Three in five Australians will not have enough money to retire

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New data has revealed what YourLifeChoices has been stating for months – the majority of Australians are concerned that they will not have enough money to retire comfortably.

According to a survey conducted by Mortgage Choice’s Diversified portfolio, three in five Australians feel they will not have enough money to retire.

The survey has revealed that around 54 per cent of Australians do not give retirement savings serious thought until they are 50 or over. An alarming notion when most retirement income projections are based on superannuation savings from a full working lifetime.

“Of course, many don’t realise that 50 is simply too old to start saving and planning for retirement. In reality, people should start their retirement planning much earlier in life,” said Mortgage Choice CEO John Flavell. “People don’t want to give their retirement serious thought when they are younger because it is not something that is going to affect them any time soon.”

john flavell

Mr Flavell quoted the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) Retirement Living Standard, which suggests that to live a comfortable retirement, couples should have around $640,000 in retirement savings and singles need approximately $545,000.

“Most people don’t realise that they may head into retirement with debt hanging over their heads, which can have a significant impact on their savings and cash flow,” said Mr Flavell. “Over the coming years, statistics suggest that many Australians will reach retirement age and still have a mortgage. Soaring property prices combined with the fact that people are taking out home loans later in life, will ensure many still have debt in their twilight years.”

Although it may be too late for some, Mr Flavell said Australians need to commence planning for retirement as early as possible.

“Australians should seek out financial advice early on in their financial journey, and put strategies in place today that will help them achieve their financial objectives and lead a comfortable retirement.”

Opinion: Why average is a dirty word

We’ve known for some time that the majority of retirees will not have enough to retire comfortably. Our own research shows that under 27 per cent of respondents will be able to self-fund their retirement, with the remaining 73 per cent relying on a full or part Age Pension. Almost nine in 10 of those who rely on the Age Pension feel it’s not enough to live a comfortable life.

And as far as retirement savings lasting out their retirement? Only one in five say this is feasible.

These are real numbers based on data derived from real Australian retirees.

Yet the financial needs of our ageing population seem only to be addressed on average figures that are simply unattainable. It’s true, most Australians will not have enough money to retire comfortably, but how far they fall short of the suggested ASFA ‘averages’ will shock you.

The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures of superannuation balances by age show that the 55–64 age group has, on average, just $323,700 in super, with 65–74 having just $243,900 and 74-plus having only $74,100. Disturbing, yes?

Those are still ‘averages’. But averages can be skewed by the ultra-wealthy. We need to be looking at median figures. And the median amount of superannuation held by retirees? A depressingly low $95,000.

Mr Flavell also suggests that Aussies may head into retirement with debt. We know this is already happening. Aussie households aged 50 to 64 are entering retirement with a $75,000 mortgage, other property loans of $39,000 and $2300 in credit card debt.

The ASFA standard is also based on people owning their home. So, the required amount of money needed for a comfortable retirement is simply not a reality for most Australians. It’s a pipe dream, particularly for the 15 per cent who rent.

Are you as sick and tired of hearing the word ‘average’ as we are? And yet the Government is intent on creating policy based on ASFA recommendations and, you guessed it, ‘averages’.

Policy makers and industry pundits need to address the specific financial needs of today’s retirees.

Maybe it’s time financial institutions stopped assuming how retirement incomes work for so-called ‘average’ Australians and started asking actual retirees – as YourLifeChoices does.

Do you think that policy should be created using averages as a measure? How do you think retirement incomes should be measured? Do you have enough for a comfortable retirement? What would you like to say to our policy makers about this?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

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

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127 Comments

Total Comments: 127
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    Comfortable means: A retirement home style (small) Car (small) Good, nourishing recipes with just about anything in the pot (small) A bed (?) Clothes (basic) and to top it all off, a telly. What more do people want or need? oh and a decent doctor that’s what!

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      Sunny – you didn’t mention a reliable internet connection … but you obviously have one of those or you wouldn’t be able to comment on the article. You also didn’t mention any kind of phone connection – preferably a good reliable smartphone, but in many cases retired people would also want to have a landline.

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      What rubbish. As sunny says, what do you need to be “comfortable”.

      I have been retired 9 years, on the pension, with some savings of about $100,000, when I retired. I had provided everything I really needed, house 3 cars, & some hobby equipment. There were also a few things I did not need, like 3 horses, a couple of dogs, & cats, a bird & gold fish, all left behind by departing kids.

      Despite some required replacements in that time, a car, stove, fridge, washing machine, internal painting & a few other things, in those 9 years my savings have only reduced by $5000.

      I certainly do not lead a deprived life. I have made a few interstate, & a few intrastate trips, but have no desire of making overseas trips. My definition of pain would be to spend a boring week on a river boat in Europe, of a liner in the Pacific.

      I also prefer my cooking to restaurant cooking, don’t gamble or drink to excess. I find the pension is almost enough, & just a little extra is helpful as some of the material things you retire with wear out. Anyone requiring over $50,000 a year to be happy needs to re-examine their attitude to life.

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      You refer to yourself as “sunny”, but your thinking is “cloudy”. You have referred to material things which are “basic” in this day and age, those items which are essential to maintain one’s mental and physical stability – NOT COMFORT. This is the 21st century in a country which is not in the third world (yet!) and where MORE than your “basics for comfort” SHOULD be the norm, especially in one’s twilight years. I think it would be safe to say that most of us reading the articles on this site have worked fairly hard for our retirement years and expect and have earned more than the “basics” you have mentioned. This is not Moldova or a country ending with “istan”, so your words, much like political parlance, bordering on “be happy with what you have” are sorely hollow and meaningless, as well as insulting. YOU have your basics, I want what I have WORKED FOR and DESERVE!

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      Spot on Sunny! “Gimme, gimme, I’m an ‘entitled’ pensioner” are growing very tiring and boring….leech/parasitic like on society even….

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      If you want any more in retirement then it is up to you to provide it not the taxpayer.

      After all the OAP is welfare!

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      No, it’s not……

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      If it comes out of the WELFARE BUDGET it’s WELFARE. But that’s just semantics, call it what you like.

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      ENTITLEMENT!

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      Entitlement to what as the OAP is nothing but welfare?

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      Wrong immediately, Knowall – it comes out of the………….. (wait for it…………………. wait for it)…………………………SOCIAL SECURITY BUDGET….

      Thanks for coming – train harder for next year.

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      Trebor’s comment: there you go, OG. Best do your research before shooting off – yes? Back to your Marcus Padley report, old boy.

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      So we all agree OAP is welfare.

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      No way OG, OAP is Social Security not welfare. I wish you would start using Australian English and stop the American usage. Currently welfare is a term used to disparage those who have not been so fortunate in life, like my parents. These people worked hard, went through a depression, fought a war, bought up their children, never having the opportunity to accumulate treasure. Their hard work laid the foundations for the prosperity we enjoy today Do you refer to the chronically sick (like those kids of our generation who contracted polio and spent their lives in iron lungs) or the mentally ill as ‘welfare bludgers’. I hope not,

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      Right on, Eddy!

      Of Scottish/Irish/German background – my grandmother (born in 1884 – believe it), went through two World Wars, The Depression, lost (along with her husband) a son (the eldest) in WWII, lost husband to an early death from a now curable heart condition…. had a grandson in Vietnam…..

      A favourite granny lost her husband in the trenches in WWI (Glasgow Tramways Black Watch)…

      I abhor the use of ‘welfare’ as some sort of disparaging comment towards those who had and have little else… it wasn’t always a garden of roses… and time for many to wake up.

      One simple reason – under the current destruction of all that men and women fought for – an upwardly mobile social and economic system for all – all the bad things will be coming again….

      You mark my words….

      Light your brands and pick up your pitchforks…. there is a demon loose in the land….

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      I think OG’s gears are stripped. For anyone to think that way is insane.

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      The most sensible explanation I’ve heard of the pension system is that it’s part of the taxation system, and your total tax contribution over a lifetime is the sum of all tax you’ve paid (direct and indirect) LESS all rebates, allowances, reductions, refunds, pension receipts, and other benefits provided by the government.

