23rd Oct 2013
FONT SIZE: A+ A-
Can you live the good life on an Age Pension?
Can you live the good life on an Age Pension?

Debbie McTaggart explains why your money may not be stretching quite as far as you would like.

Living the good life means something different to each individual, but if you’re managing on a fixed income, such as an Age Pension, you may have to re-evaluate your priorities. And if you think your money is not stretching as far as it used to, then you may well be right. The recent Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Retirement Standard confirms retirees are facing increased costs.

Each quarter ASFA issues its Retirement Standard which details the costs of living faced by retirees. The current amounts for either a modest and comfortable lifestyle, for both singles and couples, are as follows:

Budgets for various households and living standards (June quarter 2013, national)

Modest lifestyle - single

Modest lifestyle - couple

Comfortable lifestyle - single

Comfortable lifestyle - couple

Housing - ongoing only

$61.88

$59.40

$71.72

$83.14

Energy

$41.14

$54.64

$41.75

$56.62

Food

$74.31

$153.92

$106.15

$191.07

Clothing

$17.96

$29.15

$38.87

$58.30

Household goods and services

$26.21

$35.54

$73.73

$86.37

Health

$38.80

$74.89

$76.98

$135.87

Transport

$93.64

$96.29

$139.54

$142.20

Leisure

$71.04

$105.83

$215.27

$295.00

Communications

$9.49

$16.61

$26.08

$33.19

Total per week

$434.46

$626.27

$790.08

$1,081.76

Total per year

$22,641

$32,603

$41,169

$56,317

The figures in each case assume that the retiree(s) own their own home and relate to expenditure by the household. This can be greater than household income after income tax where there is a drawdown on capital over the period of retirement. Single calculations are based on female figures. All calculations are weekly, unless otherwise stated.

Of course, the breakdown of costs will depend upon your lifestyle. While holiday travel and accommodation decreased by (four per cent) and petrol prices by (3.1 per cent), medical and hospital services saw a price increase of 3.4 per cent, largely due to the jump in private health fund premiums in effect from 1 April 2013. Food prices increased marginally (0.1 per cent), but vegetable prices increased by 3.3 per cent and fruit prices decreased by 3.4 per cent.

For those receiving a full Age Pension, the comparison between a modest and comfortable lifestyle is as follows:

Total per week

Weekly Shortfall

Total per annum

Annual Shortfall

Actual Age Pension single*

$404.20

 

$21,018.40

 

ASFA Modest lifestyle single

$434.46

-$30.26

$22,641

-$1,623

ASFA Comfortable lifestyle single

$790.08

-$385.88

$41,169

-$20,151

ASFA Modest lifestyle couple

$626.27

-$16.87

$32,603

-$915

ASFA Comfortable lifestyle couple

$1081.76

-$472.36

$56,317

-$24,629

Actual Age Pension couple*

$609.40

 

$31,688.80

 

*Age Pension rates are current to 19 September 2013 and include the full Pension Supplement and Clean Energy Supplement. Age Pension rose on 20 September 2013, but as yet, ASFA figure for the corresponding period have not been issued. Therefore, Age Pension rates for corresponding quarter have been used.

The upshot is that those surviving solely on a full Age Pension are likely to find themselves struggling to meet the income required to live a modest lifestyle. A further $30.26 is required per week to meet this amount.

Of course, not everyone relies solely on the Age Pension for income in retirement. The Age Pension, whether full or part, can be a means to top up income received from superannuation, or income for those who continue to work past Age Pension age. If you are receiving income from another source and would like a guide as to whether or not you will qualify for an Age Pension, you can download Your retirement and the Age Pension.

So, until the Age Pension is increased by $30 per week, the chance of living a modest lifestyle, never mind the good life on a full pension is slim. Of course, being happy and healthy are as important as having money, but constantly struggling to balance your bank account, make achieving either difficult.

