Lack of retirement funds forcing later retirement

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Australians are planning to retire later with superannuation balances insufficient to live a comfortable retirement, says a new report from research group Roy Morgan.

Results of the Single Source survey of over 50,000 people show that the uncertainty surrounding the changes to super, coming into effect on 1 July, may be responsible for a significant shift in planned retirement age.

The average age of retirement has moved from 58 in 2014 to 61 in 2016, making it the highest on record – even surpassing the rise which followed the global financial crisis when the market was last hit hard.

Just eight years ago, the expected retirement age was 57.5.

Roy Morgan’s Industry Communications Director, Norman Morris, believes that the tightening of the Age Pension assets test, low returns on investments and uncertainty surrounding the new superannuation system may be the reasons behind the change.

“As we have seen, recent changes to superannuation rules and pension eligibility appear to be impacting on retirement age, with the result that people will retire later. This is a positive for Government retirement funding but could have negative ramifications for unemployment levels (as people work longer),” said Mr Morris.

The report also shows that while retirement balances have increased in the past few years, people planning to retire at 61 will still not have enough to see out their remaining years.

Key points from the survey include:

  • The average retirement balance for those looking to finish working at 61 is $286,000, up from $276,000 since 2014.
  • Average debt held by Australians planning to retire is $18,000, bringing the average retirement balance back to $268,000.
  • The average holding of non-superannuation assets fell to $106,000 compared to $117,000 in 2014.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) states that to live a comfortable retirement, a couple requires an income of $59,619 a year. Industry Super Australia recommends that a couple needs a joint balance of $775,628 to live comfortably.

Based on these figures, people retiring at 61 with a balance of $268,000 would exhaust their super by the age of 67.

Another misconception raised in the report is the amount in assets Australians own outside of super. While official figures show that, on average, Australians own $85,000 worth of property investment aside of their own home, only one in five actually have residential property investments. Same goes for share investments – official averages claim that Australians own $37,000 outside of super, but only one in three actually own any equities, and business assets per household are between $30,000 to $45,000, but only one in eight households own business assets.

This underlines the importance for the Government not to trust ‘averages’ and to consider such inequalities when creating retirement income and pension policy.

Read more at roymorgan.com.au

Opinion: Figures paint a grim picture

While Australians looking to retire later in life may seem like good news for the Government’s budget, the figures presented in this report paint a grim picture of retirement for most Australians.

In theory, an increase in retirement age means the Government doesn’t have to fund so much of people’s income in this life stage. But when Australians have inadequate retirement funding and need to work longer, the repercussions on the economy and general wellbeing of older Australians still run deep.

As we all know, staying gainfully employed at a later age is not an easy task. And the jobs being held by older Australians mean that younger generations may struggle to find work.

What we need is improved financial literacy. Although superannuation was designed to supplement the Age Pension, many people don’t fully understand the rules, tax breaks and options that could help them make the most of the system.

When designing policy, the Government seems to rely heavily on averages, which is a flawed means of calculation. We need information that provides a realistic picture of retirement, not based on averages.

Our most recent survey, YourLifeChoices Insights Survey 2017, which has, to date, over 4200 responses, shows that over 27 per cent (of those who responded to the question) said they have less than $100,000 in super and other assets (excluding the family home). While just over 19 per cent of respondents actually have the recommended balance for a comfortable retirement.

Our survey also revealed that over 20 per cent of those who are retired did so between the ages of 55 and 59. Just over 17 per cent retired at the official retirement age of 65. Almost 30 per cent of respondents who have not yet retired plan to do so at the age of 70 or older.

Perhaps surprisingly, the reason for retirement is slightly skewed towards health and not savings.

If the Government does indeed plan to increase the official retirement age to 70 by 2035 as stated by former treasurer Joe Hockey, it needs to do more to improve education about the retirement income system. We’ll do our part, but our leaders who, in their ‘wisdom’ seem to be ready at every turn to strip retirees and pensioners of their right to live a decent retirement, need to take a long, hard look at how the system affects real Australians – and to cease this unrealistic basing of policy on skewed averages.

