Baby boomers no burden

Time and time again we’re told that baby boomers are a burden on our country’s resources.

Baby boomers no burden

Time and time again we’re told that baby boomers are, or soon will be, a burden on our country’s resources – all take and no give. While it’s doubtful that anyone reading this who identifies themselves as a baby boomer will consider themselves to be a burden, it’s time to make those who continually spout such detrimental comments understand that this is simply not the case. In an article published in yesterday’s The Age, Kaye busts the three myths which are perpetually trotted out to make the older generation feel beholden to others. 

Read Busting myths about baby boomers in The Age.





    COMMENTS

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    dougie
    6th Jan 2015
    12:53pm
    One thing that we should all remember is that the majority of baby boomers are now in the years of near or actual retirement. The majority of those people will have by this time achieved total home ownership and have some funds put aside for emergencies. Those same people have probably raised and educated their children to a much higher level than they themselves could have hoped to achieve. They are in many cases probably still assisting these by now young adults with their family or with housing etc. And again remember that when we pass on we pass to those who follow in our families that which has been accumulated over our lifetime.

    How can this make us a burden for the taxpayer? We have done our job as a generation it is now up to the next generation to build on what we have achieved.
    Precious 1
    6th Jan 2015
    1:22pm
    This subject brought to mind the stories my Grandmother used to tell me...after the first world war there was a generation of women who never married because the men had RIP on the battlefield ...few came home and if they did they were so badly hurt that they needed nursing til they RIP.....and indeed the second w w was very similar....many were badly hurt as well and remained in nursing care ......baby boomers well its the story backwards again......modern technology,,being told to exercise, run around the block 7 days a week, eat healthily etc but the cases of cancer are reaching up to the sky...many living with that and having successful cures etc...also checking for stuff that may never arrive ie preventative meds etc healthy diets etc etc bu I believe being happy with your lot is the only healthy way to be myself....
    Precious 1
    6th Jan 2015
    1:25pm
    We never heard of such an ailment many many years ago maybe one I heard of and that was the talk of the village and named something else....we all lived on rationed foods during ww2 Grandad had an allotment and a pig etc we had hens and a rooster..lol grew vegies in gardens always had herbs all year round and Mum always made cakes, pastry and sausage rolls .....gee I miss those days..I really do.....
    MICK
    6th Jan 2015
    1:28pm
    All take? You can't take it with you!
    We have the classic scapegoat being led to the slaughter. Called baby boomers.
    jeffr
    6th Jan 2015
    1:45pm
    Debbie, you forgot to mention the amount of volunteering that was done and is still being done by the older generation. 71+ and I, like many others are still volunteers.
    Gra
    6th Jan 2015
    2:37pm
    Yes, jeffr, it's amazing the amount of volunteering that is done by babyboomers and I believe you would find the majority of those have been volunteering for various organisations for many years, not just doing it for something to do in their twilight years. The group I am involved with would have an average age in the 70's and find it is nigh on impossible to gain the interest of any of the younger generations - the exception being my 16 year old granddaughter who got involved because she wanted to, not because she was coerced. It seems the younger generations are too busy having a good time and looking after number 1 to care about anyone or anything else.
    Dollars over Respect?
    6th Jan 2015
    3:12pm
    Hi Debbie
    What about the tax boomers still pay?...out of their taxed savings...even the Centrelink Pensioners - who are still paying 10% GST on everything they have to buy (food, utilities, clothing, etc) which goes straight back into the Govt coffers. How about a so-named 'expert' actually doing a professional assessment of just how well our country continues to benefit through all our contributions - over the decades? About time I say...then the politicians will have to concentrate on doing their job - and not continuing to rip us off! Check the politicians unaffordable benefits and perks. They have a job to do, and should have no 'special benefits' over and above what is acceptable for the rest of the population who work for a living. Why should they have continuing taxpayer funded benefits after they have left their job...just to start?
    retroy
    7th Jan 2015
    1:23pm
    Did you not know that there is no GST on food?
    There, you have saved 10 % on all the food you have bought so that should put a smile on your face.
    digiom
    6th Jan 2015
    4:13pm
    What a one-sided report written by Kaye Fallick. No mention of the very high taxes paid in those countries higher on the list. I know that in Sweden, your family home is subject to capital gains tax when you sell. The whole issue should be put in perspective to enable a proper debate.
    Anonymous
    6th Jan 2015
    4:33pm
    I thought much the same - the age and Fairfax are anti coalition so not surprising. I heard a US finance commentor say that the problem with Australia and Canada is they are one trick ponies - relying on resources mainly - US is a much more diversified budget. Govn has to address revenue as well as expenditure - don't agree with changes to aged pension but also don't agree with immigrants getting access to our generous entitlements without contributing.

