it opportunity and new approaches for national fiscal management, is both rational and compelling.
Berating the media as naturally negative and for leveraging fear of economic decline, Paul provided both context and economic data to assert that our future economic prosperity is being held back only by reticence towards change. “The word retirement needs to go and replaced by the concept of financial independence.” With this mentality, working for stimulus, challenge and social objective becomes more relevant to an aging workforce.
The most compelling assertion was for both individuals and business to give permission for politicians to tell us things we do not wish to hear. In compelling Clitheroe style the argument was put that consumption tax is both more equitable and stimulating to the economy, whilst Australia currently positions its next generation to account for the burden of non-tax paying retirees. New forms of tax may not gain political momentum, but the planning process of transitioning wealth inter-generation, and the current limitations, highlight that it is the current aging workforce, not our children who truly feel the threat of economic insecurity.
Transition will come through aging, and aging well. Paul Clitheroe shared an optimistic and positive view built on the back of technological advancement and the growth of wisdom. More than half the jobs of the future don’t exist today, and like the entrepreneurship of Israel, Paul concluded Australia has an exciting transformation ahead. His final contention was that technology and a new work environment would ultimately resolve inconsistency within fiscal policy, that the cashless society is closer than we may think, and that ultimately it is the creation of income streams and not capital reserves that support wealth creation.