Do you think enough is being done to educate Australians about retirement income? Are you tired of policy being based on averages? Would you like to respond to our survey and help us create content that helps Australians better understand the retirement income system?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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316 Comments

Total Comments: 316
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    Forget about a “comfortable retirement. Many people will not be able to pay the bills let alone have that.
    The Abbott changes about increasing the retirement age to 70 was targeted at the bottom end which this government wants to work on until they drop dead. Then there will be no pension payable. How convenient!
    We are witnessing class warfare on a number of fronts. The top end is being looked after and will live in the lap of luxury having milked the system out in place for it for years. This system enabled the well to do to squirrel away money for them and avoid taxes. And (some) people still vote for this bunch of crooks???? Please explain.
    I don’t understand when the public en masse is going to wake up to the game and boot this bad bad lot of thugs and crooks out of the parliament. The ballot box is there for a specific purpose but as long as people are easily led by media owned by the rich then we are going to see more blood in the streets. Sad that people are so stupid and unable to see the system for what it is.

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      Well said and also Australia ranks from memory 23rd, just above South Korea on money spent on pensions/welfare. Shame for the wealthy country our politicians boast about on the world stage…

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      Mick , I could not agree with you more . You are stating the obvious and I only wish Australians would be prepared to judge our present Government on it,s merits or obvious lack of them . I also like to see more fighting spirit from organisations representing Seniors or Pensioners – what do they think they will achieve with their present ” go softly ” approach to a Government of Wolves .

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      Thanks Roo. I wasn’t aware that any seniors organisation had much to say with the exception of Miss Goldie from ACOS. But of course the media cherry picks and pretty well shoulders out retired Australians, other than when they turn 100 and then you get the feel good BS.

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      People will just have to take more responsibility for their own retirement. If you want to retire before the retirement age where you can get the OAP you will have to plan and save for it.

      People have become too dependent upon welfare and now it’s not there when they thought it would be then they are blaming the government when they should be blaming themselves.

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      Comment straight from our current government supporting its behaviour Geezer.

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      OG it would really be good if ACOSS stopped slamming those who try to be self sufficient. I swear Goldie thinks we’re all as rich as she is.

      Welfare is unsustainable but ACOSS are not doing any favours with their current policies.

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      I agree ACOSS is actually hurting itself more by slamming the self sufficient. I could never understand why Goldie carries on the way she does other than for personal gain.

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      I’m interested to know what you believe Goldie gets out of doing her job? I’m sure the pay would be mediocre.

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      OG , You can not justify a Government action to shift the goal posts on elderly retirees who suddenly find investment strategy is beyond them and safe money returns are not worth the mention .
      Why don,t you go back to your LNP paymasters and stop trying to insult our intelligence .

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      Looks like they were looking for an offsider for Goldie in November.

      https://www.
      coss.org.au/jobs/2400

      It wold not surprise me if Goldie getting paid over $300,000 a year.

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      She would take home at least 5 times what I did and yet she still managed to stuff up my income in retirement by going after self funded savers. I’ve no time for ACOSS at all. Self servers all of them.

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      MICK, nobody says that a person has to work to a certain age. What has been said is that if a person wants the age pension, they must work until a certain age. According to the above figures, the age for people who retire averages out at 61 although this figure is rising. I read into this that a lot of people have saved enough to retire earlier than those who want an age pension. The ways they have done this are many and varied but a lot of it must come down to hard work.

      I note that you are always on the side of the oppressed underdog type and I say, well done MICK. There is, and always will be, a group of people who will forever be in need of government assistance and the reasons will be different for each person. Some will have had a divorce which has split assets and made some lawyers a bit richer, some will have suffered ill health and the costs of treatment will have taken a toll on assets. There will be some who gambled and drank their way through their pay packets all of their adult life. My point is that a government cannot legislate for every eventuality and must make laws to advantage the majority. Pensions are a safety net for those who have fallen on hard times, regardless of the reasons.

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      It is not right that people can retire early live the life of riley so that by the time they get to pension age they have little left. However that is what a lot of people now do.

      So by upping the age you can get the OAP to 70 will cause people to stay at work longer or make their money last longer if they retire early.

      Good idea,

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      Become a politician and live the life of Riley from the get go on the taxpayer teat. Gees if I could spend $292 a night and all that money for meals I’d live like a Queen. Not very good at managing money are they to need that much?

      I can get a resort king bed room with a pool on the verandah and breakfast for under $220.

    • 0
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      MICK. you are such a wonderful astute man, why are you not our PM, I just don’t understand it?

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      Geezer speaks the truth and MICK gets on his high horse, what a surprise, MICK for PM yeah.

