Standard of retirement living for baby boomers on the decline

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According to the ME Household Financial Comfort Report, baby boomers are claiming lower levels of financial comfort in retirement.

The biannual report tracks the financial psychology of 1500 households as a benchmark for the perceptions of financial comfort among Australian households.

The report found that the overall ‘anticipated standard of living in retirement’ has fallen by four per cent in the last six months.

While there was a substantial decrease in perceived comfort in retirement across all generations, baby boomers feel they have been hardest hit, reporting a seven per cent drop in their anticipated standard of living – meaning boomers’ comfort levels have fallen the most of any generation to the lowest levels in recent years.

However, self-funded retirees are still reporting the highest level of financial satisfaction, even though their perceived standard of living in retirement also dropped by six per cent.

But it seems that Aussies are taking action to improve their financial prospects in retirement. In the past six months, more people have made additional contributions to super, with the number of Australians claiming they ‘sometimes’ make additional contributions rising from 17 per cent in December 2015 to 20 per cent in 2016. Households that ‘often’ make extra contributions rose from nine per cent to 11 per cent and those ‘always’ making additional payments increased from seven per cent to eight per cent. The number of people ‘never’ making additional super contributions has dropped from 66 per cent in 2015 to 62 per cent currently.

There was also a two per cent increase in Australians expecting to rely on the Age Pension to fund their retirement and a three per cent decrease in those who expect to partially fund their own retirement in addition to a Government pension.

One of the more disturbing results was that 16 per cent of Australians still don’t know how they will fund their retirement and 25 per cent of Aussies either don’t have a superannuation fund or don’t know which type of fund they have.

Another concern is that 10 per cent of Australian households estimate that they will not be able to afford essential items and services in retirement and 29 per cent saying they may be able to afford the essentials but nothing else. These findings are also backed up by the HILDA report released last month.

With the RBA expected to cut the cash rate to 1.5 per cent today, the prospect of a comfortable retirement looks precarious for those who rely on interest-bearing financial products for income.

The Government’s proposed changes to super may also be affecting retirees’ perceptions of future financial comfort.

Read more at www.mebank.com.au

Opinion: A sign of the times?

With stock market uncertainty, low interest rates and confusion over the Government’s proposed changes to super, it’s little wonder Australians are feeling less secure in retirement.

Australian retirees who rely on interest returns for their income have been hit hard by the RBA’s rate cuts. With the cash rate at a record low and another cut expected today, the prospect of relying on the interest from investments and super seems a little bleak.

Those retirees who also claim an Age Pension may have received a double hit with Centrelink deeming rates often above the rate of actual return.

Add to that the Government’s ‘tinkering’ with proposed super policies, including the $1.6 million tax-free cap and lifetime ‘retrospective’ cap of $500,000 on non-concessional super savings, and you have all the ingredients for a worrisome retirement.

A recent Actuaries Institute report also found that Australian retirees are at high risk of depleting their super before they die.

Apart from what retirees already have in savings and super, there seems no clear investment prospects for retirement security.

This lack of confidence in retirement security is a glaring beacon that the Government needs to notice now. The population is ageing and these issues won’t go away. So Mr Turnbull and co would be wise to make fair superannuation changes a priority, as well as look to increase the Age Pension to a level that ensures that Australian retirees will at least live above the poverty line.

The stock market is not going to settle any time soon, so sound fiscal and social policy is required to help alleviate the financial fears of current and future Australian retirees.

Are you financially comfortable? Do you worry about your future financial security? What measures do you recommend the Government take in order to help this situation?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

228 Comments

Total Comments: 228
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    I don’t expect governments to fund my retirement but what I do expect is that the war on retirees ends and that revenue saving measures are directed at those who are protected: multinationals and rich Australians with all manner of trusts and offshore tax havens. Once tax is collected from these sources only then should governments come looking at retirees.
    Whilst our family has made its own arrangements we like many other families in a similar situation are starting to feel the pinch with diminishing returns. Add to that the fact that retirees have been turned into targets and we have a toxic future. And still people vote for the bastards………..unbelievable that the retirement community is so stupid as to do exactly the wrong thing and exacerbate their own ability to live a modest life free from aggressive governments. Defies belief.

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      Give it a rest Mick, you keep going on about the “protected” tax dodgers with no real facts nor a solution. It appears your only solution is to get rid of the current government and install your mob. It should be pointed out once more that your mob had six years to fix the problems you whinge about and did what you are now doing. Nothing!

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      Old Man, you’d have been deaf, dumb and blind not to see the repeated evidence of tax dodging. Goodness, even the current government has expressed concerns about the extent to which foreign corporations are using profit shifting and fake loan agreements to evade tax. There are repeated reports of how little huge and very profitable companies are paying.

      Then there are the very obvious injustices in the system – like that a rich man gets a huge tax concession on his super contributions while a poor man pays a higher rate of tax on what he puts in to super than on what he retains as wages. And a rich man can use capital gains tax concessions and negative gearing and ”grey area” business deductions and family trusts and… on and on it goes… to minimize tax, while a poor man pays the full prescribed rate on every cent he earns, and gets well and truly slaughtered with indirect taxes because he has to spend every cent he earns just to survive.

      It’s not about any ”mob”. It’s wealthy vs. battlers, and ALL politicians, of ALL persuasions, are wealthy (after election if not before!) Also, ALL politicians are funded by wealthy lobby groups who demand return on their investment. And the wealthy naturally have more influence to drive legislative changes than battling poor who are less well educated, less well connected, and more likely to be spending all their time putting bread on the table rather than lobbying.

      Mick is absolutely right. Retirees are their own worse enemies. Sadly, though, our system doesn’t give us very much wriggle room. And that doesn’t auger well for the future of retirees, or for the future of the nation as a whole.

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      Thanks Rainey. I note you choose to label companies and individuals as tax evaders which, as you well know, is illegal. I believe that these same groups are, in fact, tax avoiders which is a way to use legislation to legally reduce a tax burden. The problem is not the avoiders but the legislation that allows this to happen.

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      So Old Man, isn’t it time for our wonderful government to close all this loop holes that enable those companies and the very wealthy to avoid paying the taxes that they ought to be paying. It’d solve most if not all of the financial problems.

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      BTW, again, well said, Rainey!

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      Alexii, has it ever occurred to you that these companies may be the political party contributors who seek protection from those on government office? or does this sort of thing not happen in this day and age of transparency, honesty, and the overall goodness in this perfect world. But, to answer your question, YES, it is LONG overdue for the government to step in and do something to get rid of the loopholes, but the politicians are too busy colluding companies and individuals who are avoiding and evading paying fair taxes.

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      They are not tax evaders or avoiders as everyone has the right to pay tax according to the rules.

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      Not just the right, Old Geezer, but the duty and responsibility to pay tax according to the rules.

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      and I ask , what about the new PM Mr Malcolm Turnbull with his tax avoidance arrangements in the Cayman Islands . even a Blind Freddy would have to be extremely naïve to take his excuse it is not tax avoidance . How does he get away with it ?

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      Dan, etc – Malcolm or big companies – if playing by the rules – are not AVOIDING tax as avoidance is illegal – they are just legally minimising tax.

      The big companies rort tax systems using the skills of the big global accounting companinies who are in cahoots with their own auditing arms, often using transfer pricing where they lend money from an arm of their own company at high artificial rates that is located in a low taxing country like Singapore to a higher taxing country like Australia and effectively minimise their taxes. it is a fairly dubious process that the ATO and their global equivalents are trying to get to grips with these and like tax practices.

      Interestingly, our good ol’ ATO have outsourced to and are employing these same auditing arms of the big accounting companies, to do the ATO’s auditing on these same companies – go figure that logic!

      There are calls for these big accounting companies to have their auditing arms separated from them so they can’t be complicit in their creative accounting practices.

      Seems very logical that you have to get to all levels and businesses that assist with the creative accounting processes that are enabling big businesses to rort the global tax systems.

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      All it takes then is the stroke of the legislative pen, and suddenly all these tax minimisation opportunities are a thing of the past, and become instead tax evasion.

      It is plain as day that the use of family trusts and such is just a neat way of avoiding paying tax, as are many other opportunities currently presented ONLY to the well-off under the current rules.

      A person who gets free use of something instead of a declared income should be adjudged or deemed to be in receipt of the value of that as income.

      No more free plane trips in the already tax deductioned private plant.

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      Unfortunately the government would be breech of all those free trade agreements with your legislative pen.

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      Ah – so we are held in thrall to the international market or the world economy….. nice to hear it stated loud and clear.

      Never a more positive reason to start positive changes right here and now.

