15th Feb 2017

It’s time to bust the worst retirement myth of all

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It’s time to bust the worst retirement myth of all
Kaye Fallick

It’s time to bust the worst retirement myth of all.

Every day, another survey on retirement income appears. Most are created by those with a vested interest in getting their hands on your money. So, don’t fall for their so-called facts – particularly those on affordability.

We seem to be drowning in research, most of which is created by financial services organisations who have a vested interest in influencing your money decisions and persuading you to invest with them.

Sadly, many of these organisations will not actually help you increase your savings and subsequent retirement security as much as they claim. Often, they charge high fees, have been guilty of hiring rogue planners who commit white-collar crime and can rarely demonstrate the actual monetary value they say they deliver in the sphere of retirement income. So, when you read the next round of research claiming that a certain percentage of Australians are now retirement ready or are set to live a ‘comfortable’ life in retirement, make sure you challenge these statements rigorously.

Across the years, YourLifeChoices has surveyed its membership (currently 220,000) on various aspects of retirement and retirement affordability. As an independent publisher with no financial gain to be made, we ask and report without fear or favour. And by asking questions rather than assuming knowledge, we have learnt that the majority of Australians struggle to make their money last in retirement. While most wish they had saved more, many feel that the ability to fund themselves in retirement was denied to them by external factors over which they had no control. Such circumstances might include health, fragmented work history, lack of income due to caring for others, work in low-paid industries and other such factors associated with life-course disadvantage.

What is becoming increasingly apparent is that the single greatest advantage in retirement is not the level of your savings or superannuation but whether you fully own your family home, if you have a mortgage, or rent. And it is this fundamental aspect of home ownership which appears to be missing in action when it comes to the general perception and media reporting of retirement affordability.

So to take a case in point, the recently released CommBank Retire Ready Index states that 53 per cent of Australian households are expected to have enough for a comfortable retirement. But reading the fine print reveals that this survey, undertaken by Rice Warner, is based on the comfortable retirement standard as defined by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), which does not take into account whether the retiree is living in a fully-owned home, a home with a mortgage or is renting; nor does it consider debt repayments. The report does note this: “The data excludes the family home as this asset is not typically used for retirement income purposes”.

Of course, it is not – it is used to live in so the owner/retiree does not need to pay rent!

But more importantly, the home is now considered by most reliable economists as the fourth pillar of retirement income. Firstly, because the increasingly high rent costs will not need to be covered, but also because equity in the home can be released, the home might be downsized to improve cash flow and because it may ultimately contribute to what has become a user-pays aged care system.

So, owning a home is critical to your retirement affordability prospects and unless you have a cool million or two stashed away, will be the main difference between comfort and penury in covering expenses in the last two or three decades of your life. The myth that whether you own a home or rent is immaterial to your retirement readiness is simply false.

“No one will ever say you’ve got too much money in retirement, but a major factor in having enough is owning your own home – if you don't, then you really don't have security.”
~ The Barefoot Investor, Scott Pape, YourLifeChoices Retirement Update January 2017

So, when a financial institution tells you that the best thing you can do is to sock away more cash into your super, ask yourself the quintessential (Latin) question – Cui bono? – or who benefits? If your planner is part of a bank, ask about the bank’s charges for retail fund management versus those of other options. Ask them to show you a comparison. Still not sure? Seek an independent rating – for instance SuperRatings. Then ask whether your investment in this super fund will really return more than using the same money to reduce a mortgage so that you can enter retirement with less debt. And what about more money for household expenses? These are the really important questions you need to understand and ask if you are to make the most of the money you have – regardless of how much that is.

The law on financial advice in Australia is very clear. Only a licensed financial professional can advise you on how to manage your retirement income, and this advice must take into account your personal situation, your goals and it must be in your (the client’s) best interest.

What you read on this site and in newspapers, magazines, blogs or hear on radio or TV is commentary. It is extremely difficult to know how to get started when planning retirement or reviewing your financial situation in retirement. But a better understanding of the broad socio-economic trends is extremely useful as a backdrop to your own personal situation.

One such trend was revealed in 2015 by the Department of Treasury in the Intergenerational Report; a report released every five years. It noted that, by 2055, the proportion of Australians living in retirement on a full or part Age Pension will still be high – 67 per cent, compared to the 70 per cent in this situation today. The figure of 67 per cent is a projection, but from a reliable source.

To date, most retirees have entered retirement living in a home with no mortgage. This situation is changing rapidly, with those entering retirement today now carrying an average of $162,000 in debt. For the vast majority of retirees who are renting, the sums simply don’t and can’t add up. They cannot cover the rising expenses of energy, fuel, health insurance and rent.

For retirees with a mortgage, depending upon debt levels, it is also very challenging to try and maintain their pre-retirement standard of living – which is a hint why you are seeing so many traditional homes on the market, and new apartments and townhouses being snapped up by boomer downsizers.

So let’s retire the worst myth of retirement once and for all, the one that suggests retirement income has a ‘one-size fits all’ measurement. More than half the population is simply not ‘retire ready’ as the CommBank has reported – most of us are still struggling with how to cover the basics.

Related articles:
Seven common retirement mistakes
Retirement income mumbo jumbo
How much is enough for retirement?





COMMENTS

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Not a Bludger
16th Feb 2017
10:34am
Well said.
Hasbeen
16th Feb 2017
11:00am
Yes owning your own home is the most important super investment of all. But it goes further. You need all the maintenance done before retirement. It is no good trying to find $10,000 for repairs, $10,000 for painting, & an other $10,000 for utility replacements after retirement, no matter what form of pension you are living on.

Of course our local bureaucrats are getting very good at wasting our money, too. My rates are now $69 a week, just to live in my own home. Renters must also pay this rip off, via their rent.

Then the fixed costs. By the time I've paid the rates, insurances on home & contents, car insurance & registration, phone & power bills, I've had to find $282 a week, $1128 a month .

All this before any little luxuries like food, petrol or bus tickets, no wonder we watch the pennies. Still It's not that bad, I wouldn't be dead for quids, but I would like to keep a few less bureaucrats, & financial institutions in clover.
Wstaton
16th Feb 2017
11:23am
Well our Politicians have certainly put the cobblers on our youngsters being able to buy a house (if they can afford to) and have it fully paid up by the time they retire. What with the home ownership affordability going through the roof because of negative gearing, capital gains tax subsidies to investors.

