Retirees are living frugally but dying with large super balances

Most Australians are living in unnecessary frugality during retirement.

According to new research, most Australians are living in unnecessary frugality during retirement, leaving behind large superannuation balances. This seems at odds with recent data showing that 36 per cent of pensioners live below the poverty line.

Spearheaded by behavioural economist Dr Andrew Reeson, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) collected and researched superannuation data to find out how Australians are living out their final decades.

In the past, emphasis has been placed on encouraging retirees to be thrifty and avoid spending lavishly during retirement. CSIRO’s organisational and socio-economic sciences team found that this message carried through so successfully that Australians are actually being more frugal than necessary.

Mr Reeson said, “There’s been popular concern about people spending too quickly and blowing it on around-the-world cruises, and falling back on the pension.

“But now other research, and our own data, shows that…most Australians actually spend during retirement very conservatively, withdrawing their super at or very close to the minimum requirement.”

Some reasons why Australians are concerned about saving their superannuation include being afraid of running out of super and subsequently relying only on the Age Pension, and wishing to have a decent sum of money to bequeath to their family.

Further supporting the CSIRO’s findings, financial consulting firm Rice Warner released estimates revealing that Australians bequeathed $8.5 billion of their remaining superannuation accounts to family.

Professor Deborah Ralston, from Monash Business School’s Department of Banking and Finance has also been researching the issue. She suggested that Australians have become good at saving for retirement and now need to be advised on how best to use their super during these years.

“I think we really have done well on promoting the accumulation stage of superannuation and getting people to understand the importance of saving and supplementing their aged pension, but we haven’t yet come to grips about how we then use super in the post-retirement stage,” she said.

Professor Roger Wilkins, from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Social and Economic Research suggested that, while being frugal was not a negative thing, it became harmful when Australians were unnecessarily going without just to save money.

“We should be encouraging those in retirement to instead enjoy a good standard of living if that’s what they can afford,” Mr Wilkins said.

Read more at theguardian.com

Opinion: Too many mixed messages

It is widely understood that the economic situation of many people in retirement is tough. So it comes as no surprise that in this unstable economic environment, Australians are being overly cautious about their spending.

Retirees in Australia are not a homogenous group. The notion that most Australians are living in unnecessary frugality silences the fact that many older Australians are struggling financially. In September the Global AgeWatch Index reported that one-third of Australians over the age of 60 are now living below the poverty line.

It’s understandable that those in retirement might worry about spending all their super and run the risk of having to rely on the Age Pension.

Every week there seems to be some new research advising you how to save, spend and invest your super. And then, just when you think you’re on top of it all, another report is released to contradict what you thought you knew. As such, negotiating the tricky territory of your finances during retirement is no easy feat.

So, to whom should you listen?

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. When it comes to your finances in retirement, it’s important to stay informed. By all means, listen to economists and read reports on the topic, but it’s important that you apply this knowledge to your own individual circumstances.  

Were you surprised by the CSIRO research findings? Can you relate to them? How do you make decisions about your finances with so much contradictory information going around?





    COMMENTS

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    retroy
    13th Jan 2016
    11:26am
    Yes we probably fit into that category, having been frugal all our married life and accumulated a good super balance.
    Why would we change now just to fritter it away, as is suggested.
    We have the odd cruise an a couple of nice cars and eat out in frequently so we are OK.
    At least we are not a burden on the State and should be free to spend or leave it to our children.
    mogo51
    13th Jan 2016
    1:09pm
    Agree it is your choice, not someone else's
    mogo51
    13th Jan 2016
    1:09pm
    Agree it is your choice, not someone else's
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    2:40pm
    retroy, we are in much the same situation, and it is almost idyllic. The ability to splurge is there, but the ethics pull on the reins - old habits and ways of living are hard to break, but we don't want to as we are happy the way we are with what we have.
    Gra
    13th Jan 2016
    5:35pm
    It isn't a matter of "Frittering it away", I don't believe that has been suggested, but why should we go without just so we can leave a huge windfall for our children and grandchildren?
    Like you we too have been careful all our married life and been fortunate enough to build a reasonable Super fund - not a million dollars or more but enough to keep us comfortably through our final years. We own our home which is something a lot of people our age can't say and from what I see, it is those people who are doing it hardest. Not everyone had the luxury of having been able to contribute to a super fund or pension fund all their life. For a lot people in their late 60's like I, they didn't have that head start, only beginning to build a Super Fund in 1992 when the Compulsory Superannuation was introduced.
    ex PS
    14th Jan 2016
    9:10am
    What's the definition of frugal? I remember the first time that my wife and I went to a new accountant shortly after I retired, we were both bemused that the new accountant stated that we were living quite frugally.
    We had lived off my super and the rent from my wifes modest rental property for twelve months, had landscaped part of a new 1 acre property and bought a small car for my wife. Like quite a few of the contributers to this post we both grew up with parents who had been through a war and had worked hard for everything they had. We learnt by example that money was hard earned and that if you wanted to secure a good future you thought about how you spent your money.
    We like most people of our generation started with a modest home did it up and after a few years sold up and moved to something better, we repaeted this peocess a few times until we are now in our dream home. Even this would be modest in most peoples eyes.
    I guess the over riding gist is that most people in our age bracket have been brought up with a sense of mostly spending on what is needed, not what is wanted, and after 50 odd years of this culture it is very hard to change ones ways and in our eyes waste money
    in2sunset
    13th Jan 2016
    11:36am
    Any one who wants to leave their super to their kids is absolutely mad. YOU have worked for it, YOU spend it. Let the kids earn their own way, not relying on their parents money.
    Adrianus
    13th Jan 2016
    1:42pm
    in2, I think that may be part of the reason for retirees reluctance to spend, although I also think they are motivated by fear.
    Many people would recall Julia Gillard telling us that if we spent our retirement savings there would be no welfare for us. This message and those reductions by the present government have added to a pre-existing fear. You see for many of us we are forced to retire. We see our lump sum as a lifeboat in some choppy seas and will only dip into it when we no longer need it.
    roy
    13th Jan 2016
    2:32pm
    Frank, too true too true.
    Vote independent.
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    2:58pm
    That's silly Mick how are you going to have a Government of independents that just won't work.
    Adrianus
    13th Jan 2016
    3:04pm
    I should add that the message from the government should be the opposite of the Gillard fear campaign. The government should now be reassuring the aged that they will be looked after if they fall on hard times. I think you will see that sort of message from both sides leading up to the election.
    mick if we had more independents we would have more problems and more inconsistent messages.
    Oldman Roo
    13th Jan 2016
    3:30pm
    robbo and Frank , While Mick did not go into enough details on voting independent , the reality is that most people will still , out of habit , vote for the same party . By getting more politically astute people to vote independent , the certainty of one party getting their own way and sometimes bad legislation , is broken down and each time the influence by a number of independents can make the difference to more balanced decisions free of self interest .
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    3:40pm
    in2sunset, I, too, don't believe in anyone else using my umbrella for a rainy day.
    Gra
    13th Jan 2016
    5:40pm
    That's the way it should be, we earned it, we enjoy it, that's my way of thinking. I believe there is enough value in our home and other investments to give our children and grandchildren a very healthy inheritance. Whatever they get will be massively more than I ever got from anyone.
    In the meantime, my wife and I will continue to live a comfortable life.
    Mez
    13th Jan 2016
    6:04pm
    Well stated everyone!
    Best to vote any of the Indepents or PUP like I have done last election.
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    6:23pm
    The message IS that we shouldn't count on an aged pension in the future. The EVIDENCE is that we can't trust the government and planning is futile, and returns are constantly falling so if we spend we are likely to run out of money.

