Revealing the truth about retirement affordability

Feeling the pinch? You’re not alone when it comes to retirement affordability.

Revealing the truth about retirement affordability

There are more than 3 million retirees in Australia living on a fixed income. A growing proportion of these people are doing it very tough. Yet their plight is rarely discussed, let alone addressed.

So why are these people seemingly invisible in the eyes of policy makers?

For far too long the ASFA Retirement Living Standard categories of ‘comfortable’ versus ‘modest’ have been accepted as sufficient to cover the range of retirement income experiences. But YourLifeChoices has long suspected that ‘comfortable’ was much closer to ‘very well off’ and ‘modest’ meant ‘verging on poverty’.

With 3.5 million retirees and another 4 million currently aged 45 or over, who are due to retire over the next 20 years, retirement affordability should be one of the hottest policy topics in Canberra.

Yet apart from ongoing cuts to access to the Age Pension and fiddling around the edges of superannuation rules, there has been little real debate about the coming perfect storm. This storm consists of an ageing population, underfunded for retirement, carrying more debt, expected to shoulder all the risk of their retirement income, with virtually no government support and extremely low trust in industry advisers.

As Matt Grudnoff at The Australia Institute (TAI), our partner in the soon to be released Retirement Affordability Index™, has noted, ‘we had long suspected that a significant group of people in retirement are not doing very well at all, in fact they are living in poverty.’

And by contrast, another ‘retirement tribe’ is doing extremely well. And unless we reject the ‘one-size-fits-all’ descriptions of retirement income and look at the actual spending of the different types of retirement households, we will continue to assume that life in retirement is merely ‘comfortable’ or ‘modest’ – rather than ranging from the luxurious to the downright penurious.

Much research was required in order to discern more accurate retirement categories, with six different tribes being identified.

First up, we used special household expenditure data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to segment the population into six categories according to their home ownership, relationship status and form of income. Next the Consumer Price Index (CPI) across 12 different categories of expenditure was applied, showing how prices have risen much faster than CPI for retirement renters and at a slower rate for retired homeowners.

Blind Freddie can see that this situation is likely to be exacerbated as rental prices increase under pressure from the overheated property market.

Additionally, YourLifeChoices conducted a survey of its 250,000 members to ask about their experience of retirement affordability. This uncovered a lot of angst, including the sad truth that 56 per cent of respondents have run out of money before their next pension pay cheque arrives.

So using this new data, we have created an index to achieve two separate, but related, purposes. Firstly, to encourage a deeper policy debate about equity in retirement and to prompt questions about whether the current rules favour all.

And secondly, to assist YourLifeChoices members and other individual retirees who are trying to navigate the confusion of rules and regulations, subject to constant change, fearing that they ‘don’t know what they don’t know’, about retirement income.  Our retirement tribes’ household expenditure tables show the amounts your particular retirement tribe typically spends, item by item, as well as include a handy table in which to record your own expenditure and how you compare to the rest of your tribe. This will be updated quarterly so you can keep on top of your household budget. So don’t forget to watch out for the inaugural edition of the Retirement Affordability Index™ – hitting your inbox on Sunday 9 April.

Are you surprised to learn that many retirees are living in poverty? Or is this no news at all? To which retirement tribe do you belong?

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    inextratime
    6th Apr 2017
    10:32am
    Well done YLC a voice in the wilderness.
    MICK
    6th Apr 2017
    11:07pm
    Agree. The reason the bastards do not talk about those on fixed incomes is because the facts would come into the public arena and there would be pressure to do something. They do not want to do anything other than screw retirees by painting them out as rich leeches when their incomes keep falling.
    The above is a distraction so that people shift their view away from fraudulent tax avoidance at the top of the tree and offshore tax shelters where the wealthy are able to squirrel away their (stolen) loot.
    So why does the media let them do it??????
    Zen
    6th Apr 2017
    10:56am
    Thankyou Kaye...I think this is one of the few sites where you consistently hear a broad range of perspectives on aging ...not the persistent ROSE-COLOURED GLASSES view of smiling, good-looking, 'it's your time!!' view of retirees in 'resort-style villages'. Yes, some are VERY well-off which masks the reality for most and skews the conversation and perspective of the on-looker younger population. We live with totally out-dated concepts on aging .... the only response to an increasing number of older people is to raise the retirement age...woefully simplistic. We don't have an aging 'problem' ...we have an opportunity to change how these extra years of life can be lived to enhance all members of our society. How can we tap into the immense life -experience of older people ... how can we facilitate their on-going contribution to society in a way that suits them ...with flexibility and understanding of their needs ....not to force them to work younger or be 'young'!!! Value OLD and the fantastic changes that come with being older ...in our thinking, our BEING. When we see older people for who they are NOW (not what we want them to be to fit in with current notions of productivity and efficiency and success and who is valuable) then we will have a society that is inclusive and respectful of all ....at all stages of life!!!
    heyyybob
    6th Apr 2017
    2:29pm
    Well said Zen :) Yes, I too am tired of the (TV) presentations of very 'youthful, beautiful, well groomed and attired Retirees' when they (in slow motion but with obviously no physical age related problems) move down the private wharf to load the picnic basket into the 28' cabin cruiser. Or sitting happily in this years model ($60k plus) vehicle as they wend there down the Great Ocean Road to Nirvana etc, etc :( ................* sigh. Show it often enough and the TV fed and raised younger generation(s) will actually believe it and continue to increase their disdain of the current real life retirees :(
    Linda
    6th Apr 2017
    10:04pm
    Well said Zen. In some cultures advanced age means being highly respected. I agree that we older citizens should be treated as you suggest. There are several problems that some like to link up. Our young folks, who live and work in the big cities are having a hard time being able to afford a home of any kind. Old folks are living in times of higher living costs, and unless they are very wealthy, they will struggle to stay in their homes, or find the kind of accommodation they want/need. Most families these days must have two wage earners in order to just maintain and meet the costs of living and caring for their children. Things have changed in the last 30 years. I would caution everyone to avoid finger pointing on the pension issues as we are still in that transition period since mandatory pensions were introduced. Once a person has had a pension plan for their entire working life, some of these issues will take care of themselves. I think it does everyone a bad turn to start calling it welfare, given how things were done in the past. It does not help anything either, except cause some folks to feel mistreated, or bad about their circumstances. For many, their work is something they enjoy and making a contribution feels good, and if there is not enough jobs for the young people, it seems a little late to put the elderly on an unemployed allowance, and make them go out and try to find a job, when most businesses don't really want oldies there at all. I think it is really terrible to badmouth retired people, their race has been run, for good or no.
    Zen
    6th Apr 2017
    10:58am
    Correction to my comment below...'work longer' (not, work younger)
    CoogeeGuy
    6th Apr 2017
    11:56am
    It is pleasing to read the real truth that the larger percentage of retirees are doing it tough. Our governments are very good at masking and/or fiddling with the figures/statistics to make things better than they really are. This includes how the government measures inflation. We are all doing it tough because the cost of services, utilities, health insurance etc is soaring, and either making it unaffordable, or forcing us to cut spending in other areas, such as food. Enough of the lies and deceit. Our governments and councils need to realise they are no longer dealing with uneducated or apathathic people. We now demand better from our politicians and councillors. The government needs to act now on ensuring older Australians can live a comfortable life in retirement.
    Troubadour
    6th Apr 2017
    12:14pm
    Yes many of us are not living the 'luxury life' in those wonderful 4/5 star retirement villages we all see advertised. In my group of friends
    there is a broad spectrum of life-styles from those just managing
    to stay afloat to those able to go on cruises (forgive the pun!) and
    holidays two three times a year, and llive in some style.
    I would not consider ourselves as 'poor' but we only just manage
    to keep in the 'comfortable' bracket and cannot afford extras or
    any luxuries now that utilities, health care etc keep going up and up.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    12:57pm
    It is would not matter how much welfare OAPs were given it would never be enough.
    Triss
    6th Apr 2017
    3:45pm
    It wouldn't matter how much public servants and bureaucrats were given either, Old Geezer, it wouldn't be enough.
    Remember Julia Gillard requested extra perks, an office in Melbourne and Adelaide plus an extra staffer. Kevin Rudd demanded two Brisbane offices, staff and other perks, even ringing the Prime Minister to discuss his arrangements. That's in spite of both of them raking in $200,000 pension plus estimated $300,000-a-year office and travel costs.
    Some ex pollies have banded together for more pension because living on $100K plus leaves them disadvantaged...and the list goes on.
    Anonymous
    6th Apr 2017
    7:33pm
    OG, that's a horrid and deeply offensive thing to say. I know dozens of OAPs who are deeply grateful for their pension and manage impressively well on it. Complaints of inadequacy are entirely justified in most cases, by the high costs of utilities and health care etc. and a disgracefully unjust system of determining increases on false criteria.