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      ‘Ere be foine argument roight ‘ere, bucko – use yer buckin’ ears!

      http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1470059118

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    Baby boomers suffering? I’m having the time of my life, on the full aged pension and full RENT assistance, I’m saving $8000 or more a year. Folks needs to learn to live within their means

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      Lucky you. I guess the real mugs are those of us who saved all of our lives and are no burden on the government and just expect governments to leave those on very modest incomes alone.

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      Wow Pixapd, how do you manage that? Do you live alone or are you a member of a couple? Do you run a vehicle or catch public transport? I don’t doubt that anyone can live well within their means but many people who would struggle to save $8K per year if they are living alone and paying rent on the single aged pension.

      I just checked and the single pension plus maximum rent assistance is around $24K. To qualify for the maximum rent assistance your rent needs to be $290 or more per fortnight, which is $7540 p.a. Take your rent from your income (if you’re a single) means you’re left with $16,460 per annum, less the $8,000 you save means you are having the time of your life on $8,460 p.a. or $325 per fortnight for all your expenses, food, transport, medical, recreation, electricity (& gas), internet, telephone.

      It must be hard to live well on that amount, so presumably you are living with a (working) spouse or your extended family or taking in lodgers or something?

      Do share your secret, I am really curious now because I’d like to manage better on my very modest income too.

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      PIXAPD please explain…………………….

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      Lucky you to be getting a full aged pension and rent assistance, Pixapd.

      A lot of retirees will, after Jan 2017, be struggling on incomes of HALF yours. Oh yes, that’s right. They have assets and should spend them. After sacrificing lifestyle for 50 years, they should now be harshly punished and forced onto low incomes and to drain their hard-won savings so that people like you, who beat their chests and boast about ”living within their means”, can enjoy an apparently more than adequate income.

      Now, my question is ”If you are so good at living within your means, how come you are a full pensioner getting rent assistance?”

      I am not lacking in empathy, and if you have genuinely suffered crisis or disadvantage that put you in this situation, then I’m glad taxpayers can help you out in old age. But I really struggle to understand how people end up with nothing in retirement. My partner and I raised a family – putting all our kids through university – and supported a disabled child (who cost us 5 houses in medical and special care costs and prevented us having two incomes for many years), survived major disability and illness, and – both being uneducated – had a total family income of LESS than the dole for 25 years of our working lives (and no income at all for several years). After all those challenges, poor health forced us into self-funded retirement at 55 and I only just recently managed to find a way back into the workforce – which will hopefully enable us to top our savings back up enough to remain self-funded for all of our retirement. Yet despite all those disadvantages and challenges, we managed to pay off a very nice home and accumulate a healthy retirement nest egg. What the hell did other people do with their money?

      Frankly, Pixapd, while I am delighted to be able to help support anyone who is genuinely disadvantaged through no fault of their own, and I’m grateful that I’m not among those who will lose up to 1/3rd of their income in Jan 2017, I am furious and disgusted that some people think it’s okay to disadvantage folk who saved for their retirement and who might well need those savings to get through the next few decades to hand out more to people who, in so many cases, lived much better and worked much less.

      The aged pension system should not reward irresponsible lifestyles and punish the very behaviour that is needed to restore our economy to health.

      Leon hasn’t mentioned the changed assets test, but it’s dumb measures like that threatening the security and confidence of retirees and ensuring that pension costs rise over time and fewer and fewer people bother to save for retirement.

      We need a dose of common sense in Parliament – badly! We need to recognize that in a healthy economy, the workers and responsible savers are properly rewarded, the minority of genuinely disadvantaged are supported, and those who simply squandered their money or lived it up in earlier life are told ”now pay the price. You made you bed. Lie in it.” It’s foolish to do as we are doing now – which is the precise opposite. ”If you worked and saved, screw you. We’ll take it to give more to those who didn’t!”‘

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      I really can’t see why a lot of retirees will be struggling on half the income of the pension. All I can think is that they must have it invested in lazy assets where others make money off them. If their pension has been reduced then they must have substantial assets and I can’t see why they can use them to make up any shortfall.

      The government has seen the statistics where people are not spending their assets in retirement so they have made the right decision in decreasing the value of the assets you can own to get the pension. People need to stop hoarding money and spend it instead.

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      I know a few people on the full aged pension who do very well. Two of them have full time renters on the premises and the other has a lot of cash from the cash economy saved up.

