Intergenerational transfers and the risk of elder abuse: the need for nuance in the asset economy debate
Cook, PS and Cook, J, Intergenerational transfers and the risk of elder abuse: the need for nuance in the asset economy debate, Proceedings of the 2022 TASA Conference, 28 November - 02 December 2022, University of Melbourne, pp. 1 piece- abstract. ISBN 9780648221036 (2022) [Conference Extract]
Discussions of the asset economy often focus on perceived intergenerational inequalities in wealth. Older generations are seen to have benefited from favourable political and economic circumstances, allowing them to generate wealth which may then be shared with younger family members who have not experienced the same favourable conditions. Discussions of potential harm have therefore focused on younger individuals who are less able to gain a foothold in the asset economy because their parents are unable (or unwilling) to provide financial assistance. This perspective fails to appreciate, however, that intergenerational wealth transfer may manifest as financial elder abuse. In this presentation, we argue that simplified discourses of older generations as homogeneously wealthy combined with ageist assumptions, the private way in which intergenerational transfers occur, and the temporalities and expectations of the property market and financial services sector, create an environment in which elder abuse may occur. We ultimately contend that discussions of intergenerational financial transfers need to attend more closely to the multiple dynamics that underpin and are generated by this practice, rather than focusing exclusively on its economic outcomes.