    I believe the majority would be perfectly content with an appropriate increase and a fair system of ensuring the pension keeps up with inflation. Sure, there are some who can never be satisfied, or whose expectations are unreasonable, but I am confident they are the minority. Most pensioners are anything but greedy and self-serving. It's the much better off who are never satisfied and always grasping for more.
    Old Geezer
    7th Apr 2017
    10:35am
    Rainey the truth hurts sometimes but that is reality.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2017
    6:06pm
    It's NOT truth or reality, OG. It's as stinking vile pig's nasty assumptions about good people who don't deserve to have to share their world with a vile creature like you.
    Old Geezer
    7th Apr 2017
    6:28pm
    Now Rainey who is being nasty and denigrating.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2017
    1:06pm
    Truth hurts, eh OG?
    maelcolium
    6th Apr 2017
    12:19pm
    Where the poster Old Geezer? He usually has something to say about how lucky retirees are, but of course he doesn't have to live on the OAP so he can afford to be esoteric. With a bit of luck he's gone elsewhere.
    This is a good report and I'm sending it to my fed/state local member/s and councillor.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    12:55pm
    Ha ha I'm very comfortable living on much less than the OAP. Definitely at least 3 cruises a year in the OAP so what are you all going on about? Once can be as poor as they wish.

    Remember this saying?

    Rich people stay rich by living like they're broke. Broke people stay broke by living like they're rich.
    Nan Norma
    6th Apr 2017
    1:12pm
    Don't wish to be rude, but Old Geezer I wish you'd put a sock in it sometimes. Your like a broken record. Can you say something original for a change.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    2:21pm
    Sorry don't have any spare socks.
    Captain
    6th Apr 2017
    4:40pm
    OG, Could you please rewrite sentences 2 and 3 in paragraph 1 in understandable English.

    Thanks.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    6:18pm
    Well Captain I reread it and it all makes perfect sense to me.
    Anonymous
    6th Apr 2017
    7:36pm
    "3 cruises a year in an OAP?" Just proves the idiot OG lives in fantasy land and has no idea of reality. What an utterly STUPID claim!
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    9:24pm
    Rainey there are a lot of OAPs that do 3 or more cruises a year. Obviously you have never been on one and talked to them.
    MICK
    6th Apr 2017
    11:17pm
    Arrogance Geezer. Your method of spitting on those below you. Pretty pitiful and I have to feel sorry for you.
    I can however relate to a part of your spiel. My wife and I earn not too much above the OAP and manage a long overseas trip once a year. At least so far. The secret for us is living frugally, and that doesn't mean buying expensive food, fast food, restaurants, shows, paid weekend sporting venues, new cars every 5 years (we have 1 between us), the latest fashion clothing, etc., etc.
    A bit of a list. And yes I know not everybody wants to live this way. But it works. Of course our idea of holidaying is also different from others and our costs are well down here too.
    There are all flavours in life. Some people face disadvantage which is not self inflicted. Others choose to spend their limited income in other ways. In the end there are choices for most of us and we have to be careful to not pull the other man down who has made sacrifices and life style decisions to get what others want too. That's life.
    Get rid of some of the right wing nastiness I perceive in your comments Geezer. There may be different flavours but you need to recognise not all people are painted with the same brush and show a little respect towards those who deserve it.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2017
    6:50am
    No, OG, I've never been on a cruise. But I know that people on nothing but an OAP don't go on cruises. Those with additional income or assets may, but those on just the OAP struggle to get by. And I think it's vile and disgusting to suggest that they have enough to cruise the world when the rest of us are urging society to recognize that many of them can't even afford heating in winter.
    john
    7th Apr 2017
    10:26am
    Unfortunately Old Geezer is a man who is lucky, has probably set himself up worked hard and can brag about how easily his lifestyle is on small or large income , we don't really know.
    What I do know about old geezer is he is a person who is incapable of looking any where else but into his own good fortune and how smart he thinks he is.
    He has no conception of "situation" that changes the world for every single one of the 7 billion of us ,every minute.
    I call him old self satisfied foolish geezer.
    Than again he may just be a stirrer, I am finding I am not too keen on a person who is extraordinarily presumptuous.
    I also am certain that the majority of pensioners are doing it quite hard , some seriously in trouble others just making it, and a tiny few who are nicely situated, old G will say I can get by on nothing and live happily, but then we know what old G is don't we! And we don't kno if he tells porkies!
    Old Geezer
    7th Apr 2017
    11:50am
    I just tell it how it is not how people want to hear it. That would be telling porkies.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2017
    6:15pm
    No, OG, you tell it like your warped nasty twisted mind perceives it. But healthy minds know you are wrong.
    mogo51
    6th Apr 2017
    12:53pm
    Thank you also Kaye.
    An excellent article and very accurate. It doees not matter what party is in Government they are as bad as each other. Both have their noses in the trough.
    Neither carefor the plight of pensioners and have squandered taxes and royalties from mining boom and before with abysmal policies and social diection (or lack if it)
    GeorgeM
    6th Apr 2017
    1:04pm
    Well done, Kaye, again, for publishing what's happening in the real world.