    6th Jan 2015
    7:12pm
    They are a burden if they are on full pension because they pissed away their wages when employed
    Alula
    7th Jan 2015
    7:14am
    Solomon, I wish I'd had the wages to piss away.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2015
    3:39pm
    You mean you've never worked a day in your life?
    Kopernicus
    8th Jan 2015
    9:58am
    You are so unsympathetic and unempathic, understanding of peoples capacities, capabilities and the ebbs and flows of life's circumstances including upbringing, their social and economic surrounds and other life events. Your judgmental explanation for everyone not being like you is that they pissed it away, there is no reason other than that. It actually says more about your character than it does about those you condemn.
    Anonymous
    8th Jan 2015
    10:47am
    Very well said Kopernicus, thumbs up!
    This guy belongs to a tribe of certain trite that has no sympathy for anybody as they manifest it quite clearly with their actions on Palestinians, for I suspect he's one of them, who support their slaughter too.
    I really don't get it what is he doing here on this forum, which concern only those affected over 50 without job opportunities in Australia.
    Obviously, he has never been in a disadvantaged situation yet, but fate can turn ironic at times (although hardly ever touches those who conspire with the devil, or synagogue of satan).
    However, he should only ask those who got ill, have been involved in a serious accident, lost a provider and/or went through a family break-up and lawyers bills.
    Maybe only then...and only if...he has a human conscious and human soul.
    Kopernicus
    8th Jan 2015
    5:24pm
    While the 'synagogue of satan' has a very pleasing sound and projects a wild image, I think this guy would not pass a satanic apprenticeship, cheap shots are not much of a CV.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2015
    3:53pm
    Solomon may be right that IF someone is on a pension because they pissed away their wages, they may be a burden. But how many fall into that category? Perhaps they are on full pensions because they were disadvantaged in terms of education and skills training and never earned enough to save much? Perhaps they had a disabled child or sick children or suffered accident or ill-health themselves? I believe the vast majority of pensioners were hard-working Australians who have a valid entitlement to a Government-funded retirement given that they had limited or no superannuation and paid tax under a system that promised them a pension in their later years in return for decades of hard work to raise and educate a family and contribute to the cost of infrastructure and caring for the sick, the disabled and their parents' generation. And regardless of whether and why they may be on a pension today, they are very likely still contributing to society through voluntary work and helping their family (and probably neighbors) whenever the opportunity arises.
    pauly
    6th Jan 2015
    7:45pm
    The only bludgers/blight on our society today are those who are elected as our so called representatives, all they do is take from the worker, pensioners and remainder of the Australian population. Our wonderful Prime minister is now overseas giving away more millions of dollars in aid while setting up to take away the already low living standards of our pensioners and other Australians on the fringe of society. Why is it that they themselves as being entitled to pay rises when ever they require them, get a full pension/superannuation payouts after short terms, that they can access etc. where as the rest of the workforce pay taxes, get very little support from government and then get screwed over when they retire. I have no doubt in my mind that the only reason Abbott is currently overseas is again to take the focus of his and his governments incompetence at running this country.
    rob101
    7th Jan 2015
    10:45am
    is there any way to find out how much Tax,Pensioners pay from their Pensions on an annual basis.I think it would come to many millions of Dollars.