ASFA Retirement Standard www.superannuation.asn.au  
Age Pension rates www.yourlifechoices.com.au  
Will you get a pension? Your retirement and the Age Pension www.yourlifechoices.com.au





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login

    1st Nov 2013
    12:08pm
    Phew, I am overwhelmed.
    particolor
    29th Nov 2016
    4:23pm
    :-) And I'm Underpaid !!
    I've been BROKE for a week :-(
    But never mind ! Its Pay Day tomorrow !! YAY !! :-) :-)
    particolor
    29th Nov 2016
    4:30pm
    PS .. I'm going to Lash Out with a Big Rump Steak at $32.00 a Kilo :-)
    I'll carefully Slice it into 14 Squares for the fortnight :-) :-) :-)
    Grateful
    1st Nov 2013
    12:14pm
    There should be a completely different category for those poor pensioners who, in addition to not even being able to afford a "modest" lifestyle, don't own their own home and have to rent!!!
    And that's when people with million dollar homes and incomes over $800 per week still get paid a part pension????
    Nan Norma
    1st Nov 2013
    1:40pm
    Its hard to judge people on the value of their home. I know a couple that lived on a farm. They work hard seven days a week. didn't know what a hoilday was. When they retired none their four children wanted the farm. They'd had enough of farm living as kids. The couple sold and found they couldn't get one cent of pension. The husband was in poor health but had to pay full price for everything. To me that seems so unfair. Other people spend their money foolishly and get a pension in the end.
    Grateful
    1st Nov 2013
    2:15pm
    Nan. Depends on how much that couple had when they applied for the pension.
    I know millionaires who pay virtually nothing for their medication. You're right, does seem so unfair doesn't it.
    My point is that any person with a million dollar home and $800,000+ in the bank should get NO pension. And as for those "foolish" spenders, well, let's not generalize and consider walking a mile in some of their shoes before we condemn!!
    Nan Norma
    2nd Nov 2013
    6:59pm
    Grateful, I am not generalizing. I know some people have had plain bad luck and I'm really sorry for them. There are some people that have wasted their money on 'good times' Smoking, drinking, pokies.When they get to old age they have nothing. I have one in my own family.
    OlderandWiser
    4th May 2017
    12:00pm
    Nan Norma is right, Grateful. The current system is very wrong. It rewards spendthrifts and wasters and punishes those who are frugal, hard working and responsible. Everyone over a qualifying age should get a pension - not just the handful of disadvantaged and the masses of spendthrifts.

    I've heard all the arguments and they are all WRONG. There is no way to determine genuine need reliably, so only paying pensions to the needy is not and never can be an option. The alternative that the government has adopted is to reward those who spend like drunken sailors by demanding the taxpayer support them in old age; reward those who sink millions into elaborate family homes to reduce their assets; and deny anyone who lives responsibly, accepts modest accommodation, and saves well for retirement the right to preserve their assets for their heirs. This is essentially a denial of the right of choice. It endorses the choice to party and holiday lavishly, but condemns the choice to set aside assets for offspring or grandchildren so that future generations can have a better life. Yet we rant about leaving future generations a debt! That's totally inconsistent with the claims of why current policy exists.

    There should not be a means test for the aged pension, and if there is it should not be assets-based but only consider income (and deemed income perhaps, to ensure fairness). It is patently unfair to reduce someone's entitlement to income in later life merely because they sacrificed and saved well earlier, and it's particularly wrong to ignore the varying needs of retirees. Retirees and retired couples with the same level of assets can have very different means when health, family circumstances, the type of home owned, etc. are taken into account.

    1st Nov 2013
    12:16pm
    one can live a good frugal life on the pension - just adjust the leisure component to make up the shortfall.
    Foxy
    1st Nov 2013
    12:22pm
    ...obviously you are not in the private rental market given your suggestion ? :-)
    FrankC
    1st Nov 2013
    12:54pm
    Yes, the private rent we pay is $670/fortnight, but we do get $115 rent assistance.
    Foxy
    1st Nov 2013
    1:25pm
    problem is though Frank the rental assistance given by the Govt. has never kept up with the sky-rocketing rentals that are now being demanded by investors in capital cities today - even regional areas (where rents used to be lower) are now commanding "city" prices....people who put out these outrageous so called "studies" of the "average pensioner" never ever factor private rental or mortgage payments into the mix........they need to put a Focus Group of aged pensioners together and ask them how damned hard it is to survive! These bods wouldn't have a clue !!!
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2013
    1:32pm
    I was just going by the "weekly shortfall" column. perhaps Debbie should have another table showing the rent assistance shortfall.