    It is time there was a petition to get full Age Pensions for all Australians who paid taxes for say 20 years here, without any asset and income tests, with all other income taxed. Then, the Fed Govt can also save massive Centrelink costs for administering pensions except for those who don't qualify as above.
    This can easily be paid for (even increasing it) if all Companies and the rich are made to pay reasonable taxes by having an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) of say 15-20% on all income without allowing any shonky deductions - as in USA (there since 1969) and other countries.

    As no political parties are supporting pensioners, can you start a Petition?
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    1:11pm
    The rich already pay more than their fair share of tax in Australia and get no benefits.
    GeorgeM
    6th Apr 2017
    1:20pm
    Rubbish, OG, if they did they don't have to worry with an AMT - which is about paying a fair share!

    I also should have mentioned - the Govt needs to change the rules so as to make tax rules simple and clear so Multinationals and Large Companies can't avoid tax - and help make ATO's task easier.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    2:47pm
    Rubbish they are not avoiding tax at all as they are paying it elsewhere in the world in countries that are smart enough to realise that if they give them a decent tax rate then they will pay their tax plus a lot more in their country.
    GeorgeM
    6th Apr 2017
    3:12pm
    Rubbish again from a right-wing Liberal party stooge propagating their nonsensical justifications. Go away, you are in a very small minority here on YLC.
    Triss
    6th Apr 2017
    3:48pm
    How do you know the rich pay more than their fair share of tax, Old Geezer? I suggest they are wealthy enough to employ fancy accountants to save them from paying tax.
    Retired Knowall
    6th Apr 2017
    4:30pm
    How much do you have to accumulate before you are classified as RICH?
    Farside
    6th Apr 2017
    5:04pm
    @George, do you only like to read commentary you agree with? Must be nice to be always so right that you can ignore what you have not considered. OG has as an important alternative voice on the YLC boards, especially since it is frequently unpopular and among the minority. This diversity should be welcomed.
    Anonymous
    6th Apr 2017
    7:58pm
    Diversity is welcome. Vile sanctimonious arrogance and outright dishonesty is not, Farside. OG is offensive in the extreme. Decent people debate without being nasty and denigrating others.
    Anonymous
    6th Apr 2017
    8:04pm
    I was referring to OG, Farside. Not you. I disagree with you often, but I don't find your comments offensive. It's possible to disagree but be respectful and courteous. OG seems incapable of that. Just as he seems totally incapable of contemplating even as a remote possibility that he might sometimes be wrong. His narcissism is annoying a lot of those who post here.
    Farside
    7th Apr 2017
    11:10am
    @Rainey, no doubt there are valid reasons why OG's opinions and stories about his lot might upset some but he is far from alone when it comes to reluctance to contemplate the possibility of being wrong or that there is an alternative perspective. Perhaps strong opinions are a privilege of this age group resulting from them not being accountable for the consequences of being wrong.
    Farside
    7th Apr 2017
    11:18am
    @Triss, despite the tax planning that goes on among the rich, the ATO statistics show the top 10% of taxable incomes pay 52% of all income taxes. For once Joe Hockey was correct when he said "50% of all income tax in Australia is paid by 10% of the working population.“

    http://theconversation.com/factcheck-is-50-of-all-income-tax-in-australia-paid-by-10-of-the-working-population-45229
    Retired Knowall
    7th Apr 2017
    4:17pm
    How much do you have to accumulate before you are classified as RICH? C'mon give a figure.
    Old Geezer
    7th Apr 2017
    6:26pm
    Ha ha Gina says she is not rich so it must be in the hundreds of billions. I read somewhere recently they were talking about $5 million plus being rich. You are right Farside the top 10% of taxable include pay more than half the tax. Remember families under $60,000 pay nothing when tax and benefits are balanced out. It seems that those who actually contribute rather than receive are in the minority not the majority. That said how can a country function with this happening. We certainly now live in a country dominated by welfare.

    Rainey I am neither nasty or denigrate others but others can't say the same. Of course I am wrong sometimes but right most of the time. I do my homework so that I know how to play the game.
    Retired Knowall
    8th Apr 2017
    7:36am
    $5 million plus being rich, then I must be on struggle street.
    KSS
    6th Apr 2017
    1:20pm
    " Firstly, to encourage a deeper policy debate about equity in retirement and to prompt questions about whether the current rules favour all."

    Hmmm.... To this read - those average Australian that managed to scrimp and save and go without to both buy their home AND save for their retirement will be punished and have it taken off them and those that did nothing except spend whatever they got will be rewarded with government more handouts.

    Seems 'equity in retirement' really means reducing those who managed to put something away for retirement to a level where they need not have bothered.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    1:32pm
    Rubbish the government has taken nothing form me at all.
    Hasbeen
    6th Apr 2017
    1:42pm
    If you want to drink, smoke or gamble in retirement, that is your choice, but it should not be up to our kids to pay for it. If you like eating out, our kids who can’t afford it themselves, should not be expected to pick up your bill.

    If you want to live in Sydney or Melbourne after retire, again I can see no reason why our kids should be expected to pay for that life choice of yours.

    If you want to do these things it is up to you to make provision during your working life to pay for these indulgences after you retire.

    The pension should not be expected to fund more than adequate food & housing, in an area of lower cost. Any more is simply greedy by the older generation. We pensioners should always be asking, can my kids afford to pay for this. If the answer is no, you are expecting too much.
    Linda
    6th Apr 2017
    1:53pm
    I see there is a problem for your young folks and I am all for plans to make home ownership possible for them. It is not the fault of average retired folks living on a small pension, we did not create the expensive times now, and during the time we worked we paid into the government fund via taxes. This is down to poor management by elected people, and the direction seems to favor the super rich at the expense of the mainstream population. There is no reason to not stop the honey pot of negative gearing, and that is not the full solution. We need a set of strategies that will result in better outcomes for more people.

    Old people are old, moving is traumatic, sorting out the junk is traumatic for some, old people are often sick, it is not for the faint hearted. Why not consider our contribution over a lifetime and stop threatening their incomes. I say this is an ugly time in our society. We can do better without being cruel to anyone.

    We never wasted money, hardly ever had a holiday, paid our bills, and would like the feeling that we can consider our income our income and be able to plan what to do with what we have. As it is, stress about income creates medical conditions and worry at a time when we have enough to worry about without that too.
    Linda
    6th Apr 2017
    1:53pm
    I see there is a problem for your young folks and I am all for plans to make home ownership possible for them. It is not the fault of average retired folks living on a small pension, we did not create the expensive times now, and during the time we worked we paid into the government fund via taxes. This is down to poor management by elected people, and the direction seems to favor the super rich at the expense of the mainstream population. There is no reason to not stop the honey pot of negative gearing, and that is not the full solution. We need a set of strategies that will result in better outcomes for more people.

    Old people are old, moving is traumatic, sorting out the junk is traumatic for some, old people are often sick, it is not for the faint hearted. Why not consider our contribution over a lifetime and stop threatening their incomes. I say this is an ugly time in our society. We can do better without being cruel to anyone.