    robert101

    7th Jan 2015
    12:43pm
    The baby boomers have actually contributed the most to building up this country to today's standard that the younger generations and newcomers are enjoying now and taking for granted.
    Because we are getting older now we're no longer desired and to some becoming the so-called "burden".
    Shame on those who think that way!!!
    retroy
    7th Jan 2015
    1:30pm
    We are a now nation of whingers !
    When I was young and paying more than 50% of the top end of my salary in tax, I never once worried about how much was going to age pensioners.
    Nor do I recall reading about it in news papers
    Now the young who pay a max tax of 45% at the top end seem to find time to whinge.
    Anonymous
    8th Jan 2015
    1:05pm
    Retroy, when you were young, it was easier to save to buy a house, it was easier to find a job, you probably lived with your parents until you got married. Yes the young ones today deserve to whinge because they are paying the price for some baby boomers mis spent youth.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2015
    5:03pm
    Easier to buy a house, Micha? We borrowed at 7.5% interest and it rose to 17.5+. Our first home was a 2-bedroom 30-year-old run-down cottage with leaky plumbing and rotten window frames. We borrowed the deposit, the stamp duty and the legal costs and worked multiple jobs to pay those loans back. We worked for 5 years to bring it up to a liveable standard, and then we spent 5 years living in a concrete shed while we built a house around our little family - and we had 3 little kids all that time. I went to work all day and sat up sewing all night to cloth my kids while hubby hammered and painted, and our weekends, holidays and long service were spent labouring on the house so our kids could have a good living standard and a good education. NOTHING was easier! Today, I see young families whinging about the cost of housing but buying a 4-bed, 2-bath, double garage NEW brick and tile fully landscaped with window fittings and quality furniture and floor coverings and 2 near-new cars in the garage. My neighbors take 2 or 3 kids overseas twice a year to holiday. Restaurant meals are a common occurrence, and every house has more than 1 television.
    The young have NOTHING to whinge about. We worked our guts out to give them a good education (my hubby started work at 14 and I at 16). They have a far higher living standard than we could ever even dream of. Good luck to them. I'm glad. But they SHOULD be willing to pay tax to support the older generation in retirement. We did, and I don't recall anyone ever whining about it.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2015
    5:28pm
    I just did a Real Estate search on the town in which we bought our first home. When we bought, our home cost 5.5 times the median annual wage. Today, a home of comparable quality and age costs around 5 times the median wage. Far cheaper and more accessible than then!

    Considering that young parents today get paid parental leave and subsidized child care (something we never had), and most are far better educated and thus able to earn higher wages, I'd say it's a hell of a lot easier to buy a home today than it was for us. Certainly all the young folk I know are able to buy a far larger, newer and more luxurious home and none of them go without curtains and floor coverings for years and do their own landscaping. In fact, most young folk I know have investment properties - something working people in my generation couldn't dream of until well after their kids all started work and they, themselves, were close to retirement.

    I think a lot of the ''hardship'' the young complain about is a result of high expectations. They simply don't understand what hardship is. They've never experienced it. Sure, property prices have soared in some areas and that makes it tough for some. Some aged people are paying high rents too, maybe because they suffered great hardship in their youth. Some are paying high costs for health care because of chronic disease or injury (possibly work-related injury from working in conditions nobody would be permitted to work in today!).

    If it's not acceptable for SOME young folk to do it tough because of less fortunate circumstances, why is it okay to suggest that ALL oldies should be comfortable and those that aren't deserve to suffer? Stop generalizing and assuming that everyone had the same opportunities. Read the facts in the linked article. We don't spend heavily on retirement and aged care compared to other developed nations. Our aged worked for and deserve comfort in retirement, and this nation can well afford to provide it. In the future, superannuation will take care of a large chunk of retirement costs. For those who didn't have super, or only had it for a short time, there was an understood contract that if they worked and paid tax they would receive a decent pension in retirement, and that contract should be honoured without complaint or vitriolic accusations of being a ''burden'' or a ''leaner''.