I owe my own house and I certainly couldn't afford to live if I had to pay rent.
heyyybob
16th Feb 2017
11:25am
Spot on Hasbeen. I, too, wouldn't be dead for quids :) We just practice getting the best value for money in all aspects of our Survival Mode. Being retired and of (reasonably) sound minds we can take advantage of having the time to do our research thoroughly before undertaking anything, be it repairs, holidays etc. The Biggie for me, is to keep on being grateful for what I have, have had and with a little bit of luck will have in the future. Ignoring the Use By dates coming up on some bits and pieces I remember to be content with our life and be grateful. Luckily I have been able to minimise my Regrets to only three in number and pretty happy with that. Keep on enjoying it mate, it DOES beat the alternative doesn't it ?
john
16th Feb 2017
1:47pm
Wow Hasbeen your situation sounds very familiar to me, my weekly for rates as you said, is around budgeting 64 to 70 a week, when it comes to the little extras or even a visit interstate ( which isn't a little extra I know) where half your family live, sometimes gets put back or put off as has happened twice in planning this year.
I too wouldn't be dead for quids either what a great saying that is. All the best in health to all of you folk. Yes Old Geezer you too.
I find that the pricing of goods services etc is almost like a manipulated set up where by even utilities seem to revenue raise , for profit?? Like private health funds. This is really unfair , to everyone , what ever age. For private health funds there should be no limit if you have top cover, and house land car insurance they all have this excess thing, I think that should be illegal, I really do , it all contributes to harder living even in a small way when you must plan every year ahead , and prices for everything go up. It is of course profiteering or Pirateering perhaps? I think previous governments have cheated people with the fund that was set up, then transferred or stolen to go into consolidated revenue then lost to the people who it was for.
A criminal thing for both major parties to do, and they should be ashamed , I don't think shame is a word they understand. If that had have been preserved, a pension which good honest people worked for all their life would and should be available , it in my opinion is a right , not something you should have to beg for.
But Heyybob, great quote too mate, it beats the alternative!
dougie
16th Feb 2017
1:51pm
To each of the above,
You are all so right in what you say, who would want to be dead at a time when you should be the most content and happiest in your life. My only regret as we near our use by date is that either one of us will go and the other be left to a lonely life. Having said this those others who are left I believe will continue to look after the one left to follow on.
Still rock on whilst we can and we will enjoy life to the last breath and believe me we did not need finance advisers bludging off us and living well no matter what happened to our financial situation.
sunnyOz
16th Feb 2017
7:12pm
John - oh so very right... I absolutely cringe at the cost of rates, and for what? Rubbish removed once a week? Like you, mine are around $70 a week. As for insurance, I check mine every year - car, house, contents, health, caravan - and funny - the excess used to be always $300. Now most are $750 - one even quoted me $1000!! And if you want to lower the excess, the price increases quite a bit. Health insurance is an absolute rort - premiums going through the roof, yet rebates diving. Had to have a procedure recently - cost $485 - got back $121!! That's only 25%. It's not the health insurance premiums that worry me - it is the gap charges.
But do agree - owning your own home when you 'retire' is the best thing you can do.
The pom
16th Feb 2017
11:07am
When my wife and I were thinking we were nearing retirement we went to a retirement investment show, and I saw a so called expert advisor. We had a full discussion of what our assets were and what we wanted to do, and he took lots of notes. Sometime later I received a large folder with lots of boiler plate investment stuff, and a set of recommendations which looked nothing like our discussed plans, so I binned it and decided to do it myself. Many years later, deep into retirement we are comfortable with sufficient bluechip shares paying fully franked dividends for us to live in comfort.
Not Senile Yet!
16th Feb 2017
11:08am
Welcome to the New Oz...just an invisible star on the USA FLAG!
Wholesale adoption of Failed US Policies of Greed is good ....De-regulation clears the red tape!
What they really mean is...No checks and balance...free rides for the Ruthless and Corrupt...with no one checking on anyone! No wonder we are broke??? Duuuhh?
heyyybob
16th Feb 2017
11:17am
Absolutely !!
Jackie
16th Feb 2017
11:18am
I stayed well away from "financial advisers". I did it all myself. I boned up on superannuation in general, and then my own situation in particular. I made sure my home was freehold. For the last year I worked I salary sacrificed to the hilt. I took an overseas holiday before I retired. I put some cash in a sock for a rainy day (its still there). My car was updated. I figured if I couldnt manage, I could always get a boarder for a while. Im single with no other resources, but my planning has worked well for me. Financial advisers must hate people like me. But it can be done.
almost a grey hair
16th Feb 2017
11:33am
I did the same as you with salary sacrificing and now like you am in a good position, not a millionaire but I sleep easy. Some of the people I worked with don't even know where their super goes never mind putting extra in. Check out the book i,ve mentioned, really good read and reference material.
Rosret
16th Feb 2017
1:30pm
When a financial adviser told me a few years ago that his hourly rate was $300 I decided I could do a whole lot of research and personal study for that sort of money and did exactly the same as you Jackie.
With the market and government decisions changing so often even a financial adviser can't guarantee he or she is giving good information.
john
16th Feb 2017
1:54pm
I retired in the middle of the GFC, so I was on the back foot straight away, circumstance inside my family , saw things not work out as planned and I believe that the financial advisor we had not deliberately but by lack of whatever, led us down a losers path. We are on track again very slowly, but I think financial advisors need to be more strictly regulated not just for being decent/honest , but for having greater knowledge of what they tell you!
Old Geezer
16th Feb 2017
2:38pm
The day I meet a financial advisor that has done the hard yards themselves is the day I will take notice of what they have to say. I haven't met one yet and doubt I ever will because why would someone that successful be a financial advisor?