      So it can be done. Good luck to you.

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      The ‘lazy assets’ most people invested in are employers and governments – none of which have produced the goods for Australia or Australians.

      Talk about living in cloud cuckoo land, OG – you actually think most retired people have spent their life running around and finding investments for their excess cash?

      You said you were in business – did you pay your workers enough for them to be playing the stock market with all their excess income … or enough to get by on and maybe… just maybe…. own the home you now want to rob them of?

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      Same to you, Rae – so you reckon we should all play the black market in renting out plus spend a lifetime operating on the black market?

      Did it ever occur to some of you people that apart from most people being nowhere near that position in real life, some of us even have integrity and would never dream of ‘black’ money.

      Which would you prefer to be running this country? The liars, cheats and thieves or those with integrity?

      Tell yourself you’re dreaming…..

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      Trebour Why don’t retired people take more responsibility and find better opportunity for their spare cash? I do. It’s better than sitting on one’s posterior and whinging about how low interest rates are hurting them. I had a bad year last year but earned a lot more than the cash rate on my excess cash. Some of the fees I pay would help people play the stockmarket.

      I didn’t employ people directly I paid other businesses to do work for me for a fee. I still employ people for a fee to do things for me.

      Unfortunately around here if you want something done it’s the black market or do it yourself.

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      Pix – not everybody gets to sit on a bridge all day playing the banjo to passing tourists like you do….

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      ‘spare cash’ – you do realise that the very vast majority don’t have the kind of ‘spare cash’ you’re talking about… and with the economic ups and down of the past forty years or so – many have had huge slumps in income from which they’ve had to recover… sometimes time after time.

      Count yourself blessed and move on…..

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      All those negatively effected by the change in the asset test in 2017 would have lots of spare cash. Anyone who suffered during the market downturns must have panicked and sold. These people should never had been in the market in the first place.

      I’m not blessed at all.

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      OG your arrogance is beyond any level of tolerance. You have no concept of the reality of some people’s lives. I deal daily with people who were stolen from family as young children, abused and neglected in institutions, denied contact with loved ones, forced out to work at 14 in menial, soul-destroying jobs and left without a soul to give a damn for them, battling depression, anxiety, insecurity, fear of authority, inability to trust…. on and on it goes.

      You would have to be the world’s nastiest most ignorant monster to suggest that people like that should be able to understand investment markets and make their money work for them.

      And they are far from the only ones whose hurtful life experiences have destroyed their capacity to pursue profitable investments. There are all sorts of reasons why people can’t achieve the returns SOME PRIVILEGED FOLK obtain, and NO DECENT AUSTRALIAN would ever suggest that government policy should ASSUME ability to achieve high investment returns. That’s appalling!

      Only vile scum blames victims for the cruelty of a hideously unjust society run by disgusting lying bureaucrats who persecuted innocent people and destroyed their lives.

      YOU ARE BLESSED not to have suffered that awful fate, but YOU ARE NOT BLESSED with any sense of decency or compassion.

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      And once again, OG, you make a total ASS of yourself with your stupid invalid ASSUMPTIONS about matters you know NOTHING about.

      Many affected by the assets test change DO NOT have lots of cash. Many have assets that are unsalable and not returning. And many are far needier than a lot of cheating, dishonest or manipulating full pensioners – AND far more deserving.

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      Rainey I just happen to know why those young children were taken from their families and in most cases thank goodness they were. I doubt if many if any would be alive today if they hadn’t been. I call them the recued generation.

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      WRONG AGAIN ASS -UMER! You really are ill-informed. SOME children were taken for good reason. Thousands were taken because LYING BUREAUCRATS AND DISGUSTING RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS MADE MONEY FROM CHILD ABUSE.

      The people I work with daily were STOLEN from good homes where they would have been loved and cared for – and even those who were taken for cause deserved better than the vile abuse and neglect they suffered.

      They were MOST CERTAINLY NOT ”the rescued generation” and only the most arrogant, ignorant, ill-informed mongrel would make such an assertion.

      Get your head out of the sand, Ostrich. You know NOTHING.

      (And BTW, in case you THINK you know something – I am not talking about Aboriginals. I’ll bet it’s never even occurred to you that it happened to nearly 100,000 whites – contrary to government lies?)

