Retirement housing dilemma

Home ownership is vital for income security in retirement says CEDA report.

Retirement housing dilemma

Yesterday’s report from the Committee on Economic Development (CEDA) on retirement income and housing recognised the critical role that home ownership plays in retirement. Put simply, most retirement renters will live in poverty.

It’s a perfect storm as the report The Super Challenge of Retirement Income Policy, has revealed. With a doubling of the dependency ratio (those working and paying tax compared with those not doing so) within 40 years, and more older Australians living longer on less, a roof over their heads is less likely to be guaranteed. As noted in the executive summary of the report, housing makes a critical contribution to help sustain living standards for older Australians.

The CEDA report also makes a very important point in regard to superannuation, by reminding us that compulsory super should be "seen as a way to help people fund their retirement – not as a way to save the government money." Four recommendations for a "prosperous and dignified retirement for all Australians" are put forward by CEDA:

  1. Adopt clear and consistent objectives.
  2. Recognise housing as the fourth pillar of the retirement system – allowing first homebuyers access to their super to buy a house.
  3. Address the lack of equity in super taxation – with super contributions made from AFTER-tax contributions and including the family home in the Age Pension assets test.
  4. Create more innovative income stream/post-retirement products.

And along with other think tanks and community associations, including the Committee for Sustainable Retirement Incomes (CSRI), COTA Australia and delegates at last week’s National Reform Summit, CEDA notes that the need for a rigorous retirement income policy review is urgent.

Read the CEDA report.

Opinion: Housing vital for income security

With housing affordability declining and private rental becoming close to unaffordable, many older Australians will face the prospect of, at best, a retirement of genteel poverty and, at worst, homelessness.

It is about time a discussion on retirement income included a debate about the lack of affordable housing. More and more Australians are entering retirement with excessive mortgages or, perhaps worse still, no mortgage at all as they do not own a home.

CEDA is right to link the housing affordability crisis back to the great retirement shortfall, whereby the next generation of retirees have been in the compulsory super system too short a time to have saved a decent nest egg.

Yes, younger people who can’t afford a home are doing it tough (and getting a ‘decent’ job, Mr Hockey, is a facile solution – most are trying to do just that). But those who are currently leaving the workforce to enter retirement, whether voluntarily or not, are the generation who will find out first up how tough life will be on a low, fixed income and high rent, with very little left over for necessities, including energy, nutritious food and transport.

CEDA’s recommendations are bold. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, but do think they should be put forward to be debated. And such an important policy debate should take place within the scope of a review of our full retirement income system. As David Murray noted in the conclusions of the Financial Services Inquiry, we are still lacking a clear and concise definition of the purpose of the superannuation system.

Until we have agreed goals for super savings and how they combine with an Age Pension, private savings and property, we have no hope of fostering a system that will be fair and sustainable for all. So once again, we urge all political parties to get behind the need to get such an inquiry underway without further delay.

What do you think? Is owning a home key to your retirement security? Or are there other ways of living a comfortable life after work? If you are renting, do you find it difficult to afford other essentials, such as food, utilities and medical services?





    COMMENTS

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    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    10:02am
    carers face a housing crisis when thier caring days are over. no superannuation no nothing. after years of saving the govt a fortune dont qualify for govt housing either
    Nan Norma
    2nd Sep 2015
    12:33pm
    tisme. Why do you regard being a carer as saving the government a fortune. Were you not caring for a loved one. shouldn't we all care for a loved one. I presume you were recieving some sort of payment from the government.
    Tom Tank
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:17pm
    It is much cheaper for the Government to have people cared for at home than in, for example, an aged care facility. While some financial support is available from Government it is not much compared to the savings made through home care.
    A carer does have to work very hard with generally little respite from the constant demands made upon them.
    Yes we should care for our loved ones but a carer should receive suitable support that includes some measure to cover their inability to contribute to super.
    jackie
    2nd Sep 2015
    10:03am
    What will happen to the old people of the future if this is happening now? Turning homes into commodities is the biggest moral sin ever.
    Alula
    2nd Sep 2015
    11:35am
    It's happening to the oldies now. The have-nots are forced into living in places not conducive to health and sanity: with relatives (unpaid babysitters); in miserable share accommodation, often in proximity to domestic violence and drug abuse; on the streets; or unable to afford a good diet, health supplements, holidays, or any of the good things some take for granted. A perfect storm, or you could call it the thin end of the wedge of killing us off earlier rather than later.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2015
    9:51am
    True, Alula, and the have-a-little's are being ground down into hardship and denied the right to enjoy the fruits of a lifetime of hard work, planning, and saving. Short of a total overhaul of the entire system of national wealth distribution - which won't happen under this Government - I don't see any answers. Ultimately, the rich are going to have to shoulder more of the burden of supporting the social structure that benefits them, but this Government is determined to ensure that never happens. You can't get blood out of a stone, and the resources of the battlers who worked and saved for a lifetime are finite and rapidly being drained away due to poor investment returns and unfair Government policies. Who will pay the piper when those currently being slugged are broke?
    TREBOR
    2nd Sep 2015
    10:17am
    Family home within the limits of value for its surrounding area should be sacrosanct. Discussed this before - it's not the fault of a retiree that the humble holiday cottage they bought forty years ago for $40k is now worth $2m as oceanfront.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    10:25am
    Home should be included in assets test as this is the most inequitable part of the pension system. Someone with a $2 million home can only get the pension if it is paid back after their death.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2015
    11:11am
    Does that go for Polly's Investment Properties ? :-)
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    11:42am
    Pollies don't get welfare so no asset test.
    Kaz
    2nd Sep 2015
    11:59am
    Bonny, you never make social sense but you do obviously like your dollars and cents!
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    12:06pm
    Not too worried about my dollars and cents either. I just learn the rules and play the game of life. Nothing more.
    Tom Tank
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:20pm
    I must disagree Bonny with your statement that pollies don't get welfare. I personally would say that their incredibly generous pension is largely funded by taxpayers so that, in my book, amounts to welfare.
    Don't ever expect a pollie to agree with that point of view.
    Kato
    2nd Sep 2015
    5:28pm
    One would have to view the travel allowances and such as a form of taxpayer funded welfare and the overnight allowances is just outright thievery free grog and meals no welfare you have to be kidding.
    marls
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:23pm
    bonny where are you coming from. Pollies get an enormous pension not to mention super. we are means tested on our lousing pension and super so why not them
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:30pm
    I don't get means tested on my super either.
    Abby
    3rd Sep 2015
    10:58am
    Yes I agree with you Bonny .. the house you are living in should be included in the Asset test ... but our government is not strong enough to do it ... we need somebody like Gillard to come back .. she managed to take dental, vision and hearing aid benefits without the Seniors even noticing it .
    Anonymous
    4th Sep 2015
    7:25am
    I see nothing wrong in putting a limit on the value of a home at all. If the upper limit for assets is say $800,000 and your home is valued at $4 mililon is it right that that person gets a pension when a person with assets (not a home) is denied a pension?

