17th Jul 2017

Increasing rent prices may break our pension system

house key sitting on top of hundred dollar notes
Leon Della Bosca

If Australia’s pension system is to maintain pace with rising mortage costs that prevent people from owning a home, then the Government may need to act now to redress the housing affordability crisis.

If Australians are trapped in our increasingly unaffordable rental market, future federal budgets will likely blow out.

Results from the 2016 Census reveal a sharp decrease in home ownership over the past 25 years. In 2016, houses being rented or owned with a mortgage made up 65 per cent of households, whereas in 1991, they made up 54 per cent of households.

While the generation heading into retirement enjoys a relatively high rate of home ownership, the current lack of affordable housing means future generations will be increasingly likely to rent rather than own.



This, in turn, means the Government will need to support a greater proportion of the population either with rent assistance or the Age Pension.

Pensioners who own their home are significantly better off than those who rent. In fact, the amount of money needed for a decent retirement almost doubles if a single person or couple do not own their home by the time they retire.

The number of people who rent a property rose to 30.9 per cent in 2016. Just 25 years ago, 26.9 per cent of Australians rented their home. Today, around one in 12 people aged 65 and over live in a rented property. If homeownership becomes more unaffordable, that figure, too, will rise.

Should this trend continue, Australia’s superannuation savings and the Age Pension system will struggle to meet the future cost of living.

Opinion: Addressing housing affordability would seem a good start

If the Government is hoping to reduce Australia’s future welfare bill, then addressing housing affordability would seem the most likely starting point.

Statistics from YourLifeChoices’ Retirement Affordability Index March 2017 show that around 29 per cent of singles on the Age Pension who rent devote almost 30 per cent of their income to rent.

The story for renting couples is not much better, with around 22 per cent of their income spent on housing.

So how do they make ends meet? By skimping on necessities such as food, health care and utilities.

You can imagine how much worse it will get in future, should the cost of owning or renting a house keep increasing.

The fact: if the Government doesn’t do something to reverse this decline of home ownership, either by investing in public housing, adjusting negative gearing and capital gains tax laws and taxing foreign housing market investors, the affordability crisis will deepen.

Already around 260,000 rent assistance payments are made annually to age pensioners. That figure will increase dramatically over the coming years. Add to that the increased cost of government-funded health care and aged care because older Australians can’t afford to maintain their health as they age, and you have all the makings of a welfare system blowout.

Yes, it’s a challenge for the Government. But if it is not looked at as an investment in Australia’s economic future, then our annual welfare expenditure will rise so fast and so quickly that a AAA credit rating will be the last thing the Government should worry about.

Do you think enough is being done to address housing affordability? What suggestion can you make to help fix this this situation?

Related articles:
Housing affordability not an issue
Housing system broken and unfair
The housing affordability crisis





COMMENTS

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inextratime
17th Jul 2017
10:41am
One of the results of allowing a massive increase in immigration over the past ten years without providing the number of homes to accommodate them. Demand outstripping supply, house prices sky rocketing and rents rising accordingly. Even a room in a pub is now around $300 a week. You don't have to be Einstein to work it out but politicians seem to have trouble with calculators.
Rae
17th Jul 2017
11:57am
It's also the very high costs involved in accommodation. It costs around $120 a week to own a home outright and possibly more in all those strata title units in Sydney or Melbourne.

A person with nothing but the OAP is doing it tough today. No doubt about it and may need to buddy up to afford accommodation.

Rental assistance probably needs to increase but with careful screening to limit fraud.

Costs really need addressing as you just can't keep raising prices as wages and incomes stagnate.
sunnyOz
17th Jul 2017
12:55pm
inextratime......unless it's calculating their OWN entitlements, pensions, salary, expense claims, etc

Rae - $120 a week? - that is getting off lightly.
Rae
17th Jul 2017
2:13pm
That is only rates, insurance and maintenance on a small home.
Blossom
17th Jul 2017
2:26pm
That certainly doesn't include a mortgage which on a $350,000 house is about $500.00 + a fortnight
FrankC
17th Jul 2017
3:44pm
I don't know where Leon found his figures, but a couple paying 22% of their income (the OAP) would be paying $312 f.n., and a single person $245 a f.n.. !! My wife and I both on age pension are paying 47.1% of our income, and that is in Deception Bay 41km north of Brissie. Leon's figures must be for someone renting out in the sticks somewhere, if at all possible.
FrankC
17th Jul 2017
3:44pm
I don't know where Leon found his figures, but a couple paying 22% of their income (the OAP) would be paying $312 f.n., and a single person $245 a f.n.. !! My wife and I both on age pension are paying 47.1% of our income, and that is in Deception Bay 41km north of Brissie. Leon's figures must be for someone renting out in the sticks somewhere, if at all possible.
Knight Templar
17th Jul 2017
3:57pm
Totally agree inextratime. It's economics 101 - the housing shortage is clearly a result of demand outstripping supply exacerbated by large scale immigration. That the Australian Government continually targets aged pensioners for budget savings is a disgrace. These are Australians who have contributed over a lifetime to the country's economy. Their labour and taxes have made this an enviable place to live. On the other hand we have the social justice warriors in government who display no concern about the very generous financial support given to newly arrived (economic) refugees who have contributed nothing to the country's well being.
Jannie
18th Jul 2017
8:18am
I agree whole heartedly inextratime the horse has bolted and there is no easy answer other than to stop refugees and all immigrants that cannot contribute to the well being of Australia. I have sent lengthy emails to my local MP about how our infra structure is breaking down due to the gates being opened up for immigrants to enter Australia. There are parts of Melbourne and Sydney where it is now spot the Aussie and I have heard there are certain areas in Sydney where Aussies are not allowed to enter, what a load of croc. I live in the north of Melbourne and am appalled at the large number of Muslims that have moved into this area, I believe there are other pockets around Melbourne with the same problems. One good thing if you don't own a house is that house prices are low, not good if you own your own home as prices have stagnated.
Charlie
17th Jul 2017
11:01am
Been saying these things for years but governments don't want to buy into it, until there's a crisis.
There should be more public housing for age pensioners because that better job is never going to come along.
Obviously estate agents are not going to want age pensioners in high growth areas because the pensioners will have to leave if there is a big rent increase. That's if they have enough money to start another lease and transport their belongings.
Its not that people with jobs cant get themselves in the same amount of difficulty, its just that with age pensioners all of the other options are gone.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
11:12am
Way too many OAPs in house way too big for them. House needs to be added to asset test ASAP and any OAP received become a debt against their estate. This would allow lots of houses to come onto the market and help out with the shortage.
GrandmaKathleen22
17th Jul 2017
11:34am
We are not in Russia. You cannot start dictating to people.
Our home is not in the middle of a big city for a start.
We are not wealthy people but we are frugal.
Your comments often seem to be aimed at inciting negative responses.
If you take away people's incentives to own their own home then that is sad!
Our children had homes but divorce cost three of them that security.
People lose their homes or fail to achieve a home for a variety of reasons.
Theo1943
17th Jul 2017
11:40am
Well OG, when these OAPs sell their big houses where will they live?
Downsizing to a smaller house? How does that increase the number of houses?
AutumnOz
17th Jul 2017
11:46am
GrandmaKathleen we are not in the middle of a big city either, our house is our home and I am not moving out until forced to by death.
OG is always talking through his hat and has little idea of saying anything except words to stir people up.
Don't try to reason with him it is impossible.
GrandmaKathleen22
17th Jul 2017
11:48am
Also, OG, our home is used as a safety net for our children who return home when circumstances force them to, sometimes through unemployment and sometimes through family breakdown.
The same goes for our grandchildren. Our home is available as needed.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
11:51am
Of course it will as all those vacant bedrooms will house people not rubbish as they do now.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
11:53am
Big saving on home help as people get older as they won't need to have such big rambling houses cleaned at the taxpayer's expense too.
P$cript
17th Jul 2017
12:05pm
OG needs to pull his head out and look at the real world, because what he sees and smelling ain't roses.
Theo1943
17th Jul 2017
12:10pm
So OG, is your house on the market? And do you have someone's bedroom to move into?????
Triss
17th Jul 2017
12:12pm
I've said this before, OG, and I'll say it again if the pension benefit becomes a debt on the estate then, as Australia is a democracy, that should apply to everyone who has ever received any kind of benefit in their lives.
You cannot, logically, choose a section of Australians and decide that they, and only they, will be responsible for the lowering of the national debt. If you truly believe that people should have their benefits added up and taken from their estate then it must be applicable to everyone, yourself included. A fairer way might be to bring back death duty but as we have so many mulitimillionaires in parliament that's not going to happen.
I still haven't worked out your logic on how if a pensioner's house was added to the assets test lots of houses would come onto the market, surely it would be exchanging one house for another.
Our MPs have taken a huge amount of housing off the market owning well over 500 investment property between them. Why not have a go at them, after all they can only live in one house.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
12:14pm
I have never been on welfare myself so there will be no debt on my estate.

It is simply unfair to the taxpayer to subsidise people to live in big expensive houses by giving them welfare ie OAP and then allow them to just pass it all on to the next generation.

Therefore the house should be in the assets test and any welfare OAP paid should be a debt on one's estate. HECS debt is another that is being abused by retirees and should be a debt on one's estate as well.
sunnyOz
17th Jul 2017
1:03pm
How on EARTH can your primary residence be classified as part of the Asset Test? I've downsized - and moved - as much as I can - single, 1 bedroom SMALL house that I worked my (single) butt off for. Downsize to what? - a tent out on the outback? Want some cash - do I sell off the lounge room? I am NOT wealthy - I do NOT live in a huge mansion, and I strongly object to ANY govt telling me that because I have been frugal, worked 3 jobs at a time, paid taxes, always supported MYSELF, never any welfare - I will now be punished because I have the temerity to actually OWN a home?
Yet my bludger of a sister lives in a govt house, on welfare because she CHOSE to smoke all her life, goes on a cruise once a year with her friends... am now thinking SHE is the smart one!! SHE is not scrutinised and threatened... And have just found out Govt Housing is moving her from her 3BR house to a BRAND NEW 2BR unit, that is almost as big as her 3BR house was! God what fool I have been!
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
1:09pm
The house should be part of the assets test because it is the most unfair part of the welfare system. Is it fair you live in 1 bedroom house where another OAP lives in a 10 bedroom 6 bathroom house with ocean views?
Triss
17th Jul 2017
1:26pm
"OAP lives in a 10 bedroom 6 bathroom house". OG, try to be realistic.
KSS
17th Jul 2017
1:33pm
Triss you cannot be seriously surely! OK strip the investment properties from the politicians then what? 500 properties back on the market round the country, sold in a single weekend. Meanwhile those currently renting those properties are out on the street. What are you going to do with them? Who are you going to strip of assets next?

As for death duties, you want to tax the 'wealthy' to the hilt whilst they are alive and then take the rest once they die? Sure! That seems fair! NOT.
PlanB
17th Jul 2017
2:23pm
I think Old G, needs to go bag his head -- he sounds like a person that is jealous of someone that has worked hard and owns their own home -- how the hell does an old person up and move from where they have worked hard to be -- PLUS the expense of moving he is obviously a nasty piece of work.

He is maybe a dole bludger and wants more money for himself

Not that everyone on the dole IS a bludger
Blossom
17th Jul 2017
2:30pm
TRISS, In SA we have probate which is similar to death duties.
We don't want separate Death Duties as well.
Blossom
17th Jul 2017
2:37pm
So the house can be demolished, the block be subsidised and the Govt. get rates and taxes for more blocks. If a block is divided into 2 they get double the income from them. It would be OK if they serviced the areas properly - more storm water drainage to prevent flooding, roads maintained to cater for extra wear&tear. Major roads are maintained by State Govts. who sometimes have to get grants from the Commonwealth Govt.
Farside
17th Jul 2017
4:00pm
Grandma, Theo, Autumn et al, old mate OG is not advocating anybody being forced to move from their large family homes. The OAP safety net should be reserved for those who do not have the capital or resources to provide for themselves in retirement.