    We never wasted money, hardly ever had a holiday, paid our bills, and would like the feeling that we can consider our income our income and be able to plan what to do with what we have. As it is, stress about income creates medical conditions and worry at a time when we have enough to worry about without that too.
    Triss
    6th Apr 2017
    3:56pm
    I can't agree with you there, Hasbeen, it's a documented fact that uprooting the elderly from their homes and away from family and long standing friends hastens their death.
    Remember also that your kids will not be kids forever and one day they will be elderly and maybe in need of some kind of taxpayer funded help.
    Part of my taxes throughout my working life paid for the pensions of those a lot older than me and I never thought of objecting, it was something we all did.
    Anonymous
    6th Apr 2017
    8:02pm
    You are right, KSS. The assets test change was the first step and there is undoubtedly more to follow. But it's counterproductive and stupid, because it merely drives irresponsible conduct and manipulation and will drive pension costs higher.
    Old Geezer
    7th Apr 2017
    10:37am
    The asset test change was a good first step in the right direction and there is a lot more to come. I look forward to the May budget.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2017
    1:52pm
    Oh yes, the assets test was really smart! Affected retirees can take a $100,000 cruise and get $180,000 more in pension benefits over 10 years as a reward. What sort of DICKHEAD endorses an idiotic scheme that has that kind of result.

    Selfish morons are dictating that people who strive and act responsibly should be stripped of all the rewards of their effort unless they get to be quite wealthy, while spendthrifts enjoy handouts and the rich rort the tax system to pay bugger all. No wonder the nation is in a mess. But greedy, self-serving pigs only care about their own bank balance. The rest of the nation can go to hell, as long as they are okay.
    Linda
    6th Apr 2017
    1:44pm
    I know some retirees who are able to trot the globe, I have no idea if they are on any benefits from the Pension. I for one, am looking after a partner with dementia, who has mobility issues. Since we are both retired now we have enough money to live on, but I am constantly having to have things at the house fixed and it all costs a lot of money, basically it comes in and goes out. I am not in a position to sell, we have to stay here and just yesterday found out I have to get some water pipes fixed. So, no globe trotting for us, no dinners out, once in a while a movie and maybe lunch. We can so far pay our bills though and for that I am so very thankful. It may be that the amount of money one needs to live with both food and shelter is just beyond many and with various community services being rationalized, loss of RN radio quality, poor programming on the ABC television no adult education, folks are forced into a grim existence. All I do is save up for the next thing that needs to be fixed.
    inextratime
    6th Apr 2017
    1:48pm
    OG.. You are an incredible person. How do I know ? Because you've been telling everybody as often as you can. However no matter what you say and no matter what the reason its not going to make any difference. Your carping is extremely sanctimonious and very self righteous but it still doesn't change the fact that many pensioners are living below the poverty line. So the discussion is about how to change that, not to inform everyone that they should have done what you have done. Good luck to you except everyone has different circumstances. Count yourself lucky and leave it that at.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    2:37pm
    Luck has nothing to do with it at all. I only got to where I am today through hard work and good financial management.
    Troubadour
    6th Apr 2017
    2:56pm
    Well said 'inextratime' re: OG. I too am sick and tired of the self righteous attitude of OG and the love fest he has with himself with his comments daily. Yes we too worked hard, and now still do as volunteers and were careful with our finances - but unfortunately for some of us - out of the blue situations happen and our reserves
    get used up and not through any fault of ours.
    Thankfully we do not have any debts nor have we had a credit card for years - so manage to keep within our lesser income limits.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    3:45pm
    It never ceases to amaze me of the excuses people have for why they haven't achieved.

    I something think I have more out of the blue situations that most people for example having had cancer not once but twice forty years apart. Unfortunately the treatment hasn't changed very much in those 40 years.

    I also was born with a very rusty silver spoon as well as my family was very poor and expected me to do a full day's work as well as go to school.

    Credit cards are awesome if you can master them and not have them control you. I love my free plane trip to somewhere every year and the other benefits they bring.

    The word can't is not in my vocabulary and never has been. So I never accept it from anyone either. I just tell the word is won't not can't and I then usually get what I want form them.
    Triss
    6th Apr 2017
    4:09pm
    Old Geezer, those kind of remarks demean you more than they demean others.
    I would imagine that everyone here has achieved many things and survived many setbacks so putting people down is a very negative and unhelpful trait.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    6:20pm
    People put themselves down not me.
    Anonymous
    6th Apr 2017
    7:56pm
    OG, you do put people down, and you boast and gloat, and it's sick and vile and disgusting. Lots of people have faced horrendous challenges. Some rise above them. Others can't. Sometimes success is earned and deserved. More often, it is good luck rather than good management. And when people don't succeed, it's usually not because they don't try hard enough, but rather because they had the odds stacked against them by virtue of limited education or intellect, psychological challenges, or a genuine crisis or major challenge that others would struggle to understand.

    OG, if you had EVER faced hardship or struggle, you would have empathy and human decency and you would not be the vile sanctimonious pig that you present as.
    Old Geezer
    7th Apr 2017
    10:42am
    Rainey I don't put anyone down they put themselves down not me. There is no such word are can't the word you want is won't. It has nothing to do with luck at all but good management and not giving up. Most people give up way too early. That's why high functioning autistic people succeed. They never give up until they master something. That's why many are uni professors, engineers and other successful people. No one has the odds stacked against them. Just look at Stephen Hawkings.

    I have faced more hardship that most people do in more than once lifetime and I know a lot about struggling and I also know that people just whinge and give up instead of getting on with life not matter what.
    floss
    6th Apr 2017
    1:48pm
    Retirees living in poverty I do believe that, some just survive on the pension and are worse off than our new arrivals.I thank god we are self funded and are not in C.Links clutches,no slur on the staff just the mean Federal Government attempting to run our country.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    2:44pm
    All the OAP welfare is designed to do is provide the basics of life for those who cannot provide for themselves. If you wanted more then you should have provided it yourself.
    Triss
    6th Apr 2017
    4:11pm
    Read my post again, Old Geezer, about you being negative and unhelpful.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    6:21pm
    Yep reread it and agree people put themselves down not me.
    Linda
    6th Apr 2017
    10:22pm
    OG must enjoy being the bad guy. We must keep the history in mind. 7 percent tax was imposed to pay for old age pension payments. In the various government changeovers, that 7 percent was then general revenue and the promise was broken. Then when there was a surplus they put it in the future fund which is only for certain folks, government employees. They seemingly took care of themselves and those who serve them, and now are treating those folks that paid that 7 percent like lags, because these are different times. I feel basic rage about this kind of 'forgetting' that seems to happen over and over. When we make a deal, and the suckers pay up, but then lose it leaves a very bad smell around the actors in government today.


    Some families do not have enough money to save, all the costs of raising children, educating them, keeping a home going, cars, ..all of it is very expensive. There is entitlement for some, like the elected representatives, but not for others. This seems grossly unfair. Since you only have one idea OG, and I know what that is, unless you have another idea why not just rest on your laurels.
    Old Geezer
    7th Apr 2017
    6:29pm
    Linda there is no pot with welfare written on it and never has been.
    inextratime
    6th Apr 2017
    1:55pm
    Old Geezer

    I think you may have changed your tune. A few weeks ago you said you had 400 grand and lived off the interest. Today you say you have less than the OAP to live on. Sounds as if you have invested badly.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    2:41pm
    Nothing has changed. I actually live on less than the OAP even though I earn a lot more. Just because I earn it does not mean I have to use it. If earning more than 15% pa means I have invested badly then so be it.
    Rae
    6th Apr 2017
    3:33pm
    We have been in an asset boom since 2008 and all that Central Bank money. Making 15% has been available if you choose your asset class and play.