    No one need be forced to sell at all if they wished to say in their home; however, if you own a home over the limit and gain access to a pension whatever you have been paid will be taken from the sale of the home on your death.

    Why should the taxpayer fund your children's inheritance?

    There is not a bottomless pit of money..or maybe people think there is.
    buby
    7th Sep 2015
    9:17pm
    and if your lucky enough to own a home to stay in. You would be surprised at the squalor that some elderly have to live in these days. Its disgusting, and nobody gives a bugger. We the elderly are being dismissed, as had, and who cares. Certainly not many relatives either nor the builders, as they only build to house the families.....They don't care two hoots about the single oldies! Pathetic
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    10:23am
    I agree with allowing first home owners to access their super to buy a house. This will help more people into housing and flow through to retirement.

    I agree that the home should be included in the assets test. I don't agree with super contributions made with after tax income as I for one would not have put any money into super without some incentive. I have also told my kids not to put any more than they have to into super at their age as it's a long term investment and the rules will change before they access it. It is much better to invest in things in which you have full control and not be governed by ever changing rules.

    Create more innovative income stream/post-retirement products. Oh dear one can only imagine what the big institutions and banks will do with that one. They already employ graduates to design these products which are designed upmost to make money for the provider.

    Those deferred management fees of retirement villages are a disgrace and should be banned. They are nothing more than a private death tax paid to the seller of these units and increases the longer a person lives in them.
    Christine
    2nd Sep 2015
    11:04am
    I recognised this problem for myself a few years back and decided the only solution, short of a massive government funded building program, is for mature age renters to share. The bigger and better the house, the better the conditions for each member of the household. 3 is a minimum with 4 or 5 people sharing achieving the best life quality. I have a website here explaining the idea in more detail. Please contact me through the site if you might be interested in helping to set up the first of many of these households. http://quirkynation.blogspot.com.au/
    Alula
    2nd Sep 2015
    11:54am
    Christine, the QuirkyNation site seems a brilliant idea! Have mentioned it to a friend and shared on Facebook. I'd be in like a shot but got lucky when my amazing son built me a little place on his property.
    Kaz
    2nd Sep 2015
    12:01pm
    Interesting idea...
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    12:01pm
    Christine why not extend it to people who own big houses but live on their own?
    Christine
    2nd Sep 2015
    12:47pm
    Bonny, as a guest in someone else's home, you have no tenants rights and live as a second class citizen in their home. My variation is that, if someone wants to make the choice to live in community with others, but owns their own home, they can rent that home out and live in a shared rental house for much lower rent. There are many "homeless" women now living in borderline or real abusive conditions where they have no say in how a house is run and can be thrown out on a whim. Some are victim to predatory men, and some simply have to obey other women. It is not a way to see out you days. So shared rental is a much better option.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    3:47pm
    I have started selling down my properties because as a landlord I no longer have control over them but still have the responsibility of fully funding them. The act is now too much in favour of the tenants for my liking with even the tribunal giving landlords a judgement in the landlord's favour but only asking the tenants to pay a proportion of the total damages. If other landlords do the same then it will only further hurt the rental property market.

    As a landlord I would be very hesitant to rent to someone in your scheme as I would not have control over who was living there.
    bookwyrm
    5th Sep 2015
    12:53pm
    Great idea, Christine. And it could work, everbody would have good locks on their bedroom door and that room is their own private area. And they share common areas. I was lucky to get into public housing 4 years ago. Otherwise I wouldn‘t be able to manage on my dsp pension. The rents in my regional city are way above what I would be able to afford, they keep rising, plus there is a dire shortage of rental properties. I am actually meeting homeless working people. One taxi driver was living in his van which parks at his gym parking lot, for showers no doubt.
    Christine
    5th Sep 2015
    1:35pm
    It's the only thing that can work short of a massive increase in public housing. And as you can see from many of the attitudes expressed here, there is no will to solve the problem. This is all a bit reminiscent of the days when women were blamed for being raped. The homeless are similarly being blamed for being homeless. There is a very inaccurate picture Of who is now finding themselves homeless and why and blaming us is no solution. The welfare net that used to exist has a verY big hole in it when it comes to housing. Other countries have found that it is cheaper to provide homes for the homeless than to pick up the pieces after someone finds themselves homeless. It is well proven, but we, as a nation, have become too nasty to let the facts come between us and our desire to hate the less fortunate.
    particolor
    2nd Sep 2015
    11:19am
    My Bricks are worth more than Me !! :-(
    Hasbeen
    2nd Sep 2015
    11:30am
    Granny flats are a good way to go. My mother lived in a transportable one on my property for over 20 years. We even moved it to our current place, when we moved here.

    It would be nice if councils were more cooperative, or heaven forbid helpful, with these things. When we relocated, the council added about half the cost of the thing in planning & totally unnecessary costs. Their regulation that would not allow us a second building with a kitchen on our 20 acres which meant we had to graft it to the house with a useless carport attached to each, over the top of a grey water [like a septic tank] system.