Sure, inclusion of the family home in the assets test and recovering paid OAP from the estate are incentives to downsize to something appropriate to circumstances and using the released capital to fund retirement however this is a good thing. This reduces the burden on taxpayers to provide OAP to those who have means to provide for themselves rather than latch onto the safety net. The taxpayer should not be subsidising the retirement plans of those who have sufficient capital to provide for themselves.
in2sunset
17th Jul 2017
4:16pm
As usual, total garbage from OG..You better get some glasses, read my post, how the he'll can you compare someone with 1 BR and someone with 10 BR's? Besides, WHERE are these large houses that pensioners are living in? Certainly not where I live!
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
4:22pm
Obviously then in2sunset you agree someone in a 1 bedroom house should not be treated same as someone in a 10 bedroom house but the reality is they are. Surely you can see a problem here.
GrandmaKathleen22
17th Jul 2017
4:35pm
OG, I think you are referring to massive homes. Modern houses of four bedrooms are not huge. Use one for an office and one for the main bedroom.
The bedrooms are not big like they used to be either.
I grew up in an old Queenslander, now that was big. Eventually it became two flats plus the family dwelling. A big enclosed verandah surrounded the house that would be the size of my place now.
We have guests from interstate and as we live away from a big city it is a nice area to visit for family and find.
Our family lives in three different states and we want them to be able to come home to us which is not our original family home,
We bought this place nearly 11 years ago and it has doubled in value which is ridiculous.
To downsize would save us nothing most likely because prices have gone through the roof. We could not even afford to move to Melbourne and that would only be into a unit which costs you heaps more with body corporate fees.
It is cheaper for us to stay here.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
4:45pm
Those big houses were designed for 3 generations to live in so that the elderly and young could be cared for with out the need for childcare or nursing homes. Today we just out the kids in childcare and oldies in nursing homes instead.

Houses doubling in 11 years is not a very good return of less than 6.5% per year.

However it is not fair that you should be treated the same as someone who lives in a bedsit but that's the reality of it.
TREBOR
17th Jul 2017
9:28pm
The house is not and never will be part of the assets test - go away, OG.

People have rights in this country, and one of those rights is to live in the home they've bought and paid for, AND to enjoy the assets they've put aside over years of work and sacrifice, for their retirement.

Abolish the assets test, pay everyone the pension, tighten up on all rorting of super etc retrospectively, and tax people on income and deemed income from arrangements of all kinds that are in reality fringe benefits. - at the going rate for income tax.

That'll catch all the rorters and hoarders who've had it good for too long and now seem to think they've earned the right to dictate to everyone else.
TREBOR
17th Jul 2017
9:31pm
If you wish to include the home in assets testing - then all payments for that house must be taken into account in the final reckoning.

Thank you for coming, but your harp is getting old and worn out, and frankly, we don't give a damn, my dear, how many of your relatives rort by putting all their money into their home.

Those are a minority - the rest get by on what they've got, so leave them alone.
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
3:41am
OG, if the pension becomes a loan from one's estate, then equally all the over-generous tax concessions to help the wealthy save for a cosy retirement must also be repaid from the estate, since these ridiculously excessive concessions are EXCLUSIVE to the well-to-do and cost far, far more than the OAP.

The working class can't give any more. They have nothing more to give. It's time for the over-indulged selfish well-off to start paying their way - including corporations and those who use trusts etc. to dodge their obligations.

Your continuing demands to ''take take take take take'' from the strugglers will destroy our society completely - not to mention the economy, as there will be no incentive for anyone to bother working at all unless they are among the privileged.
Old Geezer
18th Jul 2017
4:07pm
Rainey tax concessions are not welfare at all. Anyone can use tax concessions not just the wealthy. Without tax concessions there would be a big shortage of rental properties and lack of business investment. Tax concessions help the poor more than the help the wealthy as they provide housing and jobs for them. The wealthy pay the majority of tax in this country whereas the poor take welfare instead of paying tax. Any family earning $60,000 or less get a lot more welfare back than they pay in tax. So you have to earn quite a bit before you contribute not take from our taxpayers. That explains who pays and who takes in our society.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
2:52am
OG, you are showing your extreme ignorance and arrogance here. Go and learn a little history - why the progressive tax system was created and how it fits in a capitalist society. It is an attempt to balance the gross and socially destructive unfairness of the rich exploiting the less advantaged by paying them a fraction of what their work produces. If workers were paid what their work produces, the capitalist system would fail because no entrepreneur could get rich paying other what they are worth. There would be no profit!

The rich NEED public services in order for their activities to flourish. They have to have access to roads, shipping ports, rail lines, water, communications, power, police services, etc. etc. etc. They need social services to maintain a supply of willing workers. Without these things, the capitalist system would collapse. But you can't expect the underpaid worker to pay for these things because the exploiting capitalist entrepreneur wouldn't make profit if he had to pay the worker enough that the worker could afford to provide all these services. The progressive tax system was created to balance the inequity and ensure the provision of necessary services so that (a) the entrepreneur could continue to operate and profit and (b) the society could continue to function in adequate health to provide a continuing supply of willing workers.

There are alternatives to the capitalist system, but nobody seems to think Australia should embrace any of them - except that the arrogant, greedy, self-serving ''ENTITLED'' rich think the one essential component of the system that benefits the less advantaged - the progressive tax system - should be abolished and the poor should have to pay for EVERYTHING, while still working for half of what they produce.

The rich TAKE TAKE TAKE TAKE TAKE and want more. Paying a minimal amount of tax - and avoiding their obligation as far as they are able - is NOTHING. They are TAKING labour. They are TAKING ingenuity. They are TAKING skill. They are TAKING public and social services that they pay a miserable token for - a tiny fraction of what they are worth. If that were not true, we would NOT have a deficit.

And if it were true that the less advantaged were the takers in our society, they wouldn't be less advantaged! They would be well off! Oh, but at this point the self-serving arrogant rich greedy pigs pat themselves on the back and tell themselves the disadvantaged are where they are because they aren't smart or they are lazy or they are irresponsible. BS! The advantaged are either born to wealth and/or fortunate in terms of health and opportunity. Yes, some of them work hard and are smart - a small minority, actually! And yes, in our society it is possible for some of those born to disadvantage to work their way up in society and join the advantaged. But it WON'T BE POSSIBLE if the greedy rich continue their current campaign to destroy the progressive tax system, crush the middle class and upper working class, and wipe out all the incentives and rewards and support society has tried to provide to balance the inequity of the capitalist system.

Pull your head in, OG. Lose your sense of entitlement. If you have money, you have USED people and resources to get it. Nobody gets it without, unless it's inherited wealth in which case even more people and resources were used to get it (by the testator). NOBODY who is well-to-do in this society pays a fraction of what would be a fair cost for the resources and people they use to achieve material comfort. NOBODY! It isn't possible in our currently structured capitalist society to become wealthy paying a fair price for everything you use to achieve profit.

Sure, cancel the benefit of pensions by making them repayable from the estate. Punish people for buying homes if they don't get rich before retirement. Take everything the strugglers have the chance to attain, and then wonder why they won't work anymore, and the capitalist society collapses.

Tax concessions are just as much welfare as pensions. They reduce the amount a person pays for the public services they use. Thus, they are WELFARE - because they allow access to benefit at less than it costs to provide that benefit. Anyone CANNOT use them. They are accessible ONLY to those who have a significant tax obligation. Yes, legal theory says anyone can access them, but clearly someone with a small tax obligation can't pay a lawyer the equivalent of 10 years' tax to reduce his tax by a few dollars a year! For the most part, the disadvantaged don't even have access to knowledge of tax laws that allows reduction. That knowledge is expensive!

Those who don't earn enough to engage in tax reduction are paid pensions to balance social inequity, and those pensions are no more welfare than tax concessions or the right to use labour for less than it is worth.

And tax concessions DO NOT BENEFIT THE POOR more than the wealthy, or we wouldn't have a deficit that is increasing poverty! Government debt and calls to reduce welfare and thus increase poverty has increased in parallel with increases in tax concessions and avoidance, and in parallel with inequity and hoarded wealth. Thus, it is clear that tax avoidance and concessions hurts the disadvantaged and society as a whole. But of course the greedy ''I'm entitled'' rich continue to excuse their greed and selfishness with every BS excuse under the sun, because these poor warped creatures actually believe they were born better, and they have a right to exploit, use and abuse to line their coffers with gold. They still believe in the master/slave relationship and they want to restore it. All we can hope for is that if they do, civil war restores social equity - and I hope that in that circumstance, you, OG, are the first to be shot.

EVERYONE who wants to retain a healthy capitalist society should be screaming for tax concessions to be reduced and avoidance to be stamped out and for the healthy welfare systems of recent decades to be restored and continually improved. EVERY DECENT PERSON in this society should be screaming for a more equitable society in which everyone can share national wealth and in which an abundance of opportunity and strong incentives and rewards drive strong economic growth.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2017
11:29am
Rainey if you have a job you are benefiting from any tax concessions given to those who employ you. You are also dependant upon them making money otherwise you have no job. Our society depends on people taking chances to employ people and if they have no reason to take a chance then the economy suffers with the poor the hardest hit. So if it means so much to you being exploited then give up your job and let some one else have it that appreciates it.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
1:50am
OG, I agree with your comments up to a point. I've taken chances and employed people, so I see things from the employer's viewpoint. But it's about balance, and we've lost the balance. It's skewed way too far in favour of the privileged.

I work for myself, but I contract, and I greatly appreciate the opportunities my clients provide. I am keen to support my clients to do well, and I admire them rather than envy them. I certainly won't give up my job because I love it, and it pays well enough that I don't feel exploited. But my partner and I WERE exploited for 25 years, and like most workers, we felt we had no choice but to tolerate exploitation because we didn't want to be ''bludgers'' and we thought working might eventually open doors. Ultimately, we quit and went on unemployment benefits while we built a business for ourselves. We found we had to cheat the system to get out of the intolerable rut we found ourselves in, thanks to a flawed system.

I want to see businesses operators succeed. But I want to see balance improved so that everyone has a fair chance to prosper according to their abilities and endeavours. I want to see welfare reformed to offer a ''hand up'' rather than a ''hand out'', and to stop locking people into dependency.

Punishing people and keeping them down won't help our economy, and that's the line you keep pushing. It's the WRONG APPROACH. And anyone who has genuinely struggled understands why it's the wrong approach. But sadly, the rich are just too selfish and greedy and refuse to recognize that just as we need people taking chances and employing others, we also need people who are strongly incentivized to work, despite being paid less than their contribution is really worth. And we need social benefits to compensate for the fact that workers are paid less than they contribute, so that the capitalist system can continue to function in good health. (Because the capitalist system depends on workers being paid less than they produce so the employer can profit!)

Right now, the capitalist system is under threat. It's not delivering prosperity. It's resulting in major government debt. Every notable economist and world leader agrees the reason is excess inequity -the rich not paying their way. We need to fix that in order that the system can continue and those who take chances can continue to find willing and capable employees and the demands for welfare can reduce.
Ted Wards
17th Jul 2017
11:12am
We have a sotuation here in Woolloongabba where there is significant redevelopment with multistory buildings. No one unit has been set aside for public housing but it would make sense that the government should buy some of these for public housing. Its cheaper for them to buy of spec than develop a whole complex. So our population over the next 10 years is going to sky rocket but no infrastructure has been put in place for any other services. You dont have to be a rocket scientist to see whats going to occur. We dont even have a library, we are just a few kms from the city yet the public transport around here is worse than in places like Cleveland and places further afield. We have limited green space and no public housing. Trouble is the council only looks at the money its brings them in, they dont look at the livability of a place, or the infrastructure this place will need once the population in this area more than trebles.
alinejordan
17th Jul 2017
11:40am
ditto on the Bellarine Peninsula where development is rampant despite the lack of infrasturctructure. it is obvious council only care about their precious revenue and precious little about the livability of the place.
a right nightmare is happening here and nothing anyone can do to stop it.
Rae
17th Jul 2017
12:03pm
Overcrowded rabbit warrens have sprung up all over and I imagine are very difficult for the elderly to live in as those culdesacs require long walks to navigate, inadequate public transport etc.

I can't imagine how a non car owner manages to live in them.

The two storey macmansion will turn into a nightmare as time passes I expect.
MICK
17th Jul 2017
11:19am
If you haven't got a house by the time you retire then it is either a case of circumstances or lifestyle. No point blaming the system in the many (not all!) cases where people have not wanted to put themselves out though. Apologies to the offended.
There are all shades of grey but many people struggled hard to get into a house to help themselves. The thanks they get for not burdening taxpayers is governments coming after them.
People who are doing it tough in retirement because they are forced to pay rent need to firstly blame themselves and seconding governments who squander our tax money and give to the rich rather than distributing the NATIONAL wealth in a fairer way. And then the mentally challenged vote Liberal??? No comment!
Public housing? Great idea as long as a minimal and affordable rent is charged.
Gammer
17th Jul 2017
12:23pm
Have to agree with you, Mick. We had a very modest lifestyle as a young family (no holidays, fancy cars, dining out, a lot of make do and mend, etc) so that we could pay the mortgage (and let's not forget the 18% interest rate in the mid-late 80's). We did it tough in order to have the mortgage paid out by retirement. I get somewhat irritated by those who keep saying the baby boomers have had it easy when we mostly lived very economically!
Triss
17th Jul 2017
12:25pm
We seem to have an unfortunate process lately. We looked at a large subdivision at the weekend and it seemed that as soon as the blocks went on sale they were grabbed by builders. Presumably they then put the price of the block up and if - a young family maybe- wanted to buy they were only allowed to build with the builder who owned the block. We checked the finished house prices by builders different from the owners of the blocks and found the same size and type of house would be around $50,000 plus cheaper. That's something that needs urgent checks.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
12:41pm
Many people buy blocks of land with very little money down so that the developer can get finance to do the subdivision. They then sell them at a profit when the subdivision is released. Banks will not finance subdivisions unless 25% of the blocks have been presold.