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      No I’m not talking about Aboriginals at all. However I do know a thing or two about them as well. I also know that for every one aboriginal child there was about 12 white children in distress. Unfortunately I am not ignorant and I do know what really happened? Do you really know what happened or are you just hearing the stories second hand? Members of my families actually cared for these unfortunate children when I was growing up. They were not stolen from good homes at all and in fact he exact opposite. I remember the physical and mental state of these children which still haunts me today. One relative looked after young pregnant girls as their families had thrown them out on the street. If the truth offends you so be it.

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      Old Geezer, you wouldn’t know the truth if it bit you. Your base every wild assumption on minimal anecdotal evidence gathered from someone you claim to know.

      You ARE IGNORANT – IN THE EXTREME.

      The people I speak of WERE stolen from loving homes, and they were then seriously abused, deprived and neglected. And regardless of the quality of the home they were taken from, nothing changes the fact that the abuse and neglect left them unable to invest profitably – and it stinks that vile monsters suggest they should SUFFER in old age because of what they suffered in childhood.

      To answer your question, YES I DO REALLY KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. From extensive research, intimate knowledge of victims, and vast amounts of GOVERNMENT documents that evidence the truth. Unlike you, I don’t claim knowledge based on one or two people I happen to know. I deal in FACT.

      But if you weren’t so self-opinionated and arrogant, you would recognize the FACT that the existence of people such as you yourself describe is sound reason why it is such a disgrace for anyone to suggest that people who can’t invest for strong returns should be left to suffer.

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      Rainey you really haven’t got a clue about this.

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      It’s you who has no clue, OG. I have first hand experience, close links to a vast number of directly affected people, and volumes of research, including extensive government records that prove the facts. Sorry YOU ARE WRONG.

      And regardless of the facts, you contradict yourself. On the one hand you claim to understand that children who were in dire straights were ”’rescued”, and on the other hand you seek to claim that these poor disadvantaged people should be able to be brilliant strategic investors and survive economic downturns through intelligent strategy. What an idiotic proposition! Why don’t you just admit to being an elitist and a snob, and determined to see anyone who isn’t as privileged as you persecuted and denied their rights. That’s the truth of it.

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      Maybe I was one of those rescued children.

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      You might well have been among the tiny minority lucky enough to be ”rescued” to a privileged life, OG. But if you were one of the tens of thousands who suffered hideous abuse and neglect and deprivation after cruel and dishonest government interference in your family, you would have empathy and respect. You would be HUMAN. And you would certainly know how hard it is to overcome the psychological problems that losing self-respect, confidence and the ability to trust creates.

      You have NO CLUE, OG. Your arrogance betrays you.

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      Ha ha Rainey you have been reading too many books and listening to too many fairy stories.

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      You obviously believe fairy stories told by lying bureaucrats and biased journalists and corrupt politicians OG, and you have no awareness of the real world outside your little utopia.

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      PIXAPAD, good on you if you can save $8000 a year, but how you do it is beyond me, unless you have other income, such as boarders, as my husband and myself, both get the aged pension, and even with a rebated rent we pay $350 a fortnight rent, every pay day I pay out $120 to cover light, gas, water, hubby pays into a funeral fund for the two of us, and believe me, after grocery shopping I don’t have enough over to save, maybe you live on scratch food, I don’t know, we do eat well, but certainly not avish, and don’t eat out, or get take away, I cook every night, lets into your secret, cause im sure , many on here would like your secret,

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    This is a story that has millions of answers which all depend on the individual. Some retirees are doing it tough and some retirees are doing OK. A lot of the reasons depend on previous employment, lifestyle and current needs, all of which are different for each retiree. More than any other topic this one cannot ever have a “one size fits all” answer.

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    PIXAPD must be living overseas

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    I’m one of those SMSF retirees who would fall into the category of drawing down too much, thereby depleting my savings so that it won’t last.

    The truth of this is that for the last two years, of the monies drawn out $100,000 has gone into the costs of subdividing my block of land (my personal residence). By doing this, I now have retained nearly all the value of my original house plus added another $500,000 of value in a block of land. I will build on the new block in the next couple of years and sell my bigger family home thereby increasing my cash assets.

