No, it doesn't. Witness the baby boomer retirees.It works in the US
We don't have to do that, and wages have grown since the 1970s. What has happened is that A) households have broken up and B) our desires have outgrown our incomes just as our ability to delay pleasure has plummeted.but we didn't used to have to do that, until wages for the vast majority stagnated during the mid 1970's.
I would say that net is definitely involved. Debt isn't a benefit.I suspect that you and I have a very different view of what wealth is.