Most retirees have modest spending habits regardless of income

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New research has found that the expenditure levels for most retirees is similar, regardless of income – but low-income households are spending more than their income.

The study of around 8000 households, was conducted by Monash Business School’s Australian Centre of Financial Studies (ACFS), using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics (HILDA) survey.

It showed that single retirees aged 65–74 spend an average amount of $18,400 annually, with couples in the same age range spending an average of $33,200.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) retirement standard estimates that, to live a modest lifestyle, single retirees aged 65–84 would have to spend $23,489 while couples would need to spend $33,784. To live a comfortable lifestyle, single retirees in the same age range would need to spend $42,579 with couples spending $58,326.

The results of the survey also showed that income plays less of a role in required spending for retirement. Rather, it seems regional variations have more influence on retirement expenditure, with the average household in Sydney spending just over $44,000, compared with $34,000 for Melbourne retirees and $25,000 for those living in Tasmania.

As with the ASFA standard, which assumes that retirees own their home, the ACFS research does not take into account the fact that many retirees are still renting. The study claims that 15 per cent of all retirees are renters, with eight per cent still paying off a mortgage.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Housing costs are high for those who do not own their homes.
  • Self-funded retirees have a higher standard of living than those relying on the Age Pension.
  • Today’s retirees spend more than earlier cohorts at a similar age.
  • Household spending does not decline through the course of retirement.
  • Superannuation is the fastest growing source of retiree household wealth.
  • Wages and super contribute significant income in the early stages of retirement.
  • Food is the major expense for retirees over 65.

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) CEO Tom Garcia said the research challenges traditional notions of retiree spending and hopes it will influence discussions about “the fairness of the super tax concessions, super’s objective and what is considered to be an ‘adequate’ income in retirement”.

“Learning more about what retirees actually spend compared to their income will help us make evidence-based decisions about adequacy and super policy,” Mr Garcia said. “There are a lot of myths and fear about what retirees need to live on. This study suggests that most older households, including wealthy ones, have relatively modest expenditure and – on average – have the highest financial satisfaction.”

Read the ACFS report

Opinion: Use this data with caution

If the aim of this report is to help shape future retirement policy and planning, it should take into account the housing (un)affordability trend which, on its current course, will affect retirement spending and make this data almost irrelevant.

The study was created using HILDA data over a period of 12 years. So it’s fair to say that it does provides an overview of modern retirement, although there are new implications that may not be accurately predicted by using older data.

YourLifeChoices’ research taken from the August 2016 Retirement in a digital world survey (with over 5000 respondents), indicates that 13 per cent of retirees are renters, 16 per cent are still paying off a mortgage and the remaining 71 per cent are homeowners. A report by ING Direct shows that, these days, retirees will enter retirement with an average debt of around $158,000. The same report estimates the number of over 65-year-olds with mortgages has increased by 28 per cent in the past three years alone.

Our own research provides a more accurate ‘snapshot’ of retirement and, if it’s anything to go by, the proportion of retirees who are still paying off a mortgage will increase year on year.

The average cost of rent paid on a one-bedroom apartment in Australia is around $16,900 per year. If expenditure is the same for the rich and the poor, it is no wonder that renting retirees struggle to make ends meet.

Of the 3.57 million Australians aged over 65, a staggering 33 per cent – or 1.2 million – of those live in poverty. So, is it fair to say that, maybe, ultra-wealthy retirees are skewing the ACFS data by offsetting the spending of the very poor?

Saying that older households enjoy the “highest financial satisfaction” might also be a bit of a stretch, especially considering that low-income households are already spending more than they earn. This proves the danger of generalising from ‘averages’, where the wealth of one individual, such as Gina Rinehart, can dramatically skew the results.

The reports states in its introduction:

“…the analysis should be used to help shed further light on the range of standard living incomes for retired Australian households at present”. It also aims to “improve the understanding of the Australian pension system, including the use of both the [Age Pension] and superannuation entitlements” and “understanding the likely pattern of expenditure in retirement may help improved decision making on planning for the retirement phase”.