    On the other hand, there are plenty of slowly dying country towns, where houses are cheap, & rents low, for retirees to move to. It may not be close to the grand kids, but if we don't make provision for ourselves during our working lives, we shouldn't expect the tax payer to do it for us in retirement.
    Franky
    2nd Sep 2015
    11:31am
    We can look to Japan to get a glimpse of what our future may look like. The country has the highest debt levels of any nation (almost twice as much as the next highest indebted nation, the U.S.) and doesn't pay old age pensions. Out of desperation many elderly now turn to crime, the only country in the world where crime perpetrated by senior citizens is rising. Japan has very low home ownership.
    Cheezil61
    2nd Sep 2015
    11:41am
    We spend all of our life battling & struggling to pay off our Home Loan/Mortgage (broken relationship/marriages have not helped when need to pay out spouse as well & borrow more money!) but by the time we are going to have our home paid for we will be either needing a nursing home or dead- not much future financial security to look forward to really (I'm 54) & look like I'll still be trying to have this house paid for when I am 70 & ready for nursing home if still alive after all the hard work/stress-or maybe just in time to get a pension after contributing to everybody else's government payment -if they are still available then anyway - and because of this have not really saved enough super so then what? Would be nice to enjoy earlier retirement & travel our beautiful country while still capable, but this is most likely a silly dream I am having!
    marls
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:31pm
    so true cheezil61 the only people in this country who are valued by our govt are the ones that have never worked and paid taxes
    Kaz
    2nd Sep 2015
    11:57am
    I am not saying I am not lucky - but the harder I worked, the luckier I got!
    We went without a lot to buy our first home but we had a good work ethic. We never bought a new car or new furniture. Our home is an asset we can only realise if we sell it and we won't sell it unless we have to go into a retirement or nursing home.
    It should not be included in the assets test.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    12:35pm
    If you sell your house to go into a retirement or nursing home then you will be benefiting the provider because of those deferred management fees. I'd rather enjoy myself and spend the money myself.
    Rae
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:25pm
    Yes I'm bemused with why we don't have to pay huge bonds to the supermarkets for building the stores or the school for building the classrooms etc.

    Seems the nursing home people can't build their own business like every other business has too.
    Rae
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:25pm
    Yes I'm bemused with why we don't have to pay huge bonds to the supermarkets for building the stores or the school for building the classrooms etc.

    Seems the nursing home people can't build their own business like every other business has too.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    3:35pm
    Those contracts for retirement villages are in my opinion even written in a way to get people in too. They usually say a small percentage over a small time frame and no one seems to do the maths. A similar example is a car only costing say $60 a week but in 8 years time a $15,000 car has in fact cost you $34,000 and is only worth a fraction of it's value when you bought it.
    Charlie
    2nd Sep 2015
    12:38pm
    I didn't get a well paid job till later in life so I will be renting forever...
    Here are some things I had trouble with after retirement. 1.Estate Agents. The ones in Queensland proved very snobbish, uncooperative, unwilling to recognize my rental history in NSW. Also rent rises jumped unpredictably with market confidence. 2.Disability Support Pension. I was forced to retire in 2006 with illness and go on disability support pension. The conditions with this pension were just like the dole, in spite of the fact I could no longer work full time. They quickly eroded my savings. 3.The Big Electricity Rise. No consideration at all as to what this does to air conditioning costs, in cheap poorly insulated premises, with people facing global warming. 4.Transport Costs. At 65 I got my first motorbike license to extend the life of my last car. Like an Asian I do my shopping on a 100cc bike with a top box. 5.Age Discrimination. Anybody would think it was illegal to casually employ a person who is drawing the age pension. There is a system set up to regulate what a person can earn when on the age pension, but a lot of employers seem to be shy of it?
    mIKER
    2nd Sep 2015
    12:44pm
    CEDA is right to point out the challenges facing people who do not own homes as they reach retirement age. However, they have only partially addressed the root cause of the problem that is the rising cost of home ownership.
    Home prices have rocketed as tax concessions for negative gearing and the 50% discount on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) have made the purchase of an investment property one of the few ways that many employees can claim refunds like business owners, trustees etc. excluding genuine home owners from the market.
    Rocketing home prices have a detrimental impact in multiple ways often overlooked; it has raised rental charges to compensate for the increased cost of the investment; it has promoted a substantial escalation of the tax refunds, by several billion dollars, that is returned to “investors’ by other tax payers; and sadly with poor investments by inexperienced investors it has caused them to lose money on their “off the plan” property.
    Joe Hockey has ignored poorly structured tax concessions and preferred to suggest that Asian buyers are the culprits for rampant prices in certain areas. There is some truth in his statements, the low aussie dollar and cheap fund available off shore make a stable and secure Australia a very attractive place to invest or move funds offshore, however it represents a very small component of the overall market and shouldn’t be used to disguise the issues with tax legislation.
    In conclusion Australia is the only country in the word were there are generous tax concessions to buy an investment property, but virtually no incentives, other than the first home buyers bonus that drove up prices, for those struggling to own their own home. If that doesn’t change home ownership will become a distant dream for the majority.
    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    12:54pm
    nan, i care for two family members now was 4 then three all at the same time , yeah we get a carer payment works out to about 2.50 an hour if i was caring for strangers id be classed as a worker and paid a lot more for a lot fewer hours.
    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    12:54pm
    nan, i care for two family members now was 4 then three all at the same time , yeah we get a carer payment works out to about 2.50 an hour if i was caring for strangers id be classed as a worker and paid a lot more for a lot fewer hours.
    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    12:57pm
    Charlie your right tenants in qld have no rights , we are assumed guilty without proof. and dont have the luxury of representation in QCAT etc
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    4:11pm
    Landlords in NSW have very little rights now too.
    Christine
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:06pm
    I think one of the worst problems mature age renters are facing is the negative attitudes of society, also reflected here, towards us. If we do not own our own home outright by retirement age we must be some kind of foolish wastrels. There is little understanding that life can sometimes deal a harsh hand to the best of us, often involving either our own or someone else's sickness, or some other accident of life over which we had no control. Because we are clearly irresponsible fools, there is no will to find a viable solution. The rate of mature age female suicide is now the most rapidly increasing suicide demographic, as there are no state initiated solutions. I have been told that I cannot obtain subsidised housing until I am already living in my car, and that I will not progress up any waiting list other than finding myself in a dangerous situation. This is clearly not a sustainable situation. The crisis in housing for women is already dire, and will only get worse if we do not take matters into our own hands and come up with our own solutions. Curiously there is no government help from any quarter to support the self help scheme I am putting forward. http://quirkynation.blogspot.com.au/
    buby
    7th Sep 2015
    9:41pm
    That address was interesting christine, thanks but for some reason my link didn't work:(
    Yes and i agree with what you say there i have expressed my views about same in another section here. Unfortunately i have NO home, I will die early in live well untili get dementia, and who will look after me probably no one. I hope i will remember nothing :(
    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:11pm
    my autistic daughter and i face homelessness when mum goes into a home with dementia. i was on the list for 8 years but was cut off cos i was 90.00 under the income limit
    nena
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:16pm
    In has always hard, very hard to buy a home and all begins with your spectations. My advise is, put your priorities right and you will be able to buy your home.
    Not Amused
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:45pm
    Some of the problem is that people want to start off at the same level of comfort that their elders are finishing up. I do acknowledge that life deals people blows that prevent them from buying the home that they would prefer. I would try my hardest to buy a small one or two-bedroom flat that I battled hard to pay off, than to rely on some turkey in a government office to decide when and where I would be entitled to be given assistance to housing.
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2015
    3:43pm
    Absolutely right Not Amused. I would live in a dog box if it meant I would never be at the mercy of a greedy landlord.