    then again - pensioners who rent, can move to a cheaper area.

    see - i have a solution for everything :)
    Foxy
    1st Nov 2013
    1:45pm
    ...cheaper areas? Door-ways of David Jones perhaps? - under bridges? - or doorway of Tiffany & Co. ?? Thought you were a bit more compassionate Jag. - and how pray tell - are pensioners gonna come up with $1200 Bond and $1200 Months rent in advance and removal truck costs? Approx. $2800................????? You find a cheap area Jag. and let me know (I'll pass it on to some folks I know) or perhaps you need a "wake-up call" regarding rentals by looking on realestate.com.au - reality check for you :-)
    surfer
    5th Nov 2013
    4:53pm
    We are not all on the bones of our bum FOXY. You sound like you have lost a dollar and found 50 cents.
    Kopernicus
    5th Nov 2013
    8:46pm
    I think it's hard to live in someone's shoes Jaguar. I'm not sure you get it.
    FrankC
    1st Nov 2013
    12:50pm
    Who worked out the transport costs for the above. ? I spend about $15/week on petrol, and if you include insurance, $402 on a 2005 Elantra, plus Rego (pensioner discount in Queensland in which is included CTP $520,) it comes to $47.73. What car are they considering and how much petrol are they using?? .And communications : $16.61, we use iPrimus package at $19.54 (avge) which I think is the cheapest internet package around for what you get.
    Some of these figures are amusing !!
    Nan Norma
    1st Nov 2013
    12:57pm
    Those in private rental are really struggling. Unfortunately some people chose not to buy and are now paying for it. With more older couples seperating the situation is getting worse.
    tiger
    1st Nov 2013
    1:11pm
    there will always be those who want more money to squander on Smokes,drink and gamble.My monthly expenses are about,$20 it connection,$20 phone plan free calls,$150 maintenance fee,age unit I own.Petrol,food,etc.About $600 per month all up out of $1,654.20.Enoy the good life always wine with food,no gamble or smoke.I don't care what people say a good life on the full pension can be had.
    Foxy
    1st Nov 2013
    1:34pm
    beg to differ - everyone's situation is different and Nan Norma is correct given the high divorce rate of baby-boomers - people who had a home but now don't! People on the pension Tiger cannot afford to drink gamble and smoke and also you (once again) are just another person NOT factoring in $1200+ pcm for either Private Rental or Mortgage in your monthly expenses!
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2013
    1:35pm
    well done tiger. guess some animals are careful with their money while others (Foxes) are just downright spendthrifts !!
    Foxy
    1st Nov 2013
    1:48pm
    don't start on me Jaguar - you know NOTHING about me whatsoever !
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2013
    2:00pm
    i was just being facetious, Foxy. Have a look at how this guy does it
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/
    Foxy
    1st Nov 2013
    2:42pm
    sorry..... :-( (goes to hunt a chicken for dinner! - can't afford to buy one (joking)
    Foxy
    1st Nov 2013
    2:51pm
    checked out the website - thanks - (I have seen similar stuff like that before) - that's if you can believe 'em......?
    tiger
    1st Nov 2013
    3:36pm
    Nan Norman- Foxy, Why would I factor in Private Rental and a mortgage when I have never had one. I worked all my life have budget and saved well.An overseas trip almost every year during my working life.I am male 76years single and I say again I live extremely well on the pension and I am sure others do the same.Stop whinging the lot of you and get on with the good life.
    Foxy
    1st Nov 2013
    4:36pm
    Tiger - you have missed the plot totally! YOU are not the issue here - okay - good for you that your life has turned out! We are merely suggesting that the list by Debbie - does NOT include these things for people who are in an obviously less fortunate position than yourself and still have to pay rent and/or mortgage! You get a life!!! Stop being mean and consider other people's situations for once! Jeeeezzz ...............................
    surfer
    5th Nov 2013
    4:56pm
    Well FOXY, what shower did you come down in. Away with the fairies as usual. Don't you be nasty to your Jaguar mate. He is facetious, phew thats a bit off putting.
    OlderandWiser
    4th May 2017
    12:23pm
    Tiger is typical of the self-satisfied egotists who presume to dictate how others should live, but have no concept of the realities of other people's circumstances. Tiger, it's great that things have worked out well for you, but others haven't been so fortunate. And it's not only rent that can make retirees hard up. I'm fortunate to be still able to work and to have some savings, but if my only income were an aged pension I'd be very hard up despite owning a home. That's because of my family circumstances and my partner's health needs.