If I wanted to buy a block of land I'd check Council records to see why has applied to subdivide land and then contact them to buy a block in their pre sale process.
Rosret
17th Jul 2017
5:22pm
Mick and Gammer you are both referring to historical Australia. Leon is future projecting and he is quite correct.
The term of our loans were 14 years and it was very unwise with high interest rates to pay it back over a longer period of time.
Today it is taking young workers nearly ten years to get a deposit significant enough to repay a massive loan over 40 years. So if they do get a loan at 30 it won't be paid off until they are 70 years old - the age the pension (if there is a pension in 2050) will be available to them.
So all those life requirements, such as children's weddings, education etc will all be a significant burden if they are still repaying a home.
It is the Government's plan to make all individuals responsible for their own retirement funding. To do that, we have been told by the superfunds, that we need to put in much more than the current 9% - how will they be able to do that?
I realise we have a dual income stream and for many this is not an issue however I think one of the nicest thing about Australians is that we were proud "not to leave anyone behind". I would like to believe we will always be that way.
TREBOR
17th Jul 2017
9:32pm
I struggled and worked hard to get into two - divorce and piss-poor management of this nation on all sides of 'management' put paid to that petty ambition to own my own home in retirement.
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
5:21am
Sorry, Rosret, but I don't get this whinge about the young having it so tough. With two incomes and minimal interest rates, it seems to me to be far easier now to buy a home than it was for most of my generation. Add to that, women's wages and wages for under 21s when I was young were a tiny fraction of a full male wage, and most of us didn't get to finish high school let alone go to university and get a high paid job. Appliances, furnishings, clothing, household goods and cars were all many times today's cost, relative to wages, so we had much less to apply to the mortgage.

Pay off a house in 14 years? In your dreams? I had to borrow privately to scrape up a deposit because house prices were rising so fast in the early 70s and rent was expensive.

It's still possible to buy a good house in country towns for $300-400K, and that's very affordable for most young folk. Sure, it's expensive in the cities. It always was. We could never have even contemplated buying in a major city until we were close to retirement and had built, bought and renovated, and sold - living very frugally in half-built houses while we worked to improve them - for 40 years.

I don't know a young person either where I live now or where we lived previously for 25 years who isn't paying off at least one investment property PLUS a mortgage on a newish, four+ bed/3+bath/3+ living room brick and tile with landscaped gardens and double garage holding 2 newish SUVs. Many have swimming pools as well. And of course all top-notch appliances, furnishings and electronic equipment. And they go out to restaurants and clubs weekly and holiday abroad.

I'm sure there are folk doing it tough in low paid jobs. There always were. Somehow people seem to compare apples with oranges - the well-off from our generation with the strugglers of today. Apples to apples - the young can buy houses far more easily than most of my generation could, if they just stopped the indulgences and reduced their outrageous expectations.
Old Geezer
18th Jul 2017
4:11pm
Gee Rainey you must live in an affluent area as way too many young people around here struggle to make ends meet each week. Back when I bought my first house in pay it off in six months. You would need a very good job today to be able to do that.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
3:28am
I do not live in an affluent area, OG. I'm sure some young people struggle. That was always the case. They don't struggle any more than I did when I was young. Even the worst off are far better off than the strugglers were in past decades. Goodness, how many today can't afford to go to high school. My grandmother had two years of schooling. My mother left after Year 6 and was scrubbing floors for a living at 14. My partner was working at age 9. Give it a break, OG. NOBODY today knows the definition of ''struggle'' as it was for past generations (including mine!)

As for paying a house off in six months - it was only possible in my day if you were very wealthy. And it's just as possible for very privileged today - though with such low interest rates now, it's probably not something many bother striving to do. We sure wanted to pay off those 18%+ loans in a hurry if we could, but most, like me, took 25 - 30 years or more, simply because they couldn't earn enough to pay off any faster.
HKW
17th Jul 2017
11:35am
Addressing housing affordability is NOT ENOUGH !
The government needs to address the constant rise in council rates as well, for if neglected, the rates may go up so high that owners on pensions will not be able to afford it either!
Councils don't seem to be considering the unstoppable every day costs of living in this country.
But that's probably part of the Agenda 21 and Agenda 30.
DEPOPULATION !!

However, Mr. Turnbull just recently didn't hesitate to give himself a pay-rise of $17,000 !!!!!!!!!!!!!
SCANDALOUS !!!!
AutumnOz
17th Jul 2017
11:49am
Good points HKW
Old Man
17th Jul 2017
11:58am
I may be wrong HKW but public housing has generally been a matter for state governments.It is almost impossible for a federal government to legislate for housing affordability. Sydney and Melbourne housing costs are on a boom, Brisbane is rising but slow, Adelaide is stagnant and Perth is dropping so to legislate federally would be very difficult.
Rae
17th Jul 2017
12:06pm
Yes down on the beach here very ordinary houses are costing $11000 a year in rates. A pensioner with no other income couldn't afford that.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
12:19pm
Don't OAPs get 50% off their rates which the rest of us have to pay extra to cover?
Triss
17th Jul 2017
12:30pm
No, OG, they don't. Not in my neck of the woods, anyway.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
1:05pm
Well that's what the legislation says.
archer
17th Jul 2017
2:17pm
Old geezer where I live you get 50% off your rates up to $250!!!! apparently rates were around 250 back in the day.
$2000 to 3000 now in rural Victoria. So we get 150 discount. Of course it is better than nothing but the 50% discount that they rabbit on about is just creative accounting and misleading to say the least
PlanB
17th Jul 2017
2:25pm
HKW, I see you are on the ball and awake to the plans
Old Man
17th Jul 2017
3:01pm
OG, please give details of where it says that pensioners get 50% discount on rates and I'll be able to take our council to court. They give us 15% which, according to the person who knows everything, is 35% less than the legislation says. If you can't find the legislation maybe an apology will be in order. I'm not standing on one leg waiting.
in2sunset
17th Jul 2017
4:22pm
Once again, totally wrong OG. For someone so smart, you are pretty unintelligant. They get 20% off, to a maximum of $200!! With my rates bill over $3200 for a 50 yo 1BR house, not near city, wow! Great saving!
Rosret
17th Jul 2017
6:00pm
I must admit I am worried about the increase in rates in line with the housing boom. Our council is so flush these days it wastes money on useless things - not infrastructure.
Farside
17th Jul 2017
6:28pm
Gotta love the propensity for the keyboard warriors to voice their rage. Clearly pensioner discounts vary around the country so get over it. If it is an important issue for you then get into the ear of your local reps at each level of government to increase concessions. Some examples below.

In Queensland, eligible pensioners can receive a subsidy of 20 per cent (up to a maximum amount of $200 each year) of the gross rates and charges levied by local council. Further rates remissions may be determined by Council. For example, Cairns Regional Council offers pensioners a rebate up to 40% of the General Rate to a maximum of $1,350.00 per annum.

In WA, Pensioners and/or Seniors may be eligible to claim rebates up to a maximum 50% off current Rates and ESL (Emergency Services Levy), or defer payment and forgo the rebate, in accordance with the Rates and Charges (Rebates and Deferment) Act, 1992.

For 2016-17 the Victorian Government-funded rebate provided under the Municipal
Rates Concession Scheme was $218.30 or 50% of the rate payment, whichever is
the less, plus an additional $50 rebate off their Fire Services Property Levy.
TREBOR
17th Jul 2017
9:36pm
Councils are like state governments - they laze around and put any cash they've got into fripperies like various commissions etc, rather than into the infrastructure which they are charged to build and maintain. They then wait for the next higher level of government to come along and offer them more money... meantime the 'executive' of the council/state is sitting around accumulating bigger retirement packages and benefits and offering themselves bonus pay rises for their 'good work' - then they work out how to get the taxpaying public to foot the bill for their ineptitude and sloth - at the state level expect a renewed whine for raising the GST - at local level we are already getting three consecutive year's rises of 5%, then 5% on that new base, then another 5% on that one - all of which are way above the cost of wages and inflation and so forth.

Once again - we need to boot the lot and get a new lot in...
Crimmo
17th Jul 2017
11:42am
Another emerging issue is the lack of rental accommodation. This will increase as the government tightens the screws on investor borrowing. With reducing supply and increasing demand, landlords will rent to tenants with good paying jobs, not to people on the age pension. Not that age pensioners could afford to pay rents in the future anyway, even with the (low) rental assistance. That will mean increasing homelessness for age pensioners. All this is quite obvious, unless you have your head buried in the sand.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
11:51am
It is simply not economic to own houses today to rent as there are much better returns on one's money elsewhere without all the negatives of being a landlord.
AutumnOz
17th Jul 2017
11:43am
If our governments (both federal and state) are going to continue to bring in increasing numbers of extra migrants, that is over the normal number per year, then they must do something about finding housing for them and all the infrastructure that is needed to go with the housing - schools, hospitals, public transport, shopping centres and parklands with sporting facilities.
Instead of all these people settling into the major cities they must also be encouraged to go into regional and rural areas. After all if they are living on welfare it doesn't really matter where they live does it?
Rae
17th Jul 2017
11:48am
I thought at the time that encouraging older Australians to redraw equity from their homes for renovations, trips, vehicles etc was dangerous.

Property is over valued no doubt about that. Rather than run around screaming the sky is falling perhaps the MSM could suggest a little patience.

If you really can't afford rent then get a flatmate or move to somewhere affordable.

As the interest rate cycle corrects prices will come back.

You can rent a two bedroom duplex here for $280 a week. For a pensioner that is a lot of their income but surely they thought about that at some point during the last 50 years.

There are the disadvantaged yes. I believe we should have motel type small complexes with shared kitchen and relaxation and a caretaker couple. Surely that is doable in most regions for the desperate and homeless.

And perhaps some sensible hospital system for the mentally ill and addicted.
leek
17th Jul 2017
2:33pm
Gee Rae, not sure where you live, but $280 a week would get a STudio apartment in the block of flats my daughter lives in(Oakliegh). SO a studio apartment is just 1 room with a bathroom. I looked at renting when my husband broke up with me, and about $400 a week would have got me the dumpiest place in Ashwood. Then if you drive around at the right time you see people "queueing" up to look at rental properties.
I do like your idea of the Motel type of complexes though.
Rae
17th Jul 2017
4:30pm
I could never afford property in Sydney leek.

I did live in Newcastle for a while but 4 of us share housed together.

Suddenly being on your own is terrifying. I was widowed at 34 with three little kids and I remember being scared to make decisions in case I got it wrong.

You sound strong and capable. I wish you well.
Old Man
17th Jul 2017
11:52am
Let me get this straight, about 8% of people over 65 are renters. We have not been told how many of these are receiving a pension of some description. If we assume that all of them are the about 29% of singles devote more than 30% of income into rent. That's about 2.4% of pensioners who are single although it may also be the same percentage for married pensioners but there is insufficient data to confirm this.

Again, I believe that we have a misleading article trying to baffle us with bullshit instead of dazzling us with brilliance. The numbers being thrown around may make someone who reads the article quickly think that there are a lot more people over 65 being talked about than there actually are. There are many and varied reasons why people rent from having a low paying job where purchase is not an option to divorce later in life when it is not possible to start again and whatever the reason, these people have my sympathy.
Suze
17th Jul 2017
12:23pm
Good points you raise there OM
Triss
17th Jul 2017
12:33pm
Well put, OM.
jeffr
17th Jul 2017
3:32pm
spot on OM
Not a Bludger
17th Jul 2017
12:02pm
Clearly a difficult matter but the pension is not there to fund a lifestyle - it is broadly a safety net payment.

Melbourne is no longer a large town - it is a city approaching 5,000,000 people and peppercorn or cheap rents will not be seen anytime soon.

Conversely, in Boroondara, I have recently seen more For Lease signs on houses than ever before.
Triss
17th Jul 2017
12:55pm
But what do you see as a safety net, Not a Bludger? Let's take our blinkers off and stop repeating what fat cats and media tell us to say and think. Why are we venting spleen on OAPs? Because we object to our taxes being given to them?
Let's think about ex MPs who are retired and have been syphoning off our tax money for 20 - 30 years after working for just 8 years. Most of them are in their sixties and will be burdening the taxpayers with their pensions and business class holidays for another 20 - 30 years. No asset tests.
Let's think about ex judges with their huge taxpayer funded pensions.
Public servants who retired at 55 and 60yrs. And let's not forget that these people can take on full time jobs or businesses without easing the burden on taxpayers by having their pensions docked.
Surely we should be complaining about the 'Third World type' corrupt practice which allows the people who make the laws to give themselves and their cronies huge pensions and perks whilst allowing minimal pensions and no perks to the people who work.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
1:04pm
Please compare apples with apples as I agree the OAP is a safety net not something everyone should aspire to get.
Rae
17th Jul 2017
2:27pm
MPs are not eligible for the OAP while they receive their Superannuation which is a different thing completely.
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
6:06am
And don't forget, Trish, that as well as funding massive benefits for high-paid ''public servants'' (who do NOT ''serve'' the public at all!), the poor old taxpayer has to boost the superannuation of the well off by giving them massive concessions, but then the struggling worker gets no tax break or is actually penalized with higher taxes on money put into super. Then these holier-than-though over-indulged greedy PIGS claim they get no ''welfare'' and those who do should have their homes confiscated.

Reverse the superannuation tax concessions scales so that the government contributes 30% of the low income-earner's wage to his super and NOTHING to the super of the well off, and then lets see how the huge reduction in OAPs benefits the nation instead of piling up gold in tax havens to benefit the rich. The cost to the nation would be much less, since 30% of a low wage is a minimal amount, but we'd have many more people able to fund their retirement, and anyone who lost (paid increased tax) as a consequence of the change would be a high income earner who could well afford the imposition and who was probably avoiding tax with negative gearing, CGT, trusts, companies, etc anyway.
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
6:06am
And don't forget, Trish, that as well as funding massive benefits for high-paid ''public servants'' (who do NOT ''serve'' the public at all!), the poor old taxpayer has to boost the superannuation of the well off by giving them massive concessions, but then the struggling worker gets no tax break or is actually penalized with higher taxes on money put into super. Then these holier-than-though over-indulged greedy PIGS claim they get no ''welfare'' and those who do should have their homes confiscated.

Reverse the superannuation tax concessions scales so that the government contributes 30% of the low income-earner's wage to his super and NOTHING to the super of the well off, and then lets see how the huge reduction in OAPs benefits the nation instead of piling up gold in tax havens to benefit the rich. The cost to the nation would be much less, since 30% of a low wage is a minimal amount, but we'd have many more people able to fund their retirement, and anyone who lost (paid increased tax) as a consequence of the change would be a high income earner who could well afford the imposition and who was probably avoiding tax with negative gearing, CGT, trusts, companies, etc anyway.
Old Geezer
18th Jul 2017
6:26pm
Rainey I can see super funds clapping their hands with glee as they work out how to get all that super in fees and life insurance.
Jacka
17th Jul 2017
12:09pm
I still find it bizarre and have never understood why the government pays people rent assistance. I do appreciate various people's positions but why is tax payer's wasted in this way. People should look after themselves and always look to and plan for the future. Sorry, that's just me. Cheers Jacka.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
12:16pm
I agree.

I know people who follow the sun in their caravans and claim rent assistance for caravan parks as they go.
Triss
17th Jul 2017
12:57pm
It's so they can actually eat as well as having aroof over their heads, Jacka.
Triss
17th Jul 2017
12:59pm
You're generalising again,OG, specifically, how many people?
Old Man
17th Jul 2017
3:23pm
Jacka, there are people who have always been, always are and always will be never in a position to own a home. The reasons are many and varied and, in a lot of cases, are because of personal misfortune. Those who own homes get assistance with outgoings such as rates and it seems fair that non ratepayers should also cop a little bit extra. The federal government pays state governments an amount to repay councils which give pensioners rebates on their rates.
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
6:23am
OG, you are contradicting yourself yet again! When I said people travelling in caravans were often unable to afford a home and lived in their van permanently instead, you disputed that and claimed they were all well off. Now you say they claim rent assistance for caravan parks, which by definition means they are not home owners but live full time in their vans.
Old Geezer
18th Jul 2017
3:46pm
Those who live in the RVs are in the minority Rainey who some taking advantage of the welfare system by staying in expensive caravan parks in prime locations. They are not camped out in the bulldust with the flies like you would have us believe.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
6:24am
You make no sense, OG. If they are staying in expensive caravan parks then by definition they are NOT taking advantage of the welfare system, since you simply can't afford expensive caravan parks on welfare. That's a ridiculous claim. And yes, there are lots of caravanners who live in their vans permanently camped out in the bulldust with the flies. That's where we camp - by choice, because we enjoy the atmosphere and the people who camp that way - and we are constantly encountering folk who have no other home (because they can't afford one!) but are classified by Centrelink as ''homeowners'' because they own a basic caravan.

The truth is that greedy, selfish people WANT to PRETEND that welfare is too generous because these greedy, selfish people want it cut so their minimal taxes reduce further. They KNOW it's poverty level, but they are content to make up any number of stupid lies to try to convince the masses that wealthy people are exploiting the pension system. Sure, a tiny handful do. I know a couple who gave millions to their kids before turning 60 and live in a $1.2 million house and have divided the house into 2 self-contained areas so they can claim to be separated and get single pensions. They are the tiny minority. Most pensioners are struggling. And MOST are honest - though the stupidity of a system that punishes honesty and endeavour so harshly is rapidly removing incentives to do the right thing.
Boof
17th Jul 2017
12:15pm
NEGATIVE GEARIN G BIG CAUSE TOO.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
12:16pm
Negative gearing is a fools paradise. Never used it myself.
Rae
17th Jul 2017
2:31pm
You mean deliberately planning on making an investment loss to save paying a little bit of tax. Yes Boof that idea has often caused people to lose everything including their own home when markets turn. Debt can be very dangerous indeed.
Old Man
17th Jul 2017
3:27pm
Boof, it has been shown that stopping negative gearing also stops investors. Without investors, houses for rent are reduced and when there is a shortage of anything, the price rises.
Old Geezer
18th Jul 2017
6:28pm
If you make it more expensive to hold an investment that barely if it even does make a profit then investors will start to look to invest their money elsewhere.
KSS
17th Jul 2017
1:17pm
I have to agree with Jacka, this is a spurious article with doubtful conclusions presented as facts.

Housing affordability is not a nationwide problem in the first place and, therefore, there is no one solution that will be seen as 'fair' or even appropriate in every jurisdiction. The Federal Government should not be expected to solve issues such as home ownership nationwide. People can and should buy where they can afford and stop whining about not being able to buy what they want or where they want. Did anyone ever buy in their preferred location first time? No! Most had to work hard and trade up over many years and often do it tough in the process.

The article makes no mention that as from 1993 compulsory superannuation has been in force and that this alone is an advantage that previous generations did not always have. People in their 40s and younger now have had this for their entire working life and still have another 30+ years to go in which to add to the savings. It is up to them to make provision for their retirement and not expect to abrogate that responsibility to the Government or anyone else.

Frankly I am fed up with hearing about how people 'lost their job', 'got divorced and had to start again', or any other of life's misfortunes as if this totally justifies continued and increasing welfare payments. There are hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people who go through those life events without expecting the Government and taxpayers to pick up the tab for them for the rest of their lives.

There will always be those who will need a welfare safety net, (and it is right that a safety net be there for them) but that safety net must not be, and must not become, reward payments for lifestyle choices. It's time to stop the expectation that everyone should be able to make whatever lifestyle choices they want without thought for their old age and that that failing to make provision will automatically guarantee government handouts for life. People have to take responsibility for their own futures and those futures must be further away than the next overseas holiday or iphone release.
Triss
17th Jul 2017
1:38pm
I agree with you, KSS, but everyone doesn't come out of the same doll factory. There are going to be people who work and a much fewer amount who don't work and while the people who don't work are irritating I still don't think they can be allowed to starve.
I can't remember, do we still have 'Work for the Dole'?
dreamer
17th Jul 2017
4:48pm
Houseing stop immargration
Captain
19th Jul 2017
11:16am
KSS, I agree with you about people being responsible for their own future. However, as you point out, those over about 40 in 1991, when the superannuation guarantee levy became available have not had a working lifetime to properly fund their retirement through super.

That brings us to the question as to why the Abbott Govt in their 2014 budget decided to lower the assets test limit back to the 2007 asset test limit. This has disadvantaged over 330,000 retirees and about 92,000 lost their part pension entirely. Many of these people built their retirement strategy on (then) current legislation. To pull the rug out from under them was morally wrong, politically stupid and fiscally incompetent as some (the crazy ones) would spent the excess to get a pension/part pension, some will just meekly accept the change and others will actively work against the instigators of the change as they see their careful years of planning thrown out the door on a whim.

I for one will applaud as many of the current crop of silly Librerals are thrown out the door (and many of the Labor fools) as well.

I also wish to point to that we did not and do not receive a pension.
Rainey
21st Jul 2017
11:50am
I also don't receive a pension, Captain, but I agree with everything you say. The move was morally reprehensible, socially destructive, and fiscally incompetent. I'm not sure it's fair to suggest those who spend the excess to get a part pension are foolish. If they put it into a more expensive home, they may increase both assets and income. If they take a world cruise, they may find that spending $100K nets $180K increased income over 10 years (depending on specific circumstances).

I will certainly be seeking to throw the LNP out at the next election and I'll cheer when they are gone. They have defrauded and lied and done hideous damage to our economy and society. So much for claims of being better economic managers! Look at the way they have driven the national debt up!
Rodent
17th Jul 2017
1:21pm
Old Man, interesting views. Just finished sending some views about all this to Media Sources who wrote this stuff as well as John Daly from Grattan

In regard to Numbers this applies(sorry its only as at June 2016), as I have got around to updating it yet. Its also ONLY Age Pensioners, does not include DSP

Home Owner Couples 1,234,479 % of total = 48.63%
Non Home Owner Couples 187,650 % of Total = 7.39%
Single Home Owner 665054 % of Total = 26.20%
Single Non Home Owner 450978 % of Total = 17.76%
Total Number = 2,538,161 AS AT JUNE 2016

JFYI the Number of Age Pensioners has actually Reduced from 2,570,072 in Dec 2016 to 2,494,060 as at March 2017- primarily as a result of the Asset Test changes on 1 Jan 2017
Rae
17th Jul 2017
2:44pm
John Daly definitely has a problem with ageism. Not sure why or if he works for a bank or property agency. Something isn't right with his constant attack on the home ownership of retirees.
Rodent
17th Jul 2017
1:26pm
Further to my Comments to Old Man -this is what I have sent to John Daley -Grattan

Dear John

I have written to you before on several matters, often Pension/Retirement etc, and I fully understand your views on including the Family home in the assets test. Not sure I agree. Asset values are important, but even more important to level the playing fields is that any Pension paid should be accessed on ALL Income, (ideally Gross Income) as the primary input parameter, not Asset values.

I am concerned by this recent AFR article where its trying to make the case to give more pension to Non Home Owners (Renters)

Following the recent 1 Jan 2017 Asset Test changes Non Homeowners are even better off than ever before. HOWEVER a Single Home owner with $500k in assets will receive ONLY $3888.30pa in Pension, and at the same $500k in Assets a Single Non Home Owner (Renter) will receive $19,722.30pa in Pension. (This ignores the Rental Assistance amount, which only makes this comparison worse)

So my question is if $19,722.30pa is not enough in PENSION for a Single Non Home Owner how can $3888.30 EVER be enough, Fair, Equitable for a Single Home Owner. I am sure you will agree this comparison is alarming.

Yes I understand that for a person paying Rent it can be expensive, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, but to just ignore that a home owner has significant ongoing costs and that even MORE should be given to “Renters” just ignores the other side of the equation?

You will note I have not tried to complicate this issue by quoting Dollar Income amounts , % earned etc ASFA while that may be relevant, it’s not the main point I am trying to make here.

PS - the figures I have used here are accurate as at NOW and reflect the Age Pension as at March 2017, and the Threshold changes as at 1 July 2017.

Last point - JFYI is that the Latest DSS demographics figure for Age Pension and DSP are as follows.

Age Pension Dec 2016 - 2,570,072 DSP 772,313
Age Pension March 2017- 2,494,060 DSP 764,960

The Lower Age Pension numbers for March 2017 reflect the numbers of Age Pensioners that were removed after 1 Jan 2017. The DSP numbers are still going down and are now at the lowest point since a high in March 2014

I have attached a Pension analysis Spreadsheet ( NOT UP TO DATE) that has a break up of Home Owners/Non Homeowners that may be of interest to you.

As you may well remember when the Greens voted in support of these Asset Test changes were “promised by the Govt as part of the deal, that there would be a Retirement Incomes review- GUESS what it has not happened!!
Triss
17th Jul 2017
1:41pm
Has he replied to you yet, Rodent.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
4:46pm
That home owner could have a house worth many millions which makes your argument sound a bit hollow Rodent.
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
6:31am
What a dumb response, OG! Of course a tiny handful of home owner pensioners might have a house worth millions. Most will have very modest homes that they struggled for decades to pay off, and now they are being harshly punished for doing so, as Rodent's figures correctly show. Only a fool would dispute his suggestion that the system is grossly discriminatory to homeowners.