    Here I see too many pensioners trying to win by lining up at the gambling counters and playing the pokies.
    Week after week, decade after decade. That money if saved was money to pay for needs and if desired wants.

    I can also live on less than the OAP for months then blow the lot of a hike in Alaska or snorkelling in the Islands.

    Going for coffees and lunches and bingo nights then complaining you can't save and wondering how others fly around is a nonsense. Just a few dollars isn't it.

    Saving is a behaviour. And yes many have very bad experiences and lose their savings but 60% simply spend all the money and often spend next decade's money today.

    I was very lucky being born here and receiving a fabulous education at a local High School and having a mother and mother-in-law who were business women. That made one hell of a difference. Having the confidence to play, risk losing and know when to take profits.

    Old Geezer has obviously been blessed with that ability to overcome the fear of losing so can happily play the markets.

    Having the compassion and empathy to understand only comes with devastating loss in a lot of cases and I'm not sure if OG has ever felt that grief. Some never do.

    Those on OAP should have support and not just for the barest essentials.

    Civilised societies revere and care for their elders properly as all laws decree.

    In Aboriginal tribes the Elders were given the choice portions of the hunt and gathering and their wisdom respected.

    I believe our civilisation is collapsing around us.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    4:05pm
    I agree Rae.

    One has to only play online games to see that those with the least in their kitty are those who take the biggest risks and play with a high percentage of their kitty. If you play the investment game the same way in that any loss you have will not influence your lifestyle then you have control of your risk.

    I also have had my fair share of devastating losses in my life but it is not something that I wish to discuss.

    I guess having been bought up in a poor family I learnt how to live on very little and even today still practice a lot of those techniques.
    BElle
    6th Apr 2017
    1:58pm
    I frequently post observations on the current pension requiem. I have also written on a number of occasions to our local MP to express my despondency with regard to the current attitude by the Government and the Media. Personally we have saved independently of the Superannuation system. Thank Goodness. The current system is deeply flawed.
    It is not ourselves that I protest for, but the many friends, family and others that are doing it tough attempting to live on the Aged Pension. The current and previous Governments are focused on the current retirees, The Baby Boomer Generation, they have completely ignored, overlooked, considered irrelevant or whatever the term that can be used to address the plight of those retirees in their 70s, 80s 90s who have been retired for some considerable time. These persons DO NOT HAVE RESOURCES TO SUPERANNUATION. If they have any at all it is minimal and would barely last a few years. Many have none at all. Where are these people in the Government Schemes. Any amendments to the current system need to be mindful of these pensioners. They need, at the very least, to Grandfather any reductions in increases to those already receiving the pension. Pensions over 75 should be given a Utilities Grant to enable them to pay for adequate heating, cooling etc. They should also receive All their medications and medical visits FREE OF CHARGE. Australia is a wealthy country by world standards and should treat its welfare recipients with all due respect. Who is defending the Aged? I have heard no one in the Government stand up for these people. All they want is a Fair Go!
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    2:43pm
    You can only stretch a bit of string so far before it breaks.
    Rae
    6th Apr 2017
    3:39pm
    Nicely said Belle. Yes.

    Not much of a stretch there OG. The whole welfare bill is less than 3% of GDP and Corporate profits have been outstanding. You yourself are making 15% and I've made up to 28% on some markets.

    The attacks on the frailest within our society is disgraceful.

    The string is not going to break through a caring, wealthy economy paying for it's old folk.
    Slimmer Cat
    6th Apr 2017
    3:57pm
    Retirees in their 70's should be able to support themselves. We knew in 1970 that we would have to support ourselves in our old age and started planning at that stage to be self supporting by the time we retired.We know many of the same age group as ourselves who were like Aesop's Grasshopper whilst we were the ants. We are now enjoying ourselves free of welfare whilst they are probably writing to this site moaning how hard done by they are on the OAP.
    Farside
    6th Apr 2017
    4:43pm
    @Belle, there are undoubtedly many retired who need support and few would argue against an aged pension that enabled them to live with dignity. This is an entirely different proposition to those retirees who have accumulated assets but steadfastly refuse to spend them in order to support themselves. They are content to receive welfare and dilute the amount of pension available for distribution to the truly needy. Government models predict it will remain this way for at least the next 30 years, with 80% of the retired population receiving some welfare support.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2017
    6:45am
    Farside, I think you are being unfair to battlers who saved hard for retirement and are now being forced to drain their savings prematurely and risk hardship later so that, in many cases, irresponsible people who lived the high life can get handouts.

    There is enough money in the pot to pay a decent living income to the needy AND to the deserving. What there isn't, is enough to pay the irresponsible, the manipulators and the bludgers. And the system encourages and rewards the irresponsible, the manipulators and the bludgers and punishes the responsible harshly. And that's why we have an affordability problem. It's NOT anything to do with anyone who has enough wanting to hold on to savings while diluting what's available for the needy. It's about the lazy, the cheats, and the spendthrifts draining the pot while the frugal hard workers get screwed over. And naturally, many of the frugal hard workers are now saying ''stuff you. If you treat me unfairly and hand out to him, I'll be him. I'll stop being hardworking and frugal and I'll put my hand out,''

    Can't blame people for doing what a stupid government rewards them for doing. But I really expected more intelligence here. I thought people would be smart enough to see the reality and support demands for sensible legislative change, instead of ranting on about wanting a perfect world.
    Farside
    7th Apr 2017
    11:40am
    @Rainey, you don't have to be a "battler", whatever that may be, to be forced to access savings prematurely and risk hardship. Life just need throw you a curve ball and your circumstances can take a sudden and unexpected turn. I have had to live on savings for five of the past ten years without support or handouts despite years of paying taxes.

    I agree there is enough money in the pot (<3% GDP) to pay a decent living income to those with genuine need. I do not accept your contention that because one is a "battler" this somehow bestows upon them an exclusive privilege not available to those who did not have the opportunity to save or those who saved but fall outside the definition of "battler". Punishing elderly folk with genuine current needs for their past spendthrift party hard ways seems to be a pointless, and mean spirited exercise in futility. For sure we need to discourage and prevent the lazy, the cheats, and the spendthrifts from draining the pot but that falls upon us to do it at the time and not 40 years afterwards. We should also be recovering what has been paid if that is a practical possibility.

    When all is said and done, welfare support should be available for the needy as a safety net to ensure they can live with dignity no matter the circumstances of their life journey.

    I hope that should my children fall upon hard times in the latter years there will be someone to give them a hand up rather than chastise them for having a good time in their twenties.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2017
    6:13pm
    I agree, Farside, that a decent society helps those who need help no matter how their own irresponsible behaviour contributed to their need, but my point is that if we punish people for responsible behaviour and make them worse off than if they didn't act responsibly, we'll have far more needy people and far higher welfare costs.

    It's just plain STUPID and IRRESPONSIBLE to penalize people for doing what's good for the nation.
    Jacka
    6th Apr 2017
    3:25pm
    From that comment I fear Old Geezer's money is going on crack or ice, not quiet with us. Jacka.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    3:46pm
    I don't even take those poisons doctors give out to make people feel their visit was worthwhile.
    chris
    6th Apr 2017
    3:58pm
    there are annomolies between what the super funds say we need to live in retirement and what the government say and what the reality is. Also ones personal situation. Good on you Kay for trying to clarify the situation. Looking forward to reading it.
    floss
    6th Apr 2017
    4:24pm
    Time to pull the plug on O.G.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    6:08pm
    Nope there is plenty of life left in OG yet.
    floss
    6th Apr 2017
    4:24pm
    Time to pull the plug on O.G.
    Anonymous
    6th Apr 2017
    7:45pm
    Yes please!
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    10:16pm
    Well I'm off to visit another country pub next week for a few days armed only with my plastic so hope you don't miss me.
    Pamiea
    6th Apr 2017
    5:27pm
    As a single pensioner I think you are far worse off than pensioners in a couple who receive about $450pf more. What further expenses does a couple have that warrants that much more pf? I hope someone elaborates
    Anonymous
    6th Apr 2017
    7:43pm
    I disagree completely, Pamiea. I'm not on a pension, happily, but if I were, I'd struggle on a couple's pension with a partner, but I'd be on clover as a single pensioner. As a single pensioner, I wouldn't need a house big enough to accommodate substantial numbers of visitors (my partner's large family) on a regular basis or one with a large workshop where my partner can ''tinker''. I wouldn't need a large vehicle that can transport garden supplies and tools. A tiny, economical runabout would be fine. I would be happy in a unit with no grounds to manage. My partner needs space and privacy (a genuine need due to psychological issues arising from his childhood). I can get by on a very basic diet. My partner has special dietary needs that imply high cost, and he has high health costs. The list goes on and on. Of course a larger house with surrounding grounds means higher maintenance costs, higher rates, higher insurance costs, etc....

    I actually think the situation is in the reverse. Many couples struggle. And a great many ''couples'' arrange their affairs to claim two single pensions because living on a couples pension is just too tough.
    Old Geezer
    7th Apr 2017
    8:23pm
    Of course 2 people can live a lot cheaper than one Rainey. Haven't you heard about sharing?
    justme
    6th Apr 2017
    6:25pm
    So don’t forget to watch out for the inaugural edition of the Retirement Affordability Index™ – hitting your inbox on Sunday 9 April.

    Looking forward to it
    GoldenOldie
    6th Apr 2017
    6:40pm
    I have read the comments on this article with some sadness. While we bicker online politicians continue to ignore our fragmented voices. Yes there are those who struggle and those who don't. There are those who made good or bad choices to get where they are now. For some it is good/bad luck rather than good/bad management. We can all argue about whether the OAP is an entitlement or welfare, and will continue to do so! But politicians and big business continue to rort our feeble systems while we argue amongst ourselves! How do WE fix this, because our elected reps ain't going to!

    6th Apr 2017
    7:27pm
    I'm not surprised many retirees are living in poverty, but it would surprise me to see evidence that their hardship wasn't - in the vast majority of cases - due to being irresponsible and a spendthrift during working life. I don't want to sound harsh or lacking in empathy. I certainly acknowledge that many have faced unexpected hardship or crisis. But my partner and I faced far greater financial hardship than 95% of the population - on a continuing basis for over 3 decades - and yet we could now retire comfortably is we so desired. When I look around at relatives and neighbours, the majority enjoyed far higher incomes than we did and none of the challenges, but they holidayed and partied lavishly. They spent freely. And now they wonder why they are hard up.

    What really disturbs me is that given this situation, a very short-sighted and unthinking government rushed through thoughtless changes to pension rules that punish responsible savers and reward the spendthrifts - changes that actually, unbelievably, make it beneficial for many to now quickly spend down their assets.

    The pension system in this country is broken. It needs to be thrown out completely and replaced with one that works. Paying a basic pension to all over 65 and taxing incomes has been suggested, and there are indications that it might actually be cheaper than the current messy system that imposes hideous administration costs. Another way would be to include the family home as an asset and then simplify the means test such that over a generous threshold, the higher of income or deemed income is assessed, but assets are not - so only the income assets generate or are capable of generating reduces pension payments.

    The government needs to stop clutching at stupid bandaid ''solutions'' and overhaul the system properly, so that we can afford to support the genuinely needy adequately, and we don't punish or discourage responsible saving and planning that might result in more people being at least partly self-sufficient.
    Chrissy L
    6th Apr 2017
    8:22pm
    As per usual OG is out of step with the rest of society. I wouldn't waste my time on him -He would need a injection of empathy, brain cells or maybe a transplant to understand how difficult life is for a lot of Part and Aged Pensioners.
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    9:22pm
    That just tells me I am well in step with society and have a lot of empathy for those who are genuine. I also see how difficult it is for young families where their budget is so tight there is no room to cope with a fridge or other appliance breakdown. Yet these people get little help whereas many part time OAPs have hundreds of thousand of dollars to call upon to fix their fridge and get benefits that would help these young families immensely. To me it feels like we give more support to the broken down bits of society and no much to the prime bits that keep everything moving well. It's like nursing an old engine and forgetting to put oil in the one that works very well.
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2017
    6:38am
    Your last sentences are correct, OG. We give everything to the useless greedy rich and nothing to those who made this country what it is or who work their guts out to keep it at a level above that of nations where people are actually starving. We nurse the ''born to rule'' brigade.

    Putting oil in the engine that works well means looking after both those who work hard now and those who worked hard when they were younger - not feeding filthy stinking greedy mongrels who won't pay tax fairly and who do nothing but whinge about having to support those among the elderly whose under-rewarded hard work enabled the filthy greedy to get rich - and who, by the way, were PROMISED support in old age in return for working their guts out under-rewarded for decades.

    You stinking arrogant up-yourselves well off pigs want it every way. Exploit workers for lousy pay when you are climbing, and then when you reach your goal, trample and spit on them and renege on the promises made to tempt them to work for you. SCUM!
    LiveItUp
    8th Apr 2017
    8:01am
    OG is actually right. Most people live at the levl of their income and this actually is a big problem in that they aid inflation evry time thier invome increases. That's right they can afford higher prices so pay higher prices. People who live only on what they need no matter what their income know their p rices and will not willingly pay more. That is why they work thier guts out.

    Rainey you are a good example of someone who wants to cut down the tall poppy. That is why many suceessful people hide themselves in our society with most people unable to pick them up. I for example don't even have to ask for discounts as I am assumed to be an OAP.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2017
    1:33pm
    Wrong Wrong Wrong, Bonny. I don't want to cut down any ''tall poppy''. I just want a fair society in which people are paid what they deserve, instead of one in which the rich are permitted to rob the working class and beat up on them constantly.