    Averages are dangerous. And relying on individual circumstances to claim the adequacy of the pension is not only arrogant and ignorant, but really just plain selfish.
    thommo
    1st Nov 2013
    2:50pm
    we are 64 and 67 year olds who rent a house off a very good friend.We rent because we still had a mortgage 2 years ago and knew we wouldn't be able to afford it on the pension.I suppose we are lucky that we have money in the bank,and i work 2 days a week.We had a mortgage because we supported our grandchildren,before the government decided to assist grandparents,and i have no regrets.My friend who owns the house tells me the agent suggested a $10 a week rise in the rent annually,he said"don't go there".never had any faith in real estate agents!!their motto"greed is good"
    dougie
    1st Nov 2013
    3:13pm
    There may be a statistical norm but please show me anyone who fits within the parameters
    of a statistical pattern. There are so many differences in people in their needs and their wants and in their style of living to set a true statistical norm. Some people will own their own home, some people will have prepared themselves for retirement in a different way to others, some may due to family circumstances have extra calls upon them financially and no matter how frugal they are they just cannot manage.
    For what it is worth we are better off than many countries and worse off than others. Some would say that we are statistically in the middle. Does that make us better or worse off than others? Frankly I do not know but what I do know is that at this stage in life my wife and I are happy, we have the best medical care and affordable medication, we enjoy our life and our family and we live for today because tomorrow we may not wake up.
    If there is a better way of life others are welcome to it we are happy!
    Nan Norma
    2nd Nov 2013
    7:08pm
    Well said dougie
    kosmo88
    1st Nov 2013
    3:30pm
    you need to add rental payments on your budget calculations.!!!
    Foxy
    1st Nov 2013
    4:47pm
    already said that on here umpteen times - every time one of these "stupid" assessments comes out by people who have absoloutely no idea and also - all those "hasbeen" stars of yesteryear that went on TV - on behalf of the aged pensioners - like Baby John Burgess - Prue McSween and the old git from Home and Away (or Prisoner or wherever he was from?) was given the fortnightly cash amount by Current Affair to go "do grocery shopping - pay utilities - buy petrol - medications etc. etc. to "pretend" they were living on the pension - THEY could not survive in the fortnight and RENT/MORTGAGE payments were NOT even factored into it! Beggars belief!!!!! Load of BS - sorry!

    1st Nov 2013
    4:47pm
    I do alright on my pension.

    I just had to lower my expectations. Cut out a few non essentals and make some compromises for example

    1) Heating, I make do with jumpers and heat from the sun. Anyway if the class of water by the bed is not frozen in the morning its not really cold is it.

    2) Cooling, fans only if I'm about to pass out. Sweating is a good way to lose weight. Plus I keep the curtains closed, windows and doors shut during the day in the summer only opening up at night when it is coolest to cool down the house.

    3) Home maintenaince minimal ,I live in a strata and do No painting inside(grey,yellow, puse my walls and ceilings now are). Also I keep other maintanence to as cheap as possible (Gaffer tape works good on holes, gaps and cracked glass).

    4) Transport, I don't go anywhere and live a short walk from my doctor,dentist, chemist and supermarket. What else do I need.

    5) Communication = the internet on a computer made from second hand parts many recovered from computers found dumped on the street.

    6) Entertainment = the internet and freeview using a $10 usb tuner plus re-reading books I have accumulated over the years.

    7) Food cheapest avialable plus a bit of fasting at bill time.

    8) Water heating is expensive so I only turn it on when its unavodable. A cold shower never hurt anyone. I use a cold wash for cothing . I also save by using a scrubbing brush cold water and salt for cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces.