      Taking that obviously correct definition, anyone who has paid substantial taxes and has not benefited substantially from rebates, allowances, grants, reductions, refunds, etc. is ENTITLED to a pension in their later years. Most of those who have not enjoyed tax-advantaged superannuation should receive a state-funded pension to compensate. Most self-employed and higher income earners will have had access to lots of tax dodges and will have received far more than a fair share of the nation’s resources, but most struggling wage earners will have contributed far more than their fair share and got little in return, so they are ENTITLED to a decent aged pension- REGARDLESS of whether they saved their money, invested it, or spent it!

      Of course ideally those who worked for inadequate wages to make other people rich should be looked after by the folk who exploited them, but if not, then the State that failed to curb exploitation should pay.

      Compulsory superannuation will hopefully eventually provide an answer to the dilemma of funding support for the aged, but until then our society needs to face up to its responsibilities with respect and decency – something those excessively privileged who harp on about ”welfare” seem to lack.

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      The OAP welfare system has nothing to do with what taxes or what rebates you got. It is based on a snapshot now of your income and assets. You could have paid lots of tax and had lots of rebates, allowance etc but have no assets or income today. You could also have paid little tax and got little in the way of rebates and still not get welfare.

      So your explanation has no basis at all.

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      OG, you are right in your response to Rainey, The social security system states the OAP is based purely on age, assets and income. If you are of a specified age and have assets and income below certain levels you are ‘entitled’ to the OAP. This applies to all residents irrespective of whether they have paid tax or not. These include long term prisoners (once released), Social Security fraudsters, women who have spent their entire lives as unpaid homemakers and others, even you OG and myself. If you so not like this you are at liberty to lobby your local MP to get the Social Security Act changed. I personally do not like that very rich people and large corporations can manipulate their incomes and profits to minimise their tax or that self funded retirees can receive their benefits without paying tax. So I should lobby my MP (I am in a safe Labour seat) to get the tax laws changed. Until then I will try to avoid calling people demeaning names while they are complying with the law, whether those laws are, in my opinion, unjust.

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      OG, sadly you are not too bright! I didn’t say the way a corrupt government has shaped the OAP system RECOGNIZES the reality that it’s part of the taxation system. I said that it IS part of the tax system. You can’t escape the fact that it is funded by tax and effectively reduces the net amount you pay to the government over a lifetime. Only a fool will dispute that.

      Given that it IS part of the tax system, it SHOULD be administered accordingly, if there was any morality, decency and common sense in our society. Sadly, though, there isn’t.

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      OAP is welfare that is designed to give old people the basics of life and keep them out of extreme poverty. It has nothing to do with the tax system, how much tax they paid, how much work they did or anything else. They could have earned even a million dollars a year and spent the lot each year.

      Yes it is funded by the tax I pay each year and so is a lot of other things in our society. Other than that it has nothing to do with tax at all.

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      You sound like a rather ignorant Old Geezer to me? So you can’t comprehend that gross tax paid minus benefits/refunds/rebates/pensions received from the tax man = net tax paid? It’s a bit like gross profit minus cost of doing business = net profit? Or can you not get your head around that concept either, OG?
      I am not talking about the dishonest political claims about pensions. I’m talking about the hard, cold, undeniable reality that net tax = gross tax minus refunds (in whatever form received).
      Now, given that, clearly those who paid honestly for a lifetime and received little or no refunds in any form are MORALLY ENTITLED to the aged pension the government promised and claimed they were ENTITLED TO (NOT MEANS TESTED) on the basis that a portion of all the tax they paid was being held in trust to fund that pension – because there was no superannuation for most in those days.
      The fact that the government stole the money it was supposed to hold in trust is irrelevant. The fact that the government misused that money for other purposes is irrelevant. It took the money. It made the promise. The ENTITLEMENT stands.
      The aged pension may one day become ”welfare” for the minority who now have no superannuation, but as of today it is NOT.
      Nor is it ”greedy”, ”unfair”, or ”double-dipping” to want a very small share of that ENTITLEMENT to top up an inadequate income in old age if you saved well but suffered due to a massive fall in investment returns.