Well done putting this argument to John Daley, but don't hold your breath for an intelligent response, Rodent. Yes, the Greens were grossly irresponsible and the LNP was dishonest. We do need that review, but the mob of fraudsters currently governing will never honour that idle promise.
Captain
19th Jul 2017
11:29am
Rodent, always enjoy your comments, actions and statistics. As others have said, I hope you receive a response from John Daly, however I hope you can hold your breath for a long, long time.

To OG, how many pensioners do you personally know (not heresay) who own a million dollar plus home? I know quite a number of pensioners and the percentage of those with homes worth more than 1 million plus is about 2% and I live in Melbourne, with the second most expensive housing in Australia.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2017
5:20pm
I thought all houses in Melbourne were a million plus now just like Sydney. That's a lot of OAPs in expensive homes.

Where I live the houses are all houses are $1 million plus and OAPs live in most of them. So I personally know quite a lot of OAPs living in million dollar plus homes.
Captain
19th Jul 2017
6:41pm
OG, you can buy houses for under $600 in many areas of Melbourne and you do not have to go into new outlying suburbs. The average price across Melb is less than $900k.

If you go to the more effluent areas multi million dollars houses are available. Go to areas like Epping (less than 20klm) from the CBD and you can get a house for $500/600. Don't you live in the country somewhere OG, perhaps on acreage, and if your neighbours are on acreage, then perhaps their farms are worth a fair amount od dollars.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
2:00am
So you live in an elite area inhabited by greedy rich pigs, OG? Not surprising! Stop judging the whole nation by the tiny minority you mix with, because you are completely out of touch. Most pensioners own very modest homes. Many are classed as ''homeowners'' despite only owning a caravan or a run-down shack or tiny unit.

Sure, there are some who exploit the system by putting all their assets into expensive homes. And there are some whose modest homes have inflated dramatically in value. They are the minority. And there are sensible ways to fix the system to address the issues that minority creates. But bashing everyone who struggled for 30 years+ to own a modest home WILL NOT help the economy or the society.

BTW. Captain is right. You can buy houses in many areas of Melbourne under $600,000. Tons of units available in Sydney for well under $500,000 and also houses in outer suburbs for under $600,000. Like the ''entitled'' young we hear whinging, you are being too selective, OG. You are NOT dealing in fact.
PlanB
17th Jul 2017
2:08pm
WHY are foreigners allowed to buy up a heap of properties? So many Chinese buying up homes and they don't even live here -- -- yes some at top end properties but they should still not be allowed to buy. No way can we go and buy property in their countries.
leek
17th Jul 2017
2:19pm
I agree 100%. For many years been going to auctions in the area where I used to live in Burwood/Ashwood, and like 99% of the homes are going to the Chinese. They always outbid Mum's and dads with kids in tow that want to go to the local primary/secondary schools.
KSS
17th Jul 2017
2:27pm
Not everyone who looks Chinese is a foreigner. But there is a point to be made though.

Perhaps like many other countries (particularly in Asia for example), only Australian citizens should be permitted to buy, own and sell residential property.
leek
17th Jul 2017
2:16pm
As I approach my 60's I am meeting a very high proportion of women in their 50's or even younger who are renting after coming off a divorce. None of these women have been able to get back into the housing market. I find this fact very disturbing. My husband has just broken up with me and we are able split our assessts so that we are both able to buy homes. But not many couples are in this sort of a situatiion. They have only been on the early part of thier mortage life, leaving them with little money after the split. We are going to see a huge amount of people struggle as they get older. I really am dreading the future for women(& men)
Priscilla
17th Jul 2017
2:17pm
If people cannot afford to buy a home now, I do not see how making home owners sell their homes will make any difference. You either have the money to purchase/build a home or you don't! What a stupid suggestion. Anyone wanting to own a home can "do the hard yards" as we had to do by scrimping and saving and going without so that we eventually owned our own homes. People today have NO IDEA how to save and so will never have anything. The first thing they should do is get rid of their credit cards and live within their means!!!
KSS
17th Jul 2017
2:29pm
And buy what they can afford where they can afford to buy and not what they want where they want to live first off.
Joy Anne
17th Jul 2017
2:21pm
Rent assistance is below poverty for people renting over 65. I rent and it costs me 60% of my pension every fortnight. Now I have to move in next few months and still trying to find rent cheaper then this, AND IS IMPOSSIBLE as I have to move to Sunshine Coast so I can be involved with my daughter and new grandchild. The rents keep increasing which is investors in some cases being greedy and then the tenants have to pay water as well which is another expense to come out of the pension. Some houses are not rentable they are very poor.
KSS
17th Jul 2017
2:31pm
" I have to move to Sunshine Coast so I can be involved with my daughter and new grandchild." Well no! Respectfully this is a want or desire, it is not an imperative.

These are choices we make all the time but the Government should be paying for those choices.
Raphael
17th Jul 2017
2:45pm
My god - spoken like a true leaner
Would you like the government to pay for your relocation costs as well ?
Rae
17th Jul 2017
2:59pm
Joy Anne The Sunshine Coast is a high income earner's playground.

Of course if you want to live in a very expensive area the OAP won't achieve that.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
8:24am
Resort living on Stradbroke Island (Couran Cove) - permanent rentals available for $250 per week. What's all the whining about? It costs me more than that to own a home - and I could never get rent assistance.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2017
2:28pm
Rainey you couldn't live on Stradbroke Island and commute to work easily every day so that why the rent is only $250 a week. Yes I have been there and you would need to buy a boat as well as a car to commute to work every day on the mainland.

If it costs you more than $250 a week to own a house then find something cheaper to run as most of my rental properties used to cost less than $100 per week.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
9:12am
You do not need a boat as there is a regular very inexpensive ferry service. And it's ideal for retirees and those who work from home. If you are working every day, you should be earning enough to pay rent on the mainland. This discussion is about pensioners paying rent - NOT working people. Try to keep on track, OG. I know you suffer lack of working brain cells, but if you can't stay on subject, don't post!
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
9:16am
OG, if I choose to work to pay more than $250 per week to own the home of my choice, that's my right. Shut your disgusting mouth with your contemptuous orders to downsize. I am stating a FACT. I am not obliged to reduce my living standards because pigs like you assert that it's possible to do so. I am footing the bills, and it's entirely my right to choose to do so.

And if your rental properties cost less than $100 per week, then you were very mean and nasty to refuse to let pensioners rent them as they could well afford a FAIR rent on a property that costs less than $100 as week to run.
Linda
17th Jul 2017
2:24pm
It does seem there are too many things all impacting on home affordability. For a person, a home is their shelter. For an investor, they want it to be their gold mine. So far, investors seems to be winning this one, at the expense of young families, and perhaps all non home owners. Renting as it is now is an unstable situation re having a home to live in. Do we as a country want to see affordable homes for most folks or do we want to see investors make a packet? Until this current situation is managed well, so more people can afford a home to live in. a decent one, I will say the government is not doing its job properly. How that is done, what measures need to be taken, and if it works will be what makes this government accountable.
Nanday
17th Jul 2017
2:29pm
I live in a suburb of Brisbane where big family houses were built from the 70s through to the 90s. Many of these have granny flats. Many of the big houses are now occupied by one person - a widow(er) or a divorcee. Brisbane City Council should allow these granny flats to be rented, and the federal government/tax office could assist by making any income earned on a granny flat which is rented to a senior not taxable to the recipient. It would allow a lot of the single older people now living in these houses to stay in them and allow those seniors selling their houses to remain in the area close to their familiar amenities. It won't solve the problem, but it would at least contribute to affordable housing.
KSS
17th Jul 2017
2:33pm
How about the one person move into the Granny flat and rent out the house for a higher amount? Then they wouldn't need a government handout!
Rae
17th Jul 2017
3:03pm
Now that is a great idea KSS. Some of those big houses rent at over $800 a week.
Raphael
17th Jul 2017
2:43pm
Pensions are increased from time to time to keep up with CPI.

Tax takes will increase as the economy expands and wages increase

So no - there will be no budget blowout as a result of increase in rent or any other basket of goods that pensioners purchase
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
6:15am
Actually, pensions are NOT increased to keep up with the cost of living increases, Raphael, because a whole host of essential and rapidly rising costs (like council rates and power costs, for example) are excluded from the calculations. Excluding council rates and water costs means, by definition, that rents will increase much faster than the pension. We hope tax takes and wages will increase with economic expansion, but at present we are going backwards.
Rae
19th Jul 2017
11:34am
Pity anything we really have to pay isn't included in the CPI.

Prices are up at least 6% but CPI says less than 1%. It's a scam.
KB
17th Jul 2017
2:52pm
It is time the government placed a cap on how much rent should be charged particularly i f you are on a pension. There are some greedy landlords out thee who use you.
Rae
17th Jul 2017
3:07pm
Some people seem to think it should be other people paying for their lifestyle choices. There are some greedy tenants who want to live in their preferred location but have someone else pick up the tab for it.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
4:13pm
As a landlord I only rented my properties to those who could afford them and no one on welfare had enough income to satisfy the ratio I required.
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
6:12am
Well then, OG, you've just admitted that welfare is not adequate and needs to be increased - unless you were renting out luxury mansions. In a relatively affluent nation (which you repeatedly claim it is)everyone - on welfare or otherwise - should be able to afford to rent a reasonably adequate home. Otherwise, we have a sick society in which there is neither decency nor respect.
Rodent
17th Jul 2017
4:38pm
Triss the answer is NO - I received an Out Of Office reply saying on ARL until Today 17/7
floss
17th Jul 2017
5:16pm
A stupid immigration policy is the main problem , third world people and a third world country we will be. The clever country or are we the dumbest. Some of you voted this mob in so now pay the price.
floss
17th Jul 2017
5:20pm
A easy cheap fix abolish negative gearing and stop immigration or is it to late.
Watto
17th Jul 2017
9:00pm
As a landlord I only rented my properties to those who could afford them and no one on welfare had enough income to satisfy the ratio I required.

You patronising little turd.
Raphael
17th Jul 2017
9:23pm
For all those having the simplistic view that stopping immigration will solve the problem - Youre WRONG

Immigration fuels economic growth
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
6:09am
Perhaps, when responsibly managed, but so does encouraging and rewarding endeavour. Abolish the penalties for paying off a home and stop ranting about making pensioners repay from their estate, and start providing incentives for lower income earners to work to pay off a home and accrue some savings. Then there will be less people dependant on the taxpayer in old age. Penalizing people for striving can only drive demand for pension benefits and rent assistance UP.
Rodent
18th Jul 2017
2:46pm
Raphael

You might like to read the Article by Judith Sloan in Today's Australian titled. Do we really want a population of 40 Million?

You may have a more considered view then?
Rae
19th Jul 2017
11:41am
Well the 42% increase in population recently isn't doing what it should then. Wonder why not?
TREBOR
17th Jul 2017
9:24pm
The government's inability to handle its responsibilities and our money long invested in a pension?

Just asking...
Oldman Roo
17th Jul 2017
10:14pm
For the present Government it is simply a matter of " the chickens are coming home to roost ".
Governing only to further enrich the already wealthy with negative gearing , Politicians and Chinese property sharks being the big buyers , what hope does the ordinary man have to own his own house ? But of course our Politicians already have the answer to this one as well . Screw the Pensioners and low income earners even harder because they are still breathing .
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
5:08am
There will come a break point. You can't keep telling workers that there is no reward for their work and expect them to keep working. I can point to men who worked in exceedingly dangerous jobs (66 feet in the air working on live high-voltage electricity) in freezing and boiling weather for little more than a labourer's wage. People aren't going to keep doing those jobs for a pittance in pay if they are told they can't pass the home they slogged for 30 years to pay for to their offspring and they can't get a pension in old age if they own a house. They will simply throw up their hands and say ''why bother?'' We will have increased demands for welfare and if welfare dries up there will be more crime and mental illness and addiction and abuse.

Every society needs to maintain a level of equity and decency to survive. Our society is rapidly declining because of the greed and selfishness of the ''haves'', but it will come back to bite them. You can't keep taking and persecuting forever.
Old Geezer
18th Jul 2017
3:38pm
Rainey saving money has nothing to do with how much you earn or what job you do. Saving money won't make you rich either. You have to do something with that money and not let it sit idle in a bank account where banks makes the big profits using your money.

Many people don't bother to save even though they make lots of income yet others making small incomes grow rich. It is not how much you earn but what you do with what you earn that will help you prosper. Those who prosper don't even think about welfare let alone are concerned about not getting an OAP. So the people you are talking about will never prosper anyway no matter what happens with welfare. What you are saying is just excuses why they will never be rich. That's all.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
3:36am
OG, what you say may be true in an ideal world, but we don't live in the utopia you seem to imagine! Saving money is possible on lower incomes and many don't save on high incomes. Similarly, doing something productive with savings will increase wealth. But OPPORTUNITY is the key word here. The disadvantaged generally lack the education and access to knowledge and support to be able to invest well. Those who suffer health problems or experience trauma or crisis or have disabled or chronically ill children are forced to spend most of their income (if not go into debt!) and simply can't save.

Only the most arrogant and self-serving blame victims of misfortune for their lack of wealth. The people I speak of WILL prosper if given a helping hand and greater incentive. I did. I know many others who did. But the incentives are disappearing, and the helping hands are being withdrawn, and that's going to create a massive social and economic problem.

You have obviously enjoyed good fortune - a university education for a start. You weren't digging ditches or scrubbing floors at 14 with nobody to offer guidance or help and no clue how to improve your position in live. You may have had some ill-health, but you weren't burdened with massive debt at 22 because of health issues. If you had faced the challenges some of those I care about have faced, you wouldn't be so arrogant and self-opinionated. Facing real challenge creates a compassionate outlook, OG, no matter how well you overcome it. So SHUT IT and go and learn a bit about the real world. The people I speak of WOULD prosper in a society that was a little more equitable and respectful. And they DESERVE to prosper - because they are hard working and responsible and have made a massive contribution to YOUR welfare by their contribution to society over many decades.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2017
2:23pm
Rainey I have been scrubbing floors this morning and dug a trench last week. I wish I was only 14 as it would have been so much easier to do at that age.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
9:08am
You DO NOT wish you had no option, at 14, to do anything else and no way of advancing, OG. You got a university education. Lots of us scrub floors and dig ditches at various ages. That's irrelevant. What IS relevant is that YOU had the opportunity to be educated so that you could earn a good income and invest wisely. Many didn't! It makes a HUGE difference. You are privileged. It's sad that you choose to lie about it out of self-interest and disrespect for those who didn't enjoy such good fortune.
Old Geezer
20th Jul 2017
3:40pm
Ha ha unfortunately I wasn't privileged at all. I worked hard to achieve my place at uni and if my family had had it their way I would never have gone. Yes I could have stayed home and lived like every one else but I got on a train and took myself off to uni with just enough money to pay the train fare at child rates. Those first few months were a big struggle trying to study and keep a roof over my head. It is not easy sharing a room with 6 other students. I'd call that hard work not good fortune.
Rainey
21st Jul 2017
11:59am
Oh poor you, OG! Obviously NOT forced to leave school at 15 to help support the family and denied even secondary education. Obviously NOT forced out of an orphanage alone, aged 14, uneducated, psychologically damaged by abuse and deprivation and denial of contact with ANYONE who cared for you, and with nothing more than the clothes on your back.
Obviously NOT COMPELLED to join the army against your will and forced to sign on for 8 years, then told on completion that all the years of study you did mean nothing because your qualifications aren't recognized in the civilian world. Then wrongly denied retraining by an arrogant pig who ASSUMED that being uneducated meant being ''too stupid to be effectively retrained''.
Obviously NOT severely injured in a work accident in youth that left you permanently disabled but unable to draw compensation because some IDIOT didn't document the accident correctly and you had nobody to advise you how to check up on people who didn't do the job they were paid to do.
OG, you don't know what privilege is. YOU WERE PRIVILEGED. You have neither empathy for the disadvantaged nor understanding of what disadvantage means.
God, what I'd have given to share a room with 6 other students and work to pay my way through university! Just to be able to qualify for entry would have represented a miracle. And I was top of my class all the way through school. I would have done well if I'd only had half a chance.
You had GOOD FORTUNE in abundance. You just don't appreciate it because you don't know what it means to be denied opportunity.
Rainey
21st Jul 2017
1:15pm
Your ''family'', OG? Have you even contemplated how privileged you were to HAVE a family? Stayed home and lived like everyone else? How was that, OG? You obviously HAD a home to live in. You had parents - people who cared what became of you.

You have no idea at all!
Jacqui
18th Jul 2017
12:52am
Our government gives pensions to NON citizens! 16 billion a year in pensions to non citizens
that is more than the figure for unemployed Australians! Stop this injustice!
Our government gave $88 billion dollars to the fraudulent 'Clinton Foundation'. Australian's
money...our citizens tax money! Imagine how this huge sum of money could have benefited
our elderly living under the poverty line in Australia. Our government has acted appallingly
with their misguided agenda's.
We are living on borrowed time, about to be crushed by welfare and moral entropy.
Wake up Australia!
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
6:07am
Homeowner pensioners aren't exactly cruising either, with hideously exorbitant council rates and water charges (and very minimal discounts, OG - nowhere remotely near 50%; but less than 7.5% in our area), high insurance and maintenance costs, and reduced pension entitlements. But the answer the foolish well-off come up with is always to slug those who worked hard and lived responsibly to achieve a better position in old age and be less of a burden on society. Take away everything they worked so hard for over 30+ years. Send a message to younger folk that there's no point working hard unless you can get rich, because if you are only moderately comfortable in old age and need a helping hand in your final years, everything you worked for will be taken away. Who among the struggling class will want to work if there is no potential reward? What is the point, when the rules keep changing to punish those whose hard work results in them accruing a small nest egg.

The arrogant selfish well-off, like OG, expect the working class to maintain the roads and bridges, communication and power networks, hospitals, schools, shipping ports, water works, sewerage works, and all the other infrastructure that allows the rich to ply their business and keep making profits, but at the same time they want to strip the workers who provide these services of all rewards for effort so that the greedy, selfish rich can have everything and pay nothing. And when the working class finally throw up their hands and say ''enough - I'm not working anymore'', the idiot rich pigs will scratch their stupid heads and whine about laziness and try to dream up yet more ways to punish everyone who ''has a go''.

Give it a break, OG! Your suggestions are stupid and destructive. If rent costs threaten to destroy the pension system, then we need MORE incentives for people to buy homes, NOT LESS! Start rewarding those who did the hard yards when they were younger, and open up opportunities for them to teach younger folk how to cross the hurdles. My partner and I couldn't afford the home we wanted, so we built it ourselves - hands on, working nights and weekends while holding full time jobs, living in a shed with young children with neither plumbing nor electricity, and no heating, for 5 years. But we sold the finished home for more than double what it cost us, and then we bought and renovated and sold for profit again. We could teach younger folk how to do what we did. We could show young folk how to budget and live on maybe half what they are currently spending, and how to structure their money management to pay off their mortgage much faster. But instead we are telling the young there is no point to struggling and sacrificing to pay off a home and save because the government punishes those who do, and nasty people like OG continue to lobby for harsher penalties for any form of endeavour by battlers.

We need incentives and rewards and more support for working class people to succeed in paying off their home before retirement and accruing some savings. Scrap the stupid assets test for a start, or raise the limits dramatically. Yes, include the family home but set the threshold high enough that a couple can own a quality home and have at least $1.5 million in other assets. That would catch the greedy pigs who sit in $2+ million homes and draw pensions, but it would ensure that anyone who saved could enjoy a fair reward for their efforts, and more people would then strive to own a home and have some savings, putting less strain on the welfare budget. The current approach merely drives pension costs up, and implementing OG's dumb suggestions will break the system completely. Guaranteed!
Old Geezer
18th Jul 2017
3:42pm
Just remember Rainey I am not rich and I am classified as disadvantaged but I get by better than most who earn a lot more than I do.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
3:22am
OG, you are ''classified'' as disadvantaged because, like all the well-to-do, you dodge your tax obligations and don't truthfully publicize your true assets and income. Of course you are not disadvantaged. If you were, you wouldn't be sprouting all this self-serving CRAP.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2017
6:44pm
Rainey I pay whatever tax I am required to pay rather than accept welfare from the taxpayer. However the statistics would have me as disadvantaged which is their failing not mine.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
2:36am
The ''statistics'' work off the information you provide, which wrongly suggests a low income because you claim all sorts of perfectly legal but immoral reductions in income. We all know how it works, OG. You don't ''wait patiently for real estate prices to fall'' so you can buy a bargain if you are disadvantaged. And nobody labels you ''disadvantaged'' if you fully disclose an income adequate to accrue savings to invest in real estate. But of course, like all the greedy, self-serving privileged, you use every legal trick to make it LOOK LIKE your income is low. And then you expect everyone here to be stupid enough to believe your lies. Sorry. They are not!
Jannie
18th Jul 2017
8:25am
Too many people, lack of housing hence the prices will keep rising, and stuffed infrastructure. Our governments have put Australia into this predicament and should be made accountable for their mistakes, stop people coming to Australia that cannot contribute by way of getting a job and paying taxes. Not go onto welfare as they seem to be doing and getting housing they should not be entitled too. All of you do gooders go visit a Centrelink office nearby, and not one in a wealthy area, just see who is on welfare these days. Your minds would explode if you saw the real truth out there in the suburbs.
Old Geezer
18th Jul 2017
6:24pm
Last time I went to a Centrelink office no one had shoes except me.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
3:20am
But you keep saying pensions are too generous, OG. Massive contradiction here! Obviously only the very needy are getting pensions and not nearly enough!
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2017
11:22am
Nope more like they just couldn't be bothered even wearing shoes.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
2:31am
''Judge not, lest ye yourself be judged,'' OG, you are a very nasty and vile person with your cruel ASS-U-MEs about people you know NOTHING at all about. You really present as a disgusting animal!
floss
18th Jul 2017
10:30am
Raphael please get your head out of the sand as to immigration look about are you blind .The path we are now on is destroying this country.
MD
18th Jul 2017
11:03am
It's easy to spray statistics and figures around and depending on where anyone 'fits' within the scheme of those findings (or individual interpretation) will largely determine the size of the soap box said individual will mount for the purpose of contributing their own spray.

Worth a quick look at this site : www.businessinsider.com.au - which gives a few relevant and maybe pertinent stats, a couple of which rate mention:-
'Boomers' hold 50% of the nations private wealth.
11% of Australians have a nett worth < $13,500.
1 in 10 households has a nett worth exceeding $1.6M.

It's easy to lump any demographic and propose some universal panacea - in this case housing/rental affordability - to address supposed system inequities however, regardless of whether a problem currently exists or might yet be a future development will mean little to those few that fall within point 2 (above stats) particularly those of/at pensionable age.
For those currently at pensionable age that fall within this parameter then the future going will undoubtedly be tough. The other 2 groups will manage to a lesser or greater degree, largely depending on individual nett worth and/or what they feel "entitled" to.

Government - at any level - is not entirely responsible for any individuals' well-being. Their responsibility is governance according to democratic principle. For anyone to have "worked, scrimped, saved, suffered, paid taxes all my life" and so on and so forth, to reach retirement age and have little to show for it might suggest to some a dissipated life. Nevertheless, it's these few that will totally rely on the social safety net and rightly or wrongly each of us, regardless of where we 'fit' in the above points will, to some greater or lesser degree suffer privation.
Of the public housing stock suitable for families, ie 2 or more bedrooms currently occupied by a single person maybe one area worth reappraisal. Whether this could be utilized, as others have suggested and "shared", is but one way to alleviate the developing problem for part/fully reliant single retirees.
Nobody, for any reason whatsoever, can be assured of a future suited to their expectations when reliant on, or realizing a social benefit.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
3:18am
Last sentence is false, MD. The rich can be assured of a future suited to their expectations when reliant on a social benefit. They rely entirely on the social benefits provided in a capitalist society - ie. access to public resources at far less than realistic cost; access to labour, skill, ingenuity and knowledge at far less than its real worth; and access to tax concessions and methods of reduction.

To solve our current social and economic problems, we need widespread recognition of the social benefit enjoyed by the haves, and greater equity in providing social benefit to the have nots. We need to stop this nonsense claim that only pensions represent social benefit, and acknowledge the massive social benefit the well-off enjoy and the huge cost of providing that benefit. Armed with that recognition, we need to adjust the balance in society to stop the hoarding of riches and increase the share of social benefit the less advantaged receive to be more equitable and to deliver greater incentive for the less advantaged to continue contributing to overall social and economic welfare.
Rae
24th Jul 2017
8:05am
We need recognition of the huge public and private debt in Australia. Recognition that we aren't necessarily a first world country any longer and recognition that the buck stops now.

Already a few hundred thousand have paid the price of this extravagance of mansions and high living on tick. Time for everyone else to do a bit of belt tightening.

Don't worry Rainey the wealthy will get slammed the same as the poor when the Central Bank gamble fails.