    I know a young lady of 25 years who has been saving hard and has bought three investment properties. Does not smoke, drink or waste money on buying 200 dollar plus shoes or expensive clothes.

    Good on her...she will be struggling for a while but will eventually triumph. I have nothing but admiration for her.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    4:01pm
    By 25 I owned the equivalent of 3 investment properties and looking back it was probably the beginning of where I am today as self funded retiree.
    mIKER
    2nd Sep 2015
    5:56pm
    Bonny don't forget that tax concessions that helped you buy those homes. Few would deny you the opportunity to fund your self funded retirement, in fact good on you, but remember that all tax concessions are paid for by other tax payers.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:21pm
    What tax concessions? I didn't negatively gear them like people do today. Do you realise how hard it was to get even a small loan from a bank back then?
    bookwyrm
    5th Sep 2015
    1:00pm
    Don‘t forget houses were dead cheap when we were young. And plenty of availability. Can‘t compare it to nowadays.
    Charlie
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:32pm
    Just one I forgot about regarding rentals...There seems to be a huge lack of reasonably priced one bedroom flats about and I am not talking about the bed sitters they call a studio. At least a carport, air conditioner, living, bath, laundry, kit, separate bedroom, decent noise and temperature insulation. Big enough for a person to own basic furniture. For some seniors who have acquired specific debilitating diseases, privacy is very important, they don't want the stress of having to share living space with strangers in a situation where they cant take time out, when it is necessary. This is people who don't require nursing home care, but need a protected environment.
    buby
    7th Sep 2015
    9:54pm
    OH charlie, that has been my experience for over 20yrs, 26 sorry for in that time i have not lived in my own home. Which i miss, and have stressed, because what i found out there were pathetic excuses for units, and flats, and heaps of landlords who tried to take advantage of me. How many times i had to go to Vcat, for things the landlord should have sorted. It disgusted me. and it took me about 16 yrs to find suitable housing. But still NOT happy cause i don't have privacy, the noises you hear from your neighbors here could drive you ratty, the only thing i can say is i have security for my car, and temperature insulation, as you call it, which is a blessing, but i have barely enough room to hang my clothes, they only see the summer sun. For in winter, its the cold hole of Calcutta i call it.
    and NOw after living here for ten years, i've had enough and want to move, but find i can't its hard to do when you disabled, and without help. and its amazing how much junk you can collect over a period of time. but not only that, again i find decent places are hard to come across? They build two stories places for fit ppl, who can climb the stairs, I can't! they build for families! What about the Single Elderly, who deserves to live out the last days, without stress? Its seems to be a NO win situation\! NO b ody Cares
    Not Amused
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:39pm
    If the family home, often paid off from hard work, two jobs and many sacrifices, is regarded as fair game for the present pension assets test, owning one's home in old age as a security measure will no longer be an ideal that workers of today will strive for. People will just spend up on good times, take holidays, eat out, have fun and rely on taxpayer-funded housing from an early age - a very costly impost on taxpayers. Comparing the "value of the family home" for an assets test would require huge numbers of valuations (another cost to government) then some miracle method of calculating the asset value of a modest house in Sydney with a modest Adelaide/country town/suburban house. Family homes are often paid off with great difficulty and the only people who seem to want it included in the current pension assets test are the ones who have been too damned lazy or too interested in instant material gratification to be residentially independent in their old age. Why are we even talking about the family home as an asset for pension purposes when superannuation will reach its long-term intended aim of all workers being self-funded retirees in about 20-25 years' time. The only outcome of kite-flying the family home as a pension asset test inclusion right now is to cause a premature and unnecessary disincentive to pay off a family home. This debate is all out of whack because when superannuation self-funds all retirees in about two decades' time, the government won't be able to tell anyone what to do with their earnings or their investments. It might only mean that the health card and PBS will be income-tested.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    2:44pm
    Investment properties are valued for the asset test so I can't see any reason why other properties can't be as well. It is wrong that someone with a home worth millions can still get the full age pension. These people should be funding their own pensions from the sale of their home after death. It should not be a way of preserving wealth for the next generation like it is today.

    A lot of young people of today are buying properties not to live in but as investments. Others buy properties they can afford and live in rentals that match their lifestyle. I can't see how including the home in the assets test is a disincentive to paying it off.

    It wouldn't surprise me that most people would be better off if their house was included in the assets test.
    mIKER
    2nd Sep 2015
    5:44pm
    Not Amused presents many good arguments against including the family home in an assets test. However those same arguments apply to people who do not buy a house, but through hard work and frugal living, save their money, YET they have their savings included in the assets test, that's not fair!
    A possible solution is to cap assets at $1 million, linked to CPI, regardless of whether they in dollars, shares or the family home and over that amount no more welfare!
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:03pm
    There has been some talk of changing the pension rules for those with homes in excess of $2 million dollars. If they want the pension then it comes out of their estate. The home is the biggest inequity of the pension system.
    Pass the Ductape
    3rd Sep 2015
    3:04am
    Bonny - How would you think I should be dealt with then Bonny? I purchased a rubbish block of land many years ago out in the sticks for the princely sum of $17,000 and over twenty years; working weekends and holidays, purchasing material and hiring professionals to help only when I could afford to do so, I managed to build a house costing approximately $35,000. It is now valued at $400,000 and if included in the current assets test, I would not receive anywhere near enough pension to live on. I would have to sell my property and the home I built and go where - and do what?
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2015
    11:52pm
    I sympathize, Ductape, but I also know that some investors have bought properties that end up being unsalable and not returning income due to economic changes and they lose their pension and are poverty stricken as a result. The assets test is fundamentally flawed and unfair, and including the family home would make it more so. That said, I agree something should be done to address the current incentive to buy an expensive family home and get a pension - but I think the answer lies in removing the assets test and restructuring means testing to assess income only, with a sensible deeming rate.