    It seems rather contradictory to me to suggest now that we aren't spending enough when we are being constantly fed a diet of fear, warnings, threats, and changes that drastically reduce our capacity to make our savings last a lifetime.

    Frank, the Government today puts Gillard's ''fear campaign'' in the shade! Morrison is a champion at ensuring retirees are frightened, distrusting, and angry at the lack of certainty and the wiping out of all their carefully laid plans. It astonishes me that anyone could be so blind as to suggest that Gillard is responsible for the current level of fear.
    Adrianus
    13th Jan 2016
    7:04pm
    Gra, so what you're saying is you don't need welfare. That's good. Good for you. I don't think anyone including the government would care what you do with your money then.
    ex PS
    14th Jan 2016
    9:21am
    Frank. hard to put much faith in this or the last government when Hocky when Treasurer dropped the comment that "Retirees seem to think that it is OK to hoard their Super so that they can hand it over to their kids!". This was part of an answer on Q&A and was not a policy release, but it was a red flag to me, was he indicating some form of retrictions on passing on Super to non-spouses?
    I do whole heartedly agree with you about Super belonging to the individual. We put the money in, the employee put ney in on our behalf, but it should be remembered that most of that contribution is in lieu of pay rises. It is incomprehensable that the government should think that it can tell us how we can make use of this money once we reach the redeemable age.
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2016
    9:54am
    ex PS, If any doubt exists people should read the SIS Act, section 62, "Sole purpose test."
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2016
    10:43am
    Pardon me, but what's this crap about super belonging to the individual, in a country where there is no fair differentiation between savings, compensation payouts, inheritance monies, super that was wholly individually contributed, super that is substantially employer funded, super that was heavily tax advantaged, etc.

    Super is accumulated - usually - with a substantial benefit from the taxpayer, and often with a very large employer contribution. So how is it more ''belonging to the individual'' than personal savings that wee never tax advantaged and were acquired through lifestyle sacrifice?

    The assets test for the pension is WRONG. It presumes that all assets, regardless of how they were acquired or why, and regardless of the individual needs of the owner, should be used to fund retirement. It assumes that superannuation monies acquired through substantial privilege during working life and at heavy cost to the taxpayer belong to the individual, but pensions paid because an individual was disadvantaged and imposed NO tax cost to others during working life do NOT belong to the payee.

