Super rules change again

Included in the legislation to repeal the mining is changes to the SGC.

Super rules change again

Yesterday the Abbott government rescinded the mining tax with the help of the Palmer United Party (PUP) and Independents in the Senate. Included in the legislation was a delay until 2021 to an increase in the Superannuation Guarantee Contribution (SGC) from the current level of 9.5 per cent to 12 percent. This change to super rules is significant for individuals trying to be self reliant in retirement. Industry Super Australia (ISA) predicts that an average income earner, aged 25, will lose around $100,000 over their working life ($36,000 in today’s dollars) due to this delay.

Under the deal the Low Income-earners Super Contribution (LISC) will also be abandoned on 30 June 2017. Said ISA Chief Executive, David Whitely, “The scrapping of the LISC is plainly unfair. Over 3 million workers – 2 million of whom are women – will lose $500 per annum as a result of this change.  The economic implications are significant. Taken together, national savings will be hit by a staggering $150 billion by 2025.” 

Opinion: Five worst retirement mistakes

So once again ordinary workers see their hopes of a self-funded retirement dealt a blow by super legislative change. We can’t change this policy, but we can avoid the five classic retirement errors. Do you know what they are?

1.  Think that your financial situation is the most important thing.

It’s not. Your health is. And this means mental and physical health. One of the largest causes of early and unwilling retirement is unexpected medical issues. So if you are nearing 50, or are older, and looking forward to an active and energetic retirement, make sure your first step, even before calculating your likely income, is to have a full and thorough health check with your GP. Pay particular attention to your weight, your BMI, family medical history, alcohol consumption and any likelihood of developing a lifestyle disease. Work out the regular health checks you need, and make sure you attend them. And if stress, depression or anxiety are of concern, talk to your GP to see if you can me referred to a mental health professional who can help you avoid long term and debilitating conditions.

2.  Think doing nothing at all will be bliss

It won’t. A lifetime of Saturdays soon loses its appeal – some last six weeks, others take three months, but sooner or later even the beloved golf becomes predictable and, disillusionment and lack of purpose sets in. The solution? An old fashioned print diary, a week at a glance, with structured activities including work (paid, unpaid, volunteer, it doesn’t matter), social events, family catch-ups, home maintenance, exercise, a movie or concert, walking, reading and other favourite hobbies. Giving back to your local community can be one of the most fulfilling things you can do – yet how many of us simply forget to take the time to find out how to get started? If you’re stuck for ideas, visit your local library or council noticeboard; you’ll be amazed at the need out there.

3.  Think giving your adult children a helping (monetary) hand and leaving a sizeable inheritance is very important.

It’s not. In fact sometimes it can be the worst. Sooner or later most of us have had to stand on our own two feet. So do your grown-up kids a favour and let them shoulder responsibility for their own financial wellbeing. Far from supporting the media myth of greedy baby boomers spending the kids’ inheritance, most retirees are giving substantial sums of money to their children and grandchildren, helping them to buy their first car or home or to fund increasingly expensive secondary and tertiary education. It’s nice to give, but if it means your children remain dependent and you live a life of penury in retirement, it’s time to get with the program and zip up your wallet.

 4.  Believe that accessing large lump sums from your superannuation is a fun way to start retirement

Whoa! Stop right there. This is one of the silliest things any retiree or person who is transitioning to retirement can do. And why our legislation still allows us unfettered access to our hard earned savings, is hard to fathom. Most of us will live far longer than we imagine. Converting superannuation into an annuity which will cover your main household expenses is a very sensible strategy. With this amount safely tucked away, you can then make smarter decisions on how much discretionary income your really will have, and whether you really need the big ticket items or luxuries as much as you previously thought.

5.  And last, but perhaps the biggest retirement mistake is to think the Age Pension will provide a handy cushion should your own savings run out.