So, if this report is to be taken as advice by the Government or the individual, it must be noted that it does not consider retirees who are renting or paying off a mortgage. Even if we add just $10,000 per year in rent or mortgage costs, retiree expenditure, based on the ACFS estimates, falls well short of what is required for a modest standard of living.

The difference between low-income earners and high-income earners is that the wealthy cohort still has the disposable income to pay off a mortgage. Low-income earners will have to take on debt or sell off assets to meet their living expenses.

Australians entering retirement (who don’t own a home) expecting to spend only what is quoted in the ACFS report could be in for a rude awakening.

Do you agree with the ACFS figures? Are you comfortable in retirement? If so, is it because you own your home? Do you think this data could be skewed by the ultra-wealthy?

If you have a few spare minutes this week, we’d love you to share your thoughts on Retirement in a digital world.

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

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

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205 Comments

Total Comments: 205
  1. 0
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    An LNP Federal Government will selectively use data and statistics to ensure they spend the least possible supporting the Elderly and Disadvantaged.
    It is the LNP’s belief that if working to 70+, being unable to afford proper medical care, or poor nutrition bring about your early demise then the whole country is better off.

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      If people are not spending down their capital then it tells the government they are getting paid too much in welfare. That is why they are tightening up the assets test.

      Also you do not have to work to you are 70. You can retire at any age even 40 if you want to. You will just not be able to access the OAP until retirement age. So if you want to retire before retirement age you have provide for it yourself.

      I really can’t see a problem with the retirement age being 70 myself.

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      I am very happy for you Old Geezer that you will work on until you are 70. The community thanks you for your contribution to society. However, women in particular, have not had the continuity of income or the access to the high paying jobs in the same manner as men. That means limited super.
      Many women who thought they were doing to be provided for when they married have found the harsh reality of a very rapidly changing world. Divorce, returning to the workforce, raising a family alone etc etc. I am sure there is a parallel universe in the male world.
      However its the single people who will suffer most by these statistics. $18K for singles as opposed to $33K for couples. Its unrealistic. I can name $30K of fixed costs associated with maintaining a home, car, medical and dental, and means of communication. They don’t change whether you are married or single. The only difference is food and clothing.
      The goal is to not spend down your assets and live off the interest gained so you will continue to be self funded in 30 years from now – but that’s no going to happen. In fact it is compulsory to draw down 4% each year and even more as you get older.

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      I left my job a long time before I got to 70. A quick calculation has me not even spending half of that $30,000 on your fixed cost items. Clothing costs me very little and food costs a bit more than normal as we only eat the good stuff.

      OK you might have to take out 4% of your super so your super fund doesn’t pay tax but there is nothing stopping you putting in back in until age of 75 if the new super laws pass.

      I have very little in super myself as I haven’t had a job for decades and super was only just coming in when I left.

      You assume I am a man but I may be a divorced single woman who stayed home and looked after their family instead of working.

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      Would have thought if you were a woman and not a man then you would be calling yourself “Old Duck and not “Old Geezer”. Maybe it just shows how times have changed. Maybe we need to call you Ms Old Geezer to avoid any potential confusion……..

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      Why do women always denote themselves by putting themselves down? A woman can be as good as a man and in same cases better. That is the point I was trying to put across.

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      I don’t think retirees all selling down shares, putting homes on the market and withdrawing deposits from banks is such a great idea OG. It is typical of the nonsense that has dominated debate.

      If there was a sudden selling up or even a spending halt the screaming would be incredibly loud.

      However you just might get what you seem to consider a great idea.

      The transfer of wealth from savers to debtors has a time to run but it won’t be pretty once it is over.

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      I have no idea what you are talking about Rae as they are not my ideas at all.

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      That is great OG. If there is a mad scramble by the retirees to sell down assets quickly we will know it is not your idea.

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      Old Geezer…As a mature age worker, I do see a big problem with having to work till 70. You try constantly learn new skills and adapting to change with deteriorating vision, hearing and other illnesses amongst a young agile workforce with KPIs. It is stressful and as we all know stress kills. This Government wants all peasants it can no longer bleed to simply drop dead.

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      I’ll just watch from the sidelines then and maybe pick up some bargains when the dust settles.

