Elderly renters more likely to end up homeless

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Mission Australia has called for a revamp of retirement payments, especially to older people who do not own their own home.

In a report titled Ageing and Homelessness: solutions to a growing problem, the organisation stated that older Australians who rented were more likely to become homeless as the Age Pension failed to keep up with their housing costs.

“Those who become homeless for the first time later in life are likely to have been private renters with a stable housing history who have experienced significant health problems, family problems, unaffordable rent, eviction or accessibility problems,” Mission Australia explained.

“A review of retirement incomes is required to ensure that older people can meet the cost of living. A particular focus is needed on social security payments for older people who do not own their own home and single older people, including the growing numbers of older women at risk of homelessness.”

Mission Australia Chief Executive Catherine Yeomans called for a commitment from governments to build 60,000 extra public housing dwellings specifically for older people.

 “If funding was made available to build one new supported aged care facility in each state each year, that would have a meanful impact on addressing the current shortfall.”

In 1996, the shortfall of private and affordable rental dwellings for low-income households was estimated to be 150,000. By 2011, the shortfall had increased to 271,000,  according to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.

Anglicare research shows that just 1.62 per cent of available rental stock is “affordable and appropriate” for a single person on an Age Pension. For couples on an Age Pension, that rises to 4.28 per cent.

Mission Australia pointed to Australian Bureau of Statistics data that showed 14 per cent of people aged 65 to 84 years were renters and 11 per cent of those aged 85 and over lived in rented housing.

On social security payments, Mission Australia said a review should:

  • consider the adequacy of payments for older people in the private rental market with a focus on Commonwealth Rental Assistance to prevent rental stress and reduce risks of homelessness;
  • analyse payments for older people under the current pensionable age in the private rental market; and
  • recognise the disadvantages experienced by older women and others who have had extensive periods out of the workforce.

Opinion: Single pensioners deserve more

Unless you want to move to Woop Woop, as a single retiree with few assets and no other form of income, your rental housing options are likely to be as rare as hen’s teeth. That’s because the Age Pension and Rental Assistance are not enough to cover the costs of living somewhere “appropriate”, under Mission Australia’s definition. There, it has been said.

In fact, here at YourLifeChoices we are hoarse from pointing out this bleedingly obvious truth, quarter after quarter, year in, year out. But that won’t stop us from doing it all over again next month with our December 2017 update of the Retirement Affordability Index.

Our own joint research with The Australia Institute published in the September 2017 Retirement Affordability Index revealed the cost of living for each of six retirement ‘tribes’.

The biggest group of Age Pensioners at 29 per cent were single homeowners who on average spent $450 a week on bare necessities. At 14 per cent of the retired population, single people who had to rent spent around $430 a week.

When you consider a full Age Pension is a mere $447 a week, you can see that there is going to be a very big shortfall. So, is it any wonder that a growing group of older Australians are joining the ranks of the homeless because they can’t afford to pay the rent?

Data from CoreLogic in 2016 suggested that apart from Western Australia, housing rentals in most other parts of the nation were broadly stagnant. And thank heavens for that, because they are already very unaffordable if your only income is the Age Pension.

The rental review showed median rents for units were $330 a week in NSW and Queensland; $250 in Victoria; $200 in South Australia; $320 in Western Australia; and $230 in Tasmania. It goes without saying that median rents for houses rather than flats were considerably higher. Data for the territories was not made available.

So just to recap: if you live in NSW and are paying roughly $330 a week in rent, the small change is around $117. Add rental assistance to this and you have just $268 left with which to buy food and medicines, pay for utilities and transport, and other basic costs of living.

These stark figures should no longer just be bandied around. They are a real reflection of how tough some people are doing it through no fault of their own. And, as Mission Australia explains, the Government must review upwards the social security payments made to renters now because many of them can no longer afford to have a roof over their heads.

How much is left over of your pension each week? Are you concerned you may end up homeless following an unexpected event?

