Is your retirement going in style?

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How’s your retirement going? Enjoying a champagne lifestyle? Or is it not quite what you hoped it would be?

Are you living hand-to-mouth, unable to dine out or enjoy the odd treat, as is the case for at least 30 per cent of retirees, according to the most recent YourLifeChoices survey?

Last night, we saw a preview of Going in Style, the latest Hollywood ‘old farts unite’, featuring Michal Caine (Joe), Morgan Freeman (Willie) and Alan Arkin (Albert). And yes, it was cliché-ridden with ‘the old fool is past it’ jokes coming thick and fast.

But this movie has two really good things going for it, and that’s why I’d recommend you go and see it.

First, the combined acting skills of Caine, Freeman and Arkin are formidable. Even when delivering some pretty corny line, these guys can act most other performers right off the screen. The supporting cast is also well chosen – in particular, Ann-Margaret who remains sexy and funny as she entices Alan Arkin with tales of what she can do with an eggplant.

But the second great strength of this movie is both surprising and impressive.

This is no silly heist plot for the sake of it. It’s a universal tale about older workers, who find out their company is not just shutting up shop in their country and taking their jobs offshore; it’s also closing their pension funds, so that their retirement income no longer exists. And the bank that has tripled Joe’s mortgage is the one handling the pension scheme closure.

The three long-time friends are shocked, sad and angry. They have extended family obligations, including helping a granddaughter to get through school and the need for urgent medical care. But suddenly, between them, they can’t even afford a slice of pie. Everyone deserves a piece of pie, they decide. And so they go into training to rob back the million-plus dollars needed to replace their now-defunct pension savings.

To share anymore of the plot would be to spoil a very warm and witty story. But it is worth noting that this movie hits the spot in many ways that the drier statistics about retirement have failed to do.

Across the globe, older people are feeling disenfranchised and hard done by. We hear a lot from angst-ridden millennials about how hard it is to buy a house. Agreed. But these millennials should try buying or re-mortgaging at age 55 when lenders refuse loans on the grounds that income is less than secure.

Housing affordability is only one, albeit stressful, part of the picture. Many older Australians are echoing the sentiments of Joe, Willie and Albert, that everyone does deserve a piece of the pie. For today’s retirees, the risk of retirement has been neatly shifted from government and employers to their own shoulders, before they’ve had a chance to save enough for a dignified lifestyle. They have been made totally responsible for their own income despite market collapses, continually shifting legislative goal posts and an untrustworthy advice industry. And the gap between the haves and have nots continues to widen.

So if you think older people are too polite or conservative to jack up and fight back, be warned. Everyone does deserve a piece of the pie, and politicians who underestimate the voting power of the seniors and boomers do so at their own peril.

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What about you? Is your retirement ‘going in style’? 

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Written by Kaye Fallick


Total Comments: 10
  1. 0

    This article hits the spot, a sore spot. Retirement is not as easy as you think, and if you help even a couple of members of your family out, you can wind up “on the line” and getting to pay day with $5 dollars is not uncommon.
    Although its never happened before, when younger people see only what they think , that you are a never ending money pot , and get into strife , well the article is right.
    Don’t dare comment that your a fool looking after family, two of my young family members got into serious financial trouble one by business and one by break down of marriage, there is no choice, but they never ever see that you are rock bottom sometimes.
    Assets are fine, but no cash is terrible.
    Only you can look after your future , the Government has thrown away responsibility and in this free country we are not so free, and we are tied to so many qualifying legal set ups , that getting a pension or part pension means you almost have to be deemed in poverty first.Filling in forms can send you insane , ha ha! But true. And still unsuccessful.
    When in my eyes pensions are a right , I know there are some on here who are always beating their chests about how well they’ve done , they obviously have no circumstance that may put them in the firing line, well it might happen yet, my self satisfied friends!
    We did everything right, so we thought, but life doesn’t sit on any set rule.
    Governments of any flavour need to have a very very close look at how they judge who should and who shouldn’t , or by heavens above, the ballot box will kick them fairly and squarely in the behind, as we last a little longer than before.
    I hope July may see us out of the woods , but that is not a guarantee either.