It won’t. YOURLifeChoices recently surveyed its members to check how many knew how much the single Age Pension paid. Almost 76 per cent admitted that they did not know. And of those who thought they did, a staggering 80 per cent were wrong. The people who do know how much the Age Pension pays are those who are on it. And it’s not much at all - $842.80, including supplements, per fortnight for those on a full single Age Pension. When the proposed change to indexation kicks in, in 2017, it will become even worse in relation to other forms of income.

So if you think you can always fallback on the pension if you overspend in your 50s and early 60s, then here’s a sobering exercise. Put your credit cards in a plastic bag and bury them under the chops and frozen peas in the freezer. Confirm the current full payments for singles and couples pensions in Australia. Withdraw this amount in cash, and try to live on it without cheating for four weeks. To further sober yourself up, click this link and check your expected longevity. Most Australians underestimate their prospects. Now imagine living with this degree of penny pinching for the next 20 or 30 years or more. Get the picture?

Your years in retirement can prove to be the best time of your life. But it takes good health, a positive attitude, strong social connections and sufficient funds to maintain both choice and independence. Make sure you’re a winner, not a whinger, in the later part of your life.

What do you think? Have you made any of these mistakes? Or have you avoided them? Have we missed some? What do you think are the worst things people do when they retire?





    COMMENTS

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    suzmc
    3rd Sep 2014
    10:35am
    wonderful article, thankyou... I would add that having a good knowledge of how super works is very helpful too.... to avoid disappointment if for no other reason...
    biddi
    3rd Sep 2014
    3:20pm
    Many thanks for this article, too.
    MITZY
    3rd Sep 2014
    10:46am
    Kaye: Point No. 5 is me. After reading an article on line yesterday regarding the Mining Tax abolition and the superannuation changes, this government is really putting the nails in the coffins of not only current pensioners, but a future generation of self-funded or part self-funded retirees. Cost of living and bills continually rise annually. People are not always fortunate to have steady employment the whole of their working lives, so there will always be shortfalls/peaks and troughs in retirement savings.
    Why, oh why, are governments continuing to tinker with superannuation contributions?
    They are telling us pensioners that the changes being made to the way our pensions are calculated into the distant future years, will enable the pension to be sustained? What rot!
    This government is creating bigger problems for future retirees if it does not keep increasing the rate at which contributions are deducted and placed into superannuation. Future generations and even those retiring in the next ten to twenty years will not have sufficient superannuation to live comfortably without some top-up. When Keating/Hawke first introduced superannuation at 3% of salary it was intended to rise steadily up to 15% of salary. It has been stuck on 9.5% for some time and now will be stagnant until 2025.

    Another point: Currently politicians with their super duper superannuation funds have a little over 15% of their salaries contributed to their funds, while the rest of the population is stuck on 9.5% from here to eternity.
    Once again, politicians are looking after their own pocket for their retirement and to hell with the rest of the workforce. These poor excuses for politicians I'm convinced are just there for the extremely generous benefits along the way, they were cunning enough to find a niche that suited their thick skins, skins so thick they don't feel any abuse thrown at them. Its the same old tune, played on the same old fiddle. Keep the divide between the vulnerable low income earners and pensionsers and the "most" fortunate, or see if the divide can be widened somewhat also.
    MICK
    3rd Sep 2014
    5:56pm
    I have been telling the tale for a while with some in this community still behind this government. I often wonder how bad it has to get for people to realise that the money trail is headed 1 way: straight to the rich and their business interests. This is the latest as business effectively pay the superannuation levy. Another win for the rich whilst thosw who were conned into voting for this bunch of grim reapers need to have a long hard think about the difference between a political party and a football team. God bless the swinging voters who change their voting pattern and who give Independents a go....the only real way to send a proper message. Sadly people are easily programed by relentless advertising of lies and we get what we get.
    Sceptic
    4th Sep 2014
    3:24pm
    Are you completely thick? There is no new rule to stop people putting money into their super fund, it will just not be compulsory. The money that would have been compulsorily paid into the fund is still in your wages. If you choose to spend it now then it is your choice, so stop blaming the Government for not forcing you to do something. You could pay it off your mortgage and save interest, or you could make voluntary contributions.
    MITZY
    4th Sep 2014
    5:41pm
    Sceptic:
    Who are you referring to as thick?
    The current contribution paid from workers' salary/wages is 9.5% and this 9.5% has now been frozen for the next 7 years. Next year it was to increase to 10%, but the 10% increase will now not happen until 2021. The government has now axed the Low Income Superannuation Contribution of $500 payable to low income workers for the whole of their working life (i.e. not just 7 years). It will be axed from 2017 (i.e. the next election). Axing of the low income superannuation rebate means on retirement these workers will have 16.7% less in superannuation. Most of the low income workers would probably not earn in excess of $35000 p.a.
    By comparison only 3.9% loss flows from the freeze in the rate of contribution rates.
    I'm not referring to myself when commenting, I'm thinking of others and their future. I don't have a mortgage but I've also never had superannuation other than for a short few years. I can BLAME THE GOVERNMENT as I see fit, and in this case, it is a retrograde step. When compulsory super started in the Keating era at 3% it was intended that by the year 2000 it would be up to 15%, i.e. the same as what the politicians are already on. I bet they are not freezing anything to do with their contributions!!
    I doubt, and the commentators and newspapers wholeheartedly agree, more than 2/3rds of workers will not contribute of their own free will, the only way for the majority to have some form of superannuation for their retirement will be by having it taken compulsorily from their salary and wages. Young people will just fritter away their earnings. It is just the way it works for the majority.
    The government has also indicated that they doubt the employers will pay the employees this percentage in their wages, so we know who loses, don't we.
    This government doesn't give a damn about the future, they are living in the here and now and because they are aware of what may happen in the future, they have already taken the steps to even erode the age pension to the point that in 10 years time it will be worth $100 per fortnight less in value.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2014
    2:53pm
    As Sceptic said you can raise your superannuation payments yourself. "Your" contributions are not "frozen". It is just the compulsory ones!