    Of course, Bonny, you surely know that if the family home is included in the assets test there will be a powerful incentive for people to give it to their kids before reaching pension age, then rent it back and claim a rent allowance? The problem with all these ''reforms'' is that they hurt the hard working, frugal, honest battlers and provide further incentives for the manipulators to manipulate and claim more. What we need is more incentive to plan and save and invest in a home - not less. We need greater incentives to be honest and responsible. The latest stupid change to the assets test, for example, puts people in the position of considering dissolving their marriage, gifting large amounts, or spending up big, because it deprives them of fair benefit for years of hard work and sacrifice and rewards irresponsible spendthrifts, making those who saved worse off than those who didn't! If you continue with policies framed to encourage irresponsibility, you will, feed the problem, not solve it.
    Supernan
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:48pm
    Owning your own home is very nice, but it does require on going maintenece. So you must have the income to do that. Your house is considered an asset by Centrelink, so if you have an assets based pension it reduces how much money you can have in the bank before your pension is greatly reduced. So if you want to have money set aside for future house maintenence, or towards a replacement car or for funeral expenses or emergencies, your pension suffers. And under Mr Abbotts new laws, will be even more reduced in the future.
    biddi
    2nd Sep 2015
    1:48pm
    I am grateful to live on this great country. However, I do feel rattled hearing about
    homelessness and sub-standard living for some Australians when illegals come here and
    the powers-that-be bend over backwards for them and they still whinge. Now I'm expecting to get lambasted!!! PS. Love your pussycat, Trebor ????
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2015
    3:33pm
    I would not be surprised at all if this country is not put under pressure to take some of the refugees trying to get into Greece,Germany,the UK etc.

    Someone said in another post that we should not be interefering in Syria (that it was only political). All I have to say to that is bollocks.

    Watched a young person who is fleeing Syria and he said this morning that if the war in Syria could be stopped he/they would not be fleeing. I agree with him.

    He wanted the west to help. People don't really want to flee (the genuine refugees I mean..not the economic ones) if things are safe in their own country. It is not, so they are inundating Europe; I would be doing the same if in their shoes.
    Pass the Ductape
    3rd Sep 2015
    3:15am
    Then perhaps that young person should do a bit more than flee Radish! Perhaps that young person (and others who feel the same) should have the stomach to stay and fight to make their country safe - and for the right to live in freedom. Nothing worthwhile is achieved by running away, leaving others to die doing the dirty work.
    cyclonesally
    2nd Sep 2015
    3:12pm
    I bought one of those dirt cheap qld country blocks 45 acres in a fantastic country town that has all commodities and services, even a retirement home. I have no mortgage, no rent to pay. Rates are cheap.I have no town water but I have a dam & rainwater tanks. I don't have the power connected but I have a generator and solar. Living in a caravan at the moment but considering converting a container or donga cheaply. Yes I am much further away from the grandkids but they can come and visit me anytime and run amok. I'm all for supporting the dying country towns. I have found the locals to be extremely friendly & helpful in all ways. Home ownership should not be included in the assets test.
    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    3:17pm
    we lived in gin gin for years , on a large block, outsiders werent particularly welcome ( long story) was ok till u get sick and have to get over 400 km to the nearest major hospital, then theres the lack of choice of GPs ( another long story)
    cyclonesally
    2nd Sep 2015
    3:22pm
    Yes there are always pros & cons. We're not given a whole lot of choice though are we? We have to look out for ourselves it seems. Fortunately the country town where I am has a hospital & gp, chemist etc. I am almost 64 & I do worry about health issues later on. I'm just going to cross that bridge when I come to it.

    2nd Sep 2015
    3:28pm
    It should be the aim of all people to own their own home. To be at the mercy of landlords in your old age is not at all desirable.

    Have been reading an article in this month's Senior magazine. The stress some seniors are under is terrible. Many have health problems which necessitate changes to their rental accomodation; i.e. wheel chair access etc. and how on earth do you achieve this when you are a renter?

    Moving from one rental place to another is something that faces many as well if not in public housing.

    It would be a shocking situation to be in I would imagine.
    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    3:30pm
    we rent and have just had to move , mum is 82 its really taken its toll hope we dont have to move againn to soon wont have the money or the strength
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2015
    3:34pm
    Tisme...that is exactly what I mean...it takes a toll on your health and I imagine the stress is enormous on you both.
    buby
    7th Sep 2015
    10:02pm
    it does indeed Tisme and Radish. some years after i had to leave my home behind me,(another long story i won't get into right now) but i had to move home almost every year, for the next 15 yrs. Goss the stress, was unbelievable, and not to mention the cost:( it just zapped my strength.
    floss
    2nd Sep 2015
    3:32pm
    Joe show some guts and go after the multi nationals and leave the old and weak.we did build this once great country and a lot died for it. And guess what we do vote.
    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    3:36pm
    trouble is the politicians wont do anything ( why should they) to help the people until the people do enmasse . and so many cant be bothered
    marls
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:41pm
    looney spot on. sick and tired of multi nationals getting richer and richer and the taxpayer getting poorer and poorer
    marls
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:41pm
    looney spot on. sick and tired of multi nationals getting richer and richer and the taxpayer getting poorer and poorer
    Cruisaholic
    2nd Sep 2015
    4:12pm
    I have read all these posts and feel sorry for those entering retirement without owning their home. I was a resident of Melbourne and we sold up for a tree change to a beautiful small country town in Central Victoria called Euroa. Home prices are approximately one half of Melbournes prices, one hour and forty minutes to Tullamarine Airport for holidays and a passenger train service to the city. Hospital is forty kilometres away with an ambulance station only 300 metres away. All facilities in town are within easy walking distance. In Melbourne we hardly knew our neighbours but here we know hundreds of the locals who are now friends. Within two years of moving to this picturesque town our children had bought houses here and now we have our children and grandchildren around us. A wood combustion heater and a good solar system keeps our expenses very low. The best part of Melbourne is the reflection in the rear view mirror when we leave it behind, I do not understand why people pay a premium to live there. Euroa isn't the only place to retire to, travel one and a half ours from any major area and prices plummet, you do not have to go without.