    • 0

      Agee John and I would add that if one is lucky enough to get a part pension, the REAL cost of living continues to eat away at the small asset base established over a lifetime. Assets required for day to day living are included in the asset test and the deeming rate is way beyond what anyone is earning on their investments, so REAL inflation and the testing regimen is steadily eating into the assets the elderly will require when they need to pay cash down for entry into aged care. And don’t believe the waffle about Government providing a place if you can’t pay because the privatised aged care system has no interest in providing quality facilities on what the Government are prepared to pay so the risk is that we will end up in dormitory care, separated from our partners … and those will be the lucky ones, for most will be on the streets.

      Politicians don’t see this because they insulated themselves by enacting generous pensions for themselves and their senior bureaucrats. If we add to that the latest exposure of these self appointed elites to their ownership of negatively geared properties, it’s easy to see that the next election will wipe out the current government. We will find that the incoming party has the same view that the market will deliver social good, when it is clear that right from the time of the Hawke and Keating years it would never deliver good social outcomes, the whole system will begin to fall apart. I can trace a similar situation to the early twentieth century which eventually was sorted out by two world wars where equality was restored for a time until the early seventies after Whitlam was betrayed by the CIA and a corrupt Governor General. From that point forward the erroneous principles of monetarism have destroyed the economic model where now ideological neoliberalism is eating the host. It is failing, but it will take a cataclysmic event to shake the hold the elites have over garnishing national income to their narrow group.

      Thank God I’ll be dead.

    • 0

      Hi John,
      As I approach retirement age I am increasingly aware of the need to be totally self-funded to ensure a comfortable standard of living, let alone be able to assist our children if need be.
      I am also aware that the network marketing industry is often frowned upon, but may I offer some of the incredible positives of this industry that I have personally experienced:
      a) Low start-up costs …. No risk … Minimal overheads
      b) Incredible training and support …. Earn while you learn
      c) A true sense of community/family …. Surrounded by positive people striving to make a difference in other people’s lives
      d) Health improvements
      e) Encouragement and guidance in all areas of self-development
      f) Unlimited earning potential
      Of course the degree of each of these factors is dependent upon the company and the team within that company that you decide to join, but if you do your research and due diligence it is one of the very few ways to take control of your future financial security.
      The network marketing profession is severely misunderstood, and with the advent of the internet and social media platforms it is extremely possible to create life-changing income from your living room.
      Like anything, there are certain criteria to look for in a network marketing company and it does take work like any other business to succeed. I love this industry and have found the company and the products that I am extremely proud to represent and am well on my way to the retirement I have designed for myself.

    • 0

      Network marketing is a good way to con your friends and their friends into buying stuff they don’t need. If the products are so good why can’t you buy them in normal stores?

    • 0

      Networking is a great way to lose all your friends and family.
      After you have conned them into buying the product once all friends and family will scatter never to be seen again.

  2. 0

    Just wondering if you know this film is a remake with the original cast being even stronger? If you want to see some really great films try the Golden Years where a group of older people rob banks continually to save their local club and the new on the Hatton Garden job. All comments on retirement and old age.

  3. 0

    It sound like a good plot, and if you get caught you go to prison and are looked after at a far higher standard than the average nursing home inmate. A win-win situation for the perpetrators.
    A nursing home equals 3 meals a day, locked doors (to stop demented patients wandering), an uncertain level of accommodation and worries about bills etc. Prison equals 3 meals a day, locked doors some of the time, reasonably comfortable accommodation and no worries about bills etc.

  4. 0

    Thankyou, contributers, you all make very amid points. I am glad that Old Geezer ( who I believe is likely about 25 yrs of age) has been caught napping for a change and had not diverted sensible commentry????

    • 0

      Nope I have been caught napping at all. Yes I only feel about 25 in my mind but I have been 25 three times now and hoping for a forth time for my letter from the Queen. OK maybe from a the future King instead.

      No champagne for me in retirement either. I absolutely detest the stuff myself and those bubbles up ones nose has to be one of the most annoying things ever.

      I have no desire to go into either a nursing home or a prison having already been inside both on quite a few occasions. Those metal stools in a modern prison dinning rooms do nothing for an old man’s piles.

    • 0

      Now you’ve woken him up the BS will start to fly



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