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      Just become a highly paid public servant and then you get what the pollies get plus some.

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      Some of the government posters above have me wrong. I am not a do gooder. I am not a welfare recipient. I am not a white knight in tarnished armour.
      What I do stand for is honesty in government, the very thing the current bunch of big business owned thugs do not have in their DNA. Whilst at least one comment above is wanting to see average folk work on forever as modern day slaves to the well to do I suggest that workers in our nation need to put in a fair working life and not be asset stripped and hounded during the last 20 years of their lives. Only bastards and this government seek to do that.
      Call me a spotted dog, but realise that I am the real M’Coy and that I give a damn. Despite the fact that the Abbott and Turnbull governments have played havoc with my retirement planning I would not be so upset had these bastards not sought to hand huge sums of taxpayer dollars to the rich and not tax them at the same time. Something kind of hits my Irish spot when that happens. It should for ALL of the commenters above as well. Government employees excepted!

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      Mick , do not take too much notice of those phony LNP blood suckers . They would walk over dead bodies for an extra Dollar profit and are the cause why so many of us have not made it big time . Our problem is that we earned our few Dollars the honest way .

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      Maintain the rage MICK. We’d still be slaves in the mines if we were as accepting and compliant as the freds of this world.

      There are always rusted ons and sycophants who believe they might get a lap of the cream if they are good.

  2. 0
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    As many jobs have been transported overseas in order to benefit the “Bottom Line” of the FATCATs, there are not enough jobs available to service the young as well as the old.
    As long as the Older people have jobs they will probably retain (to the detriment of the young) them until the new retirement age is reached.
    However, IF they (Older Aust) are retrenched or loose their job, it is unlikely that they will find Employment again.

    Either way, the Treasury wins as, in each instance, (Young or Old) will end up being paid Jobstart rather than the Aged Pension !!!

    The net gain being $100.00 per individual per week and also Jobstart does not pay a Supplement which is another gain for the government.

    The equation is quite simple: “Just follow the MONEY” & “STUFF the people”. Don’t CURB the FATCATs in any way!!!!!!!

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      The ‘Fat Cats’ are a symptom of the problem Patriot. The rich installing their governments to milk the system for them is the problem. The money trail always leads back to the same place and the rest is just noise meant to distract voters and put them off the scent.

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    No . I believe that young people in the senior years of school should be taught about superannuation and good planning for the future.They are entering the work force and too many live for the moment.Young people should be taught about saving The current government is making it hard for people on lower incomes to save any money for retirement.

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      Many are. Those without understanding of the (public) education system think that teachers just teach the traditional subject when in fact expectations on teachers these days are ridiculous.
      The issue is that nearly all kids are given a background of managing finances, including superannuation, but few think that this information is useful for them and do not listen.

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      I agree KB. Superannuation, etc should be taught in senior years at school & also should be explained & taught at home.

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      How can anyone on the median or below of $43 000 then pay tax and save more than the 9% which is then eaten away by insurance premiums and fund fees and taxes.

      No wonder the financial services and insurance industry are showing very high incomes, bonuses and profits.

      Superannuation is fine for high income earners but at the expense of lower wage earners. It will never generate enough after fees and charges for a comfortable retirement income.

      In 1992 when compulsory super for PAYG earners cut in it was unseen that wages and incomes would stagnate and fall or that the Unions would be deserted leaving worker’s unable to negotiate rises.

      Times change and the winners have been those contractors and self employed who could buy real estate etc using negative gearing. Certainly not superannuation savers even with the tax concessions.

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      You have perfectly highlighted one of the rich man’s lies. The rich can avoid most of their taxes and put money into superannuation and other structures. Those on low wages cannot afford to buy pay off a home let alone live and have extra for superannuation. It’s a con from the top end deflecting the argument so that they can keep on keeping on.

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      As a 13 year old in class one day, Economics, in about 1950 our teacher came to the class and declared that he was going to spend the lesson talking about ” our one and only true friend in life”.
      His name was Bill McDonald, and as he reached into his shirt pocket and withdrew his Commonwealth Bank Book and said, “this is your one and only true friend”. Make friends with it and feed it and guard it all your life because believe me when the chips are down this is your friend.

      These words have stuck with me for over 60 years and I can still picture him standing there with his bank book.

      Do you know what – he was right. He was also one of the three or four teachers that I have respected all my life. God rest his soul.