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Written by Olga Galacho

153 Comments

Total Comments: 153
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    We need to build “60,000 extra public housing dwellings”? I thought governments got out of the housing market. Now what do we have? If negative gearing is taken away watch the next step. Horrific.
    I find you serve at moving to Woop Woop disturbing Olga. People need to go where they can afford and people who WANT to live in Sydney but cannot afford it need to reassess their circumstances rather than cry homelessness.
    I would think the only people who truly become homeless are those with mental issues, drug, gambling or alcohol addictions and those who cannot/will not manage money properly.
    Please correct me if I am wrong but is it not possible to get a room for $100 a week? Maybe nix if you want to do a little work around the house?
    I hate to sound heartless as it disturbs me that we have so many homeless people but I continue to ask how many of these fokf are homeless by circumstance rather than choices. A response to that question is really welcomed as my view of this may be wrong. Please explain!

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      I don’t think you are wrong actually.
      There may be exceptions but, overall, your assessment is correct.
      Many move away from the big cities in order to afford to live more comfortably.
      For those who are able bodied and can offer some assistance in the home to other elderly people who are disabled or some baby sitting etc. to acquire room and board or partial room and board in exchange for services.
      There must be other creative ways to solve this too like house sharing for elderly women.

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      I agree MICK, my mate’s sisters moved from the city to a small town in the middle of Victoria with not a lot to offer. Housing was readily available and, in fact, they were able to buy a house and are now living quite well. They tell me that what they have missed out on by moving from the city is more than made up by the friendliness of the locals.

      Thankfully, we don’t yet have to make a decision about downsizing and I hope that will continue. To move to another area where we know nobody would be very hard and I empathise with those who are forced to make that choice.

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      I have fallen into bad health and hard times. I need to be where I live in Sydney because my medical, social and support networks are all here in Sydney. I’m on a Disability Support Pension. I’d love to work, but my medical needs preclude it. Homelessness would be a death sentence for me. Affordable and suitable social housing is the only viable alternative for me. Otherwise I’m screwed.

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      I will now accept plaudits from the DSP community, for my campaign against Wee Johnnie just before his Downfall, that lead to DSP people getting Utilities Allowance.

      Simply pointing out that we had ‘classes’ of pensioner, and creating the circulated Reality Cheque online created sufficient momentum for him to desperately declare (drrrummmmm rrrrooooolllll) Equality of Pensioners.

      That also applied to VA Pensioners in some ways and instances, and there are now more issues involved there – at the moment and pending my renos before I get into the Veteran support and advocacy service – I don’t have the time to pursue them all, but a lot of younger Diggers and Matelots and Airedales are being short-sheeted.

      As the doc on Omaha Beach said in 1944 – every man here deserves a Purple Heart – well – I’m with Lenny Schultz – every man here deserves a TPI or a guarantee of an income for life, through some alternative arrangement that we will negotiate.

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      Oh, sorry – and I enlisted the ABC in fronting Wee Johnnie over this ‘second class pensioner’ nonsense – thank you, auntie ABC.

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    Yeah, don’t come out to Woop Woop where the air is clean, housing cheap and people friendly. Stay in the big smoke and enjoy sleeping on the street as you watch the big shots sip coffee and eat fancy food you can’t afford. In Woop Woop you can have nice morning teas at the CWA hall and time to enjoy your affordable garden for food and pleasure. I have time to make home brew beer and time to enjoy it with friends. You have it so good in the city where all the money goes just stay there. Your contry cousin out a Woop Woop.

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      One thing you haven’t thought of, Capn Dan, many elderly folk need a certain amount of help which comes from family members. They are not going to get that help if they’re living 200 klms away from their family.
      It is also a fact that moving elderly people away from familiar places can cause clinical depression.

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      Capn Dan I couldn’t agree more. What advantages would a person have in the city , better shopping, better restaurants, going to the theatre and art galleries, nothing that is any use to someone with no money.
      As long as there is a good hospital in the country I would much rather live in the woop woop.

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      Come off it Triss, if these people were getting family support, they would not be homeless.

      I also agree ourt author aught to try Woop Woop, they would find it a revelation, of how much more pleasant it is than the stuffed city. My father in law was a bit of a borderline alcoholic. He moved into a pretty basic weekender we had in a very small coastal village. No pub within many miles, & no car meant he was restricted to some extent.