      You are WRONG, OG. And no matter how many times you trot out your illogical, nasty, mean-spirited claims you can’t make it right. All you do is prove you support the elitist notion that the privileged should take all, the needy should be embarrassed to accept crumbs and eat humble pie, and the hard-working and enterprising battlers should be stamped on and ground back to poverty.

      One would think an intelligent taxpayer (obviously you are not!) would support the notion of a system that reduces the burden on taxpayers by encouraging enterprise and saving rather than by punishing it. The next generation will pay a hefty price for the stupidity of those who supported attacking savers with an ill-conceived assets test that destroys incentive and encourages cheating and irresponsible spending. But some idiots just don’t get that short term gain too often equals long term pain.

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    We retired 12 years ago and both live reasonably comfortably only because in our working lifes we planned and saved for retirement managing our finances very carefully, starting this planning soon as you can. Australia is now very expensive to live, one of the most expensive in the world. Many jobs are only part time or on contract. Many wages frozen. Housing affordability is out of the question for many and rents high. How do young people plan and save in this situation when all their money is going on feeding their families and housing costs. I think successive Governments must look into this ifthey want

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      We retired about 25 years ago and are today much better off than we were when we retired.

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      If you won’t tell us here, OG, then start a website to tell us there as to just how you manage to do so well.

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      Yeee-ush – makes $400k investments into a comfortable living, but pays taxes and his inheritors will not get the same benefits but will fear his taxes…. I suspect a nursing home or similar….

      Had one such who came to view the property ‘we’ (the ex and I) had for sale – said he was an old builder…. told us the house would fall down (40 tonne decomposed granite/cement mix walls 10″ thick? Supported by 300mm posts and 200mm x 50 beams plus 300mm x 75 ridge beams atop massive timbers – all Ironbark)….. then didn’t even recognise me at the local service station…. oh, yes….

      Now – on the brighter side…. I have a harbour bridge that needs to be privatised…. any offer to Trebor Industries over $500bn will be considered…. Chinese first call… (ROFL emoticon implied)….

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      My secret to a comfortable retirement was not based on financial wizardry but on choosing a career which included a generous superannuation scheme (nowadays is called a ‘remuneration package’). I joined the Defence Force when I was 17 and started paying ‘super’ from the day I turned 18. In the 60s, 70s and 80s, I used to get a sinking feeling when I looked in my paybook and saw the deductions for superannuation knowing I could really use that money then, but I had no choice. It was a good life and, with my family, travelled all over Australia, I even got a couple of overseas trips (each 12 months duration, was nice but some of the locals would shoot at me, not at all friendly. Then when I came back it was even unfriendlier, I was spat on in the street, called a baby killer, rapist etc). When my ADF career ended in my early 40s I was able to secure a civilian job in Dept of Defence. I when I retired with 2 defined benefit pensions and a DVA disability pension, the income test ruled me out of the OAP.
      So I’ve got few complaints, I never actively planned it this way, it just happened.

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    Well of course planning is the key but a lot of people find it boring. I don’t however believe that starting in your 50’s is too late. You can usually save more, salary sacrifice, invest etc once your kids are self sufficient and you no longer have to pay for their education. Pay off the mortgage if you have one first. We have a comfortable retirement but many friends who had similar incomes do not because they spent up big and did not manage their finances. However, we’ve been fortunate with our health and life hasn’t thrown too many curve balls. Policy makers should think about financial management advice to people of all ages. A lot of older prowl thought the pension would be eneough without ever working out their budget first.

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    Super is good for the first round of new car and new appliances, but ten years down the track when its necessary to replace the car, the fridge,washing machine,TV, computer, printer, air conditioner, phone, vacuum cleaner, stove, toaster, jug, camera, There tends to be a big shortage of cash, even if a pensioner wants to use “free travel” to visit relatives in a capital city. That’s $50 each way sitting up in a train for a full day and a full night and possibly with an ostomy bag to empty, if the person has had bladder or bowel cancer.

    The main reasons I have for insufficient retirement money are:

    I was 36years old before super became compulsory.

    I needed to do a uni degree in my thirties to get a good job. That uni degree will not get me even the lowest paid casual work now, because every little job has a piece of paper that makes the person a “professional” for that one job.

    I had to retire 10 years early, due to illness.