What I don't understand if a person buys a house then they get too look at what they are buying, pay al sorts of professionals to make sure it is what it is and not going cause them grief etc. However this same person will just hand over their life savings without checking anything. When asked they have no idea where their money is invested. All they have is a few pages that say you may get x amount each year. The shit hits the fan when x doesn't happen.
almost a grey hair
16th Feb 2017
11:27am
Great article I am 60 and retired with no links to centrelink at this stage and when i decided to finish work I undertook to find out as much information as possible. Noel Whittaker writes great books ,easy to read full of usefull information.But the best book i have read is called "Don't panic why you don't need $1,000,000 to retire well" by Nick Bruining from Perth. This
is a great investment for about$38 delivered to your door [google it} It is up to date and very informative. It never ceases to amaze me why some people are just plain scared to look after their own finances. You must realise that you are in control and not someone else who is lining their own pockets with your money
Farside
18th Feb 2017
11:45pm
I think the major point Nick Bruining brings to the table is that money required in retirement for discretionary funding declines over time. The ASFA retirement standard states income required for a modest lifestyle at 85 is $4,000 (single) to $5,000 (couple) a year less than for a retiree aged 70.
bartpcb
16th Feb 2017
11:28am
Bricks & Mortar. Bricks & Mortar!!
GoldenOldie
16th Feb 2017
11:58am
I made the mistake of taking 'expert' financial advice to put some excess money into a retail super fund. He actually told me 'not' to invest in 'bricks & mortar'! After a year or so of paying ridiculously high management fees, I transferred that money into my industry super fund - a belated but wiser move.
Not Senile Yet!
16th Feb 2017
11:29am
Dont worry..Our Government is copying failed policies...it's easier and quicker than coming up with their own!
So be cool...if you haven't a home...they will supply a tent for you...while the donate Billions to overseas aid!
when you retire....you are useless to them!!!
Why?....Well....ummmhhh.....let be frank eh!
Your past ur use by date and you no longer pay any significant tax...okay!
Your a burden...waste of space....too costly to provide health care....and basically your all a bunch of whiners!
Quicker we legislate voluntary uthanasia via a pill the better....the we won't have waste taxpayer's money paying pensions!
Another service delivered by your ever invisible and uaccountable free loading Party MP!
Our motto is...We do nothing and You get to pay forit!!!
Wstaton
16th Feb 2017
11:36am
Not quite. It should be "We Stuff Up and you get to pay for it."
Janran
16th Feb 2017
7:23pm
That's a bit harsh, Not Senile Yet!

Retirees are definitely not useless to Govts:
- They care for their ill or frail partners, and much more cheaply and better than a Govt institution could do.
- They are irreplaceable child-carers to their grandchildren, again, much cheaper and better than most institutions. This frees up their children to do paid work.
- They DO pay taxes very regularly (10% GST on goods and services).
- They spend a lot of money, (hopefully in Australia), which stimulates the economy. Even if they are only on an OAP, they spend every cent of it. And more.
- A burden? A waste of space? Oh come on, who's whining now?

Don't underestimate the value and contribution to the economy of retirees.
AND THEY VOTE, hopefully sensibly. If we voted as a block we would be incredibly influential. But if you heed the political views of those on this site alone, getting us to vote in a block would be like herding cats.

There's no such thing as a use by date - not until you're dead and compost.
floss
16th Feb 2017
11:36am
Not Senile Yet.you have it in one good post. Thank God for Industry Super Funds set up by the various Unions. We were in Fund run by a Bank and in bad times they were making more income than us.I feel for young people as most will never enjoy home ownership as long as this Government stay in power.Lets start again and try to limit our population this is our biggest problem but it will never happen as there is too much money in population growth.
Ugly Truth
16th Feb 2017
12:23pm
In Australia a person without a proper year 12 and a 2 week course (This is changing to 3 months full time) can tell you what to do with your $ millions . An accountant with 4 years University is not allowed to .
This is due to lobbing by financial services groups who now want it to be illegal for a qualified Real Estate person to sell a property to a business, trust or private super fund.
A large number of practices (legally) done in Australian finance would mean imprisonment in other developed countries.
Rule number 1 don't put your money in other peoples dirty little claws. At all.
Jackie
16th Feb 2017
12:26pm
Great advice ! Too many people are nervous about learning to look after their own money. The sharks are circulating all the time.
Retired Knowall
17th Feb 2017
9:01am
Ugly Truth, you should start by telling the truth if in fact you know what that is. To become a Financial Adviser you need to have completed the Associate Diploma for that discipline. Then you must complete a set hours of review every year.
I put myself through most of the course through Deakin Uni instead of paying for advice.
To say it's a 2 week course is absolute BS.
Jackie
16th Feb 2017
12:25pm
Another thing to watch out for, as other commenters are posting, is that retail super funds are to be avoided if at all possible. Their fees are disgraceful. Industry funds are the way to go, and consistently outperform the retails. Yet this government is hell bent on meddling with the composition of boards of industry funds, to include a mandatory "independent" board members. This is of course aimed at unions who tend to run the funds to benefit their members! The Coalition ignores the facts, figures and advice, which is to let well alone.
john
16th Feb 2017
2:01pm
Why does nothing change politics wise. Are we too stupid like the person who does the same thing over and over with the same bad result over and over, meaning that person is either mentally ill or as stupid as a bullock, why don't we vote fools and cheats out of office, why don't we change our political ways to make sure there are no more long term career politicians. Some senators there for 30 years , how and what do they do , nothing? Some lower house long termers too???
The world is corrupt and the laws need to be upheld and many leaders everywhere need to be held accountable.
john
16th Feb 2017
2:01pm
Why does nothing change politics wise. Are we too stupid like the person who does the same thing over and over with the same bad result over and over, meaning that person is either mentally ill or as stupid as a bullock, why don't we vote fools and cheats out of office, why don't we change our political ways to make sure there are no more long term career politicians. Some senators there for 30 years , how and what do they do , nothing? Some lower house long termers too???
The world is corrupt and the laws need to be upheld and many leaders everywhere need to be held accountable.
john
16th Feb 2017
2:01pm
Why does nothing change politics wise. Are we too stupid like the person who does the same thing over and over with the same bad result over and over, meaning that person is either mentally ill or as stupid as a bullock, why don't we vote fools and cheats out of office, why don't we change our political ways to make sure there are no more long term career politicians. Some senators there for 30 years , how and what do they do , nothing? Some lower house long termers too???
The world is corrupt and the laws need to be upheld and many leaders everywhere need to be held accountable.
Retired Knowall
17th Feb 2017
9:03am
?
Old Man
16th Feb 2017
12:40pm
We went to a financial adviser about 5 years before we were thinking of retiring and found him very helpful. When we asked how much we needed to retire he countered with the question; "How long are you going to live?". He then gave us a budget form to complete and made another appointment for a week later. His next move was to make an appointment a year later to see how our budgetting held up. From this, he was able to suggest the next step which included ensuring that we could access the age pension as a part of our retirement.

I understand that a number of people has been burnt by financial advisers who are less than ethical but our contact with financial advisers has been a very worthwhile exercise. He took 12 months off to travel the world and when he returned took a job in another state but the financial group for whom he worked is still looking after us, mainly because we were set up correctly in the first place.
KSS
16th Feb 2017
12:45pm
".......which is a hint why you are seeing so many traditional homes on the market, and new apartments and townhouses being snapped up by boomer downsizers."