    The current government and their advisers are unethical, indecent, and deserving of contempt for their attitude, and the current system of retirement funding needs a total overhaul by people who have integrity, common sense, ethics, and a proper concept of fairness. Won't happen, I know. Too many selfish people out there in positions of power, and the victims of injustice have no recourse. But let's not pretend it's okay, please!
    Adrianus
    18th Jan 2016
    12:53pm
    Mez, your man Palmer has just sacked 240 people from QNi, a company he privately owns, then called in the Administrators.
    But not before the company donated $21m to PUP.
    If we take your advice and vote for PUP, giving them more say in our future, then will we also be stripped of our assets?
    Brian@Brompton
    13th Jan 2016
    11:36am
    This article asks a good question: how to untangle conflicting reports and advice. But Amelia's list of reasons why many retirees spend frugally overlooks an important one.
    Look again at Prof Ralston's celebration of the nation's success in 'getting people to understand the importance of saving and supplementing their aged pension'.
    Compare that with the view, voiced by Treasurer Morrison that Australians "should no longer expect to receive an age pension from the government when they retire". He and his Asst Treasurer, O'Dwyer, are telling us the the Age Pension was only ever meant as a low-level safety net for the very few. Recall too their numerous alterations to the AP rules - changes operating already,more impending and many quite stealthy - all aimed at restricting access in various ways. Then note their limited use of 'granfathering' provisions that could haave eased changes for those whose retirement planning was done under very different rules and based on social values and perspectives derided by the neoliberal Right, views rapidly gaining influence under the new PM.
    Think of those things and it becomes clear why prudent retirees might show by their choices that they understand the need to keep something by for many unexpected rainy days that may not be far ahead.
    .
    Brian@Brompton
    13th Jan 2016
    11:36am
    This article asks a good question: how to untangle conflicting reports and advice. But Amelia's list of reasons why many retirees spend frugally overlooks an important one.
    Look again at Prof Ralston's celebration of the nation's success in 'getting people to understand the importance of saving and supplementing their aged pension'.
    Compare that with the view, voiced by Treasurer Morrison that Australians "should no longer expect to receive an age pension from the government when they retire". He and his Asst Treasurer, O'Dwyer, are telling us the the Age Pension was only ever meant as a low-level safety net for the very few. Recall too their numerous alterations to the AP rules - changes operating already,more impending and many quite stealthy - all aimed at restricting access in various ways. Then note their limited use of 'granfathering' provisions that could haave eased changes for those whose retirement planning was done under very different rules and based on social values and perspectives derided by the neoliberal Right, views rapidly gaining influence under the new PM.
    Think of those things and it becomes clear why prudent retirees might show by their choices that they understand the need to keep something by for many unexpected rainy days that may not be far ahead.
    .
    Brian@Brompton
    13th Jan 2016
    11:36am
    This article asks a good question: how to untangle conflicting reports and advice. But Amelia's list of reasons why many retirees spend frugally overlooks an important one.
    Look again at Prof Ralston's celebration of the nation's success in 'getting people to understand the importance of saving and supplementing their aged pension'.
    Compare that with the view, voiced by Treasurer Morrison that Australians "should no longer expect to receive an age pension from the government when they retire". He and his Asst Treasurer, O'Dwyer, are telling us the the Age Pension was only ever meant as a low-level safety net for the very few. Recall too their numerous alterations to the AP rules - changes operating already,more impending and many quite stealthy - all aimed at restricting access in various ways. Then note their limited use of 'granfathering' provisions that could haave eased changes for those whose retirement planning was done under very different rules and based on social values and perspectives derided by the neoliberal Right, views rapidly gaining influence under the new PM.
    Think of those things and it becomes clear why prudent retirees might show by their choices that they understand the need to keep something by for many unexpected rainy days that may not be far ahead.
    .
    Brian@Brompton
    13th Jan 2016
    11:36am
    This article asks a good question: how to untangle conflicting reports and advice. But Amelia's list of reasons why many retirees spend frugally overlooks an important one.
    Look again at Prof Ralston's celebration of the nation's success in 'getting people to understand the importance of saving and supplementing their aged pension'.
    Compare that with the view, voiced by Treasurer Morrison that Australians "should no longer expect to receive an age pension from the government when they retire". He and his Asst Treasurer, O'Dwyer, are telling us the the Age Pension was only ever meant as a low-level safety net for the very few. Recall too their numerous alterations to the AP rules - changes operating already,more impending and many quite stealthy - all aimed at restricting access in various ways. Then note their limited use of 'granfathering' provisions that could haave eased changes for those whose retirement planning was done under very different rules and based on social values and perspectives derided by the neoliberal Right, views rapidly gaining influence under the new PM.
    Think of those things and it becomes clear why prudent retirees might show by their choices that they understand the need to keep something by for many unexpected rainy days that may not be far ahead.
    .
    Brian@Brompton
    13th Jan 2016
    11:36am
    This article asks a good question: how to untangle conflicting reports and advice. But Amelia's list of reasons why many retirees spend frugally overlooks an important one.
    Look again at Prof Ralston's celebration of the nation's success in 'getting people to understand the importance of saving and supplementing their aged pension'.
    Compare that with the view, voiced by Treasurer Morrison that Australians "should no longer expect to receive an age pension from the government when they retire". He and his Asst Treasurer, O'Dwyer, are telling us the the Age Pension was only ever meant as a low-level safety net for the very few. Recall too their numerous alterations to the AP rules - changes operating already,more impending and many quite stealthy - all aimed at restricting access in various ways. Then note their limited use of 'granfathering' provisions that could haave eased changes for those whose retirement planning was done under very different rules and based on social values and perspectives derided by the neoliberal Right, views rapidly gaining influence under the new PM.
    Think of those things and it becomes clear why prudent retirees might show by their choices that they understand the need to keep something by for many unexpected rainy days that may not be far ahead.
    .
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    2:46pm
    We DO get the point, Brian.
    Gra
    13th Jan 2016
    5:42pm
    I do believe once was enough Brian.
    Tom Tank
    13th Jan 2016
    11:44am
    It is certainly true that retirees are not a homogenous group and as such their incomes in retirement vary greatly.
    There are significant numbers of retirees who did not have the opportunity, through no fault of their own, to build a superannuation nest egg and these are ones suffering poverty.
    I am one of the fortunate ones who was able in my last 20 years of work able to build a modest super entitlement as was also my wife.
    In combination we were able to retire with house and cars paid for and this modest super.
    We are certainly not in poverty but do watch the pennies.
    We know friends with multi. million dollar super who scrimp and save and do live very frugally and their biggest concern is who to leave their money to when they pop their clogs.
    this is, and never was, the purpose behind superannuation.
    Too many people think they should be able to live of the interest from there super and leave the principal intact. To me the ideal will be that the last of the super balance runs out in paying for the funeral, in the cardboard box instead of some fancy timber coffin.
    I do think a lot of the report is accurate and the super industry continually talks up the amount required for a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. They of course have a vested interest as they want to make more money.
    Rosret
    13th Jan 2016
    11:48am
    When my parents retired in the mid 70s they had a guaranteed super payment indexed to inflation. I have a selffunded retiree plan where I have to juggle finances for the next 30 years. The plan was to work partly off interest and partly from the capital saved. However there is no interest at the moment and inflation is running at 3%. We don't get concessions and we see stamps up 30c, GST increase threats, Rates always up, panadol up $2 a pack etc etc. So until the tables turn and we can start to get money on investments - its buckle up and stop spending. If I knew my end date then perhaps I could plan better!!
    Jacka
    13th Jan 2016
    11:50am
    It's nice to see the kids on good footing, but you''ve worked hard for the money, so enjoy it while you can. Cheers Jack's. P.S. Nasty stammer you've got there Brian B.
    PlanB
    13th Jan 2016
    11:52am
    There was no super when I was working, so I have none.
    Adrianus
    13th Jan 2016
    1:32pm
    PlanB, how did you manage to save for your retirement?
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    3:01pm
    Hes called a pensioner Frank and is on Welfare
    Sceptic
    13th Jan 2016
    3:04pm
    PlanB, you must be incredibly young as I had a Super account 45 years ago.
    Blossom
    13th Jan 2016
    3:36pm
    Frank, robbo, Sceptic,
    Bear in mind that we don't know whether PlanB is a female or male.
    When I started work in Jan 1969 Females didn't have Super at all. I had been at work for at least 3 years before I was able to join a Super Fund. I was fortunate that the Company I worked for paid a small subsidy on it for all its employees. It was not compulsory in the early 1970s. One of my friends sought advice and was told it wasn't worthwhile for her as she knew she would be leaving in 2 years or pehaps even less. It would have been gobbled up in fees. At times Super lost a lot of money. I know one gentleman who was about to retire when he lost thousands of dollars on his Super. At that point the retirement age for men was automatic at 65. He didn't want to rely on a pension so he got a part time job to supplement the money he got from his Super. Self Employed people went on working for the same reason. He still had his youngest one studying and continued supporting her.
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    3:42pm
    Come on, PlanB, tell us the story.
    Adrianus
    13th Jan 2016
    4:49pm
    Blossom you are correct at least in my case I have no idea of PlanB's sex. But you raise an interesting point that many women may have had little or no access to Super 50 years ago.
    I am interested to know how effective Superannuation has been and what sort of success some have had if they chose a different path, or had no alternative but to choose another way of wealth accumulation.
    Gra
    13th Jan 2016
    5:54pm
    Plan B has got the crux of the problem right in his/her sights.
    Not everyone has had the benefit of Super or a Pension Fund all of their working life.
    In my case I was fortunate that from when I first started work in the mid 60's my employers made contributions to a Pension Fund on my behalf (how I wish I had made contributions too instead of just thinking about doing so). When I was retrenched from the mining industry in 1993 I gained employment in the government sector and ensured I made extra contributions to my Super and this helped build a reasonable balance on my retirement.
    Not everyone had the opportunity to join a Pension Fund like that, nor could they spare the money to contribute to a Super Fund. There always have been and always will be people employed in those jobs that don't pay so well and the older generation are the ones doing it tough now.
    PlanB
    14th Jan 2016
    6:47am
    So what do you want to know?

    I started work in 1950 and finished in 1991 to look after my dying Husband-- with a break when my Son was born till he went to school -- yes I am female.

    I never had super the whole working time
    PlanB
    14th Jan 2016
    6:53am
    Any savings I /we had was taken up with paying for the gaps in the private medical cover for my Husband
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2016
    10:49am
    Compulsory super wasn't introduced until 1992 and was only 3% at that time. Many workers didn't have any superannuation or retirement plan prior to that, and many earned so little in the early years of super than the management fees actually exceeded their contributions. I know a man who got a bill from his super fund for management fees in excess of his contributions. It was waived after strong protest, but in 2000, he still had an accumulated debt that was paid from the surplus of contributions over fees over the next few years.

    Let's stop deluding ourselves that the majority of today's retirees had super. Most DID NOT. It was something the privileged in certain areas of employment enjoyed.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2016
    10:49am
    Compulsory super wasn't introduced until 1992 and was only 3% at that time. Many workers didn't have any superannuation or retirement plan prior to that, and many earned so little in the early years of super than the management fees actually exceeded their contributions. I know a man who got a bill from his super fund for management fees in excess of his contributions. It was waived after strong protest, but in 2000, he still had an accumulated debt that was paid from the surplus of contributions over fees over the next few years.

    Let's stop deluding ourselves that the majority of today's retirees had super. Most DID NOT. It was something the privileged in certain areas of employment enjoyed.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2016
    10:51am
    Compulsory super wasn't introduced until 1992 and was only 3% at that time. Many workers didn't have any superannuation or retirement plan prior to that, and many earned so little in the early years of super than the management fees actually exceeded their contributions. I know a man who got a bill from his super fund for management fees in excess of his contributions. It was waived after strong protest, but in 2000, he still had an accumulated debt that was paid from the surplus of contributions over fees over the next few years.

    Let's stop deluding ourselves that the majority of today's retirees had super. Most DID NOT. It was something the privileged in certain areas of employment enjoyed.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2016
    10:52am
    Compulsory super wasn't introduced until 1992 and was only 3% at that time. Many workers didn't have any superannuation or retirement plan prior to that, and many earned so little in the early years of super than the management fees actually exceeded their contributions. I know a man who got a bill from his super fund for management fees in excess of his contributions. It was waived after strong protest, but in 2000, he still had an accumulated debt that was paid from the surplus of contributions over fees over the next few years.

    Let's stop deluding ourselves that the majority of today's retirees had super. Most DID NOT. It was something the privileged in certain areas of employment enjoyed.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2016
    10:54am
    Compulsory super wasn't introduced until 1992 and was only 3% at that time. Many workers didn't have any superannuation or retirement plan prior to that, and many earned so little in the early years of super than the management fees actually exceeded their contributions. I know a man who got a bill from his super fund for management fees in excess of his contributions. It was waived after strong protest, but in 2000, he still had an accumulated debt that was paid from the surplus of contributions over fees over the next few years.

    Let's stop deluding ourselves that the majority of today's retirees had super. Most DID NOT. It was something the privileged in certain areas of employment enjoyed.
    PlanB
    18th Jan 2016
    11:20am
    Thank you Rainy.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2016
    11:21am
    Sorry for the multiple posts. The Internet glitched. Then I removed the duplicates and it said it was removing but didn't - only removed the ''remove'' option. YLC need to check their software I think.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2016
    11:21am
    Sorry for the multiple posts. The Internet glitched. Then I removed the duplicates and it said it was removing but didn't - only removed the ''remove'' option. YLC need to check their software I think.
    PlanB
    18th Jan 2016
    11:22am
    forum is NOT allowing to post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????
    PlanB
    18th Jan 2016
    11:22am
    forum is NOT allowing to post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????
    PlanB
    18th Jan 2016
    11:22am
    forum is NOT allowing to post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????
    PlanB
    18th Jan 2016
    11:22am
    forum is NOT allowing to post !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????
    Adrianus
    18th Jan 2016
    1:58pm
    Rainey, I don't know where you get your info about super? I read an article on the ABC that stated The Super Guarantee contribution started in 1993. But I'm going to tell you that both you and the ABC are incorrect. I can recall the Arbitration Commission Ratifying Workplace Agreements and varying Awards to include the 3% contribution 10 years before that, in the early 1980's.
    I was Paul Keating who successfully pushed for "Universal Super" in 1992/93. But many awards had already been varied by that time. I think BUS, REST, HESTA were some established in the early eighties?
    Saalbach
    13th Jan 2016
    11:56am
    It would be useful to break down the figures so we can see what the starting amounts were (clearly those with a very large super to start with are more likely to have some at the end), and what age groups are covered (it seems unreasonable to include those who perhaps die early, as they are more likely to leave a large amount). It would be good to see how much those who retired with less than $500,000 twenty years ago have left now. That is, remove the very wealthy, and just look at ordinary people.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2016
    11:32am
    Yes, Saalbach. There are many programs on the web that purport to calculate what someone needs for retirement and how long their savings will last, but they are all based on assumptions and conclusions are inconsistent. Bottom line is that nobody can predict the future, but we can be certain that what we think is a healthy savings balance today will be worthless 30 years from now. The current trend to suggesting people should spend their savings, and denying pensions to relatively young retirees with moderate savings, is destructive and will likely have a very negative impact on the nation's finances over time. $823,000 for a couple is NOT a lot of money to finance 30 years of inflation, no income, and growing health care and personal care needs. Encouraging retirees to spend more might stimulate short-term economic growth, but it risks leaving them with far too little to finance their needs in future decades.

    It might make sense if the fools who keep peddling what they claim is ''expert'' advise and who pass judgment on other people's lifestyle choices qualified their statements by referring to ages of retirees. Sure, a homeowner couple aged 90+ with $823,000 could be deemed well off and not in need of a pension, but a couple aged 65 might be very deemed strugglers if the likelihood is that they will live to 100.
    Mygasheater
    13th Jan 2016
    11:57am
    Look out folks, coming to you, further cuts to pensions!

    Silly old buggers won't spend it so let's not give to them. Let's soften them up before the next budget. Cut pensions and let's peg those silly employer paid super even further.