      Friendly neighbours would take him shopping, & helped in other ways. Once fully sober he had a great life. Fishing with boat owners, secretary of the local progress association, & friendly company always available. In fact he became a welcome pillar of the community in a remarkably short tine, rather than an anomalous face in the crowd.

      One has to wonder at any advice given by someone who would denigrate a community by it’s distance from a city. Total lack of any knowledge is probably the problem there.

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      I wasn’t talking about total homelessness, Hasbeen, but moving away in order to find less expensive accommodation.

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      All they need is a whiz bang and they can then live In it and annoy people around where they park all night with their whiz banging.

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      Aye, Skipper…. there be truth in what ye says! Had the houses in the city and the bush – happy in a small friendly town here.

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      Yes, Triss – where are the families in all this?

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      Its good in theory and if I was looking at homelessness I would certainly back my bags and move to outer woop woop.
      However the elderly do need their infrastructure and family. While we may love our family it is not always beneficial to the children’s relationship if “mother-in-law” moves in.
      To never see my family again would break my heart. Young adult children just don’t have time to drive that far and a person on the pension doesn’t have the money to entertain.
      Its one thing to fly capital city to capital city its another to make a 5 hour drive into the never never.

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      Hard enough getting out of the housing estates for some as they age Rosret. It’s not going to be pretty unless charity groups up the ante.

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      I can see the rental fees in Woop Woop increasing dramatically shortly with a huge influx of oldies. What’s the going rate today?

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      Love the ‘Ship Creek’ comment. Might steal it. Anyhow, interesting comments about the Woop Woop article. Just a comment or two. My place in inner Woop Woop is a big block with old workers family house. Handy to the hospital and everything else in a country town an hour from beaches or bigger shops. Know a little about health issues and happy to have recently had the all clear on one myself. Up northern Qld we have an RACQ rescue helicopter for miners or citizens and can be in Mackay hospital fast. The mortgage is just over $400 a month and rates about $250 month. The bank wanted to give more than needed, so cheaper than rent. Best climate. Plenty to do including top-up work at the correct rate. Cheers from Woop Woop!

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    This is a very important issue that must be tackled by Federal and state government.There are genuine older people who are at risk of homslessness.

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    Mick, I expect a lot is to do with wrong choice (not bad choices) We can all look back in hindsight at what would have been a better choice. Older people often need the kind of support which is unlikely to be available in “woop woop” In the coming years we may possibly have the same problem when the young people of today, that can’t afford to buy a home, come to retire. There go I but for the grace of God.
    What about the unemployed? There are many genuine people that can’t find work. They really are living in poverty, often becoming outcasts by society.

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      ..and they come from a different time, Mick, when things were a lot simpler and a lot less run by greed.

      WADR – our immigration values had a lot to do with that.

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      You are right Nan Norma about the unemployed. Newstart is worth about 2/3 of aged or disability pension BUT they are not allowed to move to an area with fewer employment prospects, without losing their benefit for a period of time as a penalty.

      Anyone who doesn’t own their own home at the time they become unemployed may well find themselves homeless, before finding themselves a job.

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      I have an article written more than 50 years ago espousing the virtues of renting as apposed to buying a house. The article argues that it was much better to pay rent and invest the savings from not having to service a loan, pay rates, insurance and maintenance.
      How many would still argue this proposal?

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      I read such articles many times and every time I analysed the argument and ran the numbers and proved the authors WRONG. Over the years, generally, I believe I was far better off owning a home.

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      East of Toowoomba, I heard that Newstart is a lot worse as out of pocket expensives money they have to spend to search for jobs which often involve phone calls,and of course travelling can be quite high. They have to report to a Centrelink approved Job Agency regularly (I think it is every 3 weeks). Not all Employment Agencies are on Centrelink list even though many of them are more helpful in helping people find jobs.

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    The states with the cheapest rents are likely to have the highest heating costs, so no point in moving there. Go too far north, maybe there’s a little less in rent, but there’s air conditioning costs. Somebody has got it all worked out and its not the tenant.