    2nd Sep 2015
    4:16pm
    Tell the federal government bozos like Abbott, Hockey, and Cormann about it. They're
    the bloody thieves trying to make home ownership more difficult for those without and trying to take the assets away from those who have.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    4:19pm
    They are not trying to take my assets away.
    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    4:29pm
    ive been telling the politicians wat i think for ages but im a lone voice
    marls
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:45pm
    Fast Eddie - your spot on. the gvt also has its eyes on people super. the future generations will not get their super the gvt will get it first.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:59pm
    I keep telling my kids not to put any more than they have to into super as it may not be there when they retire or anything left on their death will be nationalised.
    buby
    7th Sep 2015
    10:07pm
    yes Bonny i have my say on the matter too, but it always seems to land on deaf ears. They NOT car a hoot.
    I beleive that to be the truth. they invest the super, and before you know it, the stock markets drops, and they loose millions. I wouldn't trust them to invest any of my money, not that i got a lot. but i know, that when i grabbed what was left of my super, i've been able to manage it a whole lot better, and double it......but i not call it super, cause there's not much there at all. but enough to bury me with.
    World Prophet
    2nd Sep 2015
    4:28pm
    I feel for those older people who are faced with housing issues. Having to rent is only one aspect. In quite a few cases elderly home owners live in properties of significant value, often purchased for comparatively very little back when Noah was a boy, and various rates and other costs are a huge impost. Easy to say "sell up and move somewhere cheaper", as this mostly means leaving their support network behind, not to mention the memories. In many cases they don't fully understand how income support like reverse mortgages work, and are distrustful of advisors (I can understand why, with the disasters in the not too distant past).
    For those who rent, sharing of accommodation is a better way to have a reasonable lifestyle than some of the alternatives, but many homeowners are worried about bringing sharers in, and also wonder if there is a Centrelink implication. I think that more innovative housing solutions need to be found (and Christine's certainly looks very good), but to have them meet the genuine need of the pensioner, rather than the need of the government the innovation should be driven by the older generation themselves. I live in a large country town, and housing is very manageable. Where we lived in Sydney before (Northern Beaches) there is no way we could afford to move back (our old house that we sold for $ 72,000 in 1975 is now about $ 2m - unbelievable). Easy solutions? No.
    iamnotold
    2nd Sep 2015
    5:31pm
    Not everybody wants to share, I value my freedom and privacy in my own (privately rented) house.
    Not Senile Yet!
    2nd Sep 2015
    5:22pm
    Surprise...Surprise!!!!
    Housing Unaffordable unless you have TWO Incomes and NO Kids!!!
    NO GOVERNMENT Housing Estates since the 1990's.....and most are now worth 6 Times what they cost to build....yet remain the only affordable (Cheap) Housing on the market!!! WHY???
    Because the Governments are refusing to supply housing and prefer to offer Tax Incentives to the Private Developers rather than put that tax into affordable Housing!!!
    Most who bought a Housing Commission Home when they were young used it as a stepping stone into Private Larger Housing when they could afford to so!!!
    Now there is no such thing....so sad to witness the Americanisation of our Housing into Private Ownership Completely!!!!
    No Fault Divorce has forced a lot of men (rightly or wrongly is irrelevant) into private rental.....mainly because they cannot afford to buy again at inflated prices....and still pay maintenance to their children (which they rightly should do).
    In some cases....divorce has ended home ownership for both!!!
    It's tough to hear people being judgemental about divorce and linking it to failure......how does one fail when their partner chooses to cheat & be dishonest?????
    The only mistake made when they built Housing Commission Estates was to allow rentals......which became abused!!!
    All the people who bought them looked after them.....can easily tell who is who.....the one buying always were well looked after!!!
    THE System worked....it allowed battlers to get into the market....even if a little later.....by selling some ten to 15 years down the track....to buy a better house when they could afford it!!!
    Should bring it back and offer cheaper houses based on Low Income to qualify!
    Just 50 to 100 in each Country Town ......build to a modest 3 bedroom 1 Bathroom type house would boost the rural economies no end......in all states!!!
    the lie being told is that it would devalue the rest of the Market.....is absolutely rubbish!!!!
    Even now a Commission House is only worth $200 to $250,000 in most Capitals!!!
    But that is where the work is I hear you say!!!
    Well heah!!! Suppose the Governments... State & Federal.....stopped Blaming each other and worked together!!!
    I know plenty of people that have moved to the Country Towns without assistance.....imagine what could be achieved with some help!!!
    Get rid of all Taxes on First Home Buyers...both State & Federal!
    Provide 50 Commission Homes and 50 Vacant Blocks for First Home Builders....subject to some means tests....and they will Cue Up!!!
    The truth is that most Land that is not being released is Government Owned.....Yes either State or Federal.....and they refuse to release it for development!!!!
    As for the Old Age Pension.......they want to scrap it.....just like the American Model they are copying......let the poor live in Caravans and become Trailer Trash!!!
    We are better than that.....We can do better.....We have done better in less time and without the free labour of Slaves!!!!!
    Time to Vote the Puppets out of OUR Parliament and return to putting High Quality Independants in both houses......to put the Honourable back into being an MP.....people who haven't sold out to Party politics at the expense of sound decisions for the future of our Great land and it's People!!!!
    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    5:29pm
    i doubt that the libs will get in again but that means people will vote labor again forgetting why they voted em out last time. housing subject to income means tests means they dont include your expenses eg wheel chairs , 300,00 special shoes that barely last 6 months but are necessry, orthotics 900.00 wich arent govt funded etc etc
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    5:35pm
    I have no doubt that the liberals will get back into government. People don't forgive Labor that quickly for what they did to our country.
    cyclonesally
    2nd Sep 2015
    5:49pm
    When the libs got back in, I just shook my head in disbelief. I certainly didn't vote for them and I never will. The very people who did vote for them are now so disillusioned with Abbott that they want him out. Labour or Liberal, there are broken promises on both sides. Will an independant be any different? Who knows? The fact is we have to vote for someone. Eenie, meenie, minee, moe.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:17pm
    The fairest and most democratic system would be that all pollies be independents but with a parliament full of independents I can't see much actually being done.