      Isn’t this what we are talking about today, maybe in not such a direct way, but with the same message.

    • 0
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      Mick most of the rich people today were once poor. That’s right anyone can become rich and it is nothing more than an excuse why you can’t.

      I was bought up dirt poor myself. Luckily my father was a good hunter and fisherman so we always managed to eat something even if it was only stinging nettle tea.

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      I am not poor Geezer but not rich either.
      I have no issues with anybody becoming rich if they pay the going rate of tax on their income and do not thieve taxation money from wage and salary taxpayers who do not have creative accountants and lawyers or complex, dodgy tax structures to avoid what the rest of us pay.
      It’s quite simple: I DO NOT LIKE CROOKS! That’s where it starts and ends mate.

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      Well I’m certainly no crook and do everything well within the law. It is simply very stupid not to.

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      Ahhh…. Definitions! Those who rob banks get thrown in jail. White collar criminals and the wealthy who steal legally get OAs. There is an irony in your use of the word “crook” Geezer and methinks that the real crooks are for the most part the pillars of our society, drooled over by the media and god worshippers alike. The reality is a painful awakening.

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      Well you are certainly not describing nay of my traits.

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      Some people get rich studying artificial intelligence. Me, I make money studying natural stupidity.
      ~ Carl Icahn

    • 0
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      MICK and his rich men’s lies as quoted above, how many European and USA skiing holidays have you taken in the last few years “rich man’.

    • 0
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      Sounds like jealousy fred.
      Unlike you I am NOT on the public purse, do not draw a pension and defend those who are unable to help themselves but know when they are being done over. Can’t have any of that can we!

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      I find it sickening that arrogant a—-holes seek to claim that just because they may have been successful in getting rich, anyone can. LIES LIES LIES AND MORE LIES from the file self-opinionated who are totally lacking in both empathy and understanding of the real world. OG, elsewhere you claim to be an accountant. There, for a start, is proof positive that ANYONE CAN’T, because not everyone can access higher education to qualify as a professional – let alone as a finance professional.
      Next, we have to consider life risks: illness, disability, natural disasters, work accidents, sick and disabled children, sick and disabled spouses… the list of possibilities goes on and on and on. There are those with mental illnesses who can’t cope with the stress of work or perhaps can’t manage their money because of addictions, lack of self-esteem, etc. Lack of self-esteem can hold even talented people back in their work life and can lead to them feeling a sense of hopelessness that restricts their ability to strive or to save. Lack of trust in the system due to early trauma or gross injustice stops people investing because they can’t cope with risk or they feel oppressed and certain they can never win or succeed at anything.
      ANYONE CAN’T GET RICH. And it’s time the arrogant self-opinionated ”I’m okay stuff you” pigs in this world stopped judging, condemning, and wishing misery on the less advantaged and started paying attention to real solutions.
      STEP 1: Stop bashing those who strive and are moderately successful but don’t make it to well-to-do status. No, it’s not Goldie or ACOSS. It’s a stinking vile government and all who support it. The revised assets test condemns people who saved to be less well off than many who saved half as much, and meanwhile lets those with high incomes draw pensions and benefits that savers with incomes of half the aged pension are denied. This is WRONG. And by condemning savers unfairly, the government and all its supporters are stuffing retirement for all because the cost of supporting retirees will rise, the number of self-sufficient retirees will fall, and people will give up trying to do what is good for the nation because IT JUST DOESN’T PAY.

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      Rainey none of those people you mention would have anywhere near enough to be affected by the change in assets test so what you are saying makes no sense at all. These people are the ones that welfare benefits as they have no other means of support.

      So these people are supported by government welfare and they should be too. The majority would have nil or next to nothing in savings because as you say they don’t have the capacity to save at all.

      So I like lots of other people can’t see what your argument is at all.

    • 0
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      OG, you are a narrow-minded bigoted fool trading on wild and unsubstantiated assumptions typical of idiot academics and privileged professionals who have no clue about the real world.

      Lots of disadvantaged battlers who struggled to meet horrendous challenges WERE affected by the changed assets test. These are responsible, hard-working savers who would have been self-sufficient but for a crisis in their life or starting ”behind the eight ball” and having a long hard climb to get to moderately comfortable in their later working years.

      You are WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. The vast majority supported by welfare are irresponsible spendthrifts who SHOULD have as much or more than those hurt by the changed assets test but wasted their money. They have nil because they didn’t BOTHER to save – not because they had no capacity. And our welfare system rewards them and incentivizes others to do the same, because it penalizes the responsible and hard working.

      Sad that you, as an accountant (you claim) are too thick and brainless to understand reality. I’d hate you to have anything to do with my accounts. You are obviously as inept and lacking in comprehension as the dim-witted moron politicians who implemented the change.

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      Well Rainey I am yet to see anyone that fits your category of those affected because they simply do not exist.

      I would not like to do your accounts anyway as you would want me to perform miracles from them. Unfortunately I can’t make any of those people’s affairs fit your category of being affected by the asset changes. Most of these people have trouble paying their accounting bill let alone have hundreds of thousands in assets.

      Please stop trying to pull rabbits out of hats as it just aint happening.

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      Shows how narrow minded and bigoted you are, OG. If you opened your eyes and ears, you’d find the people I refer to everywhere. There are probably at least 250,000 of them, actually. And I don’t want anyone’s help to not be affected by the assets test change because I am still working and I hope to be properly self-sufficient in retirement, if I ever retire! But I pay EVERY genuine bill within 14 days. The only ones I don’t pay are the overcharges and frauds.

      It’s not me trying to pull rabbits out of hats. It’s you LYING about the state of the nation and the economy, LNP TROLL.

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      Those 200,000 people that had their OAP reduced or cancelled were not genuine battlers Rainey but simpky people who should not have been given it in the first place. Genuine battlers woukd be lucky to have a razoo and certainly not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

      All my bills are automatically paid on the day they fall due so I don’t worry about paying them at all. It makes life so much easier for me.

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      Rubbish, Bonny. Those 200,000 WERE battlers, or they’d have never qualified for any pension in the first place. They were people who struggled to be as self-sufficient as possible but were beaten by a cruel system and inept government.

      Most who haven’t ”a razoo” are bludgers or spendthrifts, or both. A small number are genuine victims of circumstance, but not many. Most could have saved $800,000 if they had tried a little harder. They just focused on the here and now and having what they wanted in the moment. Luckily for them, the government looks after the irresponsible and bashes the responsible battlers who make this country great. Which is why it isn’t now!

      Today I did a comparison of incomes for retirees at different levels. Very revealing. It really highlights how futile saving is and how beneficial it is to ”play” the ridiculously flawed system and take handouts from taxpayers. A non-homeowner with $574,000 in the bank at 3% interest can have a total income of about $52,000 a year, whereas a homeowner can never get better than $46000 (with $375000 in the bank), and a self-funded retiree might earn as little as $22230 per annum with no pensioner benefits so paying more for everything.

      What is really stupid is that a homeowner couple with $574,000 should spend $199,000 and the government will give them nearly $12800 a year as a reward. Over 22 years in retirement (working strictly on today’s figures), they would reap a $281600 reward for reducing their savings by $200,000. What an IDIOTIC proposition. And some dim-witted morons support this notion? Sorry Bonny, but there’s no other word to describe you and your ilk.

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      Rainey you really have no idea from your comments what a real battler is. People with hundreds of thousands of dollars are not battlers at all. A real battler is someone that lives from day to day and any minor problem is a major disaster to them. eg fridge breaks down and they don’t have the money to fix it. To your 200,000 this is a minor inconvenience nothing more because they have the funds to fix it or most likely replace it.

      So you compare all those incomes but compare the incomes of those just outside the old asset levels and you will get a similar story on your low returns. Yes we are at the bottom on an interest rate cycle but other investments are doing a lot better. That is today tomorrow may be a different story. If you take long term averages you would get different results and a different conclusion. No I’m not about to do it as it simply does not interest me at all.

      Quite frankly Rainey I have never heard so much rubbish from anyone like I have from you.

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      And I’ve never heard so much narrow-minded bigoted anecdotal CRAP from anyone OG! You have no idea what you are on about. NOBODY in Australia should live day to day, and very few have to. Most who do are merely grossly irresponsible – or smart enough to manipulate our IDIOTIC PENSION SYSTEM.

      The minority who have no option but to live day to day are in that situation because the economy is stuffed as a result of poor management – management that increases the load on taxpayers by punishing people for working their way out of hardship.