    9) Clothing and bedding there are some good deals on the internet and as I don't go out I care not what it looks like.

    10) Sosialising = Internet . Can't afford to go out and no one in their right mind would visit this dump.

    I am at no risk of starving,
    I have a roof over my head.
    I keep my expectations low.

    And I know there are millions in this world who would kill to have what I have.

    No I do OK on the Pension.
    Foxy
    1st Nov 2013
    5:20pm
    You told me once before on here you were fortunate to live in a strata complex that had a Corporate Body etc. and they would not purchase a new TV aerial for you - remember? No wonder you do ok on the pension! I doubt you live in a "dump" like you say.......... My heart bleeds for you (not)......sorry

    1st Nov 2013
    5:58pm
    Foxy

    I do not want or need anyones sympathy.

    I do live in a Strata and pay Strata levies, Council rates, electricity, water, internet etc. You seem to be inplying I have no costs because I live in a strata.

    The strata will not replace the common external antenna or allow me to install a new one outside for myself so I now have one hung from the ceiling in the back room. (works quite well)

    The strata does look after the roof, common property etc. If its anything big they impose a special levie. I'm still paying off the last one.

    I still am responsable for everything inside and the court yard. I did have to pay replace the water heater when it broke at my own cost (which happen 2 months ago).

    And as you said about your self earlier in this Topic
    "you know NOTHING about me whatsoever !"

    A dump may have been an exageration.
    There are holes in the lino the carpets are a bit thread bare and the walls do not look too good. So I do not invite people over foolish pride on my part I suppose.

    But it suits me and as I said I do OK on the pension.

    1st Nov 2013
    8:54pm
    Oh sorry Foxxy I just read through your other posts.

    You seem to think anybody without a morgage or paying rent in the private sector has a no right to comment.
    Maybe you are right maybe when we become disabled or old we should sell everything and give the money to the goverment so everybody is on the same level.

    The calculations are based on a statistical norm it means there are as many with costs below the stated amount as there are above. Some people can maintain a reasonable standard of living for less some it will cost more.

    Plus our pensions are rated above those of Uk,USA,Canada etc and the only country rated higher than us is Demark which is on the verge of bankrupcy due to the high cost of its pensions and social schemes.(based on the Mercer Global pensions index 2012)

    When I could earn I put every cent I had into getting my own home as I knew my working life would be short. At the time I was determined not depend on the goverment I failed but I do have my own home. I can't afford to maintain it but it will outlast me.(sold my orginal home to pay off its morgage and bought the only place I could afford to buy outright near where I had to be)

    In most countries with pensions the pension are based on supplying a subsistance level of living. No factoring in anything bar food, accomadation and basic utilies. The last two often you have to claim seperately and are often baised on where you live in the country (for example you get more for heating if you live in the north of england than in the south. North is colder)

    sorry I'm rambling.

    Yes I am fortunate to own my own home.
    Yes there are people worse off than me in this country.
    But our pensions are some of the highest in the world as a percentage of mean earnings so we should be able to survive on them.

    Money doesn't grow on trees.

    We are lucky to get this much and the way things are going our luck may well help bankrupt this country.
    Then again with any luck all us pensioners will be dead before that happens so why should we care?

    We polluted the world when we were young now we're bankrupting the country in our old age.
    Wow what a legacy
    Anonymous
    2nd Nov 2013
    11:07am
    Rat you mentioned that "The strata will not replace the common external antenna or allow me to install a new one outside for myself so I now have one hung from the ceiling in the back room. (works quite well)"
    What a bunch of wankers. Get together with the other residents and chuck the pathetic mob out at the next committee elections. People like that piss me off. Small dick syndrome
    Foxy
    2nd Nov 2013
    11:17am
    Hiya Ratty - wow - what a reply from you this time around! No no - I think anyone has a right to comment on anything and give their views on anything no matter what their circumstances/beliefs are - my main point was :- the list shown by Debbie at the top of this post - that suggested budgeting for the "average" pensioner- did not show or allow for private rental/mortgage amounts that a lot of pensioners unfortunately still have to find per month......ok?

    Try to enjoy your week-end and hey - never be too proud to invite your friends around because if they good friends they already know your situation - it's you they coming to see and like - not where you live!......it is wonderful and sunny here in Melbourne (temporary of course - tomorrow we go back to winter again) - cheers :-)
    Foxy
    2nd Nov 2013
    11:21am
    yayyyyyyyy Jag. great advice - claps Fox paws with great enthusiasm (wished I'd have thought to tell him that) apparently though the owners of his Strata are one big "private" family and refuse to listen to anyone in the complex....can they do that legally?
    Anonymous
    2nd Nov 2013
    2:10pm
    Rat can lodge a dispute against the Owners Corp with his state tribunal. The OC cannot act unreasonably. Cost less than $100, so a few of his fellow owners could band together and file one against those pricks
    Foxy
    2nd Nov 2013
    3:13pm
    Hmmmm great advice but from memory I think Rat told me this family that sold/manage these units actually reside on the premises as well - so could be a bit tricky in the long-term if maybe they got upset? Could be worse repercussions maybe? I don't know - maybe Rat can "fill in" a bit more detail......?

    2nd Nov 2013
    11:26pm
    Details?
    The Strata has 17 Villas. 9 of which belong to one extended family and they are aquiring them at a rate of around 1 ever 12-18 months. As you see they have a majority and control day to day activities. 4 more properties and they can change the by-laws.

    They can make things uncomfortable if I rock the boat.

    If they get all 17 they can disolve the strata and sell or redevelop the land.

    Interestingly rezoning and the fact the Strata is on a large level rectangular plot may make it prime for redevelopment.

    and Im just a an ugly old cripple who wants a quite life;-)
    Foxy
    3rd Nov 2013
    12:52pm
    yeah thought they could make things "tricky" if you stood up for your rights - hmm no-one seems to be safe anywhere anymore (although I guess nothing is deemed "safe" these days!) Forgive me for not knowing - but - how do they acquire the properties? Do they wait for people to sell them - or to die - and buy them back or something? Sorry but know little (or more like nothing) about Strata.. :-) P.S. Told ya it'd be freezin' in Melb. today!

    3rd Nov 2013
    6:24pm
    They buy them just like any other property.
    The main difference with selling a strata is you have to get a document from the Corporate body giving the state of the properies account (levies,fines etc) when you do so.
    Many people get worn down dealing with a disfunctional strata so the turnover is quite high.
    Most when they put the place on the market advertise out of the area as to try and avoid word of mouth reducing the sale price. Of course they can't stop the strata from knowing and prospectic buyers have to pass through common property where they may hear or see stuff that puts them off.

    Just read goverment may be changing the strata act so that it takes less than all to agree when desolving a strata. I wonder how that will work?

    But enough now of this boring stuff

    "The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes, and ships; and sealing-wax
    Of cabbages and kings
    And why the sea is boiling hot
    And whether pigs have wings."
    Pass the Ductape
    4th Nov 2013
    10:13am
    Rat - I sympathize with you, but it seems to me that you aren't' really living - only existing!
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2013
    12:27pm
    Rat - grow some kahuna's dude. Rock the boat. Live a little. I am currently in a fight against the Executive Clowns at one of my investment units.
    Legal fees will cost me more than rolling over and accepting their "orders" . Well fark them. I'd rather pay the lawyer than comply.

    4th Nov 2013
    2:35pm
    Jags
    This isn't an investment property, I have to deal with fall out directly. Plus lawers cost my I do not have. I'm cash poor, with only one major asset.

    A TV antenna is not worth the fuss.

    To give you an idea of the mentality round here. A couple of years ago someone made the mistake of painting their front door the wrong colour then going away for a few days. Apparently when they returned somebody "corrected" the situation by repainting their door for them locks and all. I was spending a fair amount of time in hospital around then so unfortunatly I don't know all the details. All I do know for certain is that villa went on the market and the next set of accounts showed the strata had paid for a new door.

    I have decided to save my strength and not sweat the little stuff.(though I do keep notes etc).

    4th Nov 2013
    2:37pm
    Ductape
    Only Existing is when you sleep in the skip you get your food from.
    Anonymous
    4th Nov 2013
    3:26pm
    Ok - how about a couple of strategically placed dead relatives (mice) , booby traps (doggy doo) hehehhe

    I wish I was living there. I'd give those miserable bastards something to think about
    Foxy
    4th Nov 2013
    5:20pm
    nice thoughts Jag. but bottom line is - you don't live there and who knows what these "assholes" are capable of doing? I have had a saying for many years "strangers that f - - k your life" ! Happens everyday - some creep will somehow screw you over no matter what - my latest example you may ask??? My lovely (and I always thought they were nice people - neighbours) knocked on my front door - ohhh they said - you have a couple of branches hanging over our property - blah blah blah - mind if we chainsaw them and stick 'em back to you? No no - says me (moron) that's fine! TWO hours of chainsawing later (from next door) and YES you guessed it - they cleaned up everything they wanted to do on their property and dumped the whole MEGA pile into the front my place - total freakin' assholes! So - I outsmarted them (in a way) rang the council and told them I had "illegal dumping of branches on my property" - situation - fixed!!!! (mind you took 3 weeks for council to come - but they did)...sooooooooooooo sick of people...........

    4th Nov 2013
    5:27pm
    Jags

    After complaining to no avail about kids trampling the patch of flowers near my front door. I did start using that patch for herbs as well as flowers. Did you know stinging nettles make a really invigorating tea.
    After which clearing dirty disposable nappies out of my letter box look like becoming a way of life. So generally I like to avoid stuff that can escalate.

    Oh if you do live in a place like mine I would advise carrying a small bottle of acetone with you (it desolves super glue). Really handy when you find you key won't go in the lock( they usually manage to get the stuff only on the surface but fortunatly never all the way in ) Does not happen often, but Its best to be prepared. Locksmiths are expensive.

    No point in complaining it just escalates things.

    Also if you try offical channels you get told its probably just kids and Kids will be kids!!.

    I most admit at tmes I am tempted to invite some of my larger relatives (Rattus norvegicus) over for some sport.

    The petty minded and power mad play games.
    The truly mad/wise just wait until things to get out of hand,
    then slip in like rats to feast on the carnage.

    "If you wait by the river long enough the heads of your ememies will float by."
    catsahoy
    5th Nov 2013
    11:27pm
    RAT,reading your first comment on here, you at least seem to have a sense of humor, keep it up, if you can laugh at life your halfway there,
    catsahoy
    5th Nov 2013
    11:27pm
    RAT,reading your first comment on here, you at least seem to have a sense of humor, keep it up, if you can laugh at life your halfway there,
    catsahoy
    5th Nov 2013
    11:27pm
    RAT,reading your first comment on here, you at least seem to have a sense of humor, keep it up, if you can laugh at life your halfway there,
    catsahoy
    5th Nov 2013
    11:27pm
    RAT,reading your first comment on here, you at least seem to have a sense of humor, keep it up, if you can laugh at life your halfway there,
    catsahoy
    5th Nov 2013
    11:27pm
    RAT,reading your first comment on here, you at least seem to have a sense of humor, keep it up, if you can laugh at life your halfway there,
    catsahoy
    5th Nov 2013
    11:27pm
    RAT,reading your first comment on here, you at least seem to have a sense of humor, keep it up, if you can laugh at life your halfway there,
    catsahoy
    5th Nov 2013
    11:27pm
    RAT,reading your first comment on here, you at least seem to have a sense of humor, keep it up, if you can laugh at life your halfway there,
    toot2000
    6th Nov 2013
    1:25pm
    Keep your head down Rat and hang in there, those bastards should be shot.
    Mr Charlie
    6th Nov 2013
    6:15pm
    Provided you have managed to own a "Home sweet home", the present old age generation is relatively well off. Housing affordability is the great present day problem for an ever increasing proportion of the work force. The majority of todays elderly population had it fairly easy compared with todays workforce. We had affordable housing and stable employment, this no longer exists. 7 parliaments governing 23 million people is another back breaking impediment to the economy which we can no longer sustain. No business can exist with 7 head offices, which is the ridiculous situation we are in today.
    OlderandWiser
    4th May 2017
    12:15pm
    I dispute that today's elderly ''had it fairly easy compared with today's workforce''. I am seeing food courts and coffee lounges crowded with young families, and young families with new brick and tile 4+ bed, 3 living room, 3 bathroom homes with landscape gardens, swimming pools and 2 near new SUVs taking holidays overseas with their kids. Nobody I knew could live like that. All my friends, like me, settled for a 30 year old run down 2 bed + sleep-out cottage and grew vegetables and took in babysitting and laundry and mending work to pay the mortgage, only to - in many cases - lose the home when interest rates soared to 18%+. Restaurant dinners and bought coffee were never experienced. Holidays were rare and generally in tents close to home. We renovated homes ourselves. Men took second jobs. Life was hard.

    As for this so-called ''housing crisis'' - what nonsense! Working people could never contemplate a home in the inner city. But today, you can buy a very good home in Melbourne outer suburbs or in country towns for $300,000. That's just 5 year's gross earnings at a modest rate of $60,000 pa. When I bought my first home, a decent house in a country town or city suburb cost about five year's gross average wages. The difference, of course, was that interest rates were double what they are now, and rising. And there was no comparison between the older style 2 bedroom cottage that workers considered an adequate first home then and the 4-bedroom brick and tile even lower paid workers demand today.

    I am concerned for the future of younger generations because of high unemployment, but overall today's young have it far, far easier than any generation before them.
    renya
    12th Nov 2013
    11:18am
    I am a bit gobsmacked by the budget estimates for modest lifestyle singles.
    I am grateful to be living in a ministry home paying rent. It's a lovely home.
    As far as expenses go, if I save carefully and stick to my budgets, then I can save $500 each month from my pension. Enough for an overseas trip, if I want to go.
    My only income is the pension with a measly bit of interest each year from the $20,000 in the bank that I don't touch.

    I feel sorry for pensioners who cannot make ends meet due to high rentals or mortgages, and maybe high medical expenses. I am pretty sure that most pensioners are sensible with their money, and manage to squirrel some of it into savings.

    If you are not managing, then perhaps see a financial counsellor - enquire at centrelink for those who offer free services as there can be a steep charge by private financial planners.
    luke@dollarwise.com.au
    31st Aug 2016
    11:40am
    I think you can live comfortably off the age pension, but you really do need to supplement with some passive income and ideally have paid off or nearly paid off your home. I've got a guide i did up to help a friend as they entered life on the single age pension you might want to check out here, http://dollarwise.com.au/living-off-the-single-age-pension/
    sticko
    3rd Dec 2016
    1:03pm
    The aged pension is way under the basic wage. Maternity leave is much higher and I would like to know if maternity pay is for those who are married and having children when the husband is working? Not much help when I was pregnant, just had to manage and take night work which eventually ends in divorce.
    OlderandWiser
    4th May 2017
    12:47pm
    So a homeowner couple with $375,000 invested at 5% (the government-stated average) will have a total income of $50,440 approx. and receive thousands in pensioner discounts and concessions. Conversely, a homeowner couple with $825,0000 will have an income of only $41,250 and get zero concessions. Yes, the latter can spend their capital, but that's communism - reducing everyone to the same standard. Why should the couple who saved more be denied benefit while the couple who perhaps took a few world cruises and lived the high life are given handouts?

    We need two major reforms to our aged pension system. First, we need a significant increase in the rate, and second we need to remove the patently unfair and economically unsustainable assets test.

    And for those who claim our pensions are higher than other countries, please compare apples with apples. The US and UK have vastly different retirement funding systems. Overall, Australia's treatment of its retirees is very poor by global standards. Even third world countries care for their aged better than we do in Australia. And if we can afford to pay maternity leave to high-income-earning families at rates commensurate with the mother's earnings, we can afford to do better by our retirees.
    KB
    8th May 2017
    11:42am
    Whoever composed the list of cost s forgot the cost of water.South Australia has the highest cost of living costs with electricity and water. I have a good friend who could no longer afford to pay rent on top of living costs and she lived in a dump . She had to make a choice. Even renting on a disability pension not easy.


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles