Are retirees being frugal or struggling to survive?

What’s the real story behind the spending habits of older Australians?

Are retirees being frugal or struggling to survive?

Two respected research institutes have found that the majority of Australian retirees are spending well below their income, including those on Age Pensions. YourLifeChoices asks the question whether, in looking at the average expenditure, these findings take into account the two ends of the scale – the affluents versus the cash-strapped?

These surprising results come from research done by the Milliman Retirement Expectations and Spending Profiles (ESP) and a report on the Superannuation Guarantee Contribution (SGC) by the Grattan Institute, Not so super.

The Milliman Retirement ESP notes that the peak spending period for retires is between 65 and 69, followed by a steady decline until they reach 85 and over, when there is a dramatic drop in spending. These findings have lead Milliman to warn that retirees may be saving funds for later years that they simply don’t need. The commonly accepted target of 70 per cent of pre-retirement income, Milliman suggests, may be too high a target. And may encourage retirees to be unnecessarily frugal.

These findings are aligned with suggestions in the Not so super report that retirees are becoming ‘over-funded’ for retirement. Specifically, the Grattan Institute argues that the current goal to increase SGC from its current rate of 9.5 per cent of wages to 12 per cent will do little to boost retirement incomes of low-paid workers and will cost the Federal Budget far too much.

The Grattan Institute report states that:

“Current levels of compulsory super contributions, along with non-super savings (such as shares, bank deposits and interests in businesses or investment properties) and the age pension, are likely to provide a reasonable retirement for most Australians.”

It continues:  

“Many low-income Australians will get a rise in pay when they retire, because the age pension and the income they get from compulsory retirement savings will be higher than the wage they received during their working life.”

At the Retirement incomes – do we have a problem? policy pitch at the Victorian State Library recently, Grattan Institute CEO John Daley noted that many retirees are so frugal they spend below the Age Pension income level in retirement, leaving their money as an inheritance.

The findings are at odds with the experience of many YourLifeChoices members as revealed in our recent financial literacy survey and in comments on our many articles on this topic. Survey responses tell us that 81 per cent of YourLifeChoices members are concerned their savings will not last as long as they will. And 56 per cent tell us that they run out of money in the days leading up to pension payments.

To quote member, Rainey: “Nobody can be expected to live within their means when their income is virtually stagnant and the prices of essentials are skyrocketing. Look at the price of electricity. I guess ‘live within your means’ means turn the lights off and freeze to death in cold weather?”

Or Rosret, who says:

“I have no idea how anyone manages on a pension. It’s fine until you need more than just food and clothing, i.e. the roof gets a leak or the oven breaks down etc. They you need to step into the real current world of tradesmen who seem to charge phenomenal wages for their time.”

In addition to the cry from the heart of real retirees who are best qualified to share what it is like to live on a restricted income, facts speak for themselves.

The most recent YourLifeChoices Retirement Affordability IndexÔ notes the situation for cash-strapped singles and couples – those pensioners who are renting:

Per fortnight

Single

Couple each

Couple together

Maximum basic rate

$826.20

$622.80

Maximum Pension Supplement

$67.30

$50.70

Energy Supplement

$14.10

$10.60

Total

$907.60

$684.10

$1368.20

Per week

$453.80

$684.10

Per annum

$23,598

 

$35,573

By retirement tribe:

 

 

 

Cash-strapped

$22,593

$35,954

Constrained

$23,644

$42,614

Affluent

$42,447

$74,254


It seems fair to conclude that single pensioners have only $5 left over, or slightly more if receiving the rental supplement. And couple pensioners may actually be out of pocket. Those living in their own homes are better off, but if household maintenance expenses or health costs are high, they, too, may have no spare change at the end of the week or year. 

It’s difficult to conclude from our calculations that retirees are under-spending. The difference between our conclusion and the reports by Milliman and the Grattan Institute may be that they are working on averages – where the expenditures of the well-off are averaged with those on the lowest incomes. In comparison, YourLifeChoices’ household expenditure in retirement is based on six different tribes and shows three very different retirement scenarios at play in Australia today.

What is your experience? Are you a frugal ‘under-spender’ as reported by Milliman or the Grattan Institute? Or are you spending most of your retirement income on day-to-day expenses? Tell us what it is really like.

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    COMMENTS

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    mogo51
    31st May 2018
    10:34am
    How can you be anything but frugal or indeed miserable when spending the Aged Pension in Australia. Do you honestly think that pensioners on the full Aged Pension have anything left at the end of the fortnight?? Bollocks to that!
    *Loloften*
    1st Jun 2018
    1:44pm
    Agree mogo....Age Pensioners are sadly being treated like Lepers were in the dark ages now.
    Dot
    31st May 2018
    10:47am
    Not frugal just being extremely careful with our money, but than again have always being since we got married 52 years ago. We were what they call displaced people after WW11 and without any assistance from the Government and bleeding hearts we have today we had to work, scrape and pay for everything.
    The Grattan Institute are always attacking the age. If they had their own way they'd round us all up dispose of us and take everything we owned.
    *Loloften*
    1st Jun 2018
    1:45pm
    Luv it Dot...exactly
    jaycee1
    4th Jun 2018
    11:49am
    I can remember when my first child was born Family Allowance was $2 a month.
    Nowadays some families get over $1000 and still say it is not enough to live on!!!
    What the blazes are they spending their money on??????
    margie
    31st May 2018
    10:51am
    Yes I'm frugal, not much chance to be anything but frugal. Hard to spend what you don't have. I grow my own vegetables and some fruit, drive only when necessary, make clothes last because the cost of home repairs on a 45 year old home is colossal. I do what I can but have to admit I'm not much of a handy person. If the cost of utilities, rates, food etc wasn't constantly outstripping the pension, we would all be moderately comfortable, and that's all any of us ask.
    *Loloften*
    1st Jun 2018
    1:48pm
    Hang in there margie, my home's 50yrs old....almost everything needs both expensive repair or replacement
    Chris B T
    31st May 2018
    11:13am
    The Grattan Institute comes up with these Findings on retirees' and OAP spending habits. Especially OAP with Government "TAX Collection Revenue" being paid out to OAP.
    How independent is The Grattan Institute of the Government Purse.
    That is receiving no funding at all from Government and are totally self efficient.
    Other wise it is "Glasshouses".
    {;-(0)
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    12:19pm
    It is GLASSHOUSES, Chris. They are a bunch of overpaid self-serving leaches.
    Gra
    31st May 2018
    3:22pm
    The Grattan Institute is nothing more than a group of overpaid self gratifying dimwits who I sometimes wonder even know which way is up.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    5:20pm
    No they don't live in glasshouses but they are using statistics supplied by my guess Centrelink. Statistics are certainly telling a very different story than what people say in surveys and want others to know.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    5:51pm
    They are LYING to justify stinking policies designed to please the vile greedy and self-serving pigs who want to destroy Australian society and restore the noble/slave class system. They are paid by the government to fabricate statistics that are completely and utterly without basis, in order to provide ammunition for the government to persecute and abuse retirees even further.

    We MUST get rid of this rich man's government. It MUST GO.
    GeorgeM
    31st May 2018
    8:14pm
    Grattan Institute must be re-labeled as a Lobby Group for the Liberal Party, as their so-called "findings" are usually right-wing garbage clearly influenced by their defective methods and right-wing ideology.
    Liberal Party MUST GO immediately as it is clearly funding such frequent posts attacking retirees in particular Age Pensioners.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    11:01pm
    What’s your definition of right wing garbage ?
    Anything that is at odds with your labor views even if it’s factual and objective
    GeorgeM
    31st May 2018
    11:51pm
    EVERY STATEMENT FROM GRATTAN INSTITUTE IN THE ABOVE ARTICLE from "..suggestions in the Not so super report that retirees are becoming ‘over-funded’ for retirement. "...to
    "... that many retirees are so frugal they spend below the Age Pension income level in retirement, leaving their money as an inheritance." is a complete lie and made by people completely out of touch with reality.
    As the article has noted "The findings are at odds with the experience of many YourLifeChoices members as revealed in our recent financial literacy survey and in comments on our many articles on this topic."
    Only a right-wing bunch of idiots would think the statements in the article from Grattan Institute are OK.

    You are also an idiot if you think I have anything to do with Labor - if you opened your eyes and read so many comments I have made against Labor.
    In case you can't comprehend it, it's called INDEPENDENT THINKING, and I will call garbage exactly that when I see it.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    11:57pm
    Ylc surveys are not scientific AND in case you don’t already know ...
    You will get the asnwers you seek when your sample is biased and the questions loaded
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    8:34am
    George, Raphael will say anything to try to make a weak, pathetic and heavily LNP/rich man biased argument somehow credible.

    He knows neither you nor I have any Labor bias, but he keeps spreading the lie anyway - along with many others.

    Yes, you get the answers you seek when the sample is biased and the questions loaded, which proves conclusively that the so-called ''respected research organizations' which are strongly LNP/rich man biased, cannot produce credible data. But even if it were true that retirees are being frugal, so what? This stinking rich man's government and their wealthy cronies have made the future so uncertain and frightening for the aged that they feel compelled to try to save a little if they can. Would it be better for 65 - 70 year olds to spend all they have and then have NOTHING to sustain them from 70 to 100? What an IDIOTIC proposition!
    Chris B T
    1st Jun 2018
    9:30am
    The Grattan Institute and other Government Funded Organisations should state where there Funding Comes From.
    These so called independent Studies are not so independent especially when they don't Put Up Disclosure Statments.
    The throwing of Stones While Living In Glasshouses more than Applies with the Gratton Institute.
    There would be more to Gain in the Study of Tax Avoidence of Large Companies, and how to Recover This Lost Revenue.
    The Companies Paying Taxes at the correct Rate there would not be this so Called Funding Shortfall/Affordability of OAP.
    *Loloften*
    1st Jun 2018
    1:55pm
    Disclosure is the key.....we've been ripped off for decades by almost all the multi-nationals, expect more to come & the LNP wants to give the bug*ers a tax decrease. W*TF
    Crowcrag
    31st May 2018
    11:21am
    There seem to be some generalisations and assumptions being made here. Who defines ‘frugal’? What are the needs of mature agers c.w. Younger folk? Why do organisations focussed on money and economy always believe that everyone has to be spending? Is it not worth valuing that people who have been around for years do NOT want/need to buy, buy, buy all the time might actually be onto something? Maybe the best things in life - or what is left of it - are free. Or unaffordable!
    Kaye Fallick
    31st May 2018
    11:25am
    Good points Crowcrag - there does seem to be an expectation that we are 'consumers' therefore must 'consume', yet highest contentment levels seem to be associated with doing more with less and resisting retail 'therapy'? worth exploring further? warmest
    Kaye
    Rosret
    31st May 2018
    11:44am
    Remember when you were provided with a phone by Telstra and that was the only phone you ever needed?
    Remember when you would buy a beautiful SLR camera and it would last a lifetime.
    Now they last a few years and its time for a must have new one. We can't all keep spending like this. The world's resources ARE finite.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:05pm
    If we all keep spending, the government deficit will skyrocket when suddenly none of us have reserves to meet the costs of a health crisis and those with aging homes can no longer live in them because they can't afford essential maintenance.

    The government should be encouraging those who can to save for a rainy day, and commending the frugal - not looking for excuses to cut incomes further and grind us all into abject poverty.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    1st Jun 2018
    8:26am
    That's the problem people are not spending their capital they saved for retirement. Instead they are leaving it virtually intact as an inheritance. Nothing wrong with that however it does tell the government and it's advisors that the OAP is more than adequate. If people want the OAP to rise they need to spend down the money they saved for retirement. It is as simple as that.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    1:09pm
    And if they spend down the money they saved for retirement, they then have NOTHING to cover the expenses they saved for. People don't know how long they will live. It would be grossly irresponsible to spend down in early years of retirement. And the government is grossly irresponsible to suggest policies that require them to. No wonder this country is in such a mess with IDIOTS proposing policies that are seriously detrimental both to individuals and to society as a whole.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    1:09pm
    And if they spend down the money they saved for retirement, they then have NOTHING to cover the expenses they saved for. People don't know how long they will live. It would be grossly irresponsible to spend down in early years of retirement. And the government is grossly irresponsible to suggest policies that require them to. No wonder this country is in such a mess with IDIOTS proposing policies that are seriously detrimental both to individuals and to society as a whole.
    Rae
    2nd Jun 2018
    10:42am
    Yes OGR and we no longer trust them to look after us and provide the services we'll need as they keep stuffing up over and over and we also know the huge influx of immigrants who have not paid for any of the infrastructure will fall back onto us as well.

    As a retiree I'm still saving and investing for the next few decades. To do anything less would be totally irresponsible.
    MICK
    31st May 2018
    11:22am
    Ok let's cut the crap.
    Here is the ONLY question which is even worth discussing to sink this mythe: how many Australian die with little more than a family home or less?
    I hear the account from tradies who sometimes do a small job for free because their customer barely has a stick of bread in the house and the house is falling down around them.
    I hold ZERO value for anything researchers from the right wing Grattan Institute have to say. On the track record of this set of puppets these 'researchers' are just mimicking the current rich man's government trying its best to nobble retirees who expect an easier life in retirement than the past 50 years of struggle. Wouldn't want to give those who have built this nation anything other than betrayal would we............
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    12:17pm
    Absolutely right, Mick. Sadly, you are on the money!
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    1:53pm
    And the Rightard bastard Federal mongrels are letting in more leaches by the bushel. We need to shut the door now!
    MICK
    31st May 2018
    2:09pm
    Went to a conference the other day Knows-a-lot. The presenter said that people importation was going to continue so if correct expect worse to come. National income is FIXED give and take. Take out trillions of dollars for infrastructure work and then divide by the population. The picture is obvious, even to the illiterate. God help us.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    3:03pm
    Typical of Mick and the labor mongrels - when given facts they simply ignore and spew more B/S
    MICK
    31st May 2018
    3:48pm
    Responded to a post. As I do with your government sponsored posts.
    Fault my anecdotal 'evidence'. Oh yes....your Grattan propaganda arm said.....about as reliable as the highly controlled release of inflation figures from this government.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    5:55pm
    I read that the government held a conference - with dinner - to discuss unemployment and Newstart. Of course the entry fee was five or six times the weekly Newstart payment, so nobody who could offer a balanced view from personal experience could attend - only rich, fat cat arseholes who declared welfare a ''poison'' and justified their attack on the underprivileged by claiming they were ''doing them a kindness by providing stronger incentives to work''. Naturally, not a word about the fact that THERE ISN'T ANY WORK TO BE HAD for vast numbers of them, and even when there is, the hours on offer are so minimal that they can't earn as much as Newstart anyway.

    Grattan propaganda is bought and paid for by a government that is frantically seeking any excuse to cut pensions further.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    11:05pm
    Unemployment is at 5% meaning full employment .
    Anyone who wants work can find it
    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your labor bias
    VeryCaringBigBear
    1st Jun 2018
    8:29am
    OGR nothing wrong with that talk feast. They are held regularly and nothing more that a catch up both like minded people. They usually have a topical theme so their ticket is tax deductible.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    8:30am
    Unemployment is NOT at 5% Raphael. That's a lie the government tells by claiming anyone employed for 1 hour or more is not 'unemployed', which we all know is ridiculous. The unemployment rate in Australia is well above 20%. But you KNOW that. Don't let facts get in the way of your LNP bias. (And don't let knowing that I don't support Labor, nor have I ever received government benefits, get in the way of you dishonest and insulting rants.)
    VeryCaringBigBear
    1st Jun 2018
    8:33am
    OGR a lot of factories etc in the big cities have overseas workers instead of Australian workers and won't employ Australians as they don't want to do these jobs as they are now too educated for such jobs. We are fast becoming a country of over educated people relying on welfare to live.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    1:37pm
    And if needs-based welfare was abolished in favour of a universal income, that would cease forever. People would be happy to work, even at low wages if that was the best they could find. But the greedy can't have that. They would rather drive growing poverty.

    I worked for years for less than the dole. I would NOT do it now. It was foolish. I wrecked my health, and it gained me NOTHING. I don't blame anyone for rejecting jobs that pay less than the dole and are mind-numbing and soul destroying.
    Annick
    31st May 2018
    11:22am
    We are frugal with our pension, we rent (which has just increased), power, gas and water costs are always going up. Food prices are rising especially meat prices which we can't afford to eat a lot of. I work one day a week to pay for extras like clothing and presents for grandchildren. Budgeting is a must so after putting aside money for rent, utilities, insurance, registration etc. we have $350 for food and petrol. A few months ago we received a pension increase which didn't even cover the cost of a loaf of bread and a litre of milk.
    Oldchick
    31st May 2018
    11:29am
    I’m definitely on the frugal end of the scale. I’m single, do own my home but I also have Private Health Insurance because I have so many health issues. With my home comes upkeep, maintenance, lawn mowing, etc. I still have utilities, the same council rates as a couple, food etc. I also have a budget worked out as a spreadsheet of Income per fortnight, I.e. pension, and projected outgoings from that pension, not including food. They’re marked off and re-calculated as bills are paid - automatically by Direct Debit. Two months ago my pension was $907, my expenses before food $1697. It’s not an easy juggle.
    Rosret
    31st May 2018
    11:40am
    Its a wise person who is frugal in retirement because there is no new money coming in and interest rates are very low.
    It only takes a trip to the dentist, a white good item to fall apart and the person with no savings is in dire straits. I would rather live comfortably without the stress of hoping nothing will go wrong than living on the edge and having to mortgage my home or sell off the family treasures.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    12:15pm
    Correct, Rosret. I don't see what's wrong with spending less than your income, frankly. I would have thought it would be considered sensible policy!
    Sundays
    31st May 2018
    12:49pm
    I agree. The assertion that people are saving funds for later years that they simply may no need is incorrect. How would they know? It could be 30 years. Anything can happen. If you’re on the full OAP, there is little to save. If you are more comfortable, you still need ‘rainy day’ money. I don’t believe in going without just to leave an inheritance, but it’s silly to spend everything.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    2:11pm
    Just a word of advice Rosret, to those who find themselves in the situation of having a whitegood fall apart, and who are on limited income/s. There is a scheme, usually administered by an organization such as the Neighbourhood House group, called the NILS scheme (No Interest Loans Scheme), which caters for just such circumstances. Eligible recipients can borrow up to $1000 for replacement of an essential, such as a refrigerator or washing machine. For those of you who love to bash the banks, such as Mick, and OGR, I hate to tell you that I know at least the NAB, and I think ANZ, are prime supporters of this system - how dare they!!!
    Rosret
    31st May 2018
    2:33pm
    Thanks for that Big Al - nice to know.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:22pm
    Get your facts right, Big Al. I DO NOT BASH THE BANKS. I have not said one word against them, except to quote NAB's response to a complaint I made about one of their financial advisers.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    8:07am
    OGR I'm astounded you could find an NAB bank to see an adviser. I figure they must be in big trouble by the number of bank closures around here recently.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    1st Jun 2018
    8:36am
    Rae if you are a preferred banking customer which money many banks today give your a number that gets you straight to a personal banker. OGR must have one of these numbers with the NAB.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    8:38am
    Still a small branch office about 20 minutes drive from where I live, and another 40 minutes away, but the one in question was a head office in the city, and it was over 10 years ago now.
    margie
    1st Jun 2018
    11:01am
    You can also borrow from Centrelink without paying any interest for an emergency, up to $1200 and they will take the repayments from your pension. Very handy when in dire straits, they will discuss what you can afford to pay back, I think it needs to be paid within 6months.

    31st May 2018
    12:14pm
    I think the Grattan Institute is basically anti-seniors and has the interests of the younger Australians at heart, I think they will do anything to try to reduce the income and assets of senior Australians. And I don't think those who compile their reports or write their opinion pieces live in the real world. They are all high income earners. They have no idea what life is like for battlers. Like politicians, they are focused on finding excuses to reduce pension expenditure - regardless of the cost and impact.

    I know nothing about Milliman, but I suspect the story there may be the same. There is a concerted attack on seniors happening at present. The 'Baby Boomers destroyed the world' claim and the 'Millenials will be worse off' and 'Baby Boomers had it too good' myths have gained astonishing popularity. Respect and care for older Australians appears to be a thing of the past in today's self-serving society.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    1:59pm
    I agree. Soon it'll be open intergenerational warfare. I despair of the younger generations: know-nothings, with their heads stuck in their mobile phones, many of whom wouldn't work in an iron lung..
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    4:22pm
    The Grattan Institute is spot on with their findings and I think the surveys taken by Your Life Choices are to a captive ordinance with an agenda of getting more in the pension pay cheque so answer the survey accordingly. Hence the difference between the two.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:24pm
    The difference is because YLC researches by surveying REAL PEOPLE LIVING IN THE REAL WORLD, whereas Grattan pays a king's ransom (funded by taxpayers) to overpaid privileged bigots to tell lies that serve the LNP's evil purpose.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    1st Jun 2018
    8:42am
    Grattan Institute just uses statistics and facts to comes to their conclusions whereas surveys in comparison are very dependant upon the questions asked and what people want to achieve by doing such surveys. If you want the OAP to rise you will give very different answers to if you are not on the OAP. Also surveys are very limiting in their multiple choice answers. From memory YLC survey left me wondering how to answer the questions as none of their choices fitted my situation even though I am on the OAP.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    6:09pm
    The questions weren't designed to fit the situation of wealthy cheats who rip off the taxpayer by manipulating to claim a pension they don't need, Big Bear. The questions assumed people are honest and genuine. Unfortunately, it's only the genuinely hard up who fit that description.
    Slab46
    31st May 2018
    12:20pm
    I believe it is the old 20/80. As only 20% of the elderly are in the "struggling" stage of life - 20%, they are forgotten by these surveys, as the 80% rules!!!! The only true way is to survey the same amount of people from each of the 20/80% areas. This would then give a more believable result. My hubby and I are in the 20% area, due to the loss we had in the GFC. So we are now renting. Now our car broke down some time ago, and cost us $6000 to get back on the road. We were on the other side of Australia, towing a van, so had no choice but to get it back on the road. So where does one find this kind of money when living on the aged pension only. Then again recently, it was another $900 needed to keep us on the road. Oh you say, travelling this beautiful country in a van, life can not be that bad.... Well my hubbies super bought us a $25K van and a SH car to tow same, when we lost our home and business in the GFC. That was it. We thought there had to be a "rainbow" with all the doom and gloom we had gone though. Sooooo off we went, doing house sitting and voluntary work to get us by. It was a great life but there was always something needed... tires for car & van, registrations, insurances, fuel to move, accommodation costs etc, etc. the list goes on. Will not bore you with all the struggles we had along the way.... and would not have missed one day of those many years. Still we are now settled, renting, and doing our best to survive on the aged pension, and pay off the debt we now had, trying each fortnight to pay a little off. However the interest keeps adding on and on. So in answer to the question of being frugal or struggling to survive???? We have had a very full and eventful life and will be eternally great full that we have the aged pension available to us still, after paying all our life (taxes) to have it available in our retirement. BUT is it enough... NO it is not. From when we started paying our taxes back at aged 15 till now, aged 72, has the amount of aged pension kept up with inflation over that time, HELL NO. No we are not being frugal... we are only spending what we have available to spend in order to have a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, and the ability to pay our bills. There is not too much left, so there is no consideration about being FRUGAL.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    12:58pm
    I guess the experts and government want us all to spend more to stimulate the economy? So what happens when the savings are all gone and there's a major health issue, or you need home help, or a car or white goods fail, or the house needs major repair?

    And if we are all spending all we have, who pays for our aged care? Won't there be more strain on the public health system? Really, I think it rather stupid to suggest there is something wrong with seniors being sensible with their money and saving a little. As for leaving any behind, why not? Lots of us worked hard with the specific desire to leave something behind to make our children's and grandchildren's lives better. And YES, the OAP SHOULD allow us to do that. We worked for what we have, and most of us paid tax to fund pensions - as well as contributing to society in all sorts of other ways. The well-off are getting bucket loads of handouts in the form of superannuation tax concessions. It's time Australia's seniors got a bigger share of the pie, instead of being called ''leaners'' and ''a burden'' and abused and deprived.

    Time for a Universal Pension at minimum 37% of average wages, fully indexed. And if oldies are able to save, good for them! Doing so will benefit society.
    Rae
    31st May 2018
    4:14pm
    OGR with the level of debt Australians have and the paucity of any savings what will happen will be pretty tough on a lot of debtors.

    People "feel" that they deserve this thing and that experience and have spent the future on having it all now.

    Gratten researchers earn too much and seem to believe the nonsense of " averages".

    Averaging fails dismally when at the top of a neo-liberal period.
    Too few have so much that the data becomes meaningless.

    It looks like everything is peachy until the bankruptcies and administrations start snowballing.
    Rae
    31st May 2018
    4:15pm
    I do like the fairness aspect of a universal pension. One of the biggest problems now is the discrimination in just about everything going on.
    MICK
    31st May 2018
    5:36pm
    OGR - you are focussing in on what is being done to not only retirees but also the population in general.
    The best way for the top end to conquer the rest of the country is to put them into poverty. People in poverty have to grovel and be happy with subsistence crumbs and it matters not what these folk did to build the nation. Seeing this go to the next level in the US and this is what Turnbull and his cronies are trying to do here in Australia where average people have mostly had a fair go and the opportunity to get on. This is not necessarily going to be the case in the future.
    I have read a lot about what is forecast to happen in America and rich Americans have already been warned to arm themselves and find a bolthole to hide away.
    As I keep saying you simply cannot abuse 99% of any country and expect to get away with it forever. I suggest Americans have copped it on the chin for a long long time but the obscene wealth at the top, which the current government is trying to create here as well, will end in civil conflict and/or war. The French Revolution may have been a long long time ago but the lessons have been forgotten because the smug opulent scum who call themselves 'special' will land hard and who knows exactly how this will play out. Play out it will. Give it time as the wealthy and multinationals work on their slavery model for a while longer.

    31st May 2018
    12:35pm
    I wonder why the Grattan Institute didn'r bother to ask retirees about their spending habits rather than look at a set of dodgy figures and make grand assumptions without proof. Using the same methods, I can confidently state that the Grattan Institute is overstaffed and does useless studies that don't involve getting off their collective arses. No proof, no need to ask anyone who works at the Grattan Institute, just type what I think.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    1:01pm
    Check out the qualifications to contribute to Grattan Institute. You have to be extremely well-educated, with research qualifications, and therefore earning a high income. They don't ask mere peasants like us for information, and if it were offered, they would dismiss it as not relevant. The methods they use get them the results they seek! They have no interest in truth, much less evidence or proof.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    4:13pm
    The Grattan Institute is spot on on what they are saying about retirees and their spending habits. Many people die with more money that they retired with but whinge their whole life that they never have enough. Ask any pensioner and they will tell you how they struggle and in the next breath they tell you about the latest trip or cruise they have been on and all the things they did. A quick look at such trips tells me they aint cheap trips or cruises.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    4:22pm
    OG, again your generalisations are without any proof, just empty talk. How many people did you survey to prove that "Many people die with more money that they retired with"? Are you suggesting that all pensioners have been on a cruise? It's comments such as these that destroy any credibility that you may have once had.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    5:00pm
    Old Man, anecdotally I tend to agree with OG. I haven't measured how many retirees in receipt of the pension that I know, who take regular trips, but I have many acquaintances in that bracket, who have done so. If they are on a part pension, why not spend $10k - $12k annually on a 2 week slap up? Net result - your assets drop, and your pension goes up! So yes, it is happening; and I am sure that is an unintended consequence of the current rules - lucky for some!
    MICK
    31st May 2018
    5:43pm
    OG - good post and spot on. OG is a troll and we all know he is 'cash for comment' so sadly no credibility. Your observation is likely 100% correct.

    Big Al - not sure if you are in with OG or just unhappy because you have not managed to save anything in life. Whilst I understand where you are coming from YOU forget that some retirees spent a lifetime of self sacrifice and hard work whilst their peers were living like there was no tomorrow. Now that these people have retired they expect their go without having jealous people try to tear them down.
    I am not talking about retired CEOs who have manipulated the compensation wagon which the big end of town uses to defraud shareholders of large sums of money. I am talking about average citizens who have a few bob and want to have a bit of fun before they head to the big retirement village in the sky.......
    Please try to be fair and go after the real barracudas rather than the herrings.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:18pm
    Well, given the POSITIVELY IDIOTIC AND TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE pension system we have, it's no wonder SOME pensioners take expensive trips so that their pension increases. It boggles the mind that anyone could be dumb enough to conceive a system that makes you better off for saving less, but that's what the overpaid morons in government have done.

    Of course noting that people spend on cruises proves conclusively that the ''research'' is a load of BS, and the LNP trolls who endorse it are paid to lie. Funny thing is, they can't even lie straight and consistently. They contradict themselves frequently.

    31st May 2018
    1:27pm
    The Grattan institute is talking a whole lot of BS as usual. It's only job is to stir up inter generational fights to further the Liberal party's attack on baby boomers.
    Sundays
    31st May 2018
    1:37pm
    I’ve read their report. More than once because I can’t believe they are saying home owning retirees are doing better than younger people due to strategies such as skipping meals, or not heating their home!
    Rosret
    31st May 2018
    4:07pm
    hehe - and if you don't shower, buy new clothes and stop socialising you can save even more. Best to get rid of the pets as well - another heart beat always costs more.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    5:06pm
    Agree pets are nothing but a costly nuisance.
    MICK
    31st May 2018
    5:46pm
    Probably written by a Liberal Party staffer or the Business Council. No credibility as is normally the case as the Grattan Institute is always coming out with pro government attempts to take money off working Australians. I really don't know why it rated a mention in this article as this is propaganda meant for those with limited intelligence.
    GeorgeM
    31st May 2018
    8:16pm
    Exactly, Marcus, and sponsored by the Liberal party.
    musicveg
    3rd Jun 2018
    5:28pm
    For some people their pets are their only companion and it has been proven that those with pets have less mental health and other health problems, you comment OG is son unkind.
    shirboy
    31st May 2018
    1:46pm
    As a widow I think a single pension is inadequate because I have the same upkeep expenses as a couple living in my own house. Being without a handyman husband who would mow lawns & help with chores etc. means added expense.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    3:08pm
    downsixe to a one bedroom apartment - no lawns, less maintenance and more money in your pocket
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    3:41pm
    You have my sympathy shirboy, we belong to a social club of retired people and the females outnumber the males. After one of our widow members was charged $80.00 to lop a 1" tree branch, we raised a group who do small jobs for those who need it within our group free of charge. Maybe there are some social groups in your area that you could join that may have a similar system. I think it's important for retired people to keep their familiar surroundings as long as possible.
    Kathleen
    31st May 2018
    3:49pm
    Raphael, you then have body corporate fees which can be huge. People’s homes are more than bricks and mortar as well.

    Further up you called people ‘mongrels!’ Too many on here are resorting to insults and offensive comments.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    4:28pm
    OM I understand the need for a few odd jobs for ladies who have no husbands. But I've seen this before , it's easy to end up at the beck and call of every female that is used to ordering their now dead husband around all day. I wish you the best, I don't mind helping but there is a limit.
    MICK
    31st May 2018
    5:47pm
    Raphael - you can't even write your own material. Which Liberal Party staffer wrote this lot for you?
    Jezemeg8
    31st May 2018
    2:44pm
    For me, my pension comes into my bank account shortly after midnight each fortnight, and within an hour is gone, leaving me with $20 to cover expenses for the remainder of the fortnight. No, I don't' spend on anything I don't need, I don''t pay for TV subscriptions and only have a basic mobile/internet plan, when the data limit is used up then I don't use it again until the next pension day. I don't go out for meals or coffee etc, there simply is not enough money.
    Rae
    31st May 2018
    4:51pm
    Are you using debt because it sounds like you are in a debt spiral.

    There are organisations that can advise and help you work your way out of the mess.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    5:06pm
    For single pensioners who rent times are tough. But for some pensioners they will never have enough money because they don't know how to manage money. The woman next door to me works part time and spends the money on hair dos and manicures. I run a electric shaver over my head , am retired , don't work and live better than her. She cleans on minimum wage , I sleep in. If you don't like my haircut , tell me ,see if I give a rats. Ha ha
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:10pm
    So she spends on hairdos and manicures. So what? If that gives her pleasure, who the hell are you to criticize? It's to her credit that she works, and to her credit that she attends to good grooming. Is she asking for charity because she's in debt. If not, then let her live as she chooses.

    Yes, we all know there are some who don't know how to manage money. But facts are facts. Australia should be ashamed of its miserable aged pension and its abuse of senior citizens. It's a disgrace. And the fact that some waste their money does NOT justify condoning such disgraceful treatment of people who have spend decades contributing to society in all kinds of ways.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:48pm
    Rainey - Marcus's neighbour is a typical example of one who spends their money, doesnt save and will have a handout for the full OAP.

    While the rest of us went without and instead of becoming a burden to the young taxpayers, we still pay tax in retirement

    Shorten want's to penalize us further by taking our franking credits -the man is a walking disaster. He will destroy the superannuation system and make every pensioners life a living hell
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:51pm
    Smart lady, Raphael. Your moronic and incompetent LNP have created a pension system that punishes savers and rewards spenders, so why wouldn't she enjoy her hairdos and manicures.

    I am strongly opposed to what Shorten wants to do, and I despise the man and his party. Sadly, we are between the devil and the deep blue sea. But while we have a government that punishes people for being responsible, of course there will be more opting to be a burden on taxpayers. And while we have idiots condoning dumb policy, we will have a government that HAS to increase taxes or destroy the nation by cutting essential services.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    7:10pm
    OGR this was put out by National Seniors Australia today regarding franking credits.

    https://nationalseniors.com.au/be-informed/news-articles/fair’s-fair-when-it-comes-franking-credits?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Connect+571%3A+31%2F05%2F18&utm_content=Story+2%3A+Fair%26rsquo%3Bs+fair+when+it+comes+to+franking+credits&utm_source=www.vision6.com.au
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    7:48pm
    Rainey I laugh at the woman next door. She has great nails but no food, she's an idiot.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    9:22pm
    Marcus, if great nails make her happy, good luck to her. She's not an idiot if she's content.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    8:41am
    OG, the strength of the opposition telling Shorten the true facts about franking credits and retiree income evidences that he hasn't a hope in hell of getting his policy approved unless he modifies it extensively. Which is good, because it means if there is no suitable independent or minor candidate in my area, I can vote Labor. I don't want to see a Labor government. What I want is for neither party to have any real power. And I want to send a strong message to both parties that their conduct is unacceptable. But if I have to make a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, I will definitely favour Labor over this vile LNP. The current government MUST GO.

    31st May 2018
    3:02pm
    "Two respected research institutes have found that the majority of Australian retirees are spending well below their income, including those on Age Pensions"

    Thats what a few of us on here have been saying all along, but the whingers and the opportunists such as YLC and other left leaning posters keeping wanting more handouts.
    MICK
    31st May 2018
    5:50pm
    Ha, ha, ha, ha...... You crack me up. The only leaners are you, OG, and the whole pile of posters you never see but who show up after Shorten gives a major speech. Anybody doubting me should have a look at the long list of unknowns on this website the day after Shorty made his response to the mongrel budget Morrison had the hide to call 'responsible' (not!).
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:03pm
    Only a blind idiot would call these two research institutes ''respected'', and only a blithering blind idiot would believe a word they say. We all KNOW the truth. Nothing to do with ''left leaning posters'' or 'wanting more handouts''. These two research groups are PAID to FABRICATE LIES so that the government can quote these untruths when it cuts pensions further and grinds more aged Australians into abject poverty.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:25pm
    Rainey - you calling YLC Kaye a blind idiot ?

    Mick - I post my own thoughts, and am not a labor or LNP supporter.
    I support policies that are good for the long term welfare of the country
    Gra
    31st May 2018
    3:20pm
    Simply because we don't spend every last cent doesn't make us stingy. Just because younger generations throw their money away like today is their last day on Earth, doesn't equate to us being tight fisted. It simply means we are smarter and know how to budget, how to save for that holiday instead of having to use the plastic to pay for it and then worry about how to pay it off later.
    robmur
    31st May 2018
    3:34pm
    From under which log do these peanuts come from. The report writers are probably on $180.000 - $220.000 + per year. They wouldn't have a clue about what it is like to be poor and to go without because the money for that fortnight has been spent in the first week. Don't they know that 25% of age pensioners who rent their accommodation live well below the poverty line despite receiving a rent allowance from the government? Time for clowns like these writers and federal governments of any persuasion to have a good, long, hard look at the plight of age pensioners. Their research is shown to be worthless.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    3:46pm
    where do you get your 25% living below the poverty line ?
    what does that mean anyway?
    these people are not starving and as the research shows, many spend less then their OAP.
    Those who cant simply arent trying hard enough.
    Perhaps the government should send them to a 3rd world country for some immersement training on how to live within your means
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    5:18pm
    I'd also like someone to tell me what the poverty line is as well.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    5:47pm
    Only the worst kind of SCUM dismiss the plight of senior Australians who are living in poverty, Raphael and OG. YES SCUM. VILE, DISGUSTING, EVIL, GREEDY, SELFISH, SELF-SERVING SCUM. People who do not even qualify as human.

    We have countless thousands of aged homeless, and tens of thousands who can't afford adequate warmth. This is a national disgrace. These are people who have spent decades contributing to society in all kinds of ways - many of them paying substantial taxes. They deserve a comfortable and dignified retirement.

    We are NOT a third world country, and any comparison with third world countries is invalid. Australia is a developed nation, and it is the only developed and affluent country that does not have a universal age pension. It is the ONLY affluent and developed country where retirees suffer endless abuse, insults, denigration, and deprivation BY OUR OWN GOVERNMENT. Anyone supporting such disgraceful conduct should hang their heads in deep shame. But we all know these two LNP trolls have NO SHAME. They are ruled by greed and self-interest. They are not sufficiently human to feel compassion or empathy - only sickening greed and selfishness, and massive egos.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    5:48pm
    Robmur, you are absolutely right. These overpaid flatfooted fools have no idea, and couldn't comprehend the truth if it bit them. They are a disgrace.
    MICK
    31st May 2018
    5:51pm
    But then Raphael and OG are indeed SCUM of the worst kind. Their posts are straight from party HQ. Not sure why YLC does not can them.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    5:59pm
    I don't know why they are here if they are not the paid trolls we all suspect them of being. They have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to contribute. They are incapable of respectful discussion; incapable of paying attention and learning from the real life accounts of life as a retiree or pensioner, incapable of empathy or compassion - or even human decency. They have no respect for anyone. Their mission is clearly one of social destruction and hurt to anyone who isn't in their rich and privileged class. While the rest of us seek solutions and social improvement, they want nothing other than to condemn and bully. Yes, YLC SHOULD can them.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    6:26pm
    Sounds to me Like OGR is more of a troll than I will ever be, Always whinging about how bad life is and obviously after nothing more that money to sooth their soul.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:30pm
    Mick wants to shout down dissentive voices as usual. God help us if Shorten becomes PM
    The research findings speak for themselves.
    In addition I know of many on full OAP, who live a modest but comfortable lifestyle.
    These people dont waste money on smokes, may have the ocassional glass of wine or takeaway, and manage a modest holiday every year or every other year
    The facts are there for all to read, but Mick and his labor friends have an agenda. Spread lies and discredit all the good that the LNP has achieved.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:48pm
    Discredit 'good' the LNP has achieved. For whom? The greedy self-serving evil rich? Certainly NOT for battlers. And not for society as a whole.

    And OG, I do not whinge about how bad life is. I have a great life. I am very fortunate. But unlike you, I am concerned for the welfare of others and for the health of society as a whole, and I continue to lobby for a better society. I am not obsessed with greed and selfishness and concerned only with my own well-being, and I don't see the point of boasting about how well off I am. It's an insult to those who are not. But you seem to get your kicks from insulting and hurting and demanding that people suffer. SICK!
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    8:48am
    OGR if we flung more money at those suffering do you think it would fix the problem.

    I certainly don't. A perfect example is Aboriginal disadvantage where around $46 000 is spent on every person and still hasn't solved the problem or eliminated grinding poverty levels.

    Our Government spends $21 000 average per person in Australia and still we have those left with $20 after pay night.

    And those who can live well on the same amount and even save for emergencies or holidays.

    Just how do you change behaviours and control people and should you anyway?

    There are organisations that will assist with budgets and planning to help people get out of financial mess but it takes action, patience and discipline and there seems a bit of a shortage of that in many cases.
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    11:34am
    A welfare councillor once told me that a lot of poor people if given money will use it for their next fix be it drugs, alcohol or some other substance or gambling instead of making their life better for the long term. So money itself is a big problem for many on welfare. The government needs to control how they spend it as well as giving it to them.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    6:05pm
    Once again with your vile bigotry, you lump all poor people in one box! Lots of rich people have vices too. Many have blown huge sums and actually gone broke gambling and taking drugs. And don't forget the pushers are wealthy people!

    The majority of poor people are very responsible, clean living and decent. Far more decent than scum like you, OG! The government DOES NOT need to control how people spend. Scum need to show some respect for good people.
    musicveg
    3rd Jun 2018
    5:35pm
    Is OG, Raphael, Rae, and Rosret the same person? Or just in the same club? They seem to be attacking anyone who says anything bad about the current Government. Are they paid to do this, what is their purpose? Or do they just like to cause more social unrest?
    musicveg
    3rd Jun 2018
    5:43pm
    And also VeryCaringBigBear must be in the same club of those above.
    patti
    31st May 2018
    3:40pm
    Stingy??? I manage to pay all my bills, by careful budgeting. There is seldom much left at the end of the fortnight. Don't drink, smoke, gamble or go out much. The only thing I could give up is my car now, and lose my independence. I own my house but the maintenance costs are sending my broke now........I wish I could be stingy....haha!
    floss
    31st May 2018
    3:57pm
    All good comments except the one from the greed is good group, this sad little mob.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    4:05pm
    The Grattan Institute is right most retirees are frugal and some down right stingy. Many play on the fact they are pensioners so that they get discounts and lots of stuff gratis. We have a booming cruise industry in Australia today and those cruise ships are full of pensioners many in balconies and suites.

    Personally I would have money left over if I had to live on the OAP as it doesn't cost me near that amount to live and live very well indeed. I don't smoke or drink or take drugs even legal ones but they are all things one doesn't need to live well so to me the OAP is a lot more than adequate to live very well today.

    I have been looking after the finances of a couple of people in their late 80s in a nursing home and their wealth is increasing as their expenditure is so low as they simply don't need much at that age.

    It is a very good article and it is spot on with people's spending habits.

    I will also note that surveys are well surveys and I don't know of anyone who tells the truth in surveys. People just tell surveys what they think the person behind the survey wants to know and what the person is going to do with the information gathered. Let's look at Your Life Choices. What do the majority on people on Your Life Choices want? Most want more money each fortnight in their pension. So anyone doing that survey would have that in mind and answer the questions accordingly. That would explain why Your Life Choices has completely different results to this article.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    4:23pm
    Great points and agree 100%

    Ask anyone on the pension and its just human nature to say its insufficient even though they are living comfortably on OAP. Its human nature
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    5:39pm
    Wild contradictions here once again prove OG untruthful, and we all know what his agenda is. He has repeatedly claimed that he doesn't own a house, but also doesn't pay rent - so it's not surprising he lives cheaply. Obviously he is either manipulating to use income or benefits he doesn't count or declare, or relying on some form of charity for accommodation. With neither rates and house insurance and maintenance nor rent to pay, he'd be laughing. Medicines? Lucky not to NEED them. Many cannot live without them, and for some they are essential for even modest quality of life.

    It's disgusting that rich people carry on like this, insulting battlers who are struggling to survive and supporting a campaign to cause them more hurt.

    The aged pension is NOT sufficient. There have been countless surveys and studies that prove that conclusively. A quarter of retirees live in poverty.

    Oh, and the claim about cruising - in suites yet! But they DON'T SPEND THEIR MONEY. So how the hell do they cruise in suites without spending anything?

    The Aged Pension is INADEQUATE. We all know that. The government knows it. The rich know it. Grattan Institute knows it. YLC knows it. The rich and privileged continue to demand that it be reduced so they can feed their stinking greed with more tax cuts, and their stinking egos with more lies.

    Oil that guillotine, Trebor. Off with the heads of the vile and disgusting who do not support human decency and respect for senior Australians.
    MICK
    31st May 2018
    5:53pm
    Ha, ha, ha. The tag team in action. 'Services to the Liberal Party' dear boys? Maybe retired LNP pollies? Your DNA is fixed. SCUM in suits. Sorry but you two are perverse.
    GeorgeM
    31st May 2018
    8:20pm
    Good posts, OGR and MICK. Absolute rubbish by the other two right-wing Liberal party trolls. Time to shut down the Grattan Institute.
    Maybe a RC is needed to determine the sources of funding for such right-wing so-called "research" bodies, and spell out their political links.
    DaveL
    31st May 2018
    4:09pm
    Life Choices publish these retirement tribe figures, but I wonder of there accuracy. There is large differences between city and regional living costs. It would be better if these classification were regionalised.
    Qouting annual pension amounts doesn’t include benefits people on pensions receive. Ie rates, rego etc. This distorts any discussion on relativity. As is usual, Grattan does not disclose it’s calculations, and they lack depth.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    9:03am
    Yes Dave. Even those on $80 000 incomes can no longer afford Sydney or Melbourne and other pockets of costly housing and living expenses. These places will soon see shortages of essential service workers as they vote with their feet and move to more affordable regions.

    Some realisation that perhaps the lifestyle afforded when working isn't affordable on the OAP and change is needed would help a lot struggling to live like they always have but can't afford on a reduced income with no savings to back them up.

    I'd be terrified to go back to those days of being broke days before the next pay. I hated it then and sorted it out real quick and I expect that is what aged pensioners are doing with using frugality to allow a saving build up now.
    DaveL
    31st May 2018
    4:09pm
    Life Choices publish these retirement tribe figures, but I wonder of there accuracy. There is large differences between city and regional living costs. It would be better if these classification were regionalised.
    Qouting annual pension amounts doesn’t include benefits people on pensions receive. Ie rates, rego etc. This distorts any discussion on relativity. As is usual, Grattan does not disclose it’s calculations, and they lack depth.
    Elizzy
    31st May 2018
    4:10pm
    Agree with you Gra. The government is obsessed with reducing the deficit and bringing the budget into surplus yet when a citizen does the self same thing at an individual level s/he is accused of frugality or 'failing to consume'.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    9:26pm
    Nothing wrong with reducing the deficit, as long as it isn't done at the expense of social health. There's a lot wrong, however, with the current attack on senior Australians. This elder abuse needs to STOP.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    9:10am
    No they are not or they wouldn't be building submarines and flinging $65 billion in tax cuts back at businesses making good profits and high income earners. Everything they do right now is designed to make the current account less stable. Australia is bleeding billions, untaxed to foreign shores.

    The Government is either terrified of deflation or planning to wreck the budget because they think they'll lose the next election.

    I'm actually hoping they get the tax cuts through and regain government. They deserve to be in charge of the collapsed economy they are busy creating.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    5:09pm
    Just remember folks Centrelink have lots of statistics that people like the Grattan Institute can use to make recommendations to the government. If pensioner's assets are staying the same or increasing then what does this tell the government? The OAP is more than adequate for people to live on.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    5:11pm
    Firms like the Grattan Institute could also have worked out the above spending habits per age group from Centrelink statistics.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    5:32pm
    Only a mean, blithering idiot would assume people who don't spend all their income don't need as much! What happens when the house needs painting or new gutters or the car breaks down? What happens when a need arises for extensive dental treatment, or when you find you can no longer manage the cleaning and garden and need a little paid household help?

    Of course this is all part of the evil plan to restore a feudal society of nobles and serfs. Send all those who are no wealthy broke, and keep them living in poverty. Then the government can do as it pleases. People who struggle for bread and shelter don't have the energy to resist evil domination.
    MICK
    31st May 2018
    5:54pm
    And just remember that OG is in line for massive tax cuts whilst the rest of the nation gets new taxes piled on.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:22pm
    Yep, and desperate to ensure the government has enough money to indulge his greed.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    6:30pm
    What massive tax cuts more like a massive haircut of my income instead.

    If people are not spending down their wealth then they are simply get more than enough in the OAP to live comfortably on. Why save and freeze or go hungry? Makes no sense to me at all.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:42pm
    They are saving what they can out of fear, because of the constant threats and bullying by a government out to reduce pensioner income and grind retirees into poverty. Nobody knows how bad it will get, so those who can are putting as much as possible aside as a safeguard. It's an indication that the OAP is grossly inadequate, rather than that people have more than they need. The very fact that you mention freezing or going hungry proves that, OG. NOBODY chooses to freeze or go hungry if they have enough income and even moderate security.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:50pm
    So the CAN save !!!!
    Quit while you're behind Rainey - youre making even less sense than usual
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:53pm
    Of course SOME can save, Raphael. And SOME will save despite freezing and going hungry, because their fear is so great that things will get worse - and indeed all indicators are that they will.

    I make perfect sense to anyone with a brain, Raphael. But of course not to an LNP troll who just wants to circulate a pack of lies.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:59pm
    You have no idea how to do it tough Rainey. Probably becasue you never have. Too comfy on government handouts to even begin to understand.

    If people can save then it shows that they can live within the ample welfare payments that the government and us taxpayers provide.

    And don't forget, as the research shows, these savings will only grow larger as they age. Nice little nest egg for their kids and grandkids
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    7:24pm
    I agree Raphael anyone doing it tough on the OAP is simply not making good choices while those who do live very well on the OAP. I also don't believe OGR knows what it is like to do it tough either especially since they have too much wealth for the OAP.
    MD
    31st May 2018
    8:23pm
    To quote an earlier comment; "Here is the ONLY question which is even worth discussing to sink this mythe: how many Australian die with little more than a family home or less?"

    What "mythe" (sic) is your "question" aiming to "sink" ?

    Whether "the ONLY question" (yours) would have any bearing either way on the outcome of the Gratten subject findings is highly dubious.
    What exactly are you suggesting - that a number of "Australian" die penniless and - domicile aside (or less) - met their demise with "little more".
    Or do you mean a greater number of people, age pensioners in passing - specifically their estate, should have more to show and therefore bequeath ?
    If so, then I would seriously suggest another question for consideration; Why should any beneficiary stand to benefit from estate proceeds which in part were subsidized by social welfare ?

    Surveys are predominately compiled on the basis of, "Lies, damned lies and statistics".
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    8:42pm
    Firstly, Raphael, I have NEVER received a government handout. And it's you who doesn't understand. You are far too arrogant, presumptive and ignorant to understand.

    I pay tax. I pay tax proudly. I am happy to pay tax because its the price we pay for a healthy society, and only greedy, self-serving morons who want a sick society object. And only greedy, self-serving lying morons who want a sick society would wish to see aged pensions reduced.

    Yes, SOME aged will grow their wealth as they age. And SOME will leave a nice nest egg for their kids and grandkids. Nothing wrong with that. Many of my friends inherited from their parents, and in some cases it made the difference between being able to educate their kids and not, or being able to retire self-funded - and NOT get government handouts. Be a real shame if the next generation was actually better off than the present one, wouldn't it?

    Tell the truth. What you really want is more for the rich. MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE for the greedy, self-serving privileged SCUM who would have battlers ground into poverty and the poor starved to feed your unmitigated GREED.
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    12:36pm
    OGR I remember you telling us that you received unemployment benefits at some stage in your life. Do you have a Health Care Card?
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    6:13pm
    I do NOT have a health care card, OG, for reasons that are personal.
    I do NOT receive a pension. I work to top up an income well below the OAP.
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    8:49pm
    You must either earn a lot of money or have a lot of assets if you haven't got a health care card then OGR. Yes I know the cut off points and no I don't qualify for a health care card.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jun 2018
    5:20pm
    OG, you don't know a tenth as much as you think you do. I said the reasons are personal. Nothing to do with means tests, as it happens. There are other reasons why some people don't have health care card.
    Hairy
    31st May 2018
    5:48pm
    Just trying to limit spending in preparation for the next goverment rip off electric hike ,water ,service fees.they get +2% rise in pay for the persistent persecution of pensioners. and the pensions will probably get a -2% to pay for it,trust no one..have you serviced a car lately bought meat lamb chops havnt done it for years because it’s out of reach for most pensioners.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    6:31pm
    Done both this week myself and it's not a big burden at all.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:45pm
    For the rich, it's not, OG. You boast about your wealth and then make disgusting remarks suggesting everyone should live as you do - and assuming that everyone has your wealth. Yet in other comments you boast about your superior wealth. Make up your mind. Either you are rich, and you opinion is baseless, worthless, and just plain WRONG, or you are a pensioner living on the breadline and a pathological liar. Either way, your CRAP has no relevance to this discussion. It's just lies to distract.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    7:20pm
    So what's wrong with only buying what I need no matter how much money I have? How I live has nothing to do with what I earn unlike most other people.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    9:24pm
    Then stop telling others how to live, OG. You don't have that right. You know NOTHING about Hairy's circumstances, and your bullying is downright cruel and inhuman. Only the most disgustingly vile and inhuman creatures presume to tell people who are doing it tough that ''it's not a big burden''. Shut your cruel evil mouth and learn some compassion.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    9:41am
    OG the point about earnings and spending is a good one. Apparently over 60% of people spend everything each pay period. Without savings to back them up they do struggle when a crisis or unexpected or even expected bill crops up.

    Financial education is failing people if they can't see the advantage of discipline and patience required to save a buffer.

    Selecting needs cautiously is a beginning.

    Hairy may very well put a few beers with his mates or a flutter on the lotto ahead of chops and that is perfectly okay.

    OGR I don't know how you see a suggestion that defining needs and spending accordingly is bullying?

    Research shows Australians bleed huge amounts of money with little idea of where it all went. OG was simple pointing that out.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    12:25pm
    Rae, it is bullying to imply that people need less, when the truth is that many have nowhere near adequate income to live as decent lifestyle. If research is to suggest spending patterns, it should acknowledge that the figures reflect AVERAGES and that more than 25% of retirees do not have enough.

    31st May 2018
    7:01pm
    I would be surprised if there weren't a lot of retirees trying to save as much as they can - even at the cost of eating adequately and keeping warm in some cases - because of fear and uncertainty about what lies ahead. It's clear we have a government determined to slash retiree incomes and all forms of pensions and health services. We have a younger generation screaming for the blood of ''Baby Boomers'' and claiming it's ''unfair'' that they have homes and some have savings. We have research groups and so-called ''experts actuaries'' demanding the government force pensioners to mortgage their homes to buy food. Why on earth wouldn't frightened retirees, who might have to live another 3 decades with no secure income, save what they can?
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    7:18pm
    LNP has no intention of forcing pensioners to mortgage their homes to buy food.
    That may be where Shorten's policies may eventually end up though
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    7:22pm
    Still doesn't change the statistics which clearly show that people are not spending down their wealth so the only conclusion is that the OAP is adequate for their needs.

    I have to agree Raphael as I think that franking credit policy of Labors is just a smoke screen for something much worse.
    MD
    31st May 2018
    8:31pm
    Careful OGR... lest you shoot yourself in the foot or at worst - trip up with a foot in your mouth.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    9:13pm
    You, Raphael and OG all have both feet in your mouth already. You have shown yourselves to be selfish social engineers hell bent on driving poverty among all aged who aren't among the stinking rich, and ensuring that ONLY the rich can give their grandkids a head start in life and a chance to prosper.

    The LNP has already screwed hundreds of thousand of retirees, and cooked up a disgusting mortgage scheme claiming it will help poorer retirees - at an interest rate well above the prevailing mortgage rate, but knowing that retirees can't access a standard mortgage easily. They are trying to force people to work until they are 70 - despite there being no jobs and half the population having burnt out bodies long before they reach that age. Their bum boys are already proposing that pensioners be FORCED to mortgage their homes.

    We all know where it's leading.

    Shorten is a jerk and an idiot, but this stinking LNP government is no better.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    9:17pm
    And BTW. I agree Shorten's crap is a smoke screen. The two parties are working together. Labor puts up something scary so the LNP can get some filthy disgusting policy passed while the populace are freaking over the nasties that Labor threatened but never intended to introduce. They were just doing their mates a favour - paving the way. In the end, both parties are the same, and both will do the same. They work together for the same end - social reform that restores a feudal society of nobles and paupers.
    Wendy HK
    31st May 2018
    7:27pm
    Seriously - if we got more money we would SPEND more money therefore helping out the economy. We HAVE to be frugal - we have NO choice - we are left with $17.50 per fortnight between the two of us that is not earmarked for rent, food, petrol and bills.
    Old Geezer
    31st May 2018
    7:34pm
    Are you decreasing the amount of assets you have? If you are not then you are considered to be getting enough to fund your lifestyle.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    9:07pm
    What assets, OG? You live in fairy land. Vast numbers of pensions don't have ANY assets, other than the house they live in, and they can't ''reduce'' that or they would end up homeless.
    Get a life and stop being such a nasty greedy bully.
    MD
    31st May 2018
    8:26pm
    To quote an earlier comment; "Here is the ONLY question which is even worth discussing to sink this mythe: how many Australian die with little more than a family home or less?"

    What "mythe" (sic) is your "question" aiming to "sink" ?

    Whether "the ONLY question" (yours) would have any bearing either way on the outcome of the Gratten subject findings is highly dubious.
    What exactly are you suggesting - that a number of "Australian" die penniless and - domicile aside (or less) - met their demise with "little more".
    Or do you mean a greater number of people, age pensioners in passing - specifically their estate, should have more to show and therefore bequeath ?
    If so, then I would seriously suggest another question for consideration; Why should any beneficiary stand to benefit from estate proceeds which in part were subsidized by social welfare ?

    Surveys are predominately compiled on the basis of, "Lies, damned lies and statistics".
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    9:05pm
    I'll answer your question, MD. Because we spend $80 billion annually, rising at 10%, subsidizing the retirement of the well-to-do - who need NO help, while the bottom tier get virtually NOTHING to help them save.
    Because the rich get rich by exploiting the battlers - paying them far less than they are worth and profiting from selling their labour at more than they pay for it, then selling them goods and services at inflated prices, and even making laws to force them to buy - by banning various forms of foraging and DIY or making ''licenses'' to unaffordable.
    Because the rich couldn't get or stay rich without very extensive use of the resources that are paid for by ALL taxpayers - including those who will one day need and deserve an aged pension.
    Because at the end of the day, the majority of those who collect aged pensions are bloody hard working tax payers who were paid far less than they were worth, contributed in a thousand ways to the community, and paid at least 7.5% of their income to fund the pension they were promised they would one day receive.
    They have just as much right to leave the homes and savings they accumulated by working for ''the man'' as ''the man'' has to leave savings and assets accumulated using fancy schemes to avoid tax, exploiting workers, and claiming obscene superannuation subsidies to top up his retirement fund. And did I mention resorting to corruption?

    And finally, because if only the greedy overpaid can leave something to their offspring, we will return to feudal times where poverty is entrenched and there is no hope of anyone rising above the class they were born to, much less of battlers giving their kids an even break. Wealth creates wealth, and wealth is being created for the wealthy far too rapidly. Inequality is now recognised as the most serious problem facing today's societies. Your stinking social engineering policies will ensure that the problem continues to grow, until there is revolution or civil war. It's coming!
    MD
    31st May 2018
    9:36pm
    Silly me, I've had it wrong all along apparently. My take on the welfare net was predominately to assist those that would otherwise fall through the gaps. I doubt anyone receiving
    benefit (and mostly reliant thereon) should expect to "save".
    "Your stinking social engineering policies" were never designed to line the pockets of "bloody hard working taxpayers" to enjoy the "right to leave the homes and savings they accumulated".
    If this group is as hard done by as you would have us believe then one wonders how so many of them claim to be doing it tough yet still aim to leave an inheritance.

    Best keep grinding your axe, it may prove handy come "revolution or civil war".
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    8:20am
    MD, the aged pension is NOT WELFARE. It was not designed or intended as such. Check history. It was declared to be a right for all older Australians and a system was devised that purported to enable all taxpayers to contribute to ensuring there were funds to pay it as intended. IT IS NOT WLEFARE.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    8:42am
    And no other developed nation treats the aged as disrespectfully and cruelly as Australia. It's time the government acknowledged society's debt to our senior citizens and treated them with respect.
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    12:37pm
    What debt to society OGR? That has nothing to do with the OAP at all anyway. OAP is given as welfare to those who have no other means of support.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    1:32pm
    The OAP is NOT welfare, OG. And if you are too thick and arrogant, and too blinded by your stinking privilege, to see what is real, nobody can help you. Just go away, you horrid horrid horrid man. Leave discussion to those of us who are human and have empathy and respect.

    31st May 2018
    8:52pm
    Notice the comments from the LNP trolls? Have you put it together? They support punishing people who battled to save but didn't make it to wealthy status - stripping them of their lifestyle and grinding them down. They support a pension system that offers the choice of spending up big of suffering deprivation. When SOME continue to save anyway, they whine that people aren't spending enough and claim that's a reason to further cut ALL retirement incomes (yes even those of poverty-stricken pensioners who are struggling to eat!). But then they whinge their guts up about paying tax to fund pensions, and they scream that pensioners should forfeit their homes to repay a 'welfare debt' so that the greedy little ENTITLED darlings don't have to pay their way in society (but their much bigger welfare debt is, of course, an ENTITLEMENT!)

    The truth is that they want to destroy the lifestyles of any retiree who isn't rich. That's it in a nutshell. Their unmitigated GREED and SELFISHNESS demands that retirees have their lifestyle demolished and be ground into more and more poverty so the STINKING GREEDY CAN HAVE THEIR FAT TAX CUTS. Nothing else matters to the likes of Raphael and OG - the classic GIVE ME GIVE ME GIVE ME brigade whose selfishness and unmitigated greed is destroying what was once a great nation in which a ''fair go'' and human decency prevailed.

    They exploit workers to get rich. They dodge tax every which way. They demand obscene handouts to build their superannuation nest eggs. Then they gloat, boast, and demand that anyone who worked hard and saved well - but didn't make it to their elite little privileged club - be screwed and those who were so badly exploited that they ended up with nothing be half-starved. They won't be content until the poor are in workhouses or enslaved and they can strut about like the vile and disgusting nobility of past eras.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    12:06am
    Such naive or more likely deliberate misinformation

    It’s all about risk and reward

    Investors risk their money in the hope that it will reap benefits in the form of adequate returns
    Some investments go belly up some take a while to provide meager returns and some provide excellent returns

    Employees are paid salaries commensurate with supply and demand for the skills they offer and certainly of cash flows to the business

    Do you know why public servants get paid a shitload for unproductive work and underperforming - because the employer doesn’t give s crap . Not his money and no risk to him/her - it’s al taxpayer funded
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    8:18am
    Totally irrelevant response, Raphael. TOTALLY IRRELEVANT.

    Of course it's about risk and reward, but poor people can't take risks. People who are battling to keep food on the table and educate their kids don't have the funds to take risks.

    And of course people are paid salaries commensurate with their skills and the cash flow of the business. But the fact remains that they are paid less than the product of their labour is sold for. That's how business makes profit. And yes, public servants are overpaid for underperforming because the employer doesn't give a crap.

    All of that just strengthens the argument that many contribute far more to society than they are fairly paid for, and when they end up with inadequate assets to retire, they DESERVE A PENSION IN RECOGNITION OF THAT and they SHOULD NOT HAVE TO REGARD IT AS A LOAN. It should be seen, correctly, as payment for services rendered. Those who prospered at their expense OWE THEM A DEBT.

    In addition to that fact, there are many who cannot acquire skills or find opportunities because they suffered social injustice. Some of these suffered as orphaned or deprived children of men and women who sacrificed everything in war or policing. Some were born with disabilities because of their parent's sacrifice in war. Society OWES THEM.

    Then there are those who nature for some reason chose to burden with a disability, or who suffered disability due to an accident that was no fault of theirs. These people also DESERVE to be cared for by society in their winter years. Any decent human being wants them cared for respectfully.

    Unfortunately, there's no way of correctly identifying who contributed far less than they were paid, and often no reliable way to determine who was deprived by social injustice, so any system that discriminates is going to favour the spendthrifts, cheats and manipulators over the responsible contributors. Which is why it is WRONG WRONG WRONG to means test aged pensions, much less to treat them as a loan against one's assets.

    All of this verifies why the aged pension should be universal and unconditional, as it is in other developed countries. Tax retirement income over and above the pension, certainly. But stop persecuting our aging. It's elder abuse and it's vile and disgusting.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    1st Jun 2018
    8:49am
    OGR your jealously of anyone wealthier than you astounds me. It does not make for a happy person at all. I actually know a very wealthy lady personally and she said to me one day that one only needs one bed, one set of clothes to wear and enough to eat every day and the more of anything else one haves it becomes quite a burden to manage the wealthier one gets.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    12:22pm
    I am NOT jealous, BigBear. Neither am I a greedy, self-serving manipulator who cheats to get a pension - as you do. I am very happy with my lot. I am concerned about the unfairness of a system that hands out to the likes of you and deprives the needy, and a system that is inefficient and unsustainable because it is expensive to administer, grossly unfair, and inadequate for those who are genuinely needy. And I am concerned about the continual abuse and torment inflicted on the aging by the current system, which imposes fear and anxiety on so many.
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    12:33pm
    OGR if people are so needy why do we have an obesity epidemic? If people were starving like you wants us to believe then we would see not obese people but very under nourished people begging on our streets. The only under nourished people I see are either sick or in nursing homes refusing food as they simply just want to die.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    1:31pm
    OG, some morons think that if some people are well off, everyone must be and if some people are obese, everyone has plenty to eat. You'd have to be a moron to think like that. Intelligent people understand that circumstances differ. Intelligent people understand that when official statistics reveal that 25% of retirees are living below the poverty line, and people on YLC report that they are struggling, it does NOT mean that there are no people out there doing okay!

    I didn't say people are ''starving'' - though I have seen thin people begging for food. I said they DO NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT FOR THEIR NEEDS. And their needs are NOT unreasonable. But disgusting greedy scum will always try to twist the argument and lie to justify their vile greed.
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    3:58pm
    OGR I suggest cutting down their food intake and walk instead of driving so that they have enough left for their needs then. They will be healthier so need less meds and less medical costs.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    6:01pm
    OG, many would fade away if they ate less, and walking doesn't fix a seriously damaged spine or TIAs or missing teeth or dozens of other health issues. You are just so disgustingly egotistical and self-serving! Obviously you have no interest in fact. You are just too greedy and selfish to care about anything but your own bank balance. You don't possess one ounce of humanity or decency - the worst kind of monster!
    GrayComputing
    1st Jun 2018
    8:44am
    It is time for all of us to rant at our MPs and Senators to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    A pension is not welfare.

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules
    Even poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension so it is cheaper and user friendly,

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be part of 3 million waiting queues and lost calls?

    Does your MP really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?

    Some opposition and independent MPs stand to lose their chance at being part of the needed government changes

    We all need to tell our MP that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.
    NO ASSET TEST FOR A PENSION EVER AGAIN!
    VeryCaringBigBear
    1st Jun 2018
    8:52am
    If you had sufficient to live on would you put your hand out for the OAP if there was no asset test? If you answered yes then you are the reason why we have an assets test. That's right no matter how much people have they always want more.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    10:23am
    The system we have discriminates badly. Other OECD countries pay a pension to all and tax extra income at sustainable levels.

    Our current system is a dog's breakfast and no matter if they call it "Fair and Sustainable" it isn't.

    And you're not wrong about wanting more. You see that everytime you fill in the budget from last years costs up until now. All prices for goods and services are rising way out of whack with CPI.

    That's the problem. The CPI index needs to cover essential costs rather than the hodge lodge of nonsense in the basket each year to suit government ideology. Then pensions would rise to cover the excessive price gouging going on.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    12:14pm
    Oh my! Can you get any more hypocritical than Big Bear - who admits he was very wealthy but manipulated to claim a pension anyway. Now he supports and assets test!!!!! What a disgusting individual!!!
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    12:16pm
    Correct, Rae. It's NOT that pensioners always want more. (The greedy rich do, so they assume the frugal are just like them.) It's that costs are rising out of proportion to the very low incomes pensioners have to get by on. And the pension system IS a dog's breakfast. It pays some far too generously and others not nearly adequately. It's patently unfair, unworkable, inefficient, and unsustainable. And nobody with an ounce of sense would claim otherwise.
    MD
    1st Jun 2018
    9:21am
    "All of that just strengthens the argument that many contribute far more to society than they are fairly paid for, and when they end up with inadequate assets to retire, they DESERVE A PENSION IN RECOGNITION OF THAT and they SHOULD NOT HAVE TO REGARD IT AS A LOAN. It should be seen, correctly, as payment for services rendered. Those who prospered at their expense OWE THEM A DEBT."

    Anyone might seriously doubt the veracity of such an erroneous claim when witnessing the prevalent number of flash caravans, large SUV's and (mostly) fat contented cats comfortably ensconced therein. Daily, no more or less an endless passing parade on the highways and byways across this beautiful country. Not to mention the floating 'retiree liners' plying the oceans of the world.
    Maybe some folk, having earlier let opportunity slip through their fingers now resent those of their peers that may seem to be better off. Envy - a terrible affliction that clouds ones' outlook will only ever see that which suits their argument. Misery makes for few friends.

    I recall a former employer when discussing the issue of workplace satisfaction saying " Well you are being paid aren't you ?... and if you feel it's inadequate then there's nothing stopping you finding your own way out the gate".
    Maybe this same dictum should apply to the constant belly-achers lamenting their lot herein.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    10:42am
    Indeed MD. I just crossed to the West Coast on the Indian Pacific and visited the Kimberly on an expensive tour by seaplane, boat etc.

    The train, tour and resort was filled with retirees able to afford the cost.

    Most had been quite ordinary workers who chose to spend their money this way.

    They were lucky too.

    OGR fails to acknowledge that Australia has a safety net for those who are poor due to misfortune and unfortunate or bad choices. That safety net only affords basics and the health system picks up medical treatments as necessary. Admittedly that system needs to catch up to population increases now.

    I had my $10 000 a year plus concessions promise wiped away by this Government and felt betrayed. My reaction was to create another $10 000 income myself over time and to be thankful I had the education to do so and that I was kept right away from having to deal with Centrelink at all.

    We will never eliminate poverty but we can ensure fairness and services for the disadvantaged.

    Right now I'm more concerned for the young who can't get full time permanent work and are forced to live in over expensive cities.
    They really will experience poverty in time if the wage deflation and price gouging isn't sorted. We had the advantages of inflation helping ease our debt burdens and stronger unions ensuring wages kept up rather than this slow wage deflation going on now.

    Then again a good old fashioned deflationary Depression cleans up a lot of the angst created by greed and excess. I think we are headed for one. Sensible people are saving, investing and getting geared up for it.
    MD
    1st Jun 2018
    10:56am
    A well put and balanced comment Rae, thankyou.

    Dare I suggest some few may take issue with your last para, specifically last sentence. Were we to believe the dire circumstances of so many regulars herein then we can expect to hear from hungry hordes that cannot save, invest or gear up for depression.

    Oh lawdy, all this talk of "revolution, civil war and depression(s)" is sooo depressing.
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    11:53am
    I agree MD and none of them want a used RV either. It has to be the biggest flashiest RV they can afford. They also take a balcony or suite in those floating ocean cities now too. I have been on some very expensive tours and most on those tours are recently retired people on the OAP. I am yet to meet anyone like those OGR tells us all about. Maybe I need to do a trip to a third world country to find them.

    Yes things are good now however we have a property bubble and low interest rates which is a recipe for a bad recession or worse in the future.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    12:12pm
    OG, if you choose to mix with the privileged and well off, you won't necessarily encounter the strugglers. I see their posts here. I deal with them often. Of course there are affluent retirees - lots of them. But that is NOT the issue.

    The pension is NOT adequate for those who have nothing else. And folk who have suffered injustice, crisis, trauma, or been exploited deserve better. Many of those in the latter category had no real choice in life. Sure, in theory they could seek better job. In practice, doing so was not feasible. They did the best they could with what they had - but having been denied education and skills training, and often being psychologically disabled by early abuse and deprivation in institutions and denial of contact with loved ones, many were left with very limited choices. To suggest that in their winter years they are not entitled to a few creature comforts, to pursue hobbies, to entertain and offer small gifts to loved ones... It's just inhuman, and indecent in the extreme.

    No, I don't fail to acknowledge that there is a 'safety net', and I am glad it exists. I just don't agree that our seniors should suffer poverty. And I also am concerned for the young, who will one day inherit the world we have allowed this government to create - and who will suffer the pains we have allowed this government to inflict on all of society.

    OG, Australia is NOT the third world. It's a rich nation. We should NOT be comparing with the third world. Poverty is relative. I acknowledge that. But no senior should live in what Australia determines to be poverty - and currently 25% of retirees do. That's unacceptable. Just because you CHOOSE to be blind and arrogant does not make it okay.

    Yes, we have a recipe for a bad recession. That's why we need to ensure we have a government that manages responsibly - not the rich man's government that is currently destroying our society. Somehow, we need to communicate to government that it has an obligation to drive social health and to restore an acceptable level of equality.
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    12:30pm
    OGR even though I wonder if the people you talk about even exist they wouldn't be an issue here as these have no assets. It is people with assets that is being used to work out if the OAP is enough for people to live well on. If their assets are no decreasing then the pension must be adequate for their needs. If it is adequate for those with assets then it follows that it is adequate for those without.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    1:28pm
    I'll say it again, since you appear to be too stupid to comprehend, OG. Spending assets in early or even middle retirement years is IDIOTIC and IRRESPONSIBLE. That leaves folk without sufficient to meet needs that arise later in life.

    It's NOT a sign that the pension is adequate if they keep money aside for needs they know will arise down the track, and only an idiot would suggest it is.
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    3:56pm
    OGR that is the message the government is getting when people live on the OAP and their assets are not decreasing. The statistics tell the government what they need to know.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    4:27pm
    The Government also needs to get the message that cracks are widening for those who are disabled or ill and are now having to spend much more of a declining in real terms pension than in the past due entirely to Government legislation.
    Most of the 25% in poverty are there due to medical needs that the Government should be addressing through redistribution or monetary measures.
    Some past legislations for Medicare need to be evaluated. Ate they causing poverty to rise and can that be fixed?
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    5:58pm
    The government needs to stop drawing STUPID conclusions from half-baked data that isn't properly examined. If people's assets are not decreasing because they are saving for expected future needs, then that is NOT an indication that they don't need as much income. It's an indication that they are sensible and responsible and should be treated with respect. But no... this disgustingly IRRESPONSIBLE government takes away their opportunity to plan for their future needs and leaves them to suffer a difficult future without the funds they were so careful to put aside.
    Rae
    2nd Jun 2018
    11:04am
    Maybe people aren't notifying Centrelink annually with depreciated amounts for all non income producing assets.
    SuziJ
    1st Jun 2018
    10:10am
    I live on the DSP, which is the same rate of pay as the Age pension.

    I live very frugally, and will do so until way into the future. I'm just making ends meet, even to the end that I pay my bills every fortnight so that I know when they arrive they're usually in credit.

    BTW I don't drink alcohol, smoke, gamble or do illicit drugs. I know it's my choice, but it's the only way you can actually live on the pension.
    Kathleen
    1st Jun 2018
    10:26am
    Yes we are the same. Even coffee out is a waste of money. As a tea drinker I would rather have quality tea at home because why would you pay exorbitant amount for poor quality tea.
    When I shop I seek out half price groceries and stock up so I buy on special not when out. For $100 worth of groceries I will save $50.
    I make sure I have the best possible deals for everything andsave heaps there too.
    It is a challenge and I understand everyone’s circumstances are different. However, being diligent with costs sure helps!
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    10:52am
    I do exactly the same even though I have private income higher than the OAP. It makes sense.

    I do travel but am getting to the point where even that will come to an end as it is quite stressful really even though stimulating. Fewer overseas destinations are safe now either.

    I learnt the value of diligence with costs and patience with saving years ago when I did go hungry to feed my kids and make sure they had good educations and adequate food to grow.

    My friends on government pensions live very well doing exactly the same.

    I'd rather help my family when they need it than anything else.

    Gratten researchers are obviously young and see consumption as a necessary thing when really if you just address needs the money stretches farther and a saving buffer helps destress life a lot.
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    11:42am
    I usually fill up a thermos and take some coffee and powdered milk for a nice cuppa to break my journey.

    Remember folks if you want a treat you can get a free coffee at the golden arches if you buy the cheapest item on their menu too. Their coffee is some of the best I have ever tasted too and it is served in a nice cup or mug. Had a toasted sandwich the other day and it came on a nice plate too. So you can have a treat for very little.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    12:19pm
    I wouldn't eat the artificial rubbish served at ''the Arches'' unless I was starving - and probably not even then. My dog kicked one of their burgers around the paddock for a month and wouldn't eat it.

    Goodness, OG, you contradict yourself. You have been claiming to be health-conscious and only eat good food. Now you say you eat artificial garbage that dogs reject!
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    12:26pm
    No where did I say I ate their burgers. A cheese and tomato toasted sandwich is a very different matter.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    12:40pm
    I have typed this out from the latest issue of "Have a Go " June newpaper. I did not write this letter.

    This lady writer appears to manage well on a single Aged Pension.

    "I can't understand when people say they can't manage on the Aged Pension.

    Yes, a bit more would be welcome - but saying that, I am in my lage 70's, on my own and manage okay.

    I don't have super and have not worked since I was 50 (I was in a marriage at that time).

    I am originally from the UK but don't get a UK pension as I was a stay at home mum from early on.

    Now, I rent a unit, run a car and, yes it's serviced every year.

    Every pension fortnight I pay $10,#20 or $30 at the post office for my gas and electric; I have a direct debit for car insurance road service. I also pay my funeral plan and extras on my health insurance monthly.

    And $120 permonth is set aside from January to November for Christmas etc. I am always in credit on utility bills so can smile when bills come in"

    Written by M. Bond, North Plympton.
    Old Geezer
    1st Jun 2018
    12:52pm
    Sounds about right to me Radish. I am left wondering about OGR struggling pensioners. She must have some horror dreams as I can't find them in the real world.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    1:10pm
    I have friends who tell me they save money on the full aged pension but they neither drink or smoke and they rent a public housing unit here in WA.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    1:25pm
    Everyone's circumstances are different. Sure, some fortunate people can manage comfortably on the aged pension. If you have fairly good health, that eliminates major costs. It's especially tough for those who need services that are not covered by Medicare - like physiotherapy or extensive dental treatment. People living in more remote locations have higher living costs, while those in the cities may have very high rent costs.

    I spend far more than most people in my age group because of my partner's health needs, and to some extent my own - but also because we have to travel often to help out children in crisis so that their children don't suffer hardship. We care for grandchildren for up to 15 weeks each year, and feeding them is costly. We don't ask their parents to pay because they are struggling. One is a single parent of a large family after a family tragedy, and it's very hard to manage in those circumstances. One has a seriously disabled child whose medical treatments and therapy are costly. We also have to travel extensively for medical treatment.

    A friend will say he and his wife manage well on the pension - with no other assets or income. That's because they rent a flat attached to their son's home and pay very little. Their rent includes electricity, gas and water. And because they babysit often for their son, they are often supplied with meals as well, and all sorts of other little gifts whenever their daughter-in-law observes a need.

    It's all down to one's personal situation. Generalizations are nasty and cruel.

    Stick to the FACTS. The FACT is - and it's widely acknowledged even by government - that at least 25% of retirees are living in poverty. THAT IS WHAT MATTERS. NOT WHETHER SOME ARROGANT SCUMBAG CAN QUOTE A FEW EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE DOING WELL. One swallow does NOT make a summer.
    Rae
    1st Jun 2018
    4:21pm
    Yes OGR those with disabilities and medical needs living solely on welfare are struggling.

    The government changed the rules on this because once at a certain point all treatment and medicines were either free or tax deductible.

    That was the bitch in all this and I'm not sure which Government did that.

    It's not about the pension payments at all but about individual needs. Health needs should be addressed in a wealthy society without forcing the ill and disabled into poverty.

    The Road to Hell is paved with some awfully mean intentions.
    *Loloften*
    1st Jun 2018
    1:39pm
    What a "loadofcrap"....majority of Age Pensioners are living in dilapadated old homes back when we could afford these old houses in the back-blocks. Not our fault that they're in longer in 'backbkocvks", most under$1M, can't afford the many renos/appliance repairs/update & shocked when receive overpriced essential uitility bills. No longer can afford decent presents for children/their spouses & my grandkids
    old frt
    1st Jun 2018
    4:23pm
    The Grattan Inst. was kick started by the Liebor Party with funding in 2008. Now supported by University of Melb. about as left as you can get . Don't blame the libs for another one of Liebors bull5hit handouts. They can stuff it up enough by themselves without getting credit for everything else that happens
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    6:15pm
    Uni of Melb may be left, but Grattan Institute is not.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Jun 2018
    10:53am
    There is an article in The Australian this morning about people in the pension phase getting ripped off by their super fund. They are referring to the 15% tax for those in the accumulation phase being applied to those in the pension phase when they should not be paying the 15% tax.

    Retirees are being ripped off by their super funds by their super funds not giving them their tax free income and refunding their franking credits.
    Rae
    2nd Jun 2018
    11:12am
    Yes it certainly is becoming a can of worms. Just looking at the profits generated by the Superannuation and Financial Services Industry shows the billions ordinary people are paying for obviously not too clever advice and services.

    Including scummy insurance products that aren't worth the electricity used to light them up.

    With the levels of debt held by the private sector it's all looking very dodgy and shaky right now. The fact that the ASX is made of over 30% of this sector has kept me out of it and I wouldn't like to be relying on dividends or franking credits right now myself as it appears the banks are on very shaky ground.

    I like those tomato and cheese toasties from McCafe too. Good value with the free coffee, free paper read, good break and clean toilets.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Jun 2018
    11:48am
    Agree. That super industry is a real can of worms. I'm what I have in super is an SMSF. Yes I do own some bank shares but I had them for over 30 years now so they would have to fall an awful lot just to pay the CGT. I did sell some SUN I bought at $2 and bought a new car.

    OGR doesn't know what they are missing out on at McCafe as it's great value. $10 for 2 toasted sandwiches and really nice coffees. Cost that just for one anywhere else.
    Anonymous
    3rd Jun 2018
    4:38pm
    Unless you have a million dollars it is not worth have a SMSF...not my words...the words of the Productivity Commission.

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/smsf-self-a-managed-super-fund-1-million-productivity-commission-2018-5
    Old Geezer
    4th Jun 2018
    12:39pm
    The cost of running my SMSF is 0.15% of the total assets whereas others funds charge at lot more with many changing 2% or more of the total assets.
    Travellersjoy
    3rd Jun 2018
    9:33am
    I have to live frugally, but I am able to avoid squalor.

    This is not possible for all age pensioners.

    Not sure why such crude measures are acceptable to policy makers when all they can serve to do is hide the levels of squalor that so many age pensioners cannot avoid.
    johninmelb
    3rd Jun 2018
    3:54pm
    "We MUST get rid of this rich man's government. It MUST GO."

    We meaning exactly WHO Rainey?? Tell us what you are doing to facilitate the removal of Turnbull and his ratbags, and then maybe we can join you and assist you in your endeavours. But if you are waiting for someone else to fix the problem, then you will go to your grave unsatisfied. I've said it a million times, I'll say it again. IF YOU WANT ACTION THEN DO SOMETHING. IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU. PS writing diatribes to YLC does not count as constructive action.
    musicveg
    3rd Jun 2018
    5:47pm
    Cut the life pensions of politicians (who don't need it) and give more to the struggler's. Easy fix. They can then spend more and they will gain more GST taxes and everyone will be better off. People can then retire earlier, kids out of school could get the jobs, more could own houses and build houses and create more work, and so it goes on. Whilst the pollies keep taking the money and hoarding in tax haven's our economy will suffer.
    jaycee1
    4th Jun 2018
    11:47am
    What a load of cr*p. They must be looking at the affluent end of town.
    This is just a cynical exercise so that they can say pensioners are already getting enough and don't need any rises.
    Sometimes I am lucky if I have the $5 needed for my fortnightly treat when shopping and am sure there are many in the same boat.
    When you have no option but to watch every penny spent, that is not being frugal, that is called necessity and some of these boffins should try it sometime.
    Jen50
    5th Jun 2018
    2:42pm
    My husband and I are 67 and 72 years old respectively. We are both on the full Age Pension, have savings and own our home outright. We are frugal because our house is starting to fall part & needs a lot of maintenance including new guttering & the carpet we put in 37 yrs ago is getting threadbare. Both cars suddenly need urgent repairs and are off the road and the washing machine blew up this morning. We need to be very careful to make sure we have enough money to cover all but the most urgent things. I’ll be doing hand washing, walking and taking public transport for a while. However, I think we are among the lucky ones because, for the moment at least, we can afford gas, electricity & food and we don’t have a mortgage or rent to pay.


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