    So while my SMSF balance has gone down, I have increased the value of my other assets. How many others that are judged as drawing down too much fall into this category? One of my supporting reasons for doing it was that the all political parties are targeted SMSFers and I don’t see this changing. This time the limit is 1.6 million, what will it be in ten years? I might as well diversify my investments now, while I can, because I don’t trust governments to honour their SMSF rules by grandfathering any new legislation. SMSFers have become a hated and therefore easy target. I scrimped and saved, sewed my kids’ school uniforms, cooked home cooked meals and all so that I could have enough for retirement so that I didn’t have to go on Aged Pension. Now I feel that instead of being rewarded for that, the government is labelling me rich and trying to tax what they promised they wouldn’t.

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      Very wise – in the back of my mind is doing the same with our large block with rear lane access. Sub-division is not out of the question here….

      You could easily fit two modern ‘house blocks’ on our block – which I am about to fill up with my vegetable gardens – raised 600mm for ease of use by old backs.

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      Nanday – have a look at the seniors and pensioners tax offset (SAPTO) rules on the ATO site. A pension age couple can generate ~$58K tax free using these rules outside Super. Super for over 60’s is tax free so it does not count towards any SAPTO calculations.

      Mix that with a family trust that is favoured by most people on this site from what I read – and you could generate well over $58K with $1m of assets outside of Super at 6% per annum – and it can be tax free like your Super.

      The rules are there for all to use – be you rich or poor.

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      Reasons, there might be rules for all to use, but the past lives of people determines their capacity to use them. Poor people are not just monetarily poor. They are deprived educationally and emotionally, and it’s that deprivation – not lack of money – that keeps them down.

      Once upon a time, society respected battlers who had done it tough and didn’t make government policy to favour only the privileged, or based on wild and unfair assumptions. Once upon a time, people had the human decency to acknowledge what life is like in the real world for people who haven’t enjoyed the opportunities and privileges some are fortunate to have bestowed on them.

      Today, selfishness and greed prevail, and we see vile intolerance of anyone whose early disadvantage left them unable to understand a complex world of investment and taxation. The attitude of the arrogant privileged is ”I’m okay. Stuff you. If you are struggling, the government should take whatever you have and throw you crumbs, and give me the gold.”

      It’s a horrid world we live in, and it makes me thoroughly sick to see repeated evidence of the inhuman and contemptuous attitudes of some of the well-off toward the victims of injustice and social abuse.

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      What a lot of rubbish Rainey.

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      It’s just that the rich, being more equal than the poor, get to use it more often……..

      Sorry ’bout that…..

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      You are a lot of rubbish, OG. Too ignorant, arrogant and self-opinionated to understand even the most basic facts of life outside the utopia you claim to dwell in.

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    Hi Fast Eddie, of course I realise that. Even “blind Freddie” would know that. And of course it’s just a pipe dream of mine that our governments would do anything to stop their rorts. One just do that to one’s friends, does one? It just ain’t cricket. Gotta love the friends in the best position on the so-called level playing field.

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    It is difficult to understand just what the Government intends with its changes to super, particularly at the level they want to impose. If the intention is to make people responsible for funding their own retirement (and that was the intention of the compulsory super in 1992), then surely there must be incentives good enough to make people forego immediate spending to save that same money for future use. Restricting the concessional contributions to an annual $25000 (including for those now over 50), limiting lifetime non-concessional contributions to $500,000 and capping the total amount in super to $1.6m would seem to actively discourage self-sufficiency right at the time when most people are finally in a position to make those extra payments. Add to that the removal of the current TTR arrangements and any hope of passing the employment baton to the next generation is also curtailed. The lowering of the asset threshold to the newer low levels ensures that those close to or just retired are seriously disadvantaged (requiring a rethink of retirement plans) whilst those retired for some years may well be financially worse off (although they will retain the health care card) than many on the aged pension.

    Whilst I think many would agree that super needed to be looked at, and I do agree that people should be responsible for funding their retirement, I do think that the changes are ill-conceived, poorly thought through and will affect far more than the 1% of top earners. Super needed to be considered along with a complete review of the taxation system. Limiting the super wealthy to a $1.6m in super and requiring them to withdraw anything over that amount will not miraculously bring the Government multi-billion dollars in extra tax. People who have multi-millions stashed in super (with perhaps the exception of those who won lotto or mega inheritances) are likely to have the wherewithal to place the excess beyond the reach of Government anyway. It is middle Australia who will be hurt the hardest – as it always it – the poor will be taken care of, the very rich (those with the mega millions) already take care of themselves and will continue to do so. It is those in the middle who will pay the price.