    When the government does provide some accommodation its only very basic to get people off the streets.
    Before the average pensioner (squeezed out by high rent) can get a flat they have to be placed behind a long line of people who have become homeless because they have lost control of their lives, either through poor health, addiction, or lack of life management skills.

    Probably the best outcome for a pensioner is be able to get a flat with good neighbours, thru a cheaper deal with an owner or estate agent. Trouble is, once a persons resources fall below the bond and 4 weeks rent, its hard to got something of good quality.

    There have been some recent housing schemes where the government pays the estate agent money to bring about affordable rent, but these seem to get scrapped because of agents manipulating prices to get more funding. Or they simply don’t want to have their prices fixed, in case a suburb suddenly becomes a high growth area.

    I lived in new south wales for a time and they seem to have a lot of government funded accommodation, even for their aboriginal population.
    This is in stark contrast to North Queensland that has very little of any kind.

    Government funded housing has one main disadvantage from a planning perspective, in that they create neighbourhoods of “desperados”.
    On the other hand, one sees on the news occasionally about the “neighbour from hell” in what is supposed to be a perfectly good neighbourhood.

    All said I don’t think (some state governments) are doing enough to provide accommodation for pensioners.

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    I think this is a serious issue that will only get worse as rents rise. Without negative gearing rents will probably rise faster. At least this article is a little more balanced previous stories focused only on women as lf male homelessness didn’t matter.

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      Just wait -article coming soon calling for women’s pension to be higher than men’s as they have to spend more on sanitary products

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      Just wait- next article for male pensions to be higher as they have to spend more than women on shaving needs. Shaving every day, Raphael, not once a month…or didn’t your mum tell you about the ‘birds and the bees’?

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      I agree men’s pensions need to be higher as they have more expenses

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      What an excellent point Triss men’s pensions do need to be higher. We finally agree on something.

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      Raphael must be time for another one of those articles about ” what women want” as if I give a rats.

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      Not relevant Raphael if you are a woman on a retirement pension! Those ‘birds and bees’ again! 🙂

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      KSS what about a disability pension.

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      KSS – I have no idea . I only date women under 45

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      Elderly women using sanitary products? Continence products maybe.

      Many elderly women have to shave too so spend money on having products too. Men can grow beards but women just don’t look good in beards.

      I suppose those flowers would increase a man’s expenses.

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      OG you have a way of taking all the magic and mystery out of everything ;).

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      Tib I did qualify the comment by referring to RETIREMENT pension. A payment you cannot obtain until well after need for such products has passed! :-]

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      KSS You’re right you did ! But Raphael only said pension. 🙂

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      Great, so where should these higher pensions come from.

      I know! the young, like my 28 year old daughter. Highly qualified, good job reasonable income, she must have plenty.

      Wrong. She & her husband worked their guts our saving every penny to get a home, no money for fun, but worth it.

      Bought an acre out of town, & built a reasonable home on it, no McMansion, but nice. It was cheaper than an established home in town, or building there. A year later she was pregnant. Not planned, but it happens.

      With the cost of child care she went back to work on 3 days a week the best financial option. Even less money for fun, they ate a lot of mince & sausages. 18 months of this was too much for him, & he ran away.

      With some help financially, & her mum doing the child care, we have managed to keep her in the house, working full time, but 150 kilometres away means her mother is only home here for 48 hours a week. Hopefully we can avoid my daughter becoming a homeless oldie, but it is a struggle.

      This kind of sob story is all too common for today’s kids, but that’s fine. How much more tax do you think she should pay to support those who perhaps should have struggled as hard to avoid homelessness themselves.

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      Also there are simply not enough young people today employed to pay the welfare system as it stands without trying to squeeze them for any extra.

      I know f family today with 4 children who have completed school in their late teens and early 20s without jobs. As they are all under 22 this family cannot earn more than about $50,000 a year or all 4 of them lose their $150 a week youth allowance. That’s a lot of money to lose for a couple for $1000 or so extra income.

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      Hasbeen they could get all the money they need by getting big business to pay their taxes and by not giving them so much of our money. Problem solved…. Next!

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      We should just stop buying products from these companies shifting their profits off shore until they pay their taxes here. Problem solved.