Well that comment flies in the face of other evidence that actually the boomers are not moving out of their large family homes but are investing in property. And being blamed by first home buyers for their own lack of home ownership. The anecdotal evidence of comments on this very issue on this very site would indicate that most don't want to downsize to release capital for a number of reasons from 'wanting to leave it to the kids', to 'the costs of doing so would eat the 'profit'"to 'Its mine and I'll do with it what I please!'
Charlie
16th Feb 2017
1:01pm
Another thing that can sink the retirement plan, is 10 years before age pension, aging disease strikes early and you are no longer able to work full time.

When I went thru this there was disability pension with big cuts to benefits for having over $70,000 in the bank, so savings were eroded. Now there is the national disability insurance scheme, so I don't know what protection that provides if any.

Do people need to still pay out more if they want to insure against loss of a permanent job I wonder?
Rosret
16th Feb 2017
1:25pm
Yes the article is quite right.
What is of concern now is the massive inflation in house prices. Home insurance and Rates will increase to match the exorbitant current house prices.
If that forces the elderly out of their homes they will be in the rental market too and if homes, insurance and rates are going up so to will the rental market.
I am not sure why the CPI doesn't include real estate but it is undeniably out of control.
Extrapolate those concerns and the new average income generation can't even afford a home.
What will happen to them?
Hasbeen
16th Feb 2017
1:28pm
It helps if you know the tricks. A neighbour was quoted $7500 to repair her car, after the timing belt let go. What is a timing belt she asked.

Another neighbour took her to the damaged car auction. He found her a 45000 kilometre Mazda insurance repairable write off. It was hail damaged, but otherwise immaculate with only about a dozen small dents in the roof, bonnet & font fender tops. No broken paint, & unaffected to drive, but expensive to make fully pretty again.

Just over $1000, & she got almost that much for her broken car. Pity everyone doesn't have such a neighbour.
Rosret
16th Feb 2017
1:36pm
Pity she didn't change the timing belt before it broke!
It is in the operational manual for required servicing. She must have had a Subaroo at that price.
Olddog
16th Feb 2017
1:38pm
Two years before I retired 24 years ago I went to a retirement seminar arranged by my union.
At the start we were given a sheet with 20 relevant questions. We then went through the questions with the answers given by his firm. At the end we were invited to take these questions to as many other retirement planners as we wished to compare their answers before we decided to do something definite.
I tried the big banks, small banks, insurance companies,individuals - 20 in all. The best I got was 14 satisfactory answers from one; the worst was 2 with most being unable to even try to give reasonable answers. The average was 8 answers. There is no need to guess who we went with and are still with.
Owning my own house, replacing all white goods and doing any necessary repairs before retiring, we are still living comfortably. We have even managed a few overseas trips.
john
16th Feb 2017
2:03pm
You've done great. I unfortunately don't think we'll ever leave these shores. But 'that's fine its a big country.
RoadRunnerOz
16th Feb 2017
1:51pm
Care to share those questions Olddog?
Old Geezer
16th Feb 2017
2:42pm
From what I know the 53% seems about right to me. The membership of Lifechoices doesn't properly represent all those retired and about to retire which is evident by the people who post on this forum.
Ugly Truth
16th Feb 2017
3:28pm
Some people have some super and a paid off house. Most do not as there was no super when they started work.
There is a disgusting worthless lot who have worked and paid tax for 45 years and for whatever reason don't have super or a home .These worthless rubbish must live on a pension which is 25% of the pension from 1975. If they chose to have more than one of the main three requirements as they are only limited by the government to one . Shelter ,food or medicine.
If these dirt bags try to earn any few pennies to live basic, their pension is drastically cut to ensure ongoing suffering.
Worthy people like baby breeding refugees who never work ,criminals families and dole bludgers get on average nearly twice as much as pensioners do..

So if you have a home valued at $1.5 mil and $400k in the bank no cuts to pension.

Try to pay a rental. Pay the worlds most expensive gas and electricity. Get medical treatment without waiting 2 years to have cancer surgery or 3 years to never see a spinal specialist or buy food on the pension. Earn a merger extra $350 per month so you might have 2 of the 3 main requirements and your pension is cut.
The government will willingly subsidise an additional house by some $7000 per annum for a working person and sell off all government housing to make pensioners homeless. Why if we have equal rights are pensioners not also given an extra $7000 per annum so they can have a roof over their heads .Lately most states have outlawed security of tenure for non home owners . Nice ,I call it treason.
almost a grey hair
16th Feb 2017
3:44pm
there was no super when they started work. What a profound statement , I started work on Monday 4th dec 1972 and on that day i was handed a form to join a superannuation fund, which i signed and my take home pay went from $33 a week to $30 a week. I bought a house as soon as I could get a loan and worked permanent night shift week in and week out for about 8 yrs till we got on top of it. When the Aust super Garantee came in I rolled it over into my industry fund and retired at 60. At the end of the day you can only live in one house at a time and why should the taxpayer pay your interest and expenses for you. Stop negative gearing ,increase capital gains tax and house prices will come down. Why don't they ? because most politicians have rental properties thats why
Old Man
16th Feb 2017
5:58pm
Ugly Truth, I must disagree. When you say that "most do not", do you include owning a home? Your first sentence combines super and a home but your next sentence mentions super only. If you were clearer in your generalisation it might make answering your post a little easier. Australia is roughly divided in home ownership; 1/3rd own their homes, 1/3rd are paying them off and 1/3rd are renting. This applies to all Australians but I'd like to see the percentages for retirees. In any event, if you are saying that "most do not" own or are buying their homes you are stretching the truth.
Incidentally, when I started work in 1960, I paid super.
Charlie
16th Feb 2017
5:57pm
Here is another one. I drew my super at 57 because the rules stated that, if I was not able to return to full time employment, I could draw my super any time after 55 instead of at 67 when people can apply for age pension.

The catch was I was not allowed the conditions of age pension, with regard to money in the bank, assets or casual work, without my benefits being slashed.
Rainey
16th Feb 2017
6:07pm
Well, owning a home might not be much advantage for much longer if the ACCI and other greedy lobby groups that can't stand retirees being comfortable have their way. It's already questionable whether some are better off owning, given the cruel assets test, rent assistance, and the hideous costs of rates, insurance, maintenance, etc.

The myth we really need to ''bust'' is the myth that people who work hard and save well shouldn't be allowed to prosper but should have to hand all their savings to people who didn't bother. And we need to convince the younger generation that they have a moral obligation to support their elders, since most of us didn't have super and despite all the whinging and whining by the young, most of us did it far tougher than today's overindulged young folk can even imagine.