    The welfare system did not treat me like a person in pre-retirement who had to keep money in the bank, but like a person on the dole who had to spend any large savings to be eligible for benefits.

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      Fully understand all that, Charlie… you recall that recently I’ve several times posted about the demand by Colonel C’Link that you expend all resources before getting any sustenance/survival money, and how that is merely postponing the Social Security requirement until Retirement age, since the person thus afflicted has to rebuild from zero… again and again in some cases.

      Short-sighted strangling of the purse strings for short term political gain wrought by taking cheap shots at those afflicted by piss poor government and piss poor ‘management’ these days, and making of them social pariahs.

      Time for that new party…..

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      Yes and they bring about your demise even faster by allowing you to draw your super at 55 if you can no longer return to full employment.

      Then they wack you with regular dole conditions about the money you can have in the bank and how much you are allowed to earn working casually. This was their disability support pension, which has been replaced with the insurance scheme. But doesn’t help me now.

      These rates are very severe compared to the age pension rates. One would think that being over 50 but under 65 and not being able to return to full time employment a person would be given some chance of keeping the super in the bank and live off the interest.

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    Increasingly responses to this site are smug and self-satisfied with more than a hint of ‘it’s all your own fault if you don’t have enough for old age’. I am pretty comfortable but many are not. Single women in particular are more likely to suffer extreme deprivation especially if they don’t own their own home and had interrupted work patterns and because they cared for the family and none of this is their ‘fault’. Another factor which is often not recognised is that thousands of older people have their kids come back home to live. As I discovered food and electricity cost a lot more with three adults, two dogs and a cat. They offered to pay rent but that would have defeated the purpose of them moving back home. All of my friends here and the UK have spent a lot of their ‘savings’ helping out their kids, if they don’t their offspring will never own a home. A woman I know had 100,000 in reserve, she spent some on cancer treatments for her daughter, and the rest on her family. She did it willingly but she lives from pension day to pension day and it isn’t comfortable. Other friends have adult kids who are disabled or their grandkids living with them and there is little help from the government. I congratulate those who are happy with little but let’s stop blaming those who aren’t as fortunate.

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      We all make choices Puglet. I worked for 6 months and gave the money to my daughter and her family when she had cancer, but would I live in poverty to assist my children who are fit and able? No I would not. A friend who went without so the kids would have an inheritance died recently. The 3 adult children blew the money on overseas holidays, new cars and home improvements. All things my friend could have enjoyed!

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      Anyone who lives to leave their money to their kids money is an absolute idiot. I am quite sure many young kids deliberately splurge and waste money, and cry poor about buying a house, because they are waiting on ‘mum and dads’ inheritance. I have seen this exact situation with so many friends, and my one daughter. By. God, I hope I spend it all!!!

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      My family has just talked me into not going ahead with a project simply because they feel that it is not for my benefit but theirs. They have convinced me that they should make their own way in life and not have me provide for them after I die.

      So it’s your money you should enjoy it and not have them waste it on first class trips to Disneyland.

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      Yes in2sunset, perfect timing has the bailiffs turn up to reposes your furniture & car, the day after you die.

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      Those that think that, Puglet – have never endured the evils of piss-poor management that leaves you with nothing and actually owing you money, of piss-poor government policy that deliberately takes from you, of affirmative action by any name when working for The Guv, or any other of the numbers of ways that governments and ‘managers’ rip you off daily.

      Perfectly true, Hasbeen – have nothing on the day you die, or maybe we should use you for Soylent Green… anything you earned or generated for self and family through your life is the property of the State, after all – only those who RUN the State and their mates are exempt from that….. it’s their right and their due.

      The creator of that policy idea should be shot…… or at least be made to lead they way from in front by winding down HIS assets instead of sucking for life on the public tit…… with all left over to be repossessed by the State to pay for his hefty sustenance along the way, and NOTHING to his/her kids.

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    Why is this being sold to us as ‘news’? For goodness sake; for years we have been told that relying on the compulsory contributions was NOT enough to secure a ‘comfortable’ retirement. We have also been told for years that the age pension is a safety net to cover people’s basic needs. Frankly many people generally have an unrealistic view of retirement and who will be paying for it. That’s if they think about it at all under the age of 50.

    Perhaps its time for those approaching retirement to stop financing their adult kids’ lifestyles and start getting serious about their own future finances.

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      Perhaps it’s time the idiots in power stopped punishing people for planning for retirement and recognized that those who try to look after themselves deserve a little support when economic downturn that is NOT their fault compromises their plans. And for everyone to recognize that need is relative. It depends on age, health, education, mental agility, contacts, family, and a vast range of other factors. To suggest that someone is ”greedy” or ”selfish” to want to maintain the standard of retirement living they planned and worked for – knowing what their personal circumstances dictated THEY (not the ”average” Joe) would need is GREEDY AND SELFISH in the extreme.

      I wish folk here would stop bashing people they know nothing about, stop the BS about people having ”choices (many don’t!), and stop the ASS-U-ME’s about what other folk did or didn’t do in earlier life and what they do or don’t need now as a consequence.

      Personally, I wish I’d done as my wealthy neighbours did – gifted hundreds of thousands to my kids before I turned 60. I’d be far better off today under the stupid, cruel, immoral pension system that persecutes those who acted responsibly and honestly.

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    You say 50 is too late to start planning for retirement. My wife and myself came out of divorces in our early 50s with very little finances. We started working at putting aside some money to help our retirement. Now in our mid 80s we are still going well with some good shares and house and car in good condition. How did we do it We talked to a financial planner after we had started putting some money aside, and he sent me a folder with a financial plan which I carefully chucked into the bin and set about looking after our money. Lucky that my wife and I don’t smoke drink alcohol or gamble, so we live very comfortably on a modest income.

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    This government must leave super pensions alone, since they have come to power people have lost faith in super.In our case after many years of paying big time into super we are no better off than people on the same salary that have put nothing into super.

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      Only people with big super balances have been effected by the government changes to super. I’m fully self funded and it has not effected me at all.

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      Old Geezer, it is not true that only people with big super balances have been (or will be) affected. The changes are going to affect me greatly and I do NOT have a big super balance nor do I earn a high salary. My marginal tax rate is 19%! What affects me are the changes to the salary sacrifice reduction by $10,000 a year AND the taxation at 15% of pension fund income that is not levied now.

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      If you are still working and have a transition to retirement pension then this should have been fixed years ago because it has been used by many as a tax minimisation scheme and not the way it was intended to be used. A transition to retirement was to be used so that one could cut down on the number of hours worked and supplement it by drawing a pension form their super fund. Many however continued to work the same but took advantage of the lower tax paid by using this scheme.

      All good things must come to an end.

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      Which is exactly what I have done Old Geezer – I do not work 5 days a week and draw the minimum 4% from super to make up the difference in salary. Hardly a tax minimisation scheme for me now is it? Oops that is not quite correct. I ‘win’ a 4% tax reduction going from 19% to 15%. As a result of the changes that will affect me, my conservatively ‘estimated’ final super balance is likely to be reduced by 30% over the next 5 years (yes I know the financial climate may change and returns may be better – or worse over that time frame).

      So tell me exactly what I have done that is so bad in your opinion! And why I should be lumped in with all the so called ‘wealthy’ top 2%.

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      A lot of others with a transition to retirement pension are resigning on a Friday and starting back at same job on the next Monday. They have then met a condition of release and are on a full pension that is no longer taxed.

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      So you think it is fine to punish people like me for those who, in your opinion, have done the wrong thing rather than stopping those doing the wrong thing instead?

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      Yes let’s face it is a tax minimisation scheme as you are still working and should be paying your taxes.

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      I am paying my tax! All of it! The fact that it is not much is because I simply do not earn much! Get over it.

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      Over what? I will be paying tax until the day I die and then some. It won’t be a family fight over my estate but they will be all running for the hills to avoid paying my taxes.

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      We all pay tax every day, OG – every day in every way we pay tax….

      Let us not confuse those who have sufficient benefit from this ailing society to actually pay a little more with those who pay tax when they can least afford it.

      We all pay tax…every day in every way…. so any suggestion that some are paying their way and others are not is obnoxious….