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      .. and then there are reparations for the vicissitudes of feminism……….

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      OG maybe that’s an option. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect our government to collect these taxes without our help , after all it’s what we pay them for.

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      The problem isn’t any imposition on the younger set or their relative lack of numbers – it is about that younger set manning up (womanning up) and doing what we did – pay our dues to those who made our country worth living in – AND the lack of genuine opportunity to prosper for at least one in six of our current workforce.

      My grandmother, for instance, live through the Boer War, WWI, WWII where she lost a son and had my father serving in New Guinea, and her grand-children in other wars etc… not to mention the Great Depression.

      My favourite Nanna – a Scottish lady and mother of my dad’s sister’s husband, had lost her husband (my uncle’s father) in WWI and had served her part in raising a family and prospering here in Australia.

      I think they deserved their pension as a Right – considering that the taxes that they and their husbands paid through life contributed to it – as I’ve laid out for you all times many.

      Now it is a different time – but the same issue….. if the youngies feel it is a burden to support the elderly, they can accept a higher tax to pay back for their support up until they become self-sufficient, and a premium for all the roads, railways, universities, and all the other infrastructure that they enjoy to the max these days.

      Then the government – in its generous way (LMAO) – can hand more money out to pensioners.

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      Trebor reparations from feminists, you would have more chance of getting war reparations from the Nazis. But we have to stop giving the witches more money.

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      Trebor you are forgetting how much easier it was for us.

      When I bought my first house in 1961 it was a 4 room dump, with a toilet down the back yard, but it was only 2 years salary. From that salary I paid only 7.25% tax, & the interest on my loan was only 3.75%. You couldn’t even find such a place today to help get a start.

      A few years later I upgraded to an ex housing commission house in a less than impressive suburb, but it cost only 5 years salary, & there was nothing wrong with the neighbours either.

      Today you have to pay 8 or 9 years salary for something similar, out of a salary reduced by 30%+ tax, & it will be a lot further out. We supported a much smaller percentage of pensioners, unemployed & bludgers back then, & if you think the pension is low today, compare what it was in the 60s.

      Yes living on a pension is not a bed of roses, I should know after over a decade as one myself, but it is a damn site harder for kids today, than it was for us.

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      Speak for yourself, Has been! I would challenge you to find a younger Australian anywhere who did it nearly as tough as I did. And my first home was also a dump with a toilet down the back but it cost 8 years salary, at 7.5% interest – rising to 18%. All the young folk I know are paying around 4% interest for a newish brick and tile 4bed/2+ bath with 2 living rooms, double garage and professionally landscaped yard.

      Some young folk are doing it tough. Some young folk are living it up. No different to decades ago. There have always been those who were doing it tough and those who had it easy. Most of my friends left school at 15 and were working full-time in low-paid unskilled jobs for most of their working lives (if not all). At least most young folk today get to finish school!

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      Rainey young folk today have to stay at school until 17 and a lot would be better off leaving school at 15 as all they do is play up and make it harder for the ones that want to learn.

      Many young people today rent and it is not unusual or 4 or 5 couples to live in one house. Many can’t save the deposit let alone meet the repayments even at 4 % interest.

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      No different from the strugglers of my generation, OG. The difference is that the vast majority are living it up compared to moderately paid workers in my generation. There will always be disadvantaged, sadly, but life is a hell of a lot easier and more luxurious for the young now than when I started out.

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      It’s interesting, OG, how some people try to claim things are tougher now than they were – or that Baby Boomers had it easy. Just look around. Dog washes proliferate. Gardening services are booming. Coffee shops are always full. Young folk regularly sip bought coffee on their way to work or on arrival. No thermos for today’s young folk! Manicure salons are everywhere. I never knew anyone who had a manicure and never saw any business offering them when I was young. There were THREE restaurants in a town of 23,000 people – one a dining room in a hotel frequented only by the well-to-do and two Greek cafes. Nobody bought ready made coffee! Nobody bought takeaway lunches either. We packed them! Leisure was a picnic, with a hamper prepared by Mum, and nothing as lavish as shaved ham or avocado. Fizzy drinks were consumed twice a year – Christmas and birthdays. Most women indulged in alcoholic drinks rarely, as a treat. Wine with dinner has now became a regular indulgence, but it used to be a rare indulgence.