As for the home being a benefit - yes, I agree, but I think it's disgraceful that if you've saved more than $375,000 (for a couple), it might cost you $480 a week to live in the home you spent 30+ years paying for.
Old Geezer
16th Feb 2017
7:11pm
Rainey if you need more than the basic OAP you should to have saved for it. If you have more than $375,000 then you have ample to spend so your OAP should be reduced. Over $800,000 in assets you should be living very well with the returns from the current markets. My $400,000 is earning a lot more than I can spend at present which is good as it builds a buffer for the leaner times.

Also I have no problem with the house being part of the asset test. If you don't own a house the this should not worry you.

No our younger generation does not have the moral obligation to support their elders at all. That is what the OAP is for. To support those who have no other means of support.

If my rental properties had cost me $480 a week I would never have owned them so that $480 a week is utter rubbish.
almost a grey hair
16th Feb 2017
7:47pm
old geezer you haven't understoodraineys comments at all. Its obvious that he or she has paid off their house and has saved more than $375,000 , which means that their pension is reduced by about $480 per fortnight. Also it doesnt matter if they have saved more than$375,000 it should be of benefit to them and not be penalised for being successful and saving. New Zealand and the rest of the OECD countries have got it right by paying the pension when you reach 65 regardless if you have had to live in emergency accomodation (housing commission) or if you have paid off a million dollar house. We are all born the same butt naked and toothless its what you do after that, that matters most. Somewhere along the line there must be incentive to strive for something.
Old Geezer
16th Feb 2017
8:17pm
Nope read it again Rainey is talking about $480 a week to live in her own house. Got some very expensive housekeeping and mowing at that rate.

There is an incentive to strive for something and that is not putting your hand out for someone to pay your living expenses. That is bludging to me.

I don't think I am being penalised for being successful at all. I pay my own way without any support from the taxpayer. I don't even have a health care card and also still pay tax. I simply don't need the OAP and there are many others that don't either but are now whinging bitterly because they have lost something they didn't need.
Rainey
17th Feb 2017
7:38am
You are WRONG AGAIN, OG.

Almost a grey hair is almost correct. The pension reduction for many who saved is $300 a week, and the other $180 a week is rates, insurance and maintenance costs.

Nowhere, OG, did I say anything about referring to MY situation. You need to learn to read and think. I referred to the broader community, and stated FACTS.

Almost a grey hair is correct. People who save SHOULD benefit from their savings, OG. The fact that you do doesn't make it right for others to be deprived because their circumstances or ability to invest profitably may not be equal to yours. Your arrogance and snobbery is disgusting. You claim compassion for the disadvantaged, but you want to grind anyone who has struggled to rise a little from disadvantage back into hardship if they can't achieve better than reasonably safe 8% returns in a 2% interest rate environment.

There SHOULD be incentive to strive, because that's what makes countries and economies healthy. We are destroying this nation by removing it.

And only an ABSOLUTE IDIOT would say ''No our younger generation does not have the moral obligation to support their elders at all. That is what the OAP is for.'' Where do you think money comes from to pay the OAP, fool? Working taxpayers - of course! The younger generation SHOULD pay taxes to support retirees, just as previous generations (including ours) did, and that support should recognise current interest rates and be structured to be FAIR and EQUITABLE and CREATE INCENTIVE, because the current STUPID system will destroy the economy by encouraging cheating, manipulation, and irresponsible living and punishing anyone who does what is necessary for a healthy economy.

And bashing homeowners is just part of the STUPIDITY that is destroying our economy and our society.

That said, I do support reform to stop people plunging their wealth into a house to claim a pension while those with modest homes and more savings are punished. It's not the objective that's wrong - it's the methods suggested to achieve it.

A universal aged pension with no means test is the most sensible (and almost certainly the most economically viable) option. Otherwise, abolish the assets test and test income only, but factor in deemed income on assets (INCLUDING the family home) over, say, $1 million per person, testing the higher of actual or deemed income.

Taxing savings is UNFAIR - and denial of pensions to savers is nothing more than TAX by another name.
Old Geezer
17th Feb 2017
10:05am
That's not how it reads to me Rainey.

People do benefit from their savings like I benefit from my investments. They keep me from putting my hand out for taxpayer money to fund my living expenses.

As I have said many times that 2% you get from so called safe investments is a liability not an investment as it loses money most years after tax and inflation. It will be interesting to see what happens when it cost you to put your money in the bank.

Why should our kids support us in our old age? I find that this is a very selfish act but most people when they get old are very selfish. From what I have seen it is the other way around these days.

If anyone has had their OAP reduced by the asset changes then they still have ample capital to live on until they draw down enough to get it back again. You can't spend that capital when you are six feet under.
Rainey
18th Feb 2017
7:06am
You are so arrogant and presumptuous, OG. How the hell do you know who has enough for what? It depends on how long they have to live, their state of health, the family circumstances, and a host of other variables. The point is that they save to be BETTER OFF - not to GIFT TO TAXPAYERS and other retirees who are better off than they are in many cases and who don't bother to strive.

No, those who had pensions cut were NOT well enough off to live on their capital, because if it isn't returning more than the $60,000+ allowed in income before the pension is cut, then it's unfair to force them to drain PERSONAL SAVINGS that were put aside for other purposes.

I saved to leave money to my grandchild, who needs it. Why should I have to GIFT it to taxpayers or pensioners who DON'T need it nearly as much? That's where the system is WRONG WRONG WRONG and so are you - arrogant, self-serving and trading on wild assumptions, with no empathy or respect for others.

Of course 2% in safe investments is a liability, which is precisely why those who can't do better - due to health challenges, disability, psychologicals issues, etc. - should be shown some compassion and respect instead of ROBBED AND DENIGRATED by nasty self-serving privileged mongrels.

Your attitude is COMMUNIST. Nobody should be allowed to strive and achieve reward. Everyone should have to gift the rewards of their effort to someone who probably has more, but manipulates to appear to have less or just spends irresponsibly. But the rich get to keep their ill-gotten gains and bleed the poor dry with their selfish demands for tax reductions.

Tax paid over a lifetime = the sum of tax paid minus benefit received. Denial of pension is TAXING. While we are cutting tax for the well-off, we should NOT be cutting pensions, because that's RAISING TAXES. Battlers who saved despite paying the full tax rate applicable on their income are MORALLY ENTITLED to a pension, and nothing greedy ill-informed bigoted pigs say can change that.
Rainey
18th Feb 2017
8:58am
BTW. I don't consider retirees at all selfish expecting the younger generation to support them in old age. My generation was PROUD to care for our aged. I considered it a privilege to care for my mother and grandmother in their later years after all they did for me, and my children feel the same way. They want to contribute generously to ensuring Australian seniors enjoy a comfortable retirement. Their turn will come - and fortunately their generation will be better positioned than we are because of compulsory superannuation, but there will still be plenty who have too little super and need support.