    You have the choice spend the money in any way you want or put it into super. As I said previously in a previous post I did just that 5 years out from retirement. My employer put in 6% and I added a further 4% into my super fund. I am extremely glad I did that.
    MITZY
    5th Sep 2014
    4:02pm
    Radish: What I said was not my circumstances. I don't have a choice to spend money or put it into a mortgage (I don't have one). I am on the full single age pension. I worked all my life with no super (private enterprise office jobs) until it became compulsory with 3% of salary (approx. 5 years before I retired and only accumulated approx. $8,500). I had to retire at 55 years of age 20 years ago to look after my husband with MS. He had it for 24 years, but he was totally disabled with it when I retired. In the meantime, 2 years ago he passed away. You can deduct from my early retirement that we were ten years off the official retirement age and, at that point, had been working to pay off our home and all the other expenses one has going through family life etc. I'm even past the future retirement age of 70 years.
    There is no need to repeat what Sceptic said. You both miss the point, and the same point made by the newspaper reporters and monetary commentators is that the majority of people will not voluntarily put the money into super for their retirement. Try telling a young person who is earning average wages to take 9.5% of his salary (the present compulsory amount) each week and put it into a super fund, he would think you had rocks in your head. Same applies to young families struggling to keep their heads above water. No chance. As the saying goes "You can't put an old head on young shoulders.
    This is just another lie by this government: "There will be no changes to superannuation" among the many.
    This country and the vulnerable, and the low and average income earners, and the aged pensioners and self-funded retirees, are meaningless to this government. Never truer words have been uttered by so many, this government means "BIG BUSINESS FOR BIG BUSINESS".
    Capn Dan
    3rd Sep 2014
    11:05am
    Well put. Point 5 note: Just been on sickness 'benefits' for eight months. Very sobering I can tell you. In debt and hope to be back to work soon. Go thing I have a job to go to at 63 years old. Regards to all.
    doclisa
    3rd Sep 2014
    11:35am
    I know what you mean Capn Dan. I got cancer and lost my job as a consequence. I was diagnosed as terminal. I thought I would have access to my super, which would have made the final small payment on my home. But no, they only let you have your super in these circumstances to pay specific medical bills, on submitting the super company the bill!
    I had to sell my home as I could not pay off the final part and then I had the money from the house sale, which I had to live on. The super then crashed and lost the pitful amount of money I had to start with. and I thought my plan not so bad...beffore I got cancer.
    Capn Dan
    3rd Sep 2014
    12:31pm
    I hear you doclisa, I guess I am lucky that my cancer is out and I can breath the air - as that is about all I can afford. And I have a job to go back to. As an older person I don't have much super so will just work until I kark it. Hang on, I don't want to feel down or bring anyone else down. I hear the birds singing and it is a sunny wonderful day. Just need a lady friend to cuddle. All the best to all!
    Young Simmo
    4th Sep 2014
    12:36am
    Yeh Capn Dan, regarding work, I had just turned 62 and had a Triple Bypass. My boss at Rio Tinto decided while I was away recuperating for 3 months, that I would be a useless wreck. So a week before my return he turned up at my place to tell me they weren't renewing my contract. The Mental Retard was way off the mark, as in the ensuing 12 years till now, I have been a Million % better on my reconditioned engine. Because we live in a Caravan Park a 1000 Ks out of the city paying $115 a week rent, we are cruising on our married couple pension saving some times 200 bucks a fortnight. That is when there isn't car or building and contents insurance etc. But overall we are enjoying life to the full, HIC.
    Young Simmo
    4th Sep 2014
    12:39am
    I should add that I am now 31 years older than my father had. He died at 43 years in 1953, so it all gets down to modern science, not good planning.
    Kathleen
    3rd Sep 2014
    11:57am
    Just goes to show Doclisa that the best laid plans of mice and men can come crashing down through no fault of your own. Sad today that the mining companies get off scott free and that people's super is eroded by this horrible government. Joe Hockey and PM seem to have no compassion or empathy for the common man or woman. We will have to,oust them in two years for sure and hope their damages can be reversed!
    MICK
    3rd Sep 2014
    5:59pm
    We all need to worry about what Abbott has been thinking about and the hints he has already dropped. God help us all if he is re-elected as Death Duties as well as incorporating the family home in the assets test will be here. WHilst one might say that the rich will be caught as well I say lets be serious. The rich will have their nice little havens...as they have always had, and only average Australians will be done over.
    talofa
    3rd Sep 2014
    12:38pm
    I am 75years in 2 month & my income is part centrelink/ a small pension from the EU plus
    a very small federal super & I believe that I live well...I have many interests/astrophysics/
    philosophy/british houmor/opera & vampire DVDs etc.etc.etc.
    I believe that it is important to manage my finances well rather than have a huge income
    talofa
    Mar
    3rd Sep 2014
    1:03pm
    It seems that every day the average person gets more bad news from this Government. They are weak, dishonest and unfortunately will do a lot of damage in the next two years.We thought we had problems with Labour, but this lot "takes the biscuit". They have no idea and no thought for the low income people and the pensioners, it's all about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. There is far less chance for the average person to save for or to consolidate their retirement income than has ever been. it's going down, down, down.
    Polly Esther
    3rd Sep 2014
    2:02pm
    oh yes and we are all sure that Tony Abbott personally hates every one of our gutses and he gets his kicks by taking us all to the abyss and throwing us in. Oh please. come on you cannot be for real!!!!
    MICK
    3rd Sep 2014
    6:04pm
    flying doctor: Sad that you are an Abbott disciple. Have a look at the money trail. it all goes one way: to the big end of town.
    It makes my blood boil when I read uninformed comments and I have to wonder if your comment is from a point of ignorance (not bothering to do the research) or blind obedience (head in the sand).
    I could write a page but why bother. You seem to have no idea of what has been happening for th epast year.
    KSS
    3rd Sep 2014
    1:20pm
    I think the biggest mistake is leaving decisions about retirement until you retire! It must be planned for well before the event happens. And that includes how to fill up the day and making provision for superannuation.