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      Agree with you robin. Interesting to watch the rusted on LNP posters continue with the Party line. Never changes.
      The reality of the current government is that we now have the oldest retirement in the western world, that retirees are being hit from all sides in an attempt to destitute them whilst they are still alive and the bastards justify their malevolence with any sort of claim whilst refusing to tax corporates or the very rich at the correct rate.
      What we have going on in politics is a game with average citizens the targets.

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      Retirees do very nicely Mick so even better than the fully self funded retirees. Like everyone else the more they get the more they want and the more they whinge.

      Who are these LNP posters Mick I haven’t seen any?

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      MICK does love to get political,why bring LNP into it? Taking of rusted on, sheesh.

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      Old Geezer. It does not tell you any such thing.
      It is not a measure of whether or not people are drawing down lump sums and savings. In fact people are required to draw down a portion of their lump sum every year if they have one.
      This silly survey only looks at routine expenses. It does not take into account the major one off expenses that go with replacing household items such as fridges, TVs etc. and repairs and replacement of such items as roofs, gutters, fences, painting and after some years kitchens and bathrooms; or the cost of trades people such as plumbers and electricians. They do not take into account major health expenses that are unpredictable and vary from one person to the next as well as from one year to the next. It costs as much to live as a retired person as it does as a working person apart from the expenses of travelling to work. Are they looking at cutting the incomes of the researchers because they do not need all the money they get to live?

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      Old Geezer is a woman. Her name is actually ”Bonny”. We’ve seen loads of her self-serving posts before. Like her alter-ego, she wants anyone who struggled financially – for whatever reason – to suffer poverty in old age, and all those battlers who sacrificed to save deprived of all the rewards for doing so.

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      Rainey the OAP is welfare that stops people living in poverty in old age so why would I want people to live in poverty in old age? You make no sense to me at all.

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      The OAP is NOT welfare, Old Geezer. Read some history and inform yourself. Only the vile and disgusting would suggest that senior Australians are not ENTITLED to respect and care in their old age.

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      Of course it is welfare Rainey as it is a welfare payment to save old people from living in poverty. To call it anything is because people are guilty about not being able to look after themselves. Calling the OAP welfare has nothing to do with respect and care of old people in old age. So get over it Rainey and called it for what it is WELFARE.

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      Rainey….Forget Mr Plant , not worth arguing with !! 🙁 You get them on all sites, And the worse part is WE are paying for their Retainer !!:-( 🙁

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      Actually Alex your comment is one of the most sensible solutions to the haves and haves not problem.

      If we did cut the incomes of those getting excessive amounts then just maybe those being underpaid through the past 40 years could catch up and earn something that allows them to save.

      Income redistribution in Australia was once the envy of the world and most workers enjoyed a quality lifestyle.

      Then neoliberalism appeared and we find ourself here where a lot of hard workers are not receiving a fair share at all.

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      Kif you have a job you will only get the least amount an employer is required to pay or the amount you will accept to take on that job. I worked this out years ago and as soon as I cut out the middle man and worked for myself I realised how much I was really worth.

      Unfortunately schools today teach people to be slaves that have jobs to make others rich. What can one expect have no experience other than having a job themselves.

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      Telstra News Tonight… Pauline said Muslims with 4 Wives and Numerous Children were Destroying the Welfare Budget !! 🙁 TRUE !!

      I couldn’t make this up ! 🙂
      What hope have Old Age Pensioners got now of ever getting anything in the Future 🙁 🙁
      And here was me thinking that we have laws in this land against Multiple Marriage’s ??
      But my motto is If you cant beat them Join them !!
      So tomorrow I will be converting to Islam And then go Wife Hunting 🙂
      But I’m wondering if only FOUR Wives will be enough ? 🙂

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      PS Anyone with a Telstra Account can read about this By logging into your Account !! Don’t be shocked !! 🙁 Apparently there are 2 Sets of Laws in this Land ?? Trust Pauline to dig it up 🙁 🙁 What else are they Hiding ?? Stay Tuned 🙂 🙂

  2. 0
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    Being a female, I never received any superannuation for any job that I ever worked. Can I therefore look forward to a retirement similar to my late mother’s, living on 3-minute noodles and party pies? I suspect that this is going to be the case.

