Affluents bear brunt of increased costs

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The biggest price increases in the September quarter were in recreation and transport. Recreation was driven by increases in the prices of holiday travel and accommodation – both international (+4.3 per cent) and domestic (+2.4 per cent).

Increased transport costs were driven by rises in the price of automotive fuel (+1.4 per cent).

The biggest fall in the quarter was in telecommunications, and this related to a price drop in the cost of telecommunications equipment and services (–1.5 per cent).

These changes affected the tribes differently:

  • Affluent Couples (0.5 per cent) and Singles (0.4 per cent) faced the biggest increases as they tend to spend the most on recreation, i.e. travel and accommodation.
  • Constrained Couples (0.4 per cent) and Singles (0.3 per cent) were more markedly affected by the increased cost of transport.
  • Cash-Strapped Couples and Singles (both 0.4 per cent) were affected partly by housing and partly by transport, but less so than Constrained tribes because they spend a smaller proportion of their income on transport. Housing costs increased at a slower rate this quarter – partly due to a drop in house prices – but this only trickled through to rents, which still rose 0.2 per cent.

Looking at cost-of-living increases over the past year, Constrained Couples were the most affected tribe, and this was due to petrol price increases. Constrained Couples spend the biggest proportion of their income on transport (15 per cent) and petrol prices have risen dramatically in the past year (21 per cent).

Unsurprisingly, housing was the main driver of increases for Cash-Strapped Couples and Singles. 

To find out the annual living costs of the retirement tribe, compare your spending and access our budget planner click here.

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Written by Matt Grudnoff


Total Comments: 9
  1. 0

    “Tribes”… author trying to be trendy. This community really does not need that sort of rhetoric. I tuned out.

  2. 0

    I would suggest the people dependent on the age pension would be most affected. They are paying higher prices all the time for essentials, e.g. housing, food, energy costs etc. They have nothing left for travel, entertainment etc. Let’s get real here

    • 0

      At least they get twice-annual increases. Lots of SFRs have far less income, no concessions, no benefits, no income increases, risks of investment failure or value reductions, and risks of Labor stripping them of their lifestyle with unfair taxes. After a lifetime of hard work, saving, and paying taxes, many are wishing they hadn’t bothered! There definitely IS a sweet spot – and it’s around $400-$500K for a couple. Over that, you need to get well over the $1 million mark to be as well off as on a part pension.

  3. 0

    Agree, Mick, “tribes” analysis is rubbish.

    Only fair way to go, with the mess we have in the Retirement Incomes area, is Universal Age Pension for all with the only criteria being Age 65 and Residency (say 65 years). With taxes on all income above that and a concessional amount on returns from Super with a limit – to act as incentives for people to work & save. That will allow all to earn or save as much as you like above that, and be free of Centrelink harassment / reporting as well as hopefully less fiddling of roles in future by politicians.

  4. 0

    Why is it that the wealthy continuously get slugged with more costs and higher taxes
    Labor won’t be happy until they can’t get their hands on other people’s money coz there ain’t none left

    • 0

      Not just the wealthy, Lothario. The modestly comfortable are getting bashed constantly. Labor wants to push us all onto welfare and have equal poverty. That’s it’s idea (and the Greens) of ‘equality’. Take it off anyone who worked and saved and give it to people who didn’t.

  5. 0

    Self-supporting retirees are the worst off. It isn’t a competition between those on pensions and self-funded retirees. Both are badly off. -The issue is who has lost more and over several decades that is self-supporting retirees and many of them have their nest egg in small property holdings, so they will be in very serious financial circumstances if they have to sell or refinance any property.



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