      These businesses providing all these luxury services wouldn’t survive if people weren’t spending on luxuries – luxuries that our generation couldn’t dream of affording.

      If the young are so hard up, how do these luxury-suppliers survive? The answer is that there are some who are very hard up, as there always was. But society today is much more prosperous than it was and the majority of the affluence is mainly being enjoyed by younger Australians. Some baby boomers had It easy. Some had it very tough indeed. It was never easy for everyone, but it is easier now than in the past. I don’t necessarily think it will continue to be easier, and I think retirees are going to suffer more than younger Australians as things get tougher.

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      So true Rainey, so many people are getting paid well in their jobs and are living it up rather than saving for the future. An average middle class person now has two incomes, a boat, a holiday house, an investment property and holidays twice a year which include overseas jaunts as well. Plus the kids get everything, all the electronics they want (or need as they say). I grew up in the 1970’s as a low to middle class person on my dad’s one good paying wage which he worked hard for, but we only had one holiday a year at a beach 1 and half hour away in a rented caravan, if we were lucky we got a cheap house some years which we had to share with relo’s.

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      My kids would relay to your comment, musicveg. I’m closer to your dad’s age, probably. We had a horrendous struggle for 25 years. Holidays were spent painting and renovating out home. We had one week in a tent an hour from home. Went to restaurants twice in 25 years.

      My kids and all their friends own investment properties, bought before they turned 40. They have no hesitation eating out weekly. In fact, they think it’s ”necessary”. They holiday overseas. They have two near SUVs, professionally landscaped yards maintained by paid gardeners, have cleaners in monthly, and have swimming pools that are maintained by professionals. Their kids have every gadget known to man and pocket money that makes my eyes water. 9 year-old lost $50 and shrugged it off saying he had heaps more and it really wasn’t a big deal!

      I know there are young folk doing it tough, but not nearly as the strugglers of my generation. And the affluence among the majority is astonishing. I hope, for their sake, it lasts, but it’s not looking good!

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    More money for pensioners, means 2 things (1) the money has to come from money allocated, now and in the future, to other causes or (2) the money has to come from raised taxes.

    Politicians will do neither, because both actions will lose them overall votes at election time.

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      Maybe the politicians should give up some of their ridiculous pay and pensions. We want everyone to be paid a fair wage but what some people are paid, CEO’s for instance, is obscene.

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      Does that apply now we have a totally fiat system with no gold standard?

      I’d think the government could support the real economy by raising welfare payments rather than tax cuts. The money will still end up in the businesses but at least with welfare payment rises people will benefit as well.

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      Yes Rae -more money for pokies and cruises

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      Even if you cut pollies pensions in half those on welfare might get about a cent each out of it.

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      Pensions are not welfare.

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      All government pensions including old age pension are welfare as they are paid to those who have no other means of support. Old age Pension should be correctly called Seniors Welfare Payment as that is what it is.

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      Not really the issue, OG – it’s called (rooollling thunder)…….. leadership…. something sadly lacking in our ‘leaders’ of today.

      And you know already Pension is bought and paid for and is a Right.

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      Yes, getting a pension is a legal right just like gay marriage will “now” be a legal right in the very near future. Having such legal rights is very important in a free country, because that’s the difference between a free country and a traditional religious theocracy (which was all the world “mostly” had until very recent centuries).

      Yes, the legal right to an age pension, the legal right for women to vote, the legal right to be free from slavery, the legal right to not be religious, the legal right to divorce, the legal right to use contraception. the legal right to gay marriage (not just hetero marriage) ……. the list of legal rights we have is near endless. We are VERY lucky that we live in the modern era.

      So while we may complain about the amount of pension that age pensioners get, at least we have the legal right to a pension.

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      Pension envy again, OG
      According to the Human Rights Commission the pension is a right.

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      There is no right to marry Jim, and it is not a legal issue…. it is/was/will remain a matter of allowing a group to participate in something they have self-excluded from, purely because they demand it.