    See double whammy, get it coming and get it going. Ohhhh, and lncrease the GST.
    Renny
    13th Jan 2016
    12:25pm
    I'm just shocked that this site is doing Murdoch and the IPA's job for them. Where are the statistics? The proof even.
    Rosscoe
    13th Jan 2016
    1:52pm
    The cuts are happening NOW, thanks to the LNP and the Greens! My partner's disability pension will be reduced by 20%, beginning 20 January 2016. Same Government, different PM. Thanks, Joe Hockey, Scott Morrison as well.
    Mags
    13th Jan 2016
    12:16pm
    Well a lot sit on as much as they can so they still get pensions
    Renny
    13th Jan 2016
    12:24pm
    Seriously MOST? I'd query test. Where's the research? Out if all the retirees I know only two couples fit that category, and it's not fear driving their frugality. They've always been that way. Most I know are like us. Managing but worried about what to do if we need a newer car or a fridge, never planning cruises or such because we simply can't afford it. I don't understand why you don't question these stories more. There is no evidence for it being MOST.
    Brian@Brompton
    13th Jan 2016
    12:28pm
    Excellent contribution, Tom Tank, in many respects; nail-on-the-head stuff. [BTW everybody, sorry for multiple posts - inexperience made me think transmission had failed]
    Interesting to see, Tom, how quickly other [good] contributions went to the 'legacy' issue you raised rather than the 'uncertainty'' factor I addressed. Like you, I don't think the system should function to allow us to leave a sizeable legacy for our kids, unless, I would add, they are seriously incapacitated or in similar circumstances. This may be contrary to some of the other contributions whose reasonable views I respect but can't share. I sense they don't dream of a dynasty, they just love their kids and grandkids. But falling in behind the dynasty builders' principle suggests they are probably not fully aware of how damaging the 'dynastic' principle can be to our democracy, our economic flexibility and our social cohesion
    I would therefore argue our abolition of death duties was a 'baby-out-with-the-bathwater' mistake based on Australia's greediest government's race to the bottom in the quest for investors and population. So how about a discussion of whether a 100% tax on estates valued at more than a sensible figure [research needed, but, say, $1.5 - 2.0mil] should be reintroduced, with the liability able to be satisfied by payment to the ATO, the Future Fund, or a chosen charitable body from a carefully limited and transparently-produced list.
    Not Senile Yet!
    13th Jan 2016
    12:40pm
    What a crappy article!!!!!
    MO FACTS or STATISTICS WHATSOVER!!!
    Ho Hum!!! A sign of the Times eh???
    Amelia.....such poor and shoddy reporting deserves only disdain!
    I would be highly surprised if more than 10% were average workers and even then....a good 5-7% of those would probably be Public Servants and not collecting a Pension whatsoever but rather their own Salaried Pensions!
    Cannot believe that it is too hard to separate SELF EMPLOYED & BUSINESS OWNERS from worker when quoting such rubbish!!!!
    Just Propaganda to me and therefore Rubbish!
    ex PS
    14th Jan 2016
    9:35am
    NSY, I don't understand the statement about Public Servant salaried pensions. As an ex Public Servant I can assure you that my Super conditions are no different than those of a friend of mine who has spent about the same amount of time in the private sector. You can only draw a pension derived from the amount that you have put in, the amount of pension money available is based on either a multiple of your final salary or the amount of money earned in the free market by investing.
    After 20 years in the Public Service and the same amount of time in Private Enterprise I can assure people from first hand experiance the two sectors for the main part work as hard as each other. and most of my friends who are retired do seem to live frugally compared to modern day expectations.
    Jim
    13th Jan 2016
    12:44pm
    I have never been able to understand why financial advisers and commentators continue to overstate the ammount of money we need to retire on, the only reason I can think of is the more money we have means more money for them unless the are talking about people who expect to totally rely on their savings and receive no pension at all. I am one of those selfish people who worked for 52 years some times paying 60% tax on the overtime I worked and always as a single income family, my wife did volunteer work for almost 50 years, so selfishly I think I deserve something back. As for the money I retired with 6 years ago this is the money I earned and saved to enjoy our retirement is mostly intact, although with the current interest rates I expect that my savings are going to reduce somewhat, my point is that we have enjoyed our retirement so far and on about a third of what I was told I needed, my wife and I travel quite a bit always looking for good deals, not 5 star but comfortable.
    Adrianus
    13th Jan 2016
    1:28pm
    I don't know Dim? Could it possibly be because they use conservative variables? I thought there were rules applicable to forecasts?
    Gra
    13th Jan 2016
    6:03pm
    Perhaps we should found a club Dim, the 50 Years + Club for we workers who put in the long hours and paid the high taxes.
    Like Frank said, I believe they are required to err on the side of caution, pointless them citing a low figure then the client finding out they have understated what was required. I will have to ask my Financial Advisor when I see him in a couple of months. (If I remember)
    ex PS
    14th Jan 2016
    9:51am
    Good points Dim, I wonder if these experts take into account the reduction in the cost of clothing, transport, lunches etc. that are not required when you are not working 5 /6 days a week?
    I have found that living expenses hve reduced considerably since giving up work.
    Adrianus
    13th Jan 2016
    1:23pm
    Amelia, that is a very good article and should raise a few questions.
    The CSIRO findings are consistent with recently released Treasury reports, which indicated that most retirees die with 50% or more of their super intact.
    gr82do
    13th Jan 2016
    1:31pm
    True. Last year our pensioner friend passed away. She shopped at OP shops, travelled via youth hostels and asked for rides when possible, then left her sons 2 million dollars in all. Not sure how as she was a pensioner and her hone was owned but not worth that much.
    Adrianus
    13th Jan 2016
    2:00pm
    Yes, gr82do I don't think we need to pay the pension to $millionaires anymore.
    A friend once asked me to visit his mum who was living in aged care.
    The old girl was worth a few $m, but you wouldn't know it. She insisted on wearing old slippers with holes because she wouldn't spend the money for new slippers. Her sons had hoped that I could persuade her. Anyway , the outcome was that I went off and bought her some slippers as a Christmas present, and she wore them and loved them.
    Gunner
    13th Jan 2016
    1:36pm
    We do fit that profile..purely and simply due to a lack of trust in Federal governments over the past 15 years or so. They ( governments) have continuously eroded the finances of retired and disabled Defense Personnel, Aged Pensioners and Self Funded Retirees. Why wouldn't we keep it stashed away, safely and legally out of reach of their greedy clutches.
    petergrimbeek
    13th Jan 2016
    1:43pm
    It's fairly obvious that the current pension is not something to look forward to as one's major income source. It makes perfect sense to keep a sufficient super balance to be able to keep going in the unlikely event that one lives to the ripe old age of 205.
    Radish
    13th Jan 2016
    1:57pm
    Yes, that is absolutely true. Leaving inheritances for children is the main reason I believe so many are living frugally.

    Personally I think it is stupid. If you have a handicapped child etc OK...I can fully understand...but when your children are working, doing well, spend it and enjoy it and they can have whatever is left over...to inherit a home is enough I think.
    HOLA
    13th Jan 2016
    2:48pm
    ' '
    Couldn't agree with you more Radish.
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    7:17pm
    I don't think leaving inheritances is the main reason for living frugally at all, Radish. I think it's fear - generated by a government that has proved itself untrustworthy; constantly falling investment returns (and crashings asset values in many areas); and ongoing threats to slash or eliminate aged pensions.

    Why would anyone want to spend unnecessarily when they have no idea what's around the corner, but are seeing an ongoing trend to reducing the incomes of retirees? Remember, some retirees might still be around in 30 years time. How much will their little savings nest egg be worth then? Their house will probably be falling down, so worth land value only. Inflation will have eroded their savings to the point where they buy nothing. And the government is saying there will be no pensions.

    Seems to me that only a fool would want to spend in the current circumstances. Those who unexpectedly die young might well leave money to their offspring - not because they wanted to or planned to, but because they didn't know when they would pass away and they had to keep money aside to live on in case they lived to a very old age
    Rosscoe
    13th Jan 2016
    1:57pm
    I'm not sure I would recommend to my grandson that he contribute to Superannuation - can't trust governments! They keep changing the rules!
    KSS
    13th Jan 2016
    2:13pm
    Hmmm, your Grandson doesn't have a choice Rosscoe. Its compulsory - has been since 1993.
    Adrianus
    13th Jan 2016
    4:52pm
    KSS if the grandson is self employed he can go through his working life without having Superannuation.
    KSS
    14th Jan 2016
    11:00am
    Frank even the self-employed have a responsibility to consider how they will fund their retirement. Given the additional tax benefits of being self-employed, and that they also have access to claim a full deduction for contributions they make to their super until they turn 75 (see the ATO), I can't see that they should not be encouraged to save for retirement regardless of what those savings are called.
    Adrianus
    18th Jan 2016
    2:20pm
    KSS, I agree with all that you have said except for Super being compulsory for the self employed.
    In many cases what I have seen is a self employed person with say 1-5 employees who have been paid the SGC, but the boss puts off paying himself because of other pressing expenses.
    Suze
    13th Jan 2016
    2:08pm
    I could not agree with you more, i2sunset. It rather beggars belief that people would rather scrimp and go without just so they can leave money for their children. The one main problem I see with people my age (I am considering retiring in the next year or so and my husband retired last year) is the relatively low superannuation total we have amassed to what our children will have. This is, to a large part, due to compulsory super only being around approx. half way through my working life. Granted, those funds were used to pay off homes, educate children, etc. but because we did not have to pay into a fund, we used the money elsewhere. At least our children should have very healthy super accounts when they retire and will reap all the benefits that we might not be able to enjoy.
    KSS
    13th Jan 2016
    2:09pm
    The intention of (compulsory) superannuation was to provide for YOUR (OUR/MY) retirement NOT the housing deposit, school fees, mortgages, business set up costs etc etc of your/our/my children and grandchildren.

    If the research is correct and 36% of older people are indeed living below the poverty line, that MUST mean 64% are not. Some of that 64% will have no financial worries at all, some will have a few concerns but still live comfortably, some will live carefully and with some concern for the future. Then some will live in self imposed hardship, refusing to turn on lights, eat properly, foregoing days out, holidays or new clothes in the misguided intention of leaving it all to their kids! Just how many this actually is we don't know. But clearly it is a choice.

    Superannuation is meant to cover your retirement, the only unknown is the date it will finally end. There is clearly the concern of making sure the money lasts for a possible 25+ years but refusing to draw on capital when it is obviously needed is just ridiculous. Yes its our money and we choose how we spend it BUT don't forget what it was intended for. And that does not necessarily include the flash new house, car and three month cruise so they/we/I can draw a Government pension! Nor should it result in hardship and whinging about how hard up you/we/I am/are because you/we/I refuse to spend it.
    roy
    13th Jan 2016
    4:45pm
    KSS, I still want to know how you managed to be charged 40% inheritance tax in the UK on £250000 i.e. £100000, when at that time 2008, Inheritance tax was due on estates over £312000.
    KSS
    14th Jan 2016
    11:02am
    Oh I don't know Mick, just lucky I guess.

    I do not have to answer to you, just the UK tax office which we did. Like it or not, you disagreeing does not change the facts!
    roy
    17th Jan 2016
    9:48am
    I can only think you are out of your mind paying £100,000 when you didn't need to. Oh well it takes all sorts.
    Rodent
    13th Jan 2016
    2:18pm
    Although not directly related to this specific item, there is a related Doc that may be of interest to some readers, especially those interested in numbers
    Its from the ANU its about Superannuation and Tax Concessions/Age Pension. this link should pick it up https://taxpolicy.crawford.anu.edu.au/files/uploads/taxstudies_crawford_anu_edu_au/2015-12/m_stewart_d_ingles_retirement_income_final.pdf
    Gammer
    13th Jan 2016
    2:54pm
    I retired 3 years ago and had salary sacrificed as much as I could manage to build up my super fund. I receive a part aged pension which together with my allocated pension keeps me solvent. I never go on holiday, travel on public transport as much as possible, and generally live pretty carefully in order to minimise my expenses; my dad is 90 years of age and lives independently so the aim is that my super lasts a further 23 years if possible (I aspire to a similar age, fingers crossed). My son, 24 years younger than me, already had more in his super fund than I did when I was organising my allocated pension so, with a further possible 27 years of employment ahead of him, he is most unlikely to need or want any cash injections from his aged mother! I know he and my daughter too would be appalled if they thought for one moment that I was going without to benefit them on my death - but there again they don't view me as a money box!
    thommo
    13th Jan 2016
    3:09pm
    what a load of BS. Who are these retirees who are unnecessarily living frugally, and how much on average do they leave in their estates?
    This is just an excuse by our politicians (eg Morrison and Turnbull) to let the hair down so they can do the same with their overly generous taxpayer funded salaries and lifetime, fully indexed taxpayer funded pensions.
    Linda
    13th Jan 2016
    3:42pm
    i can see the logic of being careful so there is hopefully something left for the children. it could really help to pay off homes that are very expensive these days. Changing the rules after for retired people should be made illegal.
    Oldman Roo
    13th Jan 2016
    3:47pm
    i would like the CSIRO to tell me should I really spend more to defeat the Morrison - Abbott ideology to cut payments to part Pensioners because there is not enough money to sustain the payments to them . If we all spend more , we all have to hit Centrelink for more Pension and , of course , that is the problem with the adopted flawed Morrison - Abbott strategy .
    Oldman Roo
    13th Jan 2016
    4:05pm
    I certainly feel the elderly should be able to make up their own mind and invest and spend their money the way they feel comfortable . Often they are already struggling with health problems and do not need additional worry to make risky investments as suggested by the Government to make up for the Pension cuts that are coming for part Pensioners .
    Thinker
    13th Jan 2016
    4:08pm
    How does a retiree avoid longevity risk (unless she/he is in a generous defined benefit scheme)?
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    4:50pm
    Defined benefit schemes have been amended as of 1/1/2016. The "gravy train" has come off the rails. Open slather has ended.
    Rae
    13th Jan 2016
    6:18pm
    Yes Fast Eddie and anyone saving after tax dollars into super are mad now. When those savings are classed as income when withdrawn how long before bank deposits are treated the same way?

