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Today’s youth are in for a future of lifelong learning, which makes the rising cost of education a concern. With the largest intergenerational wealth transfer approaching, parents and grandparents have an opportunity to help, but it will take careful planning.

What’s in store for the younger generations?

The Futurity Investment Group Investing in Education Report investigates what the future holds for Gen Z (1997-2010) and Gen Alpha (2010-current). Taking a deep dive into their goals and fears, it gives some insight into the characteristics and motivations of these cohorts.

Today’s children and young adults are expected to live longer, be more culturally diverse and more globally connected than any prior generation. In many ways, they’re looking at a future full of opportunity. But it won’t all be smooth sailing.

Lifelong learning to reach their goals

Gen Z and Gen Alpha will make up close to 40% of the workforce by 2031, and will work much later into their life than the generations before them. With that in mind, it’s not surprising they have strong views on what they want their work to look like.

Although 65% of the group worry about not having enough money to live comfortably, there’s more to it than that. Finding purpose and meaning in their work, enjoying a career that aligns to their core values, and working to have a positive impact on the world around them are all high on their list of priorities.

Almost three in four students believe lifelong learning is necessary for future-proofing your career, with 83% prepared to study more once they’ve started working. They know the way we work is changing, and they’re moving the goal posts to ensure they reach their goals.

Educational goals are evolving with the new world of work

It’s no longer a case of closing the book on education once you’ve achieved a qualification and started your career. Members of the emerging generations are expected to have 18 jobs over six careers in their lifetime. That will come with a lot of learning, which could mean a lot of expense. The cost of education in Australia is rising, and that can impact us at any stage of life.

Families feeling the squeeze from school fees

School is the first step on the path to lifelong learning, and school fees can be a financial strain. Only 26% of parents with an annual household income of $87,000-$180,000 report no financial pressure from school fees. This increases to 43% for those earning over $180,000.  

With 39% of schools likely to increase fees in 20221, households with a lower income could benefit from planning for their children’s educational goals, through strategies such as long-term investing. But for a lot of our kids and grandkids, school fees are only the beginning.  

The long-term cost of tertiary education

One in two members of Gen Z and Gen Alpha will graduate university, which will often mean a HECS-HELP debt. This burden can weigh heavily on students, impacting the ability to own their own home (50%) or purchase a car (41%).  

For the emerging generation, the notion of ‘free education’ will be a foreign concept. Whichever avenue they or their families choose, there will be significant costs to consider.  

Intergenerational wealth transfer can provide relief  

The rising cost of education in Australia is often top of mind for parents and grandparents. Whether you’re paying school fees, or hoping to ease the pressure on the young adults in your life, it’s natural to want to help your loved ones as much as possible.  

Money passed down from one generation to the next can ease financial pressure and help make the lifelong learning journeys of children and grandchildren easier. Whether assisting with school fees or wiping a further education debt, wealth transfer through a gift or inheritance can make a world of difference to reaching educational goals.  

The largest transfer of wealth is coming

Over the next 20 years in Australia, $3.5 trillion of the older generations’ wealth will either be spent or passed down. By the end of that period, the youngest of this cohort will be in their 80s, and 70% of that amount could have been transferred to children or grandchildren2.  

Even if only 5% is passed on, the average child would receive $23,0002. This could go a long way to covering the rising cost of education or wiping a HECS-HELP debt – especially when you consider the most common amount of HECS-HELP debt is $20,000-$30,000.  

What can you do to ease the financial burden?  

With the challenges facing the emerging generations, and the opportunity of intergenerational wealth transfer, you might consider planning for the cost of education. Providing the financial means to be a lifelong learner can help the workforce of tomorrow make the most of their future.  

How we can help

Futurity’s new generation Education Bonds are flexible enough to cover a range of goals, such as investment for children’s education and transferring wealth to kids and grandkids with certainty, all within a tax-effective trust-like structure.  

If you have questions about how we can help you, speak with your Financial Adviser about Futurity’s Education Bond range or get in touch with us.




  1. Futurity Investment Group, Total estimated cost of education for a child starting school in 2022, 2022
  2. McCrindle, Wealth Transfer Report, 2017