    7th Jan 2015
    3:41pm
    Baby boomers worked in a period where jobs were plentiful, education was cheap, cost of living was low, housing was cheap.

    Because times were so good, they pissed away their wages, knowing full well they could rely on the governmernt to look after them in old age.

    A very selfish way of thinking.

    Instead, had they been a bit more frugal, most would be self funded retirees now
    jeffr
    7th Jan 2015
    5:34pm
    Housing cheap? I remember the interest rate at 17% Who was making the money then ?
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2015
    5:56pm
    1970 's - house in Toorak cost $50k
    Out 10 km further , you could pick up a brand new 4 bed for $20k
    Now its worth $2Million + and $1M + respectively

    So we have boomers who are millionairres and still sticking their hand out for a pension
    jeffr
    7th Jan 2015
    7:30pm
    So what you are saying, that people who worked and saved and struggled to pay off the mortgage who are now asset rich but cash poor should sell off the family home (which they have lived in for years). Leaving friends and neighbors to resettle in a home in the sticks.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2015
    9:37pm
    Downsize into a 2 bedroom apartment or townhouse.

    And stop whinging about the pension
    jeffr
    8th Jan 2015
    3:27am
    So again what you are saying....the people that lived in state housing, went to the pub every night, had holidays, new cars ad infinitum are NOT entitled to the pension but people who did the right thing, paid taxes, never on the dole etc: should be penalised. You Solomon, would appear to many as ad hominem"
    Anonymous
    8th Jan 2015
    8:03am
    jeffr, Solomon is a paid misinformation agent living in Toorak
    Anonymous
    8th Jan 2015
    1:10pm
    If pensioners own their own home, I am of the opinion that they can live quite adequately on the pension (I'm not the only one who thinks so). If people wanted to live like millionaires on the pension, they should have scrimped and saved like many others who are not on the pension.
    Anonymous
    30th Jan 2015
    5:34pm
    Who is saying home owners can't live adequately on the pension, Micha. The argument is about whether or not the pension should be cut and whether or not it's fair to make vitriolic comments about pensioners being ''leaners'' or a ''burden''. I didn't see anyone asking for a pension increase - just objecting to misinformation about the affordability of current pension entitlements and about whether or not it's fair to claim seniors don't contribute to the economy.

    30th Jan 2015
    4:52pm
    Something that seems not to have been mentioned much in debate is interest rates. Many of today's retirees paid off homes at 17.5%+ interest rates (7.5% was considered cheap among our generation). We saved for retirement in an environment where a $1 million investment would easily return $60,000+ p.a. at bank rates and could achieve twice that if invested wisely. None of us could have anticipated the crippling losses many sustained in the GFC, and now the very low returns on investment. And that came after many lost their homes or suffered a real struggle to survive the ''recession we had to have''. Meanwhile the young are enjoying record low interest rates on their home loans.

    Retirees are already suffering a huge hit to their living standards as a result of rate changes that benefit the young. This ought to be taken into account when considering the cost of pensions and the level of entitlement of older Australians. It's too easy to say they should have saved more, but may had their savings heavily eroded through no fault of their own, and now the returns on those savings have been slashed.
    jeffr
    30th Jan 2015
    5:59pm
    Fully agree with all of your comments Rainey.

    31st Jan 2015
    3:26am
    A recent '''Today Show'' on Channel 9 featured economists stating that Australians have to actually ''get back to producing things''. If the problem is that the current generation aren't producing as past generations did, then how are retirees responsible for economic problems and why should they bear the burden? Rather than brand pensioners ''leaners'', Mr Hockey should be finding ways to address the current lack of productivity and getting production up to where it was when past generations were working.


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