    You do not have to vote for anyone all you have to do is have your name crossed off at a voting booth.
    bebby
    2nd Sep 2015
    5:53pm
    Bony, you are so enamoured of the liberals, so, will you please tell me just what they are doing for our country today.?You are very quick to malign Labor.
    LiveItUp
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:14pm
    I don't vote for either of them myself so I can't see how I can be enamoured of the Liberals as you put it. I am a friend of a green pollie but we disagree on things too.

    I do however have a problem with how much debt our country is now in and I think the only chance of getting it under control lies with the Liberals. I think far too many people now have a welfare mindset and far too many people rely upon welfare instead of doing something themselves to break away from it. A good example is how many doctors now bulk bill pensioners and those with health care cards? It's had to find one around here. One of the many ways to help curb this debt is to rein in the pension system and stop people using their home as a vehicle to transfer wealth to the next generation at the expense of the taxpayers.

    If I was a betting person I have my money on the Liberals to win the next election as a sure bet. However betting is not for me as the odds are never in my favour as for someone to win someone must lose.
    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    5:55pm
    you show me an honest politician and i will show u a poor politician ................how many of them do u know
    Anonymous
    2nd Sep 2015
    7:19pm
    No, not one, but then can YOU name ANYONE who is "squeaky clean"?
    tisme
    2nd Sep 2015
    6:35pm
    dont forget how they often get a paid for office /postage /trips and go into a well paid job after politics
    bella
    2nd Sep 2015
    9:35pm
    Food for thought.
    Why have myself and my husband of 35 years on low incomes ( me not working when the children were young ) struggled to pay our mortgage and gone without the newest, biggest and best of everything to have our home included in the asset test.
    Most of our friends are running small businesses and claiming all sorts against tax and virtually paying nil. This means they can be buying new toys all the time and not doing without a thing.
    Earning plenty of cash along the way.
    If they chose to live the good life and not have a mortgage or keep refinancing to pay for all the toys, bigger houses and overseas holidays because everything looks good on paper and they can.
    Guess what?
    Why do I have to fund them in my retirement.
    If people learn't to budget and live within their means we would't be having this chat.
    The government would be able to get on with looking after those who truly need it.
    Because of our age and income status we wont have enough in super to keep ourselves.
    I'm not sure I know the answer but I don't want to be penalized for struggling to pay for my home.
    cyclonesally
    2nd Sep 2015
    10:04pm
    Most people Do budget and live within their means - excluding the super rich. What choice do they have? And what about the unemployed, those on benefits. Most strive to live within their means. Although there are those who have gambling, drug & alcohol addictions where all their benefits go to. This is the diversity of the human race. Not everyone is the same. The socio economic system is varied. Many on benefits and/or homeless have lost all hope because they cannot see a future. Many want jobs but there aren't any and then there are those who don't want to or can't work. Alot of people would say you are lucky to have your own home even if you are paying a mortgage. As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong), their is no asset tests of primary places of residence (the home you live in and own) when claiming the age pension. I can't see who you feel you need to fund in your retirement except of course the lurks, perks, lunches & travel costs of the Government. We all do that now anyway and I can't see that changing anytime soon.
    Christine
    4th Sep 2015
    11:14am
    I find many of the attitudes of the smug fat cats on these groups quite disgraceful and very disappointing. It amazes me that so many of you have gone through life without seeing very worthy people fall on hard times, and yet the attitude here is strongly, "it must be your fault so f##k you -you deserve to Die of cold and malnutrition. You are not paying for our pensions - we did, with taxes in our youth that were vastly higher than they are now and that were supposed to be funding our retirement at a liveable level. I urge those of you who are penniless and have much to be proud of in your lives to start fighting back against these disgusting attitudes. Call the smug fat cats out every time they show how ugly their souls are. And starting working with others In a similar situation to solve your problems. Stop being ashamed and start fighting back. We cannot afford to let these horrible people destroy our self esteem! Contact me through http://quirkynation.blogspot.com.au/ where you will be met with respect, not contempt. Bonny, karma is quick these days. We are all taught compassion, one way or another.
    World Prophet
    5th Sep 2015
    9:19am
    Christine, Christine, Christine - There will always be those in life who are smug and elevate themselves by pushing someone else down, not realizing that it is only an illusion. Conversely there will always be those who, either through omission or commission have less than others and insist on pulling everybody down to the lowest common denominator. Life is an unequal business. From my experience, it is often best to find your own solutions and not to worry about what others think or say. It sounds like you have at least found one solution. Hope it works out.
    Christine
    5th Sep 2015
    9:31am
    How did you intend that Christine, Christine, Christine to sound? Sarcastic? Patronising? Admiring? Encouraging? What say you re-read your comment and make it sound wholeheartedly admiring and encouraging? Write it so that all of us facing housing dilemmas get a warm glow in our hearts. Is that possible?
    World Prophet
    5th Sep 2015
    10:44am
    I didn't twig that you were hugely sensitive and that my comment would be taken out of context. It was meant to be encouraging, but I take it all back if it makes you happier
    Christine
    5th Sep 2015
    11:03am
    Hugely sensitive I am not, but understanding of the pain, fear and embarrassment felt by most mature women in straightened circumstances, I am. I would hope that everyone is. But clearly not. Try to see a room full of middle class, educated, homeless women over 60 who face having to move in with predatory men or to sleep rough. Look at all their faces. How much fear do you see? How many are tearful? How many are too embarrassed to talk? How many are contemplating suicide? Try to look and see them as women you have known, who perhaps lost all in a divorce, or who became sick, or who were carers for the disabled or sick family members. Now imagine calling the social welfare agencies and see what emergency support there is for mature people. You will find their is very little for mature people. Now imagine your 70 year old sister or mother, or ex wife having to sleep in her car, somewhere she hopes is hidden and safe, during the winter we have just had? Then, and only then, will she be eligible for emergency housing. This is the real face of mature age homelessness. Can you find compassion? Can you find enough compassion to actually want to help find solutions?
    World Prophet
    5th Sep 2015
    11:55am
    Lady, you have a major problem, and as I said in a post in the past, I just can't argue with the myopic. I wish you well just the same.
    Christine
    5th Sep 2015
    12:07pm
    Can you point to any inaccuracy in the picture I have drawn above? If I have a major problem, can you be more specific about what Psychological problem you have identified from what I have written above? What exactly am I blind to or shortsighted about?
    Abby
    5th Sep 2015
    8:17am
    Whether you are renting or own a home and find yourself a little short on to live on, there is always the possibility of renting out a room.
    buby
    7th Sep 2015
    10:17pm
    sorry abby but even if your a renter, and have a spare room to rent, and you do that could get you into trouble with your real estate agent, and Centerlink. you could even end up homeless !!