My children know that anything left when I die will pass to them or their children. They don't expect an inheritance and they won't be upset if there isn't anything left, because their primary concern is my well-being in old age, but in a fair society people are not denied the right to enjoy their savings in old age - and possibly to pass some on to their offspring - just because they were more diligent and responsible than some retirees. It's COMMUNIST DOCTRINE to suggest anyone who works and saves should be denied benefits extended to those who didn't.
Old Geezer
21st Feb 2017
8:43am
Of course most retirees are selfish Rainey especially those on the OAP. The older they get the more selfish they get. My own mother was a good example.
Rainey
21st Feb 2017
5:18pm
I'm sure your mother was selfish, OG, and she taught you well!

Most retirees are NOT selfish in my experience - ESPECIALLY those on the pension. But pensioners are struggling and it's hard to appear unselfish when you don't have enough for genuine needs.
MICK
16th Feb 2017
6:56pm
Well written Kaye. And yes not having to pay rent is the key as retirees can quite comfortably live on the pension is if they have no rent payments to make. I have argued that on this site for some time so glad to see you come on board.
Old Geezer
16th Feb 2017
7:01pm
Mick I don't own a home and it is not a problem at all.
Rae
18th Feb 2017
10:42am
My ex boss sold up on retirement and bought a small motel and the b%b next door in a frequently visited little country town. She is loving it. Employs a cook, cleaning staff, laundry and just does the paperwork, meet and greet and trouble shooting part.

I also am quite intrigued by the number of retirees who host motels etc as relief workers while the owners holiday or visit reps or whatever.

I'm surprised more retirees don't engage in this sort of thing.

Even a few units purchased over the working life and positively geared can pay dividends. Not much but consistent if in the right place.

The problem is it's the savers that do that. The government is not in the business of supporting those people wise enough to save and lucky enough not to suffer financial set backs.

The debtors pay the bank and struggle to pay off the mortgage because they only ever pay the minimum. Even on credit cards. Every new car, bi yearly, is bought on credit..Apparently over 60% of workers including self employed just pay the bills and spend all the rest of the money every pay period. Those people may have a house if lucky and nothing else except a whole heap of lifestyle toys the are classed as assets and valued that way by Centrelink. Because they worked hard and mentally value those things the price they put on them is usually way over value.

Rainy has many options to provide for his grandchild. A good accountant, advisor and solicitor should be able to sort it out. Yes it will cost a few thousand and he may have to make adjustments.

Waiting until you are dead or refusing to use risk sensibly to maximise income is not clever though. I say sort it out while you can.

I still save the same 10% of all income first and invest it. I gift when necessary and work towards goals of buying income producing assets.

Tax is way down the list of reasons I could make up so I could spend that money on fripperies.

Loss of income, like the $200 I was promised by the bastard government but denied at the moment of receiving it simply inspires me to replace that income as soon as possible and it I use taxpayer rebates to do so it is satisfying indeed.
Nan Norma
18th Feb 2017
10:55am
Of course OG, you always do everything better than everybody.
B J
16th Feb 2017
7:31pm
Almost a Grey Hair, I started work in 1961 & I didnt get any Super until 1989.
Not everyone got super early because it wasnt made compulsary back then. Unless you worked for the Govt that is.As a matter of fact I had not even heard of it until I started to get it.
almost a grey hair
16th Feb 2017
7:50pm
you, like everybody else could have saved from the day you started work, like me. Whether you call it super or whether you opened a savings account at the post office its still saving
Old Geezer
16th Feb 2017
8:18pm
I didn't save. I just put everything in the bank and spent what I needed and invested the rest.
almost a grey hair
16th Feb 2017
9:02pm
Old geezer, this may come as a massive surprise to you ,but when you put money in the bank and only spend what you need, ITS CALLED SAVING , GET IT ?
Old Geezer
16th Feb 2017
9:40pm
Nope I never save I invest and borrow to make more money. Big difference because I can borrow more that I invest myself.
Nan Norma
16th Feb 2017
9:53pm
OG. You are so contrary.
Rainey
17th Feb 2017
7:19am
Almost a grey hair, your statement is arrogant, ignorant, rude and displays lack of empathy. '"Everybody'' can't save. There are people whose unavoidable expenses exceed income and there is nothing they can do about it. Those with major health issues, disabilities, or special needs children for example.

I agree most of our generation could have saved despite not having super, but making offensive remarks based on assumption does you no credit. B J made a factual statement that does not in any way justify your response.

As for super... I had some super early in life but lost the lot through corrupt deals between employer, superfund and union (as did most working with me). After leaving that job, I had no super until it became compulsory, at which time the fees exceeded the employer contributions and being unable to contribute more, I ended up with a debt. Fortunately, the government eventually insisted the fund write the debt off, but all those employer contributions disappeared into the never-never.

These are the realities this stinking government and its selfish supporters don't take into account when ranting about what they think people SHOULD have done.
Old Geezer
17th Feb 2017
9:54am
Now Rainey Almost a Grey Hair is right. Anyone can save. It is just a matter of spending less than you earn. Teach kids this with their pocket money and no matter how little they earn they will save. So even those with major health issues, disabilities etc can save too. But no they would rather whinge about it instead and get all that nice sympathy money from others many of who are worse off than them.

Remember Rainey we all have had challengers in our lives and some have achieved great things no matter what they were. It is not the government fault but it's how a person faces those challengers that counts. Whinging itself will get you no where.

Rainey as I understand the super system you can't have a debt in your super. They cannot continue to take out fees when your balance gets to zero. Super funds will try to get you to put more in so that their fees can be paid but you can say NO. I have come across this many times with kids doing casual work.

The exemption is a SMSF which may borrow for up to 14 days without proper loan documentation. However if that loan is not paid back in 14 days penalties apply.
Rainey
19th Feb 2017
8:23am
OG you may be right about debt in super under today's laws. It was NOT that way when compulsory super was first introduced. Employees were forced into employer-selected funds that charged high fees and employee accounts were run so that debts for fees accrued that the employer contributions didn't cover.

As for anyone saving, you cannot save if your income is too low to cover the essentials of life. And many do save but lose their savings through the criminal or unconscionable acts of others, through major health challenges, or through family crisis. It's easy to say ''just spend less than you earn''. I did, for many years, despite earning very little, but when ''spending less than I earned'' meant depriving my sick child of essential medical care, I stopped spending less than I earned.