    We have been told for years that employer superannuation contributions alone will not be enough. If people have ignored that fact, they only have themselves to blame. They have lost nothing. Its a personal responsibility not the responsibility of the employer or the Government - you can't lose what you never had. The Government should be expected to provide only for those who cannot/could not provide for themselves - the genuinely disabled for example. The Government is not and should not be expected to fund a lifestyle for those profligate individuals who blew the lot.

    Future 'pensioners' should take note and get their act together now to ensure they are prepared for a potential lengthy retirement

    Of the mistakes above, the worst is financially supporting children long after they are themselves adults. This does no-one any service; fosters dependency and lack of responsibility and erodes retirement savings.

    A close second is taking the super on retirement in a lump sum and blowing it on long fancy holidays, new cars and other unnecessary items. Then expect to fall back on the Government pension and only to whinge it is not enough!

    Finally, preparing to fill up the days with something is good advice. Essential if you are the sort of person who defines yourself by your job. When the job is gone, who are you then?
    MICK
    3rd Sep 2014
    6:07pm
    Super was sold as being a retirment bonanza but I always thought that this was to get people in so that the sales force could make a motza. It appears that this was the case. As expected the dream and the reality were totally different.
    I agree with your post. Well written.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2014
    2:57pm
    "I think the biggest mistake is leaving decisions about retirement until you retire! It must be planned for well before the event happens. And that includes how to fill up the day and making provision for superannuation. " KSS this comment of yours was spot on.