    5th Sep 2015
    9:46am
    Yes, home ownership is vital, but nearly all currently retired Australian could have afforded to buy a home if they hadn't chosen other spending priorities. A small portion were genuinely disadvantaged by illness, disability, crisis, or loss of their home in the ''recession we had to have''. The majority who don't own homes simply spent more freely on other things. Now, it seems the solution to everything is to punish those who were frugal and went without luxuries in earlier life to accumulate comforts for their old age and a little to pass on to the next generation. Meanwhile, those who lived it up in earlier life are looked after at taxpayer cost (along with the minority who genuinely couldn't accrue savings and a home).

    We will NEVER solve the retirement cost dilemma with the current thinking. Punishing the not-very-well-off for saving for old age and denying people spending choices, while asserting that the very rich should be exempt from the pain of economic downturn, will guarantee ongoing problems. The working and lower to mid-range middle class are being hurt for planning and saving, thus discouraging this approach. The rich are being given incentives and help they don't need and that serve no valid purpose. The genuinely poor are getting exactly what they always got - which isn't enough. And the irresponsible spendthrifts, cheats and smart manipulators are being fed generously from the public purse So what''s the clear message? Spend freely and live it up while young, and the taxpayer will look after you. Or if you accumulate, give it all to your kids more than 5 years before retirement. Pensions are available for those who do that, but not for the hard-working battlers who plan and save and struggle. They get slapped in the face and told to live off their hard-won savings, even though they will probably end up worse off than full pensioners.

    The entire system needs a massive overhaul, and it should START with a change of attitude to recognize that the young have an obligation to support retirees adequately, that those who saved and planned should be allowed to enjoy the fruits of their efforts, and the rich must be made to contribute a great deal more.

    Sadly, there's no right answer when it comes to including the family home in asset assessments, because some pensioners deliberately upgrade their home to get a bigger pension and that shouldn't be permitted - but those who maintain the same standard of accommodation they had during working life (or a lesser standard) should not suffer because they invested in comfort instead of splurging on holidays, restaurant dinners, gambling, smoking, drinking, etc. etc. etc.
    Snow
    6th Sep 2015
    2:42pm
    I totally worry about my retirement. A single Mum all my life with teenager still at home, rented all my life, never earned enough to buy. I don't know where I will be living when I retire, so I am going to be unable to retire. Age Pension will never cover the rent I pay.
    tisme
    6th Sep 2015
    2:47pm
    ive been a carer/single parent for30 odd years plus now i got my own health issues
    im 55 fear of the future , homelessness is one thing that really feeds the depression im battling.
    cyclonesally
    7th Sep 2015
    10:10pm
    "Why should the taxpayer fund your children's inheritance?" Would you like to clarify this comment Radish? What a load of rubbish. Why would you think the tax payer would need to fund our childrens' inheritance when that inheritance was acquired by the many years of labour, toil and struggle of the tax paying parents? Parents have every right to "leave" their children something of a legacy if they so choose and no-one has a right to take it away from them. Now, before you bust a boiler I am referring to the majority of every day Australians who are playing it fair. Who have worked hard all their lives and paid all their dues. Not to the minority who may have a very fat bank account and a million dollar house. This minority (in my opinion) should not get a pension as they obviously would not need it.
    Anonymous
    8th Sep 2015
    5:54pm
    How does the taxpayer fund an inheritance?
    I will tell you how now you have asked.
    A home worth say $5 million with a pensioner living in it gets left to the children. The children pay the council taxes (while Mum is alive)because Mum would not have the funds to do so on her pension. They know at the end of the day they are going to inherit the house so they are quite prepared to go along with having Mum on the pension while they pay the rates etc.

    Is this fair to the taxpayer? I dont think so! I believe the pension give to a person in this situation should be refunded to the taxpayer on her demise and the rest goes to the beneficiaries...what on earth is wrong with that?

    If I have $5 million in the bank I have to fund my own retirement.

    I firmly believe something has to be done to stop this "rorting" the system.
    cyclonesally
    8th Sep 2015
    6:19pm
    A person living in a $5 million dollar house would not or should not be entitled to a pension in the first place. The rest of your theory is irrelevant. I'm talking about the average Joe Blow who has worked all their life for their modest home. THAT should not be taken from them if the owners so wished to leave it to their children. They would then be responsible for rates and other ongoing costs NOT the taxpayer.
    Anonymous
    9th Sep 2015
    2:27pm
    You are incorrect CycloneSally.

    Your home is NOT asset tested. It is exempt and you can have a home worth any amount and get the pension.

    That is my argument. Homes over a certain value should not be exempt. I am not talking about the average home at all.
    Capn Dan
    12th Sep 2015
    11:41am
    I solved the 'housing crisis' by buying a house on a large block in a Queensland country town. In the Western Whitsundays, not far from Airlie Beach, Bowen, between Mackay and Townsville. Cheap as chips due to the slow down in the working economy, you can buy a house with heaps of room for a good garden and walk to town. There is an auction coming up on Saturday September 26 in Collinsville where I'd wager you can buy a house for $150,000 and go to the rodeo. Gavin knows all about it 0448 761 144 - I just think it works for me. Cheers!