When my friend's husband ran off with all their savings plus the cash he borrowed against their home and she discovered he had run up a host of debts in joint names, she continued ''spending'' less than she earned, but the savings went to pay off the debts he'd left and she ended up with nothing.

When a disabled friend lost his job and couldn't find another that he could perform despite disability, and his home loan interest soared to 17%, he couldn't spend less than he earned because there was $0 left of his unemployment benefit after paying the home loan repayment. (He had borrowed at 7% and budgeted to cover increases to 10% - which was as high as most of us thought it would ever go!) His only choice was to sell at a loss, and then he faced crippling rent costs that left him unable to save from a meagre dole payment.

Your arrogance and lack of respect for others is disgusting, OG.

ANYONE CANNOT SAVE, and in a decent society, people show empathy for those who face crisis that cripples them financially. But you just keep sprouting your claimed ''superior knowledge'' like the vile narcissistic egotist you are. Never one word of acknowledgement that others may have experienced life differently to you and maybe YOU ARE NOT AS ALL WISE AS YOU THINK - BUT RATHER JUST VERY ARROGANT AND SELF-OPIONATED, AND VERY VERY NASTY.
Old Geezer
20th Feb 2017
11:09am
Rainey you crack me up with all your rubbish. Those poor people who lean on others rather than lifting a finger to help themselves. That's right like the people who have walking sticks just to get to the top of the queue or the front of the bus. They are the disgusting nasty ones not me.
Rainey
21st Feb 2017
5:27pm
Of course there are disgusting people who are not really disadvantaged at all, or who are entirely to blame for their own problems, OG, but acting as though everyone who is disadvantaged is in that category is cruel and nasty. The disgusting ones are a tiny minority. Anyone who understands statistics and economics knows you just have to budget for a percentage of leeches in order to avoid destroying society by making life impossible for the genuinely disadvantaged. Just as shopkeepers have to budget a percentage for shop lifting if they don't want to lose sales and drive wage costs up by locking everything away and forcing people to ask for what they want.

No, OG... it's YOU who is disgusting, because you condemn people without basis, and you make no effort to understand the challenges they face.
Nan Norma
16th Feb 2017
8:35pm
Great article. One of your best Kaye. My husband and I have owned our modest home for many years. It was the best thing we ever did. If you look after your home you will not have big maintaines expenses later. We also make use of home assist secure. Renting is not just about the money, but also about having no security and very little privacy.
We have always saved and have never had debt. Too many people depend on a credit card today.
B J
16th Feb 2017
9:40pm
AaGH I didnt say I didnt save, just said I had not heard of or was not paid Super until 1989.
Leebee
16th Feb 2017
9:49pm
Maybe 'almost a grey' has failing eyesight as well Bj, you may have to write in capitols the way he/she does.????????
Briar
16th Feb 2017
10:17pm
I agree with so many comments on this post/thread. Through no fault of my own I ended up a single parent with children of 4 and 7, as the ex decided he batted for the other team and walked out on us and left us high and dry when I was 42, with no financial, physical or mental support. With what I received out of the property settlement I bought a house in a decent enough area with no mortgage... certainly not the sort of house or area we were used to, but needs must! From being a home based Mum for 8 years, I had to then find a job that supported us, and educate myself further so I could forge a career. I also moved from UK back to Oz after the divorce, so that brought it's own complications. 26 years down the track I am now in the same home I bought outright (terrible house in a very nice street.... done so much to it myself over the years and love it now). I have progressed from working part-time in a lowly job so I could be there for my children both ends of the school day and during their social and sports commitments, studied at uni part-time for years to gain a qualification and finally scored a position that was commensurate with my abilities and qualifications when I was in my mid 50's. I am now almost 70 and retired, but everytime I had a promotion whilst I worked, I still lived on my very basic tight budget so I could contribute to my Super via salary sacrifice. During the last 15 years of my working life I consulted a few financial advisers who gave free advice, I went to many seminars given by National Seniors and Centrelink, and I listened to all my colleagues and friends who were retiring in a similar time span to me and the advice they had been given by their paid financial advisers. All of this confirmed with me that I was doing everything right and I still believe that. I receive a part UK pension, a part Centrelink Pension, and a top up Allocated Pension from my Super. All this means that I can live on a small income that keeps me in my home, but it doesn't allow for me to go travelling or go to the theatre or to shows or out to dinner every night. I just live within my means and am grateful that I can do so.... almost.... Like so many others, I planned for what I thought would be how things were, but now it seems that with rising utility costs, rates, food prices, I am losing my comfortable place that I saved and planned for over so many years. Perhaps government needs to look more closely at what they are trying to achieve overall with denying pensioners what they are entitled to and what they now get. We all worked so hard to be in a good place financially at retirement... we don't need to be shot down in flames now.
Rae
18th Feb 2017
11:07am
Great comment Briar. It is the unfairness that sometimes grates isn't it. Injustice would be worse though. Those who are genuinely without the means of support need to be cared for by a humane and civilised society.
Marius
16th Feb 2017
10:22pm
Thank you Kate, a good article. You state " It is extremely difficult to know how to get started when planning your retirement or reviewing your financial situation in retirement." However, earlier in your article you refer to Scott Pape, I found his new book "The Barefoot Investor... The Only Money Guide You'll Ever Need" Wiley Press, to be a very good place to start. Everyone I have lent this book to has gone out and bought their own copy. The book provides down to earth, easily understood strategies to extinguish your debt/mortgage and provide for your retirement.
'Almost a grey hair' refers to a book by Nick Bruining 'Don't Panic, why you do not need $1million to retire well'.
Scott Pape's book has a chapter "The Donald Bradman Retirement Strategy - Why you don't need $1 million to retire." If you are passing a book shop, drop in and read this 12 page chapter. You would have nothing to loose and something to gain.
Rainey
17th Feb 2017
7:40am
Problem with that strategy is that it relies on a fair pension system, which we don't have. It works for those who either didn't save much or can cheat or manipulate. There are people caught in the middle now, under the wrongful new assets test, who DO need $1 million to retire in comfort, or else have to forfeit everything they worked a lifetime for, while others, who didn't strive as hard or who cheat and manipulate, get handouts. A very WRONG and DESTRUCTIVE system!
Old Geezer
17th Feb 2017
11:07am
Rainey it wold not matter what pension system we had people would still find ways to manipulate it.