We have spent the future and the bill is in the mail.
Rainey
25th Jul 2017
8:01am
Sadly, Rae, I doubt the wealthy will be slammed. They are hoarding riches to ensure they don't suffer. In the 1930s depression, the rich prospered, buying up real estate the poor couldn't pay for. It was the jobless with no assets who suffered. And it will always be that way, unless the poor rise up and we have a revolution or civil war, as has happened in other countries when inequity reached completely intolerable levels.

I have a Chinese friend whose family was very, very rich but lost everything in the Communist takeover and was force to flee with only the clothes on their backs. It is possible something similar could happen here, but somehow I suspect another major Depression is more likely.
George
18th Jul 2017
4:17pm
As usual, a lot of useless analyses and attacks on homeowner pensioners, including the usual garbage from OG best ignored.

The problem is of Demand, and can be simply solved by stopping all purchases by foreigners (especially Chinese who have distorted the market) except Permanent Residents, and removing Negative Gearing after the 1st investment property (or with a capped limit to limit how much anyone can gain from tax breaks).
Old Geezer
18th Jul 2017
6:23pm
Me thinks I have seen this all before and waiting patiently for prices to fall 30% plus to make a future profit on property.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
4:55am
Yes, poor ''disadvantaged'' Old Geezer, loaded with spare cash to invest in property and ''waiting patiently'' to take advantage of other people's misfortune! You would think he'd at least have the decency to stay stum and not advertise his lack of respect and compassion on a forum for discussion of other folks' difficulties and resulting national concerns.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2017
1:53pm
Well I guess I shouldn't tell anyone Rainey then as someone else might just benefit from such knowledge. Pity that would be indeed.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
2:29am
You should stop your cruel and contemptuous lies about being ''disadvantaged'' and your demands that battling workers should lose their homes on death if they can't get rich enough to be totally self-supporting in retirement. That's what you should do, OG. STOP THE VILE, CRUEL, NASTY COMMENTS AND THE UNTRUTHS.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
3:12am
Politicians, OG, and many others among the self-serving ''entitled'' in our society should study the definition of ''welfare'' before mouthing off about pensions. They are showing their gross arrogance (not ignorance, because I don't think they believe the self-serving lies they broadcast!)

Yes, pensions are welfare, because welfare is ''good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization''

Tax concessions are MAJOR WELFARE, because they greatly enhance good fortune, happiness and prosperity.

Tax concessions represent far greater WELFARE than pensions because they are far more generous. They impose a higher cost on society than the Old Age Pension. They are far less equitable, because they are only realistically accessible to those who already have a greater share of good fortune and prosperity.

Access to public resources is also WELFARE. Access to labour/skill/knowledge/ingenuity that produces more for an employer than the employer actually pays for is WELFARE.

If the rich, self-serving, greedy PIGS in this society properly defined WELFARE and recognized the WELFARE they enjoy, we might have a hope of restoring economic prosperity and social health.

Yes, the cost of WELFARE is the problem in today's economy - the cost of welfare provided to the greedy, selfish, ungrateful well-off who seem totally incapable of recognizing the excessive WELFARE they enjoy and the huge cost of delivering it, but rant on endlessly about the minimal welfare the less advantaged can access and constantly want to reduce the far lesser cost of granting welfare to those who receive far less and whose needs are greater.

The people in our society who receive the least TOTAL welfare are the struggling upper working class and lower middle class, because they have less access to tax concessions; contribute more labour, skill, ingenuity and knowledge for reward far less than their contribution is worth (so that the employer can profit); make a greater contribution (though offering discounted labour) to the provision and maintenance of public resources, and suffer the highest total percentage of tax (represented by tax paid less all concessions and pensions received).

Those who receive the most WELFARE in our country are those who are granted access to national resources (mine owners, for example, and farmers who use land and river waters, and manufacturers who use water, communication and power networks, transport services and shipping ports) and those who have greatest access to labour at a cost lower than its worth). Most of our wealthy use massive WELFARE - way beyond the pittance they pay for with the minimal tax they pay after claiming concessions and reductions.

In order to restore social and economic health, we need to restore balance and increase opportunity, incentive and reward. That means STOP BASHING THE UPPER WORKING CLASS AND MIDDLE CLASS. Make the rich pay their fair share for the total WELFARE benefit they enjoy. Increase pensions to ensure the poorest access a fair share of national wealth, and increase pensions and benefits to the upper working class and middle class (abolishing or radically adjusting assets tests) so that they have continued incentives to offer their work services to businesses at prices the business can afford and to strive to increase their contribution to national wealth.

Leading economists and world leaders agree that the biggest problem modern societies face is growing inequity - and that tax reduction and avoidance is the cause of growing government debt. They all agree on the problem. They just can't drive anyone to address it because of the extreme greed and selfishness of the ''haves'' in our society, and the ridiculous notion among the ''haves'' that they can somehow get blood out of stones rather than sacrifice a little of their own obscene WELFARE.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2017
9:41am
So Rainey it is simply not acceptable to make a profit from all your hard work because to do so is bad for the economy. Well I've got news for you. Who would bother doing anything in business if they did not make a profit? None other than Mr Nobody. So no business no jobs and no economy. Everyone suffers but the poor more than anyone else.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
2:26am
What garbage, OG! I have never said that, or thought it. It's wonderful for the economy to profit from hard work, and most of us admire people who achieve in business. Business SHOULD yield profit for those who take risks. And yes, that's the backbone of a capitalist economy, and the poor would suffer if business ceased to be profitable.

But equally, people who work hard for the businessman, for less income, should be allowed to enjoy the benefits they earn. If you strip the strugglers of their houses because they didn't get rich enough to be totally self-sufficient in old age, you are being a total hypocrite - asserting that SOME people must profit from hard work, and others must be punished harshly for striving and working and denied any benefit, merely because either less opportunity or less capacity (for whatever reason) resulted in them only achieving modest comfort rather than wealth.

Who will work for the businessman if there is no reward for doing so? Why are so many on welfare today? You say they don't want to work. Why? Because the rewards are not adequate to incentivise endeavour.

We need balance. We need business to profit, but we need workers to benefit adequately from their endeavours so that they WILL work and business CAN profit. It's a two-way street, but you keep insisting that those at the top must prosper but those at the bottom should not be fairly rewarded for their efforts, and then you wonder why those at the bottom might give up and go on welfare instead of striving for what will just be taken away from them.

A ''welfare'' system should provide for ALL in society fairly. That means that the most prosperous need to pay for the resources that benefit them, and everyone needs to feel confident that they can benefit fairly from their endeavours, and that they will be adequately rewarded if they strive to reduce the burdens imposed on society by people who can't or won't provide for themselves. A welfare system that punishes people for striving will NEVER work. And that is precisely why ours is failing. A system that allows the rich to exploit natural resources without paying a fair contribution - as ours currently does - is doomed to fail. And it is failing. National debt is skyrocketing because the rich are taking more than their share, and there is too little incentive for the poor to get off welfare and strive. Bring back the balance and the problems will be solved, but continued greed and selfishness will only make things very much worse.
Old Geezer
20th Jul 2017
5:10pm
Our welfare system does not punish anyone who strives to succeed at all. It does however reward those who choose not to instead.
Rainey
21st Jul 2017
1:51am
OG, obviously you have no clue how our system works. It DOES punish those who strive to succeed. Look at the assets test! You strive for 30+ years to pay off a home and acquire modest savings, and the result is you have to live on an income LESS than the aged pension, or drain your hard-won savings away so others who didn't save as much can be better than you are. It's an insane system that discourages saving.

You claim anyone affected has enough and doesn't need taxpayer support, but that's not the point. The point is that they are NOT better off for having saved, because they have to drain all their savings away while others are supported by the taxpayer. Their best option is to buy a bigger house. Spending $100K on a world cruise nets them $180K approx. in extra income over 10 years. Where's the incentive to strive?

It's not about who can or can't support themselves without taxpayer help. It's about whether the system encourages and rewards striving. It doesn't! And we'd save more taxpayer money by rewarding those who strive - even if they don't NEED support - than by creating an environment that encourages dependence.

Sure, if you can accrue enough to generate a good income in retirement, you are fine. But vast numbers struggled to save what SHOULD have been enough to retire on, then suffered hit after hit that left them facing not just having to drain their own savings to live, but being threatened with having their home and remaining savings confiscated on death if they dared to ask for a small income supplement in their final years - a supplement they were promised and they PAID FOR through a special tax levy in earlier life.

Then look at the unemployed. They work casual for a few hours or take a temporary job and they lose so much benefit that by the time they add up the cost of protective clothing, travel, etc. they are worse off than if they didn't. If they take temporary employment, they wait weeks without income to get back on benefits and have to go through painful application processes.

If you are sick or disabled and you try to work on your good days, the government says ''oh, you are not disabled at all'' and takes away your benefit. Better to just do nothing and pretend the good days don't happen! I know one man who was assessed ''not disabled'' because he sat through a Centrelink interview without the interviewer noticing any sign that he was in pain! Geez, you apparently can't even struggle to present well at an interview without suffering penalty!

We applied for government help to start a business and were told we were not eligible because we had taken casual work over the past two years, not sat idle doing nothing! We applied for government housing (many decades ago) and were told the guy next door who turned down the offer of the job my partner was doing because it paid less than the dole was ''a priority case'' because he was ''unemployed and therefore more disadvantaged''. He had two healthy kids. We had one healthy kid and a special needs child costing us thousands for therapies and special care. I couldn't work because of her needs. My partner earned exactly the equivalent of the dole but had costs for travel to work, protective clothing, union dues, etc. We would have been way better off not working and we'd have got a government house. And we had to pay a little each week off our child's medical debts because my partner worked. If he'd been unemployed, we'd have been excused. Plus we'd have received some of the therapies free that, because he was employed, we had to pay for.

You are full of it, OG. Obviously NEVER been there and done that. There are NO rewards for disadvantaged battlers who try to avoid welfare. They are generally far better off staying on welfare. And there is very little help for those who WANT to get off it. We tried everything. We begged for adult education or retraining opportunities. We took private study courses that gave us knowledge, but no formal qualifications that employers would recognize. Even formal education and training my partner did in the army was not recognized. We were shut out at every turn. Yet we proved conclusively that we had the ability and the willingness because we built a house (living with kids in a basic shed for years) and sold it for profit; renovated houses and sold for profit; and ultimately started a business that employed 19 people (but we HAD to cheat the welfare system to do that!)

If arrogant self-serving fools stopped pretending the system achieved what it should and started examining why it's failing, we might be able to address the rising cost of welfare. There's a reason why the costs are rising - and it's 100% due to a flawed system that punishes those who strive to escape the welfare trap and rewards those who stay in it. It's designed to keep people down, and it does so very successfully.
Old Geezer
21st Jul 2017
1:17pm
I do get it Rainey. I work and I pay whereas those on welfare don't work and get paid for not doing so.
Rainey
22nd Jul 2017
3:05am
No OG, you don't get it. You are privileged to have the opportunity to work, which by definition means you enjoy access to a large portion of national resources and benefit from the fact that millions work for far less than they produce. You enjoy massive gain from the work of others and from the natural wealth of the nation.
And you DO NOT PAY ANYWHERE NEAR A FAIR PRICE FOR THAT.

Most on welfare suffer because they receive an unfairly tiny share of national wealth. Most have had to give their labour for far less than it was worth - often for decades. They have more than paid for the pathetic token support they now receive. And many continue to work hard for the community for no financial reward at all. Many work hard at trying to find ways to escape the welfare trap - though sadly the system beats them up for doing that.

Meanwhile, the over-indulged like you continue to rort the system for more and more benefits that they refuse to pay for, and perpetrate the LIE that they get no handouts.

No, you don't get it, OG. You are among the over-indulged leeches who take all and whine about the exploited and disadvantaged wanting enough to avoid starvation. And you support keeping them disadvantaged and exploited, and then whine about the social and economic cost of doing so. You really don't get it at all.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
3:45am
Under the current pension system, a single non-homeowner pensioner receives over $16000 a year more in pension than a homeowner pensioner with $500K in assets. Plus the non-homeowner receives rent assistance. Given that the homeowner suffers costs of more than $100 a week for rates, water and insurance, and then suffers maintenance costs, and the non-homeowner gets rent assistance, it appears that the renter has potentially more than $500 more per week to cover housing costs than the homeowner with $500K in assets. I would think $500 a week would cover rent for a very adequate abode in most areas!

I'm glad Rodent pointed this out to John Daley. Maybe others should acknowledge the true facts and stop bashing retirees who struggled for decades to pay off houses while many of the ''poor renters'' lived the high life. (Apologies to those very few renters who genuinely had no opportunity to own a home in retirement - but really, there are not many of those!)

Of course I appreciate that some pensioner renters are doing it tough. So are some pensioner home owners. They system is broken, and the ill-advised minor fiddles taking place are making it worse, not fixing it. It needs a complete overhaul - but the changes MUST STOP BASHING THOSE WHO STRIVE AND ACHIEVE, otherwise we will have no strivers and achievers and the cost of pensions will continue to skyrocket.
Bonny
19th Jul 2017
7:50am
You forget Rainey that if a home owner sold their house they would have a lot more assets than your non-home oeners with the price of real estate today. So the comparison you give is based on inadequate information. As the value of a house is not known one cannot give a valid comparison between the two.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
1:37am
No Bonny, I don't forget that at all. But many who are classed as ''homeowners'' have only a caravan or cheap shack. And why should people who have worked hard and sacrificed to pay off a mortgage be harshly penalized for doing so and/or ultimately deprived of the benefit of home ownership? Come to that, why should we reward people for not doing the hard yards often required to own a home? If we continue to punish people for doing what is in the nation's interests, how can we ever expect more people to do what will make the nation more prosperous?

Our welfare system is so misguided. Instead of a ''hand up'', it focuses on giving a ''hand out'' and locking people into dependency. We need more support and incentives for people to learn to be independent. Then our welfare bill would shrink rapidly and the problems reported here would resolve.
Rae
24th Jul 2017
8:21am
Exactly why a lot of the young are choosing to rent and invest in shares, bonds etc instead of housing. You'd be mad in my opinion buying in Sydney or Melbourne at current prices.

The young are also investing in experiences by travelling and other choices rather than delay for 30 years to simply own a house on a block and still fork out a whack to council, insurers etc.

If I was starting out I wouldn't touch property now with a barge pole.

And I certainly wouldn't be worrying about a decade from now when these idiot governments can't organise today properly.

The welfare bill will shrink when it reaches the stage of running out of tax dollars. The main game in town seems to be avoiding taxes legitimately and there are thousands of ways to do that.

Starting to remind me of some lovely Greeks I lived with on Patmos. Avoiding taxes was a national pastime there too.
Rainey
25th Jul 2017
3:47am
Agree Rae. If I had my time over, I wouldn't struggle to achieve the position I'm in now. I'd travel and live it up a bit. There are no sensible incentives to live responsibly. But I do wonder what happens to the old and sick when the tax dollars run out - as they certainly will given that tax avoidance and reduction has become a national pastime and is applauded and somehow the powers-that-be and those who SHOULD be funding national welfare seem to assume you can milk stones to keep the nation running. The game seems to be to find ways to take more from those who have least, and give more to those who have most. It can't last forever!
Rae
25th Jul 2017
9:11am
No Rainey but I doubt there is anything you or I can do about that. Worrying over things you can't change is a waste of energy.

What will be will be.
HKW
19th Jul 2017
9:39am
Join and Protest: https://www.facebook.com/AusTaxpayers/
retired lady
19th Jul 2017
2:05pm
The federal government give us rent assistance but the SA government take it away - my husband and i are pensioners and live in a co-op house and we never see any rent relief so don't think every one gets rent assistance. i can't be sure but i think we are the only state who does this. I did ask the question to a MP why and i was told the money was going to buying more housing trust houses which i find hard to believe as a there is a section in a close suburb that is being redeveloped and the housing trust housing will drop by something like 100 houses and the rest will be private. I also queried this with the same MP who this time funny enough passed me onto someone else.
Rae
24th Jul 2017
8:26am
The tangled webs available when you have three levels of government are mind boggling aren't they.

Our loopy Council has lost tens of millions apparently and written down several billions of assets. We are paying very high rates for them to destroy wealth.

NSW Government has destroyed the future of the State which will be obvious in a few years when the asset sale money runs out.
MD
19th Jul 2017
2:20pm
Oh me oh my, 'it never rains but it pours' is probably as apt a proverb to describe the particularly singular and relentless diatribe of our garrulous contributor. For someone supposedly purporting to be representative of; "those who strive and achieve" the vehement tirade suggests the author may have missed out on the achievement score. Those few content with their lot (colloquially expressed as 'having a life') and happy to get on with it - each in their own quiet and inimitable way - no amount of brow beating, chest thumping or what about me hectoring will make a scrap of difference to our community's "arrogant, greedy, self serving ENTITLED" and although I do not identify within that group, neither do I envy them their gains.

Anyone's perception of someone else higher up the pecking order is ofttimes seen through the prism of envy. Individually; we are bye and large what we have made of ourselves, regardless of how high (or low) as fruit we hang on the tree of life. Inevitably destiny will see some gobbled up - by either the needy or greedy - whilst others fall to the ground.

I may be wrong but I've a distinct feeling the tree in this instance could be a lemon.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2017
3:38pm
I agree as I am don't consider myself superior to anyone or envious of anyone let alone those who strive and achieve. In fact I am very satisfied with my way of life but I do wonder about the hardship future generations will face if something is not done to stop the welfare mentality of this country.

Daily I see people taking advantage of our over generous welfare system instead of contributing to our countries economy. Way too much is spent on welfare which doesn't help anyway at all.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
2:10am
MD, some who have strived and achieved are sufficiently concerned for the future of the nation and for those who suffer significant disadvantage that they speak out to try to drive improvement that benefits ALL, not just the privileged who are fighting so hard to maintain inequity and increase their hoarded wealth.

I do not envy anyone. I have everything I want in life. And yes, by and large we are what we have made of ourselves. But social conditions are deteriorating and the economy is struggling due to increasing debt. Some of us want to explore the real reasons and the genuine fixes, rather than just wallowing in their own comfort and trying to justify wrongs that are exacerbating the problems.

Yes, OG, people take advantage of our FLAWED welfare system. But it is certainly NOT overgenerous (as you yourself confess occasionally by referring to people with no shoes!) It is misdirected. And that won't be solved by the hurtful punishments you seek to inflict on those who struggle and escape the poverty trap.

Everything you suggest, OG, merely increases the misdirection and flaws in the system and will exacerbate the problems we face. Wake up and stop being so cruel and nasty! Look for creative solutions that will work - solutions that focus on reality and psychological responses of humans, rather than on pretending we live in a utopia and peddling self-serving lies.

There are genuine solutions to the problems our society faces, but they require embracing the true facts and realities and lifting EVERYONE up, not beating the less powerful up in order to boost the hoards of gold in the coffers of the privileged. They require some creative thinking by people with empathy and compassion and understanding of the issues the strugglers face and of what motivates people to strive.

Of course far too many people take advantage of our welfare system, because people with your misguided attitude invite them to and reward them for doing so, and deprive them of all incentives and rewards for striving to get out of the welfare trap!
Grateful
20th Jul 2017
12:01pm
The cost of housing will not drop while one political party refuses to tackle the major causes, negative gearing and capital gains discounts. And while the likely government from September 2019 WILL change those inequities and probably implement them from 1 July 2020, that window for investors to still take advantage of these current laws will ensure that they will continue buying at even higher prices than today because of the FOMO effect, will continue unabated.
It is a demographic and sociological disaster!!!!!
Renting MUST and WILL continue to rise exponentially!!
Old Geezer
20th Jul 2017
3:32pm
Negative gearing and discount on capital gains have nothing to do with the boom and bust of any markets especially property. All it will take is a lack of confidence and the property market will take the escalator down like all markets do. Keeping the same government or charging it will have no effect on the property market at all.
Rae
24th Jul 2017
8:30am
OG the Brisbane market has already turned. If the interest rate cycle turns up now I suspect Melbourne will follow. I'm bemused that people can live a lifetime through these market cycles and fail to see the patterns.
Priscilla
22nd Jul 2017
11:42am
Sadly a lot of the population have been happy to pay rent all their lives, travel and generally have a good life, and when retired find out that they cannot afford the high cost of living. It is imperative that people live within their means, obviously before retirement so they can save for their future, which a lot of people do not do as they live for today. First and foremost people should get rid of credit cards which are keeping them poor with their high interest rate and only paying monthly instalments, which means they are always in debt and therefore unable to save for a home and eventually pay it off. People need to stop living beyond their means and try using cash. When you use your credit card it has no impact on your pocket but if you take a $100 or $1000 and spend it you are staggered at how quickly is disappears. STOP USING CREDIT CARDS AND LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS and then you can start saving, which requires discipline!
Captain
22nd Jul 2017
12:30pm
Priscilla, it's been the same story throughout history. There are those that save and those that spend. Those that have a lifetime of spending what they earn will continue doing so without a thought for the future and those who looked after their pennies will also continue down that path. It's the age old story of the ant and the grasshopper.
Old Geezer
22nd Jul 2017
3:36pm
I agree credit cards have nothing to do with who is wealthy or who is poor. I'm a terrible credit card junkie myself because I love credit cards as they give me so much extra in benefits then spending cash. If everyone used credit cards like me then they simply would be no credit cards as there would be no money in them for the provider.

Even if you took everyone wealth and divided it evenly the same people who have it now would have it in the future. Those that become wealthy have a completely different mindset to those who don't. I used to help people change their mindsets to succeed so I know this to be a big factor in success or failure at anything people do.
Rainey
24th Jul 2017
5:25am
WRONG OG. Completely arrogant and presumptuous FALSE statement to justify greed and selfishness.

If you took everyone's wealth and divided it evenly, some would be wealthy. But it would NOT be the same people as are wealthy now. Many wealthy people inherited wealth or got it very easily and would never be able to make it without that inheritance or luck. Many poor people would make it very rich if they just had a little capital to kick off a business or investment venture or avoid the burden of debt for basic essentials.

Yes, mindset is a big factor in the accumulation of wealth. So is luck. So is the start you get in life. I worked my way out of poverty to moderate comfort. If I'd just had access to $20K early in my life, I'd be rich today. If my partner hadn't had health issues, I'd be wealthy. If my child hadn't had costly special needs, I'd be wealthy. And NO, THESE ARE NOT EXUSES YOU NASTY MAN! These are facts! I did well despite the challenges, but without the challenges, I'd have done a lot better. And so would many others who have struggled to escape the poverty trap.

A friend saved for years to buy a farm because he'd always dreamed of being a farmer. He worked as a farm hand so he knew how to run the farm, but he had to borrow to buy his farm and copping 2 years of devastating drought at the point where his mortgage was at its highest wiped him out. Many years later, he managed to buy another property. He had three good years before drought hit. Despite a much larger loan on a much smaller and lesser quality farm, he did well. Next door to him, a farmer was praised as the most successful in the district. He was. He inherited his farm fully paid for. The battler next door was actually more capable, but he simply didn't get the head start.

Lots of wealthy people lose big time, but people like Donald Trump can afford to lose hundreds of millions and still be rich. Poor folk can't afford a single mistake.

Your chest-beating and gloating is really sickening, OG. You should be ashamed of your nastiness and self-interest. Of course mindset is a big factor in success, but it IS NOT THE ONLY FACTOR. And lots of rich people have poor mindsets, but thrive on inheritance or good fortune.
Rainey
24th Jul 2017
5:29am
And Priscilla is right. Yes, there have always been savers and spenders and there always will be. But credit cards have been the undoing of many who might not have overspent if it hadn't been so easy. They allow people to spend without being aware of their spending, and that is deliberate. They were created for just that purpose - and over-spending is encouraged with repeated offers of ever-increasing limits and more and more reward points for spending.
There would still be irresponsible spenders if credit cards were abolished tomorrow, and some people use credit cards very wisely indeed to grow wealth (I did!). But it is a fact that credit cards have made it far easier to overspend and they create a temptation that is hard for some to resist.
Dawn
24th Jul 2017
11:03am
This situation has really become critical, and should be being addressed by the Government right now.
I am a 61yr old separated woman, having to live in rental accommodation since my split with my husband, which involved having to sell our home. I am currently trying to live on a Disability Pension, my rent alone is $1413 per month and I am behind with my utilities and unable to buy many groceries at all.
I cannot see anyway out of this situation unless the government make more affordable rental properties for seniors!
Rainey
25th Jul 2017
3:42am
What do you rent and where, Dawn. That seems an outrageous amount to pay for single accommodation! I am not unsympathetic, but I have to wonder how much comes down to choice of accommodation. There are many places where good quality accommodation is available for singles at less than $200 per week - though I do agree that there are often valid reasons for not moving to cheaper areas.
Rae
25th Jul 2017
9:28am
You need to act Dawn. Either get a flatmate or move. That rent is not affordable and the government is not coming to the rescue any time soon. You could speed up the financial settlement process perhaps.

Coming to grips with financial changes is hard but the longer you delay the worse the situation gets.

I doubt the government can assist the hundreds of thousands of failed relationships currently occurring. Nor is it their job to do so.

You need a saving buffer and you can't get there from where you are now in my opinion.

I went from being a wife of a very high income earner with three kids to a single mother overnight.

I learned that acting sooner than later is a very good idea.
A stich in time saving 9 so to speak.

And that the government was pretty useless when you really need help.


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