      You now say your beneficiaries will not reap the same benefits as you do from your assets, but will shoulder the same tax burdens if they inherit the same assets and alleged income you enjoy …..

      OK…… thousands would believe you….

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      Those who stand to inherit from you must be pretty stupid if they can’t get the same result from the same assets….. all handed to them for free….

      Maybe your genes are defective….

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      NO it is just I taught them well and they are all independently wealthy. It won’t matter very much if they inherit my wealth or not.

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    You reckon a couple can live comfortably on $650,000???? Kidding?
    At 3% interest with bank deposits you get an income of $19,500. With dividends around 5% you get $32,500 + franking credits (a more risky investment) but are tied to busts when they happen.
    Not too sure about that one.

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      We live very well on the income generated by less than $400,000 so $650,000 would provide an even better retirement.

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      You’re not paying your taxes, OG….

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      These figures Mick are all based on people also drawing down their capital. All the Super calculations are based on a drawdown which is zero by the time you reach your life expectancy. I personally wouldn’t do this because you need some for future expenses if possible. If you are also preserving all the capital, then the income generated will be low.

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      I pay my taxes and simply reinvest any income from my other investments including my super. Just because you make money does not mean you have to spend it.

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      Drawing down capital is a mug’s game Sundays because when it’s gone you become a shag on a rock. Did you see the 2 cows stranded on the earthquake mesa after the NZ quake the other day? Very funny but that is your fate if you bite into capital.
      There is an old saying: the poor live off their capital and the rich live off the interest on capital. Tells a story.
      Either way I fail to see how anyone can live off $450,000 like Geezer claims unless they have no other assets and get the pension on top of that.

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      It is not hard to do as my average return is well in excess of 10% per year. Good years the income adds to the capital bad years I draw down on that added capital. I get no welfare at all. Not even a health card.

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      C’mon OG, give us the gen on how you do this. I’m sure we’re all eagerly awaiting to read it.

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      He can do it but apparently his heirs cannot…. amazing…. simply amazing….

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      Pass on some of your recommendations if you are genuine Geezer as I cannot seem to make those sort of returns in the current climate. Of course if you bought good dividend paying stocks in 2008/2009 you would be able to make the sort of returns you claim but anything in the past 1 months not able to do that.
      Please tell the community your secret as we are never too old to learn……

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      Mick the last week has had amazing results for me and so the past month has been great. The secret is knowledge, patience and experience. Nothing more.

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      Right, OG, so the UNDERPRIVILEGED who don’t have access to the knowledge and experience you benefited from should be denied the benefit of the savings they struggled to accrue and forced to suffer financial hardship. That’s your theory?

      Lots of folk CAN’T get more than 3% return on their investments – NOT because they are lazy (as judgemental a-holes want to pretend) but because they are sick, disabled, uneducated due to early deprivation, traumatised by early life events, etc. Those same folk are those, often, who will encounter high needs in later life for care, maintenance tasks they can no longer do themselves, medical and dental, etc. But they are being punished for struggling to put enough away to cover those needs, and denied the right to benefit from their saving, while folk with lesser needs who saved less are given more. And you think that’s all okay because YOU can get 10%+ return on YOUR investments? What a disgustingly selfish and self-serving attitude. No wonder this nation is a mess, with people like you voting!

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      Rainey there are just excuses and I could have used them all myself but no one looks after you better than yourself.

      By the way I don’t vote because it is rigged before any of us get to even vote.

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      There you go again with your arrogant, ill-informed judgments about things you know nothing about. Obviously you have no concept of genuine hardship. Like most privileged, you simply can’t get your head around the notion that not everyone is as privileged as you. Poverty is offensive, so it must be the fault of the poor. The stinking privileged just can’t live with the reality that it’s THEIR FAULT. All we can hope for is that someday you suffer real crisis that destroys your world and your capacity to rebuild it, and that you suffer badlly for a long, long time. It’s what you deserve for your callous and nasty attitude.

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    I’m comfortable enough, not overburdened with cash, but still…. got a car that tows trailers and such, and can almost afford the fuel bills with the constant running around for the ex (the one for whom I’m fool-time carer)…

    I check out cheap cruises and such, and cheap boats that I can fix etc….. grow a heap of stuff in the backyard in my self-made raised beds….. cost me around $40 each to build and fill and bigger than the ones you can buy……

    On the other hand,it would be nice, for one day, if the politicians we feed so handsomely for their retirement could STFU and just let us get on with retirement.

    Same applies to the ‘feminists’ and all the other lobby groups that have invaded the country…. in many cases by ‘stacking’ the branches of certain political parties, thus removing them from their dedicated role of service to the people as a whole, and not just to special interest groups.

    Need for a new party… run properly and with decent policies….

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      The only thing wrong with current government is that they pay way too much in welfare to those who don’t need it. The new asset test coming in January 2017 is a step in the right direction.

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      I agree Old Geezer that there is too much welfare paid to those who don’t need it. I also agree that a new asset test was needed. My only issue with it is that the cut off levels are too low and that home owners are somewhat disadvantaged given that they also have on-going expenses on their property that renters do not have (rates, water, upkeep etc) – rents are comparable to a mortgage at that stage and all other bills are subject to individual usage. So unless people are forced to sell/downsize the family home to release the capital (which actually I see no issue with) I don’t see why homeowners are treated differently.

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      Rent costs heaps more than what it costs to own a property. If you get welfare then you get lower rates, electricity, car rego, licence, pensioner discounts etc. The poor real estate investors get none of these plus pay a premium fro insurance and many other expenses. So real estate investors either make money or are complete fools.

      That’s why home owners are treated differently.

      It is about time the value of the house was added to the asset test so that everyone was on a level playing field.

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      Those reductions are not universal across Australia. They are State based and discretionary – and in some States they do not all exist. Further the SF retiree does not get them at all even when they are living just marginally above the pension.

      And those with an investment property have an asset they could sell, re-invest the money and probably make more income. Investment property is a growth asset over time and is generally bought as such and in many cases specifically to fund retirement.

      When all you have is a modest amount of super and your home there is really little difference between the non-discretionary expenses of those on an age pension and those in their own home (save for individual expenditure preferences) even when the mortgage is finished.

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      You’d be mug to invest in real estate just for growth. If it doesn’t stack up income wise then to me it’s not an investment but a gamble.

      If you have too many assets to get the OAP then you have ample to live on until you spend it down enough to qualify for the OAP. Those complaining are just plain greedy.

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      OG requires his family home to be added to his taxable incomes… same thing….

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      Good as I don’t own a family home so no income added there.

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      Ah – so you have only assets and no family home etc…. you must be cheating somehow then, which is why there is such a hue and cry throughout the land for GENUINE reform…

      Live in a trust house? A nursing home? Under a bridge with a solar charger for your laptop?

      You don’t have a home – but you have income bearing assets of $400k that gives you more than the pension….

      You are not paying your way….

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      Then it seems we must look at ALL ‘assets’ that produce income and rearrange their contributions to country and society (including Social Security), and let’s forget the family home then, eh?

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      Old Geezer you sound like someone that has quite a deal of property ? and also some good income from your savings??? but seem to be down right jealous of anyone that receives the Aged pension– well get over it, we worked long and hard and I for one never had any super — and also had to stop work for a few years to look after 3 family members at different times –including my dear Husband — and that I might ad would have saved the Government quite a deal of money.

      I do not drink / gamble or smoke and I own my own home and I also have to up keep it

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      Ha ha jealous on anyone on welfare. No I’m annoyed that welfare is paid to people who don’t need it. I’m just one of those taxpayers who work hard so that these people can bludge on the system.

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      it’s strange how OG will NEVER share his wonderful knowledge and skills to all of we interested contributors to this site.You’d think he would want to help us all out, wouldn’t you. Really makes one wonder about him.

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      I don’t wonder about him, Alexii. I’ve studied narcissistic personality disorder.

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      The secret is lots of research, lots of experience and lots of patience. Oh I forgot the biggie. Do the opposite of what the crowd is doing as they are always wrong.

      The only disorder I have is that I never give up.

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      I learnt many years ago that people are way too smart to take any notice of people like me and then they wonder how I did it.

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      A typical statement by someone suffering NPD. They always think they are superior.

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