    Take your after tax savings out and that is no longer savings but income.
    Sundays
    13th Jan 2016
    6:26pm
    Not quite Fast Eddie. More of the defined benefit is counted as income by Centrelink which means many now miss out on the aged part pension, or get less than before. However, their defined benefit pension is still paid for life. Of course, they are good schemes (all now closed to new members) but there is no capital amount that can be accessed, or left to the kids only the spouse who gets around 67% until they too pass on.
    Rae
    14th Jan 2016
    8:32am
    You could buy an annuity with the lump sum. I think this will become something the current government wants. An annuity is like a defined benefit. You pay over the money and get a fixed amount or a CPI adjusted amount.

    13th Jan 2016
    4:23pm
    If the government wasn't always sitting on the middle of the fence and was more decisive with thir policies and would keep to their promises people would be more likely to know which direction to take with their spending habits. As it is, world economies are uncertain at best, so people are being more cautious with their money and are reluctant to spend. These cretins in government are always moving the goal posts and are forever playing the game from the high side of the field so they only have themselves to blame. Nothing is for certain except uncertainty and nothing is consistent except inconsistency.
    Bonny
    13th Jan 2016
    4:34pm
    I don't know any of these people unnecessary frugality during retirement. What is the definition of frugality they are using? Some people would say I live the high life and others that I live frugally.

    If people have leave behind large super balances then no wonder the government is interested in getting a piece of this pie. It says to government people are not using this money so they don't need it.
    Bonny
    13th Jan 2016
    4:36pm
    Remember the government sets the deeming rates above the term deposit rates trying to force people to seek a better return so they collect more revenue.
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    4:45pm
    Whether people "leave behind large super balances" or NOT it is certainly NONE of the government's business if that money was earned legally. NO ONE, government or anyone else, is in ANY position to judge what a person needs as far as their money is concerned.
    Bonny
    13th Jan 2016
    5:13pm
    If they don't want the government interfere then people need to spend more money.
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    6:25pm
    And then when they are broke, they need pensions and the Government is already warning them there will be none, Bonny. So your advice is a bit stupid, really. Hopefully, people won't be dumb enough to take it seriously.
    Bonny
    13th Jan 2016
    6:36pm
    Well I'm going to spend my kids inheritance on what ever I want and need. If there is nothing left then so be it.
    Mygasheater
    13th Jan 2016
    6:58pm
    Its a funny old thing, the LNP strenuously opposed the Super Guarantee Act when it was introduced by Keating, but weren't too concerned when there was little held in super.

    Since the funds now hold over a trillion dollars they want to get their hands on it. They have fiddled around with the super rules by opening it up to the retail funds to get a big share of the pie (by charging exorbitant management fees), delaying so increase dates etc.

    In one breath we are told to save for our retirement and now we are being told to spend. We are told "millionaire pensioners" are rorting the system while living in their "multimillion dollar homes". What is the truth?
    Adrianus
    14th Jan 2016
    8:56am
    Mygas, I think you know the truth? :)
    ex PS
    14th Jan 2016
    10:52am
    People need to take into account that the higher the rate of return, the higher the risk. If the government is encouraging people to take higher risks I hope they are prepared tp pay more in pensioner entitiements when funds go broke.
    Gra
    13th Jan 2016
    5:14pm
    A lot of people worry about what they are going to be able to leave their children and grandchildren, all the while neglecting to enjoy life themselves. What are their beneficiaries going to do with their inheritances? Go out and enjoy themselves, tour the world etc. Just like mum and dad should have been.
    Sundays
    13th Jan 2016
    6:30pm
    I agree Gra and see it all the time. The parents scrimp, but think that they will be helping the kids who can then pay off mortgages etc. the kids inherit and think your f the money as a windfall. They would rather spend it on lifestyle items
    Rae
    13th Jan 2016
    6:37pm
    I don't know anyone worried about leaving the kids wealth Gra.

    Actually all my friend's kids and mine are pretty well off living in larger houses with higher incomes and better SUVs than we ever had.

    I think we spend money if we have it on what we enjoy doing.

    Some people have very inexpensive habits and interests.

    Why should they change that to suit anyone else?

    Home maintenance and future health costs need to be considered.
    Those costs can be very expensive.

    This story is a nonsense. May as well castigate the young for buying expensive housing, cars etc and not spending enough on other stuff.

    Has the CSIRO said what we are suppose to splurge on in their opinion?
    Bonny
    13th Jan 2016
    7:29pm
    A better idea is to spend it on family holidays etc while you can. If you don't they will when you leave it to them.

    13th Jan 2016
    6:33pm
    Some of us might be looking at living another 30 years without earnings. Now, consider the value of $100,000 30 years ago. Consider it's likely value in 30 years from now. The Government is constantly changing the rules on pensions and telling us there will be none in the future, yet they want us to spend now and risk having inadequate money to live on later. It doesn't make sense.

    As for leaving money to children, that should be our choice. If some people choose to go without luxuries to leave their children better off, whose business is that but theirs. Frankly, I'm fed up with this attitude that some have that everyone should live as they do - or that their spending choices are right and someone else's are wrong. We pay generous pensions to people who gamble and drink and smoke and who spend their inheritance on a world cruise or who live in multi-million-dollar houses, and then some selfish people presume to suggest that a person has no right to go without those luxuries to give their grandkids a better start in life. Why? I want to leave some money to my disabled grandson. I want to leave some to my daughter who has no retirement savings because she has to care for a disabled child and can't work. Why shouldn't I be allowed to sacrifice my lifestyle to enhance theirs if that's my choice? And why should I be denied a pension because I make that choice, while someone who chooses to gamble their savings away or take luxury cruises is paid a pension?

    13th Jan 2016
    7:32pm
    Why is there an assumption that if someone has retirement savings, it must be superannuation money and therefore the government (or other people) can dictate how it should be used? Most of my generation had no superannuation. A lot of them saved successfully by doing without luxuries during their working life. Some of them got compensation payouts for injuries etc. that they need to preserve to pay for disability aids, home help and advanced care as they age. Some inherited a little from their parents or grandparents.

    Not all money held by retirees is superannuation, and if it isn't, NOBODY has the right to dictate what they should do with it. And it's criminally unfair that people are denied a pension because they went without in earlier life to save, or because they got compensation that was NEVER intended to meet living expenses but was to pay for medical care and home help and disability aids.

    It seems this government is determined to force retirees to blow all their savings and be ground into poverty. Why? Many of them will live decades yet and will find their savings not nearly enough to get them through at even a basic level of living. With investment returns and even asset values falling and the government hitting out constantly at retirees, we all have good reason to be very afraid to spend more than is essential.
    Bonny
    13th Jan 2016
    7:57pm
    That's why the rich only have a small proportion of their savings in super. I personally only have about 10% of my wealth tied up in super. Why? Simply that I'd rather pay tax than have it at the mercy of the government who change the rules sometimes for the good other times for the not so good.
    Rae
    13th Jan 2016
    8:24pm
    Rainey nobody should dictate what we do with superannuation but they do. It is compulsory with books full of rules and regulations that change every budget night.