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      KSS I read it was 4% that will be affected. These people really don’t rely on super and often organise their affairs so as to claim a full aged pension the same way they claim incomes less than taxable limits while living in mansions with luxury cars, boats etc.

      Lot’s of money is never accounted for and cash ends up being hoarded for use in later life.

      Only the honest and PAYG are being punished by the government.

      As to whether they have any idea of consequences I seriously doubt it.

      I’ve just found out all licences, boat, drivers and firearm will now be sent through the mail as the new service centres can’t produce the licence.

      Just think of the identity theft that will be going on now.

      Not a brain in their heads apparently.

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      If that were the case, KSS – why jump all over people who have not had the opportunity to put away super funds over a lifetime of work?

      Before any government should be whining about overpaid retirees, it should have the decency to wait until those retiring have had the opportunity for fifty years or so – not half that.

      THEN they might have a case for reducing assets limits etc for pensions….. until then, all they are doing is attacking people without any solid reason at all.

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      “If the intention is to make people responsible for funding their own retirement (and that was the intention of the compulsory super in 1992), “

      This is the bit I mean. 1992 – 2016 is 24 years, during which inflation has caused what was my then income of $100k+ to become around $270k by today’s standards. So slagging those who started super when the dollar was only worth 30c of what it is now and saying those people should have all this cash salted away, after half a lifetime’s work and not a full lifetime’s – is pure and absolute stupidity on the part of any government.

      Can’t even do pre-school maths it seems, the lot of them.

      “Joey – what is 65 less 15?”

      “24, miss!”

      “Sorry, Joey, that’s not right…. Scotty – what’s your answer?”

      “24, Miss! Joey is right, and Malcolm and Swannie agree, too! It’s a consensus in the class. And Julia says that 65 is the wrong number, Miss, and it should be 70!”

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    I’m a bit late to post my opinions on this subject. Too many others in our situation – SMSF retirees, I mean, have voiced their views and they’re pretty much the same as mine. Those of us who scrimp and save for our retirements have become targets for a money hungry government that’s unconcerned about the welfare of its own senior citizens. It’s too depressing to analyse here, so I’ll just say that all of us are really on the same side and the recent election has revealed that no political party gives a damn about us. There will be another election soon – not sure when but a one-set majority can’t hold back the flood of factional disagreements, so next time around let’s be more active and leverage that anger we feel to influence those grubby pollies that seem to only want to pick our pockets. It can be done if we get our act together.

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      Your dead right Phil, this is exactly the sentiment of the greater majority of retired people I come in contact with, but the problem with this last election was that the three main parties were all as keen as one another to shoot the cripples (being us) than to take on the hard targets such as big business that can afford to employ specialists to create never ending tax havens and money trails that even have the ATO bamboozled, and your right there is plenty of anger building in our aged community, apart from a few old geezers that just bury their heads in the mire lol.

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      Most retirees have done very well out of the government. I really can’t see what people have to whige about myself.

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      Speak for yourself Mr IGNORANT KNOW NOTHING OG. I don’t know many people who have done well out of the government. Almost EVERYONE I know has been shafted, cheated, stolen from, and suffered massive injustice and torment. YOU obviously live in Utopia. Guess what? The real world is NOTHING like you think. Get your head out of the sand, ostrich, and wake up to reality.

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      Many retirees now enjoy a pension from their super funds that is tax free after the age of sixty. I see that as a real positive. Many pensioners enjoy discounts on many things that the rest of us have to pay full price plus more to cover the discounts. That is another positive. The pension was bought in so that our elders did not live in poverty. Another positive.

      The 2017 asset test has corrected the over generous one that should never have been bought in in the first place. Another positive.

      OK where are the negatives as I can’t find any? Maybe it is that people like me get no assistance from the government to live in retirement. To me that is another positive in that my share is given to those who really need it.

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      You can’t find negatives, OG, because you are too arrogant to give a hoot about anyone but yourself and too self-absorbed to take an interest in anyone else’s circumstances, or in FACTS.

      Some people are just so wrapped in up in their ego that they will remain ignorant forever.

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    Well done Mr. Hockey you destroyed our retirement then disappeared to a grand life across the sea we hope you have a one way ticket.

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      At least you won’t have to worry about Fat Joe going bust – he’s set for life. Takes a real load off the mind, that does…..

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    Well said Mick what planet is old man on, lower case. Rainey was also right on the mark.

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