    People need to plan for their retirement BEFORE they retire. We all have choices; some do plan some don't. You cannot expect to live the life you had while working in retirement. My friend had the same income as myself; she chose to spend her money and lead the high life and not save. Her choice. She now has a miserable life living on nothing but a single pension. Does not own her own home and totally reliant on government.
    Fready
    3rd Sep 2014
    3:48pm
    Well said KSS and so true. However there is little incentive to be self-funded in retirement and no penalty for not saving during your working life. Self funded retirees are hit from all sides based on their "ability to pay" whilst pensioners get lots of services for free or at a cheap rate. A charity where I live charges pensioners $10/hr to clean their windows whilst charging self funded retirees $40/hr. Why.? We all had the opportunity to save for our retirement.
    Anonymous
    3rd Sep 2014
    4:02pm
    Spot on Fready the self funded retiree gets generally no Government help but the pensioner gets nearly everything for next to nothing. Some pensioners have had bad luck and couldn't save but a large majority had the chance and spent everything as they went and now demand Government help and wonder why they are called Bludgers etc.
    MICK
    3rd Sep 2014
    6:10pm
    Spot on Fready. Being in the self funded group it has been hard and people who save for their retirement get little in the way of help. The public service really does go out of its way to try and make self funded retirees feel as though they are loaded when in fact many will make the pension or less. Indeed what incentive is there. better to spend it all and throw oneself on the pension. Great government!
    Brissiegirl
    4th Sep 2014
    11:46am
    Self-funded retirees are penalised (and sometimes pilloried), all because they worked hard, saved, planned for their futures and are trying to look after themselves. There are many retirees who take the superannuation lump sum option, embark on an expensive (albeit shortlived) overseas holiday, then return home and groan forever because the pension doesn't supply the luxuries they could have afforded in place of the holiday. We can't have everything. The pension doesn't have to pay for car maintenance, rego and insurance as well as holidays. We are responsible to keep enough funds for those post-retirement luxuries on behalf of ourselves.
    Abby
    4th Sep 2014
    2:48pm
    You are spot on Guys
    It is the self funded retiree that saved all their life that gets hit the hardest.
    Anonymous
    5th Sep 2014
    3:02pm
    There are no kudos for being frugal and being self funded. Some have said to me "gee you are lucky". Lucky? Luck had nothing to do with it. Yes, many do spend their savings and just keep below the cut off limit to ensure they get the card and hence the concessions. That is the area that government needs to tighten up. The assets test is too generous in my opinion.
    MITZY
    9th Sep 2014
    5:11pm
    I think self-funded retirees are lucky to have had a job and been able to save for their retirement, especially if they have been employed or worked for themselves for the majority of their working life. Unfortunately not every is that fortunate. Some have disability problems, some have part-time work, some have no education, there are a multitude of reasons for their plight, not all of which has been self-inflicted by a thirst for spending everything today and keeping nothing for tomorrow. Some have their working life curtailed by being carers for other family members etc. etc.
    This is the reason these people need looking after. In life, I thought if we could look after ourselves we were very fortunate. In life, I thought the government would look after those who couldn't look after themselves for various reasons.
    I am not one of these, but I would like to think I would not begrude one of these help. I am not talking about the ones that just can't help themselves and are addicted to alcohol and gambling etc. and we all knock these individuals too, but in the general consensus, they are a small percentage of the welfare bill.
    Mar
    3rd Sep 2014
    4:00pm
    No Flying Doctor, I don't think Tony Abbott even thinks about us. He's too concerned in promoting himself and massaging his ego. It's a long time since we had a People Prime minister. I don't know why people think that everyone must have blown the lot, wasted their money or overindulged their children if they do not have a retirement income or savings. They must have had blessed lives without much adversity. Not all people are so lucky for reasons not of their own making.
    AlbertC
    3rd Sep 2014
    7:32pm
    well I hope that when he quits his job that they spend all his supper all 10.000.000 of it on hospitals and feeding the poor no time for mongrels like him have nice day.
    Mar
    3rd Sep 2014
    7:55pm
    I agree with mick and Fready that there is little incentive to become a self funded retiree and with all the planning in the world, it is becoming less prudent to go without and save for retirement because you will get ripped off and punished for doing this.This Government has just brought about another blow for individuals trying to be self reliant in their old age. It's also impossible to "make sure your a winner,not a whinger, later in life". In the end Kaye, no one has that much control over their lives.
    EELS
    4th Sep 2014
    11:10am
    The government has not 'brought about another blow'.
    The Government does not pay for your super contributions the employer does. It is even a benefit for younger people to have more in their pocket to go towards buying a house instead of having their money locked up until retirement and potentially still having a mortgage when they retire.
    Also the employer is more able to increase wages if they do not have the impost of paying more in Super.
    If anyone wants to pay more into Super themselves there is always Salary Sacrifice.
    The sky hasn't fallen, in people just need to think for themselves about what is best for them.
    Paddles
    3rd Sep 2014
    10:45pm
    I cannot quibble with anything that was included in the above advice. However I would suggest another worthwhile consideration is based on the life style/housing equation. To briefly outline my own experience, I was a wage earner all my life and struggled like most to achieve home ownership.

    I never had any superannuation due to the varying conditions of employment and when the prospect of voluntary superannuation opened up, I declined to be involved because it seemed that at every Federal budget, they moved the goal posts. End result was that, at about 58 y.o.a. I owned my home and very little else.

    Having seen so many of my friends trying to deal with the problem of sorting out their aged parents, I decided to spare my children that problem and investigated the Aged Care Industry generally as, although still working, one can access retirement villages etc after age 55.

    So, I sold up the old family home and in doing so, excused myself from the increasingly onerous chore of upkeep, moved into a fantastic unit with an entry fee well covered by the proceeds of the sale of my house and then became liable only for the regular maintenance fees of the village which I call home. I'm currently 20 years down the track and, with the fees set at 30% of the single aged pension, I am paying $220 per fortnight from a combined pension of some $1,270. We are actually saving money at this.

    Think it through all you battlers. The aged care industry attracts substantial federal funds and will continue to do so, so in effect, it is an invisible supplement to the aged pension. The growth of the