    None of my kids put more than the 9% in and as I did invest any other savings outside the superannuation system. There is market risk of course as in super but far less sovereign risk, fees and charges.

    It is a nonsense to think that saving a bit of tax is a good enough reason to give up control of your capital.
    Adrianus
    13th Jan 2016
    9:44pm
    Good point Rainey, Bonny and Rae! After one reads all these posts, one could be forgiven for thinking that having Super is the only way to financial freedom in retirement. You three seem to have a little more nouse than the average poster.
    ex PS
    14th Jan 2016
    9:45am
    Frank, Super is not the only way to save for retirement but it is probably the only way to get most people to put something aside for their future. I know a lot of people young and old who seem to spend most of their disposable income on entertainment.
    I have advised my son to put the minimum into Super and build a private investment portfolio that will allow him to make his own decision about when and how he wishes to retire.
    With the uncertainty that the government/s have created around accessability to Super in the future, it is becoming a far less attractive proposition than it has been.
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2016
    1:58pm
    ex PS, I have advised my children to calculate their needs in retirement and save accordingly. I tipped in a cash booster to get it started. I have also advised to review their retirement goals every 3 years to make sure they are on track and adjust their contributions accordingly. These calculations they are doing without welfare as a consideration. I have also advised them to generate wealth by hanging onto a specific amount of their hard earned income and as time passes grow the value of their savings by carefully introduced growth assets. They are both well and truly on their way and should be in a position to have a variety of lifestyle choices, both prior to and post retirement. If the worst happens and they make some poor financial decisions at least I know they will have a plan B for when they are too old to work.
    Salaries can be broken down to 4 or 5 sections.
    1. Retirement savings.( when work becomes too hard)
    2. Long term savings. (pre retirement needs)
    3. Medium term savings. (holidays, yearly bills)
    4. Day to Day expenses. (Food, mortgage)
    Young Champion
    13th Jan 2016
    8:48pm
    There are so many anomalies involving superannuation, pensions, aged care etc. Politicians keep promising major changes but very little is done. Perhaps they don't really care beyond their over-generous polly pensions. Vote One: Young Champion for real change (to my pension)
    BElle
    14th Jan 2016
    3:14pm
    Isn't it amazing how people who are a number of years from retirement are the experts on how you should be financed in your mature age years. Personally I have been retired, I use that word advisedly as I did not have a choice. since my late 50's. The alteration in the cost of living since that time is horrendous. I am now in my 70's. This morning I visited my father who is approaching his century. Should I live that long I would have been in "retirement" for more than 40, yes Forty, years. Thinking back on the cost of living 40 years ago I am totally unable to relate in my mind just what this would mean in the years ahead. Perhaps these experts could enlighten me!
    I am heart sick in the way that the older generation are being vilified in the media and especially by Governments of all persuasions.
    Its our money for which we have worked hard, paid our taxes and been worthy citizens of this country. We all deserve better and not constantly be told what we should do, or how we should behave.
    PlanB
    14th Jan 2016
    4:43pm
    DArn right BElle, when I think of my 1st wage which was One pound seven and six per week = $2,75
    toot2000 (Sydney)
    15th Jan 2016
    4:26pm
    Pensioners who go without in order to leave their children a substantial inheritance are crazy. Get on a plane to that far away country, buy that new car, go on that holiday before it's too late. Before long, you'll be too old to go.
    wheels
    16th Jan 2016
    6:59am
    This recent article made me really angry. I am in a major super fund and the returns to a Balanced person was NIL for the FYTD. I might spend some it Just to live. I get a minimal part pension. so of course this person might be $20k plus behind. I had to withdraw $7-10000 to cut one of my protected trees down. The there's recent returns and the GFC. At this rate I'll be lucky to NOT be on a full pension ! Of course some people might spend but many might save because there's nowhere to get it if it's gone. I need every bit of what I've got to generate a return otherwise I'm slowly going broke.
    Adrianus
    16th Jan 2016
    9:05am
    wheels we're all slowly going broke.
    Try to count your blessings. That's all we can do.
    I'm happy with the meagre things I have. My set top box is still working and the insulation is doing a good job.
    Try to see the benefits. That's all we can do mate.
    MacI
    16th Jan 2016
    5:11pm
    Wheels - Don't be too despondent. My Super's Balanced fund is averaging 6.6% over 10 years including 2 negative years: -18.9% in 2008 and -2.2% in 2011. I guess we are due a negative year. If so, hopefully things will follow the usual patterns and maintain the average over the longer term.

    Personally I prefer a Conservative asset mix (70% defensive/30% growth) albeit it has returned a lesser average return over 10 years at 6.3% but at least I sleep easier. 2008 was the only negative year in the last 10 years, -4.9% in 2008.
    MacI
    16th Jan 2016
    5:13pm
    Wheels - If your fund is not matching mine then you need to shop around. Mine is an Industry fund that is performing reasonably well but there are others around performing even better.
    Happy Jack
    16th Jan 2016
    8:38am
    When do the LIEberal party offices open following the break? My guess is grmsjerk69 will be start commentng when they do,
    wheels
    16th Jan 2016
    9:41am
    Happy Jack
    All these people should have a say on a radio show. Lots of good comments. PJ-
    PlanB
    16th Jan 2016
    9:42am
    Yes they sure do have lots of holidays -- and don't seem to do much when they are back --except argue in question time like kindergarten kids -- wish we could chuck both sides OUT and get some totally NEW blood
    PIXAPD
    17th Jan 2016
    1:21pm
    Life on the aged pension.....it's great.......and frugal means what?....not spending much?... or just being wise. I can spend what I like or not, I can go where I like or not. Got more money than ever, nearly $1000 fortnight from Centrelink and saving from that. WHO decides what retirees are to spend....GET A LIFE. ha ha.

    18th Jan 2016
    2:10pm
    Yet more retiree bashing! Seems we cop it at every turn. What it's really about is a selfish, self-serving younger generation wanting to escape the obligation to pay decent pensions - so pretend retirees can fund their own retirement and keep cutting benefits.

    The axe will fall in a decade or two from now, when retirees who have been forced to drain their savings qualify for a full pension that is very much higher than that paid today. Giving a little more now might save a lot later, but as is always the case with Governments and their advisers, the focus is on the short term, because in a decade, they will all be retired on fat pensions, claiming superior expertise, and blaming the government of the day for the problems that really resulted from their own short-sighted, selfish policies.
    Adrianus
    18th Jan 2016
    2:31pm
    Rainey what choice do we have? It is the young voters with the power to lobby for the decisions. Politicians are getting younger in order to whoo the young voter. If Kevin Rudd was running later this year he wouldn't be without his selfie stick.


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