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      Yuk 3 minute noodles and party pies are not even food.

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      CarolAT…I am in the same boat. I remember all pensioners were poverty stricken in the past. They never owned shares, investments nor Super, many rented and just lived frugally off their measly pension. None spent time travelling on cruises or overseas trips and none moaned how hard they had it. At least Governments allowed them to retire early unlike this one.

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      You can retire whenever you like. So why not retire early spend your money when you are able and then get the pension at 70. Sounds like a good plan to me.

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      I did Carol but like most Australians it did not amount to a real lot as we started too late. You would not be too far behind….and now have equal conditions.

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      The most important plan is to own the roof over one’s head by pension time. No matter how small, modest or whatever its value, owning the home means singles and couples can and do live quite happily on the pension. My mother-in-law and my mother both owned their units and lived well on the pension. My MIL even saved money on it. My mother had saved a nest-egg, so was able to keep her car and maintain it and also take an occasional holiday.
      The problem for governments is going to arrive with the generation of pensionable people who are non-home owners. Taxpayers will not be able to fund their resultant social housing needs. Governments will do well to encourage home ownership. Organisations like ACOSS and other outfits that would like to punish success and prosperity should stop their campaigning to assess the family home for pension because it is a disincentive to provide a home for ourselves and would lead to all sorts of problems.

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      You are correct Brissiegirl but keep in mind the more welfare dependents the more powerful ACOSS becomes. It is not in their benefit for too many to be self sufficient. I bet the CEO of ACOSS is paid a pretty penny.

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      That was my intention O.G. but my Super did so well I have no hope of spending it all by the time I am 70. I guess I was not as clever as some, other than making sure my Super was invested in a low risk strategy and salary sacrificing for the last 5 years I worked, I did not fiddle about with my Super. Yet those who chased better returns did not seem to do so well. Lucky I was content to just use lazy investment strategies and be patient.
      Of course the reason I was able to salary sacrifice was that we paid off our house 5 years before I retired, another long term investment mistake in some peoples eyes. I wonder how much better off I would be if I was just a bit smarter?

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      Got a similar problem my super will last to I’m 104 plus so I’m going to try and live to 104 plus just to see if they are right! Not sure who designed those retirement calculators but they are giving me some silly results as shown above.

      I too am in low risk strategy where I am beating inflation and earning more than I have to take out each year. Certainly not just getting a pitiful return by having lazy bank deposits. These are hardly ever positive after tax and inflation.

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    I don’t understand the food being the main cost.

    I eat very well on around $60 a week with a salad green garden and a few fruit trees to pad it out.

    It requires choosing fresh foods in season, cooking and using a chest freezer to avoid waste.

    My main cost is insurance at nearly $100 a week for health, property and contents and car.

    Another $85 for rates, water and electricity.

    I’m self funded but most weeks spend well short of the OAP amounts.

    Some weeks I spend much more but that is entirely discretionary.

    I do believe health costs of medicines etc are rising and this is especially hard for self funded retirees who have to pay full costs for everything with no discounts or rebates.
    Perhaps this discrimination could be looked into.

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      I don’t even bother getting prescriptions filled as I believe they are poisons that I don’t need. I even ask Doctors if I really need them. Most people feel cheated if they leave a doctor’s visit without a script so I think doctor’s feel they have doen their job unless they rite one out.

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      Yes Rae, things where we can operate in the our old world with are inexpensive. i.e. food, cheap clothes, self home repairs etc. But as soon as you need something in the spinning real world, Internet, phone, house repairs, car, rates, electricity etc its a bridge too far.
      Today’s costs are based on what an average income earner can pay and $18 is not an average wage.

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      I don’t need prescriptions either OG but I realise how lucky that makes me.

      Even with shopping around and using the cheapest discount chemist the cost to friends who do need medication is expensive.

      And I have not been able to get below $40 a week with Telstra for computer, fixed line and mobile.

      I may yet have to lower insurance costs by only using third party property, ditching the extras health and using a dongle and just the mobile on pre paid. We will see how much lower dividends and yields go.

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      It actually costs me less the fully insure my car than third party property does so you may not save much there.

      Not sure what you are invested in by the last couple of months have been good to me.

      Forget the dongle just get a smart phone and use it like a dongle instead. Dongles are a real pain unless you have a hot spot to use them in. I just take a smart phone and a tablet now with me when I’m going anywhere. That’s all I need with lots free WiFi about.

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      Old Geezer….I am not one for prescriptions too but no one knows what lays around the corner. Never say never there is always a first time for everything. I contracted a deadly virus and would not be posting this if it weren’t for life-saving medications with nasty side effects. I do believe in medication when there is no other option.

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      Good post Rae. What you highlight is that the official figures are nonsense and do NOT represent the true cost of living. I can relate to your list as ours is similar and on a modest return on equity we can survive well and travel on what is left. People just would not believe how little they need to spend if they invest some time and put themselves out, which is not on the agenda for a lot of folk who cry poor all too often.

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      Old Geezer I don’t believe for a minute that “most people” feel cheated if they are not given a script when visiting a doctor. Doctors know from their research that the vast majority of patients spend as much money on health during the last five years of life as in all previous years put together. If mature age patients have chronic illness it is most unkind to lump them all into a category of script-seekers.

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      Old Geezer lives in a utopia somewhere in the ether – must be dead and gone to another world. In his dream utopia – that the poor deluded soul thinks is real – nobody gets sick and needs medicines, disability is a crime, people are paid to use electricity, and some astonishingly privileged folk can get comprehensive insurance for less than the price of third party. Politicians are all honest and competent and deserve to be paid obscene amounts and given disgustingly large pensions after only a few years of sitting on their shiny lazy bums doing nothing of worth, but people who spend 5 decades slogging it out in low-paid jobs helping nurses or cleaning in hospitals or building roads – keeping the nation going – should suffer a miserable old age branded ”welfare recipients”, paid a pittance, and treated as fifth-class citizens.

      What a sick puppy he/she is!!!

  4. 0
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    Age pension should be payed to the individual Australian citizen when reaching the appropriate age however, a life time payment such as that given to those we employee as members of parliament after they have left or removed as MPs (employees) would be helpful to live on as pensioner.
    Remembering that MPs after leaving or removed from parliament are the only former employees throughout how nation that continue to receive monies and other perks after they are not longer how employees. note Holden s, fords , Toyota formers employees git zep in life time forms of pensions and other perks from there former employee.

    • 0
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      MPs are well and truly overpaid in relation to the salaries of comparable public servants.Backbenchers used to earn the same as an experienced nurse or teacher. Now they earn more than three times the amount. The daily amount for accommodation and meals is also excessive, as is travel.

      With the current deficit all these excessive entitlements need to be reined in.

      It has gotten quite out of control.

      Not as bad as senior employees of large companies but getting there.

      The increase in these few incomes is skewing average income levels and hurting ordinary people by increasing prices above reasonable levels.

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    Being a pensioner of 80 years+ superannuation was not heard of in earlier years or if it was you had to be earning a really good wage and no children to be able to contribute. This government and all associated would not know what hardship is. Just look how the system is wrought by them and what they are paid, therefore no thought is given to the elderly and the needy. Attitude is “I’m right Jack, you get on the best way you can, We don’t care.”

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    I wonder who sets the standards in deciding what is “modest” and what is “comfortable”. What is the level one has to climb out of to escape being described as “living in poverty”?

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      I’d be very comfortable on that modest level myself. That comfortable level sounds like luxury t me.

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      Yeh, coupla good points OM, tx.

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      Depends on how good you are at maximising your dollars and if you are prepared to live on the smell of an oily rag or not. Most people are not.

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      I wonder if they have done figures on the effect on the economy if 20%+ of the population are living on the amounts they suggest.

      Business might not be prepared for that level of loss of income.

      The LNP is talking about taking another 6.6 billion out of the economy to add to the 2.3 and other amounts already going from past legislation.

      What is the tipping point I wonder.

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      I doubt it will make much difference as people have already stopped spending.

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      All I know is that I would not like to be on a Pension and paying rent. Those people who are, can’t have much left over to enjoy retirement.

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      Ditto ex PS.
      There are of course all shades of grey and many who do not own a home have a story to tell of why this is so which involves lifestyle chosen before the hardship to get and pay off a house.

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    CarolAT……That about sums up the situation that the single person is left with. Either hospital care or car or funeral plan, cannot afford all three pay rent, clothe and food to survive, leave alone when health problems come along and you need special care. Maybe we are not meant to live long lives according to the Highrachi…… LOL

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      Don’t worry about the funeral plan as it’s not your problem when you are die. The government will pay for your remains to be disposed of if no one else does.

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      I’d seriously consider health insurance for hospital as well. It does leave you thousands out of pocket if you use it for private treatment.
      Most full aged pensioners with no savings are better off relying on the public system. That way you can save at least $50 a fortnight in insurance costs.

      Rent is the nasty cost. I’d keep the car as long as possible.

  8. 0
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    I’m very glad that you can’t see a problem with the retirement age being 70 Old Geezer but maybe spare a thought for all the bricklayers , concreters and hard manual labour workers or even just people that aren’t blessed with bodies that wear very well that aren’t fortunate enough to self fund retirement before the age of 70.

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      Well I know of manual workers in their nineties that are still very active. Maybe it’s not the manual work that is the problem but their lifestyle instead. These people just need to look after themselves and leave the grog and ciggies alone and eat proper food instead of that crap they now call food. Bodies only wear out if you don’t look after them well.

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      Couldn’t agree more Nicko. It’s all well and good for people to cite the odd one or two manual workers who have been fortunate enough to pick the right parents but the vast majority are worn out from good, honest hard physical work. It’s not the lifestyle that is the problem, it’s the constant use of muscles and sinews that have not been designed to work for 55 years.

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      A post from our sponsor? Let’s up the retirement age to 80.

  9. 0
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    I pre-empted this article on the weekend – see ‘Forum-Hot Topics-Really ? nah just kiddin.’

    It wasn’t my intention to steal anothers’ thunder, anyway this contribution offers more perspective than mine.
    The Hilda data was compiled over 12 yrs and a good deal has since changed – interest rates, real estate values & so on. Yes, I do agree that “the wealth of one individual — can skew the results. To claim that “Of the 3.57 million Australians aged over 65, a staggering 33 per cent – or 1.2 million – of those live in poverty.” is questionable indeed. What exactly constitutes “poverty” by todays’ standards ? Does this mean a third of >65’s do not have a roof overhead, a bed to sleep in, a square meal a day (at least), access to charities/institutions, much less be recipient of a social benefit ? I seriously doubt the veracity of that claim. Oh I’m aware that I’ve gone overboard to balance the considerations however, I seem to think the author(s) of these article(s) plus those of the respective reports may have ‘donned a hair shirt’ prior to commencing the exercise. Far from levelling blame I would also suggest that ‘poor souls’ (individuals) or representative charities are almost always prone to skewing the results to best affect.
    So what if some few enter retirement indebted, isn’t this a matter for themselves to address ? The wealthy – those presumed to skew the findings disproportionately – are obviously the fortunates. Our democratic/capitalist system never envisaged a collective ‘well being’, ie, everyone lives in relative comfort/satisfaction. Sure the well off may explore tax dodges & the like but then relatively speaking don’t most of us maximise our tax return (by stretching figures) ? Shit happens – regardless of the >65’s varying degrees of what constitutes their comfort zone or individual satisfaction – everyone is personally responsible for their own retirement preparedness. In most cases the profits/liabilities are of our own making.
    “Are you comfortable —- “, is a matter of perception. My wife & yours truly ARE comfortable in our owned, small (by todays standards) bungalow in a regional country town. However I am not comfortable with someone living in a $2M pile overlooking the water views and receiving a social benefit. Then again I’m going to be happier than the poor sod in a public housing tenement with: dropouts, drongo’s, single mothers (with multiple kids to various sires) and druggies for neighbours. It’s all relative.
    The data is skewed as much by the wealthy few as by the poor masses and any degree of meddling will achieve little than further exacerbate the divide.

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      Thanks MD, well put. I wonder if some of those people sitting in a $2M pile with water views are actually rich or if the modest family home that was is now in a much sought after area with the land value being 90% of the value. And can I make a suggestion that shit doesn’t just happen, it’s caused by arseholes.

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      If you are sitting on a $2m pile with water views then you should not bee on the OAP. It is as simple as that.

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      You and I can disagree Old Geezer but the disagreement is merely academic. As things stand, the family home* is exempt as an asset and, I hope, always will be. The value of the family home can sometimes be excessive because of location and exemption appears to allow for this anomaly.

      *Our family home has no water views and is perhaps best described as modest, what ever that means.

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      Funny OG but I see the outrageous price inflation as a problem directly linked to the Central banks and governments that have created a property bubble through lax immigration policy and weak control of banks.

      I fail to see why owners of modest homes around Sydney Harbour should have to pay for the nonsense by losing well earned aged pensions.

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      Property has gone up in Sydney because of supply and demand fuelled on by low interest rates now and for the next decade.

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      Yes the demand of an extra 300 000 immigrants each and every year and incredibly low interest rates, historically low. I’m not at all sure about the next decade though. That doesn’t account for older home owners that paid very high interest rates being penalised because young people with too much money and too little sense are paying far too much for houses.

      If they are entitled to welfare they should not have to sell a long held house to speculators.

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      It’s a different world alright Rae. Don’t expect any concessions from genY though.
      For the record just because something (houses) has been rising in value for 60 years does not mean that the trend will continue. Whilst Sydney prices have driven the market (due to demand) Australian real estate is expensive by international standards and that is a worry.
      If the financial markets do not blow up as they are predicted to do then house prices likely not to suffer. If they do then all that newly created ‘money’ from a creative accounting system will disappear faster than a formula 1 car going past.
      In the meantime we all have to do the best to get by with a government intent on stripping all assets from the retirement community for no other reason other than to shore up its mismanagement of the economy.

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    If these “modest” amounts are good enough for pensioners, why do we pay politicians so much?

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      Because they actually work welfare people don’t.

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      OK, so why do we pay retired pollies so much?

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      Because like any other job that was part of their salary package when they took on the job.

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      The backbenchers earn far too much today and have lost touch with ordinary people on ordinary incomes. Just the nightly rate and meal allowance is much more than most people earn in a day.

      They should be well paid but current incomes and allowances are excessive.

      They should be tied to ordinary public servant incomes as they once were.

      An MP does not work harder than a police person, nurse or teacher with seniority. Once MP income matched these salaries.

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      Old Geezer, Male or Female, I really don’t care

      You say this- Because they actually work welfare people don’t

      How about a dose of reality or facts – you INCORRECTLY imply that no people on Welfare are actually working- Perhaps you need to look a little closer at what really constitutes the specific Welfare categories, rather that just writing B.S.

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      Rodent.. I whole Heartedly AGREE with You !!

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      I agree with OG the pollies have a job to do and fet paid to donthat job. Welfare including the OAP is not paid according to work performed. Infact it is paid to people who do nothing at all. Big difference here.

      Also pollies are not well paid and I for one wouldn’t do thier job for what they get paid when I could earn lots more working in private enterprise. Department heads and other senior publivc servants are paid more than a lot of pollies.

      Stop whinging and be thankful that we have welfare to keep you out of poverty.

      Meanwhile I continue my trip around this beautiful country thankful that I have the freedom and means to see such wonderful things.

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      Of course you do Bonny you have to.

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      I’ve yet to find a politician who does any work of value in retirement, and most do very little – other than stuff up the country – when sitting on their shiny bums claiming to be ”working” (except they don’t know the meaning of the word”.

      If payment for contributing nothing is ”welfare”, then politicians are on ”welfare” and most pensioners ought, by any standard of justice, be on generous retirement benefits.

      It is sickening how disrespectful some people are of the people who made this nation great – the roadworkers and electricity workers and nurses and cleaners and all the rest who busted themselves serving the nation for 40+ years for bugger-all payment, while greedy turds screwed up the economy and the society and claimed millions for doing so.

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      I’ve sent you a Packet of Sorbent (36 Pack) to pass on to your Beloved Polly’s 🙂

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