      Now leave your SSM for now – this is another issue of real importance and value to the community as a whole.

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      Trebor, quit banging on constantly about your ideological “belief” that people have no right to get married.

      This topic is about age pensioners. City rents are way too high for city pensioners who don’t own a home. These pensioners need far greater rent assistance than they currently get.

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      The is no legal right to welfare as you have to have prove you have no other means of support. The government decides who gets it and who doesn’t.

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      Legal rights are irrelevant, Bonny. The laws are made by corrupt, dishonest, self-interested people to suit corrupt, dishonest, self-interested people. What matters is morals and ethics, and morals and ethics dictate that the aged pension IS A RIGHT. No amount of disgusting lawmaking by corrupt, dishonest, self-interested people – and no amount of endorsing by the self-interested privileged – can change that.

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    Because of medical and other needs, I’m compelled to live in Sydney on a Disability Support Pension. I’m also forced to rent… In general, due to greed and demand arising from immigration as well as Chinese investors, Sydney rental prices are ridiculously high.

    There’s nowhere near enough affordable public housing.

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      Way too many empty houses and units today especially in Sydney and Melbourne.

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      Yep – owned by Chinese in China. That should be BANNED.

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      Everywhere, OG. In fact the government and councils should be able to use accommodation that is empty due to overseas owners. The problem of empty houses and units is now so bad that we must stop overseas buying of Australian housing. If we did that maybe prices would come down and more people would be able to afford their own homes.

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      Hmm – Triss – that is sounding dangerously close to some sort of Central European government ideal…

      In order to remain a relatively free society with the clear possibility of actually improving on that foundation, we need to stay well clear of any concept of The State holding all power.

      Propping up this artificial market by allowing offshore investors to come in and leave them empty – well – yes – cut out offshore investment.

      You cannot buy property in Japan….. just saying… and the Japanese are our bosom buddies these days… you cannot outright buy a business in many Asian countries, but must have a local partner…..just saying….. these things need to work two ways or not at all.

      WHY is this nation so terrified of saying NO? Are our ‘political leadership’ so weak and terrified of losing a vote or two that they cannot refuse anything – or are they so well-fed and so cosseted in their lifestyle that they simply don’t begin to understand or care?

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      Triss, you nailed it. That suggestion would be part of an overall solution. The radical far right ideologues would rally against it, but those types are un-Australian and a just small minority of Australians.

      We need to make accommodation cheaper and more available to non home owing pensioners.

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      Why? TREBOR. Look up the New Guard. They became the IPA. This is exactly what fascism does.Especially capitalist fascism.

      Jim B it is a very very powerful small minority indeed.

      They brought down Lang and Whitlam for even thinking to help workers get ahead.

      Only WW11 slowed the for a while.

      They have sadly used the gay community as a distraction instigated by Howards word changes to the marriage act. This was deliberate.

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    “The biggest group of Age Pensioners at 29 per cent were single homeowners who on average spent $450 a week on bare necessities. At 14 per cent of the retired population, single people who had to rent spent around $430 a week.”

    So more than twice as many single homeowners pay more than the ‘renters’ on basic necessities, yet most comments here refer only to renters. Seems if you own your home you become invisible. I have said before on this forum that single homeowners are at a disadvantage even without a mortgage. The cost of power and other utilities is NOT half that of a couple, homeowners must pay council rates and strata fees (those in apartments) which renters don’t pay at all and can be higher than a rental. And don’t forget maintenance costs that is another homeowner expense that renters don’t have, along with the occasional outlay on say water heaters, ovens, plumbing etc none of which a reenter is responsible for. Many do not live in the ‘family home’ i.e. the three/four bedroom house with garden back and front, they live in modest one or two bedroom units so nothing to ‘downsize’ to. Yes they can sell up and move to a cheaper area, but then so can the renters!

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    Time for a tax on all those extra bedrooms that OAPs have that rarely if ever use. If you take in an elderly renter then no tax payable.

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      Why stick your claws in OAPs, OG, why not suggest a tax on empty bedrooms of totally empty homes of overseas buyers? This pension envy you have really needs therapy.