      Plenty of real battlers have achieved reasonably high retirement savings merely by being responsible and careful. (I’m one, actually – though not yet retired and maybe never will. But I challenge anyone to evidence that they had it harder than I did. Very few will meet that challenge, OG. I worked my way up from REAL poverty. No education. No chance to acquire trade training, much less professional. Yes, it was a major disaster if something broke down – but I taught myself to fix things. I taught myself to build or make or grow what I couldn’t afford to buy. I didn’t have holidays or restaurant dinners. I didn’t drink or gamble or smoke. I can tell you about REAL battling, but I achieved healthy savings – earning far, far less than 98% of Australians and coping with health issues and family problems that few could even believe let alone experience. The vast majority of those who do not have more than the new assets limits have either wasted hundreds of thousands or have simply lived it up and not bothered to save. Good on them! Smart people! Obviously recognized the TOTAL STUPIDITY of policy-makers who want to drive welfare costs sky high and bugger the economy!

      The problem the government has created is that those battlers who did save will now have to drain their savings prematurely and fear being returned to hardship.

      Yes, some of those just outside the old assets levels may have struggled as well, but they were some $200,000 better off (for a couple), so could attain at least another $6000 a year and have at least an extra 3 -4 years in reserve. That said, I didn’t agree with the old assets limits either. I don’t agree at all with the principle of punishing people for saving, planning and being responsible, because that CREATES A WELFARE MENTALITY.

      When you reward irresponsible conduct and punish responsible people, you generate more irresponsible conduct and have more people on welfare. And that’s what’s happening. People are structuring their retirement to get at least a part pension, because they are better off doing so. That’s STUPID and anyone who supports a policy that results in that sort of behaviour is STUPID.
      Sorry, OG, but that includes you.

      The long term may never happen. Return rates may never rise again. But if they do, that’s all the more reason why bashing savers now is STUPID, because people who would have been self-sufficient in an improved return environment will not be because they were forced to drain their savings.

      Wake up! It’s not about giving more money to people who don’t need it. It’s about STRUCTURING the pension system to be affordable and sustainable by encouraging more responsible behaviour and removing the incentives to reduce saving and ask for handouts.

      And just to enlighten you (if you are not too pig-headed to consider that you MIGHT be mistaken about some things) – I could name (but for respect for privacy) at least 20 people who were real battlers struggling to live day to day but were recently awarded a long overdue compensation payment for injury sustained at work or in an accident that was someone else’s fault. Those people were awarded compensation based on an assessment of their genuine NEED for health care, personal care, home help, disability aids, etc. They now have to use their compensation payments to live day to day and they cannot afford the benefits the payment was intended to provide. It’s not enough that their incomes have been slashed by more than $10,000. They have lost, in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars in pensioner concessions that they desperately needed to cope with their disability and illness.

      These people ARE battlers. They had very little before they were compensated. Now they are suffering gross unfairness, because if their compensation claim was considered AFTER the assets test change, they would have been awarded more based on greater need.

      I fully support targeted welfare – CORRECTLY TARGETED. Our current system is INCORRECTLY TARGETED and as a result is hurting people unfairly and incentivising welfare reliance in old age.

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      I’ll say it again Rainey real battlers would not have anywhere enough assets to be affected by the asset changes. If they do then they are no longer real battlers. I know people who are in real trouble if their car breaks down as they simply don’t have the money to fix it. These are the real battlers not those who have hundreds of thousands available to fix that car.

      The people affected have more than enough money to tide them over until they spend it down under the asset limit to get the OAP. Most now also have homes worth half a million or much more.

      These people are no longer battlers and that includes you too Rainey.

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      And I’ll say it again – DUNCE! It’s not about who has what. It’s about the nation’s benefit. If people have been battlers and saved, then taking their savings off them is BAD FOR THE COUNTRY, because it reduces saving and makes more people dependant on welfare. It creates a welfare mentality.

      Pension costs are skyrocketing because corrupt politicians and their dumb supporters insist on driving a welfare mentality and making it more and more appealing to have less and put your hand out.

      It’s not about who is a battler and who isn’t – though you DO NOT stop being a battler just because you save a few dollars. And no, MOST do NOT have homes worth $1 million or more. That’s a privileged arsehole’s lie to justify nastiness and cruelty. Those with homes worth $1 million or more are drawing full pensions because they manipulated to ensure they ripped of the taxpayer to the max!

      The people affected will spend and then claim the pension – because they have no choice. And that’s IDIOTIC. Because a sensibly structured pension system would encourage and support people to be self-funded. It would recognize endeavour and responsible living and reward it appropriately so that there was benefit in striving and more people were helped to lift themselves up.

      Our welfare system is deliberately designed to grind people down, and that’s why it’s expensive.

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      Rainey as it hasn’t yet sunk in I’ll say it again. No real battler has be affected by the change in the pension asset test. People with hundreds of thousands of dollars are not real battlers. The ones that battled hard to save a few quid have actually benefited by the change in the asset test as they can have more assets before it kicks in.

      The nation benefits form a lower welfare bill. It is as simple as that. Pay less money for something and there is more money for something else.

      I am no dunce but I starting to think I might know someone who is.

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      Right, OG, it hasn’t sunk in to your addled brain that you can’t lower a welfare bill by making it harder for people to save to be independent and rewarding the irresponsible.

      The welfare bill is RISING and anyone who thinks it will reduce by hurting people who do the right thing and rewarding people who do wrong is A BLITHERING IDIOT.

      You ARE a dunce. The nation is going to suffer hideously from imposing a system that incentivizes and rewards cheating and manipulation and irresponsible spending. It cannot EVER reduce welfare costs by bashing the people who work hard to try to avoid being welfare dependant and rewarding people who work hard to manipulate the system to get fat handouts. It will NEVER work.

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    At the present time you can not plan 1 year ahead. How on earth with all the changes and fiddling of rules, asset tests, age changes, etc. can anyone make an informed decision.
    Make changes but are effective form that date, absolutely no retrospective changes.
    {;-(

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      Agree I might not be alive in one year.

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      You are right, Chris BT. We need stability and security. Changes should not be permitted to impact unfairly on people who planned under an older set of rules.

      OG, let’s hope you are not. We could well do without your destructive input here and elsewhere.

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    I am one of the many who are underfunded for retirement, mainly due to late divorce.
    I feel that with this new push to lengthen the retirement age, the Government needs to be more liberal with the income that people can earn when on the pension.
    I do not mean extravagent levels but for the lower/middle income level. So that we can live a reasonable and comfortable retirement.

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    You can retire with enough funds to live with dignity (I mean wealth) if you are a pollie. If not a pollie you can live with dignity (enough to live on simply) in one of the poorer Asian countries. We must make way in Oz for the refugees, those sponsored from war torn countries and muslims with multiple wives.

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      And that is just the start gumtree. Then there is the refusal to collect tax from their mates (multinationals and rich Australians with offshore tax shelters). Doesn’t it already feel like a dictatorship? And readers wonder why I call for this bunch of misfits to be thrown out of office and into the street where they belong.

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    Well stated Mick!

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    We could not have retired unless we had gone abroad to work for 14 years. Our expat salaries allowed us to save enough to do so. We just couldn’t see how we were going to do it on what we were earning in Australia as we never had any spare at the end of the month after mortgage repayments etc etc. This is not possible for everyone but if you can do it then do it. Our only regrets is that we didn’t do it earlier.

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      You can do it by working smarter in Australia. I followed the boom in WA for over 5 years just before the GFC. Still plenty of opportunity if you have the skills and are prepared to have a go.

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      The interesting thing is that it is of little consequence how much you earn, I saw first hand how those on big money blew it as quick as they could get it, mostly on big boys toys.
      Unless you have the basic principals of financial management you will always struggle.

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      It doesn’t matter how much you earn it is what you do with what you earn that makes your wealthy or not.

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      It’s a combination of what you earn and what you do with it, the latter often being determined by fate rather than will. But no matter who smart, prudent and responsible you are, you have to be able to earn adequate income to be able to manage money effectively. If there’s not enough coming in to pay for food and shelter, no amount of careful management will achieve financial security.

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      Rainey I used to save money as a student on a student allowance so one can do that anyone can save money no matter what they earn.

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      A student can live well and save, OG. Try saving from a basic wage when you have a disabled child costing the earth in medical bills, a debt from a car accident, a chronic illness that imposes heavy costs for medicines, and a partner who can’t work because your disabled child needs full time care – and no home, so you have to rent at high cost in a town where rentals are at a premium and demand is astronomical.

      And a student can look forward to higher income. The basic wage battler has no future. Their low wage persists permanently.

      You again ASSUME ASSUME ASSUME based on irrelevant anecdotal ”evidence” and your own irrelevant experiences. You are WRONG again! Always.

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      And that said, OG, I agree that most Australians CAN save at various points in their lives if they genuinely try. But NOT to be self-sufficient in retirement, especially given cruel pension rules and minimal investment returns. It’s time a— holes recognized that the real victims of today’s economic woes are the battlers who worked hard, saved well, were responsible and careful with their earnings, but had no hope of accruing enough to get through retirement with government help.

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      Rainey none of those affected by the asset changes are real battlers at all. Real battlers would simply not have that sort of assets. If they did then they would not be real battlers at all.

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      WRONG OG. That’s the opinion of an IDIOTIC ILL-INFORMED ACCOUNTANT who has no comprehension whatever of what life is like for battlers.

      Plenty of battlers work hard and save well. It’s actually the more privileged who spend more freely – assuming they will always have good incomes – and end up with less.

      Every person I’ve met affected by the assets test was a lower income earner who worked unbelievably hard and saved aggressively.

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      Most of those I know including lots of my family have rearranged their assets so that they qualified for the OAP. They are certainly not battlers at all.

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      You just proved my point, OG. Don’t you get how STUPID your argument is? Of course people rearrange their assets where possible, because our IDIOTICALLY FLAWED UNSUSTAINABLE UNAFFORDABLE PENSION SYSTEM THAT PUNISHES SAVING incentivizes doing just that. So there are more pensioners and a bigger government deficit.

      THAT’S BEEN MY POINT ALL ALONG. Thanks for finally agreeing that I’m right.

      Now the BATTLERS are the ones who were hit by the assets test change but DIDN’T have the capacity to restructure or were too honest and responsible to manipulate the system. They are hurting – badly and unfairly.

      The policy change is WRONG. It hurts good, responsible battlers who struggled to be as self-sufficient as possible or who have high needs, and it incentivizes manipulation by large numbers of people who see that saving doesn’t pay and will structure their affairs to draw bigger pensions than they otherwise would have.

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      Rainey I don’t really think you know what a real battler is. No real battlers have been adversely affected by the asset changes if anything they have benefited by the rising of the lower asset thresholds.

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      So because someone went without holidays and restaurant dinners for 25 years and drove old cars and made their own clothes, while someone else partied and danced and bough a million dollar mansion, the former isn’t a battler but the latter is? You are an IDIOT OG. That makes no sense at all.

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    Found this interesting Anecdote the other day.
    Me thinks that this is very applicable to Australia and many other countries in the world currently

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38197.htm

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    What we need is wages to stop stagnating. For 40 years now wages have been declining in real terms unless you are one of the very few to have has 600X increases in income.

    The median wage is around $43 000 before taxes. This means these workers can work a full 40 years and still only have an income of $6000 a year. They would need to draw down capital and after 10 years be fully OAP dependent.

    Superannuation is good for those able to save the full 25 000 but for the half the workforce they will never secure a future. It is cruel and simply feeds an over inflated financial and insurance industry that is feeding on the forced savings of the poor.

    Surprisingly business people and contractors don’t have to contribute now do they?

    It would be far better to ensure wages kept up with inflation by a truthful CPI and teaching lower income earners about budgets, saving and investing options.

    And offer not for profit, government sponsored advisors.

    The government can happily pay tax dollars to business opportunists. How about some decent services and advice for the ordinary labourer.

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      They need to maintain the slave workforce somehow Rae. Just like America the game is to drive down wages, drive down taxes for the rich whilst bring in new ones for everybody else and now moving up the retirement age so that the bottom end can never retire and die on the job.
      Welcome to rich man’s government. Nothing is going to change unless the electorate says enough, turns off the News (for want of any name) and sticks with their resolve.

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      MICK,
      You really mean: “Turn of the Propaganda & Lies” !?!?!?

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      Yeah Patriot. I am assuming that those who regularly visit this website are not taken in by the lies and election propaganda run for the right by the big media outlets.
      The reason Abbott and then Turnbull were outraged by the ABC was not that it was biased but rather that it did not run with the propaganda from the other outlets. This is the mode of operation of the big players during an election campaign and is not open for questioning. It never is but should be.

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      MICK for PM yeah, you have my vote MICK.

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      Didn’t you used to post under the name of heemsjerk fred? Or is he working in the next room?

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