So why not stop whinging about it and work with it instead.
Rainey
19th Feb 2017
8:25am
Yep. Become a cheat and manipulator. Honest folk get screwed.
Rainey
19th Feb 2017
8:26am
Some of us have the integrity to lobby for sensible reform, OG, instead of just being vile, self-serving, egomaniacal, and nasty and bullying anyone who suggests there is a problem with the system that might be fixed with a bit of brain-power.
Old Geezer
21st Feb 2017
8:44am
Sensible reform is not making the rich pay more as we all ready pay our fair share.
Rainey
21st Feb 2017
5:21pm
No, OG, you DO NOT. That's the problem in this nation. The rich continue to lie to themselves, instead of recognizing that when the budget is in deficit and there isn't enough money to fund needed social services, it's PROOF THAT THE RICH ARE PAYING TOO LITTLE.

The rich have been paying less and less and less over decades, and it's caught up with the nation. We need to return to sensible taxation in which everyone pays their fair share. And that means the rich MUST PAY A LOT LOT MORE. Sorry, but it's a fact. Only sadlly the selfish rich would rather see society and the economy collapse than acknowledge it.
In Outer Orbit
17th Feb 2017
3:38am
Try not to worry. Be happy. There are no pockets in a shroud....
Fair Dinkum
18th Feb 2017
8:04pm
We save a lot of money buying multiple items when on special. we go to Costco for our fuel take Jerry cans aprox 250 liters cans and vehicle 3 trips and we have the costo membership fee. While there we also check out there prices but be careful one can usually get items cheaper from Aldie/Coles/ woollies when on specials. Costo fruit and veges usually more expensive there meat quite good and competitively priced there cakes and muffins excellent value party supplies (eats ) good value. there cafe excellent value but very limited great pizza's. so doing this makes our retirement affordable and we can afford to go on the occasional caravan holiday.
geordie
20th Feb 2017
2:39pm
Lets all be hones. There would not be a pension problem or a savings problem or a super problem if Government wasn't trying to pay Peter and Paul, all out of the same bowl of cash. Stop welfare fraud and the problems would disapear. Too many people on a disability pension when their only disability is laziness. Thre are many able people who claim newstart alltheir working lives, looking forward to a time when they get a raise when they go on the age pension. The welfare system is out of control.Far too many bludgers.
Old Geezer
20th Feb 2017
3:18pm
I agree we are now a country full of people that think welfare is a job.
Jackie
20th Feb 2017
3:51pm
How can people be on Newstart "all their working lives". And if you do know so many on disability pensions who are just "lazy" (a):how do you know for sure or are you just guessing, and (b) why dont you report them to be investigated?
Old Geezer
20th Feb 2017
4:37pm
Jackie unfortunately people with bad backs are very hard to work out whether they are genuine or not. Many on Newstart just go through the motions so that they stay on it. One business owner I know says he signs over 200 forms a week for people looking for jobs.
Raphael
20th Feb 2017
8:27pm
Old Geezer
At $10 a pop theres an easy $2,000 a week tax free
Old Geezer
21st Feb 2017
8:45am
Yes it keeps some businesses afloat.
Rainey
21st Feb 2017
5:11pm
It's more complicated than you think, Geordie. First, there's the problem that there just aren't nearly enough jobs to go around. Then there's the issue of matching capacity to opportunity.

I constantly read that people should just have to take ANY job and not wait for the one they want. There's some merit in that, but it reflects a lack of understanding and empathy. Some jobs just ARE NOT suitable for some people. To force people into totally unsuitable jobs, particularly where doing so positions them with no hope of improvement (because it's nearly impossible to job-search while working at an exhausting, frustrating, soul-destroying job just to pay for essentials) is not just cruel, it's socially destructive. It leads to crime, mental illness, family breakdown, etc. - all of which impose far more heavily on the taxpayer than unemployment.

As for disability, OG is right (for once!). Bad backs are hard to diagnose reliably. So are mental illnesses and disabilities - many of which are VERY genuine and totally crippling. There are all sorts of ailments that aren't accurately diagnosed but that genuinely restrict capacity to work.

I'm very lucky to have a flexible hours job working from home, but no way could I work at a regular full time job, and I'm relatively healthy. But I have too many bad days when I just can't work and sick leave provisions don't provide for people who face that problem. I know men who can garden and do handyman jobs around the house that appear strenuous, but on a bad day (and they have hundreds per year!) they honestly can't get out of bed. I know one who rolls out of bed onto the floor and takes an hour to pull himself up using the bed frame for support. Once up, he actually can do quite a lot, but often he just can't get up. Sitting is agony. He has days when he honestly can't move. Yet neighbours have accused him of ''faking'' because on a good day he can garden and even mow the lawn on occasions.

If you have never been unemployed and genuinely physically or mentally challenged such that finding acceptable work is nearly impossible, you simply cannot have any concept of how psychologically devastating it is and how the losss of hope destroys your capacity to try or to trust the system. It destroys self-respect. After a lot of refusals, you start to feel that you must be stupid, useless, undeserving of a break of any kind. Put simply, you give up. Forcing people who have reached this stage into soul-destroying jobs for which they are completely unsuited, or denying them basic sustenance, results in tragedy.

Given that there are not enough jobs to go around, maybe we just need to understand that work isn't an option for some and there's a cost to maintain a functional society in which some are able to prosper? Or maybe we need to work more on intelligent matching of opportunity and worker, and on offering training and counselling. Maybe we need to take a different approach to claims of disability.

I honestly don't know what the answer is, but I do know it's not simple. I know that many you might call ''bludgers'' are anything but. They would give their eye-teeth for a chance to work, but they NEED fair recognition of their challenges and limitations. They need help, not criticism or cruelty.

It bothers me that there are people in society who take unfair advantage of taxpayers, but there are more of them working and earning (but not paying their share of tax) than there are doing nothing. And unfortunately, we don't have a reliable way of detecting who is really doing what. The smart in this society cheat and manipulate in perfectly legal - though totally immoral - ways.

It's way too easy to condemn the disadvantaged for their perceived failures, but it's society that's failing. If you look at the root causes of disadvantage, you have to lay the blame on the '''holier than though'' chest-beating privileged, not on the victims of social failure.
Old Geezer
21st Feb 2017
2:14pm
Looks like super funds are now returning 10%pa.

https://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/finance/superannuation/the-2017-early-super-return-report?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=volume%2017%20issue%2040%20daily%20enews%20tuesday%2021%20february&utm_content=volume%2017%20issue%2040%20daily%20enews%20tuesday%2021%20february+version+a+cid_294d2dd513de8f439a482961d591f21c&utm_source=campaign%20monitor&utm_term=surprised%20at%20how%20well


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