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      No one should have empty bedrooms in their houses when there are people who are homeless.

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      I agree up to a point, OG, except that it means the government can sit back in their padded seats and do nothing about the homeless because someone else has taken care of the problem.

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      My spare bedrooms are in use, OG – they’re on stand-by for visitors…. you need to build a little redundancy into your systems.. kinda like the Apollo missions….

      By your reasoning, OG, there should be a tax on investment properties that sit idle at any time…..

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      Rubbish OG! Downsizing from a normal family home to a tiny flat is not going to do much except make life more miserable for its occupants. My sister did that, still cost heaps, and affects quality of life.
      Children and grandchildren visit their grandparents which is one of the few joys some of us have as we are not mobile.
      We don’t go out or go on holidays but we do get visits from family who are able to stay which means they have accommodation provided.
      People must be allowed to make choices. After all, it is supposed to be a free country where one can express themselves freely no matter how rubbish their views may be!

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      Now that’s a very selfish attitude to have where you are putting your own needs above others so that they are homeless.

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      OG
      Really, you are saying I am responsible for homelessness.
      What a joke!
      Sometimes my children are homeless whether by marriage break up or between rented flats. We have room to put them up and others in need.
      I don’t own a mansion, just a normal house with a spare room or so and with family interstate, two of them being our children, it is needed.
      We have a big family.

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      I agree with OG far too many people have room to house others but fail to do so. I house two people myself on my estate who pay no rent but are willing to help out if needed.

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      So, the government gets to decide how people manage the rooms in their own house, just another form of Communism.
      Actually I think it is how they managed accommodation in communist Europe for decades.
      Fortunately for me my house only has one bedroom and six extra reception rooms, it’s just that three of those reception rooms happen to have beds in them.

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      Old Geezer, no one should have money in their bank account or invested in the market, when there are people out there who don’t have enough to eat.
      Maybe the government should review every ones finances and see who is hoarding money they don’t need.

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      What a good idea, ex PS! Let’s embrace the communist edict – only do it right! Take everything from the rich and distribute to the have nots. I’m sure Bonny and OG would love that! They are always ranting about people getting too much and having too much. Seems to me they have way too much, since they clearly don’t understand what it means to have just enough or not enough. It should be taken from them and given to folk who need it more.

      Oh, sorry Bonny and OG! Of course you meant that only OTHER PEOPLE – people YOU select to condemn – should give up what they have and what they enjoy. You are obvious exempt! Typical privileged mentality. Just like the pollies!

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      Yes Rainey, I am often amused at how capitalists will often condemn socialist ideas until it suits them to take them up.
      It does help sort out the theorists from the achievers though. Nobody who has worked hard and achieved the good things in life would be so cavalier about having a government interfere in the management of those assets.
      I have had much more piece of mind since I have put the comments of such people in their rightful place, filed away in the realms of fantasy.
      I am gratified that the correct amount of sarcasm showed through my comment, it is sometimes difficult to get that particular emotion across in the written word.

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      So ex PS I’ll put you down to house 3 homeless people in your receptions rooms then. I don’t have any spare beds in my place as it’s full up here at present with homeless people.

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      Last week you didn’t have a house, OG. You tell so many lies you can’t remember them all and you keep contradicting yourself. Housing homeless folk? Yeah, right! And you support a welfare card that will be the final straw that will break the very people you PRETEND to be helping – the straw that will ensure they have NO HOPE of ever improving their situation. How does anyone save for a rental bond and moving costs on a welfare card? Can’t have folk ”hoarding” money, can we OG! They MIGHT actually save enough to find decent long-term accommodation.

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      Not that easy O.G, you stipulated spare bedrooms, just because there is a bed in a room does not make it a bedroom, you really need to be more careful with your specifications. Are you sharing the money you aren’t using with your homeless people?
      And by the way, there are no homeless people in your house, you have provided them with a home, so they don’t qualify.
      Anyway time for me to mount my flying Unicorn and fly over the horizon, farting gold dust, crapping diamonds and urinating single malt as we go.
      I must give you credit, you do tell a good story.

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