    Australia is moving too rapidly toward a feudal society in which we have rich and privileged and poor, and no amount of effort by the poor can elevate them because the system just beats up on anyone who strives, unless they make it to very wealthy status. If they only do moderately well, they a become a target and they suffer abuse and unfairness and deprivation of the rewards of their efforts.
    Oldman Roo
    6th Apr 2017
    9:35pm
    Whatever we think of O. G.,s propaganda devoid of all sense of sincerity , he is nevertheless the mouthpiece of our Government , debunking reality and causing confusion with the wavering among us .
    May God help Australia and the less fortunate in life because our leaders will not .
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    9:52pm
    Unfortunately I have nought to do with this government or any government so am certainly not a month piece for them. I guess I must therefore be a mouth piece for the taxpayers as so many of them think just like me. We are doing the heavy lifting while those on welfare are just taking whatever we give them with no gratitude at all. I feel for those who get no welfare, pay full price for everything and live below the poverty line although working a full week.
    Oldman Roo
    6th Apr 2017
    10:15pm
    OG , you are once again way off beam ! You are representing a group of taxpayers that take pleasure in enriching themselves at the expense of those who worked and saved all their life but were not fortunate in living off their savings due to the Politicians mismanagement of the economy . I have read your responses to this situation many times before and you need not repeat it because most of us know where you are coming from and how devious your presence on this forum really is .
    Old Geezer
    6th Apr 2017
    10:34pm
    The blame game again I see. No the government mismanagement had nothing to do with people not being self sufficient in old age. People need to take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming others.
    Linda
    6th Apr 2017
    10:36pm
    Oldman Roo, I agree with you. The current government is throwing piles and piles of money at certain industries, and seemingly fixing things up for the big end of town at the expense of those at the bottom. They are terrible money managers, and they don't have to worry that the river of tax money completely dry up, it will continue to flow no matter how many goofs they make. They will get their big retirement packages, and there is no real performance criteria for them. There are only a few of them that actually do their jobs, and put in actual work. If we are not careful in this country we will end up with some version of the train wreck happening in other countries.
    We can't afford to make a circus out of politics. I hope we get better performance after the next election. Perhaps more people should be more active and vocal with their representatives, and be more organised about it. What is going on for our young folks and for all working people and for the oldies is not right.
    Oldman Roo
    6th Apr 2017
    11:44pm
    OG , Yes , I know you only like your own perverted blame game . Of course it is all to do with Government mismanagement , plus squeezing the low income earners into misery .
    It is our Politicians who caused our interest rates to drop to the lowest level ever . At the usual healthy interest rates , going back to when we still had responsible management , a lot of us would be living happily without Centrelink assistance and without having insult to injury added by a Liberal Party troll .
    Anonymous
    7th Apr 2017
    6:31am
    I suppose OG thinks the toilet cleaners and park gardeners and shop assistants and restaurant waiters, who enabled their bosses to get rich by struggling on low wages to keep a roof over their kids' heads through 18% interest rate periods, are now responsible for ridiculously low interest rates, high government debt, obscene tax concessions to the rich, obscene spending on politicians' benefits and expensive war planes we will never use, and unaffordable benefits to immigrants?

    Yeah, right, OG. How STUPID are you to suggest ordinary working people are responsible for the state of the economy?

    And what a hypocrite you are! You say you feel for workers who live below the poverty line and get no handouts, yet you have zero empathy for those who lived that way for decades while raising kids and are now being screwed over because they worked their way up in life and struggled to acquire some savings after their kids were grown, or are being left in poverty on nothing but the pension because their pathetically low pay for incredibly hard work didn't allow them to save for old age.
    Old Geezer
    7th Apr 2017
    10:54am
    No the government or the park cleaners etc have nothing to do with Australia having low interest rates. We have low interest rates because the rest of the world has low interest rates. If they were a lot higher we would have a very high AUD and our exporters would be suffering badly which would effect the economy very badly. The high government debt is because we had a irresponsible government that activated time bombs knowing that they didn't have the revenue to support them. Those time bombs unfortunately are taking quite awhile to unwind.
    gadsby
    6th Apr 2017
    10:59pm
    Ageing population??what about the 70 odd k of refugees that make their home here every year,arent they expected to find work and contribute?or is it straight on welfare.
    CoogeeGuy
    7th Apr 2017
    9:31am
    OMG! Since posting early on this issue it appears OG has upset many of you. I think OG may be stirring up the mud on the topic. Funny, but sad. Perhaps OG is a single white male, like me, who has worked hard, paid high taxes, paid double for everything, and has never received any concessions from the Govt, and we have seen married people with children, able people getting a generous fortnightly welfare payment, discounted (affordable) housing , refugees getting generous payments and housing, child care allowances, pregnancy allowances including a generous amount of time off work. The list goes on and one. i must admit to being a little annoyed now and then about the issue, but I would NEVER criticise or point th e finger at anyone who receives the Aged Pension, as it is one, if not the most, less generous welfare payments within this country. And I have personally observed how hard it is to live on the OAP. OG is correct in his statement we all were warned earlier in the peace that we would need to save for our retirement as to compliment the little payment our government would be giving us. However, many Australians on the minimum wage and life circumstances have not been in a position to Bebe able to save for their retirement, and when they did, something occurred and they had to spend it. Life is not black and white. Perhaps OG needs to get out here and volunteer amounts the community and see the hard ship out there and listen to those older Australians who are doing it tough, and how they got there. Again! OG is probably right about those few who lived the life and did not save enough for retirement and now are paying the price. IT is unfortunate for these people. , Superannuation did not become compulsory earlier and thus a forced savings. But OG, I have seen self employed people struggling to pay all their taxes and bills, and only have enough money to live day by day, let alone put money aside for their retirement, or even pay into a superannuation scheme. You see OG, there are many and various reasons why people have not been able to save for retirement, and it is not always their fault, It is just life circumstance. But back to the topic. It is my suggestion our governments need to 'get back to basics' and stop handing out welfare payments left right and centre, send ridiculously generous amounts of donations overseas etc. We are only a small country and cannot continue this generosity. My mother never received money for being pregnant, she never received child care payments, she did not receive 12 months maternity leave, and there were minimal dole payments and handouts back then as well. That is why we could afford to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House, the many open roads that required construction, and the list goes on. Today, the government has to rely on private companies to build our infrastructure, and then place high priced tollways or entrance fees on them. The government spending has got out of control, and they have created an 'entitlement' like attitude amongst the Australian community, including our refugees. I believe the the government's spending has gotten out of control, and this is the reason why they cannot support those older Australians over 65 years old, who have paid their taxes and who are most deserving to receive an OAP which would allow them to live a comfortable retirement. I am very fortunate of being retired, but not receiving, nor have to live on what the OAP provides. I am one of the lucky ones who has paid into a good superannuation scheme, and hopefully will never have to rely on the OAP. But I do not begrudge any of our older Australians whose life circumstances have resulted with them being solely reliant on the OAP. And I would not begruge them should the government increase their current payments. And OG! I suggest the only reason you can save for your cruises is that you have a supplementary income, other than the OAP. But I do know people on an OAP who have saved for one cruise a year, but they scrimp and save every little cent, and eat very modestly.
    Old Geezer
    7th Apr 2017
    10:22am
    CoogeeGuy you are very wrong. No I'm not single and haven't been for many decades. Yes I have kids and they themselves are very successful in what they do. Yes I have volunteered in lots of ways and even have been arrested at demonstrations. I find the more you volunteer the more people take advantage of you and your time. At my age time to me is now precious and I like to do what I want with my time.

    I have an extended family all on welfare and they must know every loophole in the welfare system as they have used most of them. I used to help them but today I don't simply because I feel that such people are just using the system to get whatever they can whether they need it or not.

    Regarding cruises the number of OAPs that have done 30 or 40 or more cruises is amazing. Something is not right if they can afford to do this.

    Yes I know people who genuinely need the OAP but I know many others that don't but get it because they are entitled but don't need it. The change is the asset test was a good first step in the right direction as a lot of these people are now scrambling trying to get their not needed OAP back. The next step will be to include the house in the asset's test and then the OAP will be become a debt to be repaid from one's estate.

    I also know many OAPs that continue to do uni courses just for something to do knowing they will never have to repay their HECS debt. This is very wrong when our kids most with nothing are burdened with a large debt to be repaid even before they get a house. I believe this is about to be addressed and it will shortly be a debt on their estate.

    I was once a member of AIR Australian Independent Retirees but they are nothing but a bunch of lobbyists that are after what ever they can from the welfare system even though most don't need it. When I realised that I was the only mug in the room who wasn't on welfare I felt it was a scam for welfare and didn't want to be part of it.

    I regularly help people with financial and work problems so know how people can get into trouble by simply not doing their research before they tackle such problems. Ok it can be complicated but if you just wing it then you are likely to get hood winked and get done over. Nursing homes is one area where this happens a lot.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2017
    1:42pm
    The assets test change was the stupidest and most ill-conceived damaging change any IDIOT could make. It screams ''don't strive and be responsible, because we'll beat you up if you do. Just manipulate and bludge and be rewarded.'' It's DUMB. It creates a welfare mentality.

    No OAP goes cruising without other income. Sure, lots of OAPs have done 30-40 cruises, using their savings and working years income, which is WHY they are OAPs now. Because they spent up big. And those who didn't are being bashed up and slandered and abused by mongrels like OG and Bonny, and denied the benefits of their efforts. So many are now manipulating, and I don't blame them.

    I do believe the family home should be considered in assessing pension entitlements, but only to stop people over-investing and remove the penalty for accepting modest housing and preserving other assets to try to be self-sufficient. But we need a total overhaul of the pension system to remove the disincentives to responsible behaviour that benefits the nation.

    To even suggest the OAP should be a debt against an estate is a complete breach of faith and a cruel punishment for being a battler who strives. It will destroy all incentive to work and save. It will serve the greedy rich temporarily, but it will destroy the economy and the society.

    People need to be allowed to work, earn, save, and benefit from their endeavours. Being a battler shouldn't be a crime that is punished by being stripped of all you earn while the rich party on massive tax concessions and the benefits of exploitation.

    People like OG are what's wrong with the world. If only we could exterminate these greedy mongrels, we could fix things.
    john
    7th Apr 2017
    10:15am
    Why isn't the retirement fund set up a few decades ago then bled by both sides of politics talked about. I read a thing on here about it, and the pollies responsible should be hanged.
    john
    7th Apr 2017
    10:29am
    I read some more and Old Geezer is a set up folks. If he is not he needs to get his foolish ideas and go and write them somewhere else. He is offensive to the extreme sometimes. He does say some ignorant stupid things , and has no idea of reality for some. Fool get off!
    Old Geezer
    7th Apr 2017
    10:44am
    By that comment I am doing a lot of good here so I'll stay awhile longer.
    CoogeeGuy
    7th Apr 2017
    10:50am
    Hmmm. I know where you are coming from OG, and I agree too many people are 'rorting' the system. Don't know what the answer is to prevent it. It appears that anything paid by the government is rorted, including contracts to build infrastructure. I suppose it is correct our society has been allowed to develop into one which has an sense of 'entitlement'. Like a spoilt little child if your like. I want, I want, I deserve, I am entitled! But whose fault is that? It is our Governments, especially labour, who is responsible for creating this mindset by handing out welfare entitlements carelessly. Simply put, Australia cannot afford to be so generous. We can, but it comes at a cost to our non-existing infrastructure, their lack of ability to pay a decent OAP, and disability pension to those who really need it, and doing it tough.
    CoogeeGuy
    7th Apr 2017
    10:50am
    Hmmm. I know where you are coming from OG, and I agree too many people are 'rorting' the system. Don't know what the answer is to prevent it. It appears that anything paid by the government is rorted, including contracts to build infrastructure. I suppose it is correct our society has been allowed to develop into one which has an sense of 'entitlement'. Like a spoilt little child if your like. I want, I want, I deserve, I am entitled! But whose fault is that? It is our Governments, especially labour, who is responsible for creating this mindset by handing out welfare entitlements carelessly. Simply put, Australia cannot afford to be so generous. We can, but it comes at a cost to our non-existing infrastructure, their lack of ability to pay a decent OAP, and disability pension to those who really need it, and doing it tough.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2017
    1:12pm
    A major cause of the problem is the constant punishing of those who do what's good for the nation and handing out to those who are irresponsible, lazy, dishonest and/or manipulative. We need policies that encourage and reward responsible behaviour if we are to reduce the ''welfare mentality''.
    300,000 pensioners were attacked for saving. Across the nation, financial advisers are telling them to buy a more expensive house, or take that overseas holiday. Spend up big and get back on the pension, because many are worse off than pensioners, and will be until they drain their savings. Why drain them slowly for the benefit of people who had more than they did in working life but wasted it? Why not party and holiday and claim the rewards, like the irresponsible do?

    We need to support the genuinely needy, but beating up on those who did what is good for the nation won't achieve the desired outcomes. When we recognize that fact, and restructure the system to reward endeavour and encourage honesty and integrity, instead of punishing it, we might solve the problem.
    Anonymous
    12th Apr 2017
    1:12pm
    A major cause of the problem is the constant punishing of those who do what's good for the nation and handing out to those who are irresponsible, lazy, dishonest and/or manipulative. We need policies that encourage and reward responsible behaviour if we are to reduce the ''welfare mentality''.
    300,000 pensioners were attacked for saving. Across the nation, financial advisers are telling them to buy a more expensive house, or take that overseas holiday. Spend up big and get back on the pension, because many are worse off than pensioners, and will be until they drain their savings. Why drain them slowly for the benefit of people who had more than they did in working life but wasted it? Why not party and holiday and claim the rewards, like the irresponsible do?

    We need to support the genuinely needy, but beating up on those who did what is good for the nation won't achieve the desired outcomes. When we recognize that fact, and restructure the system to reward endeavour and encourage honesty and integrity, instead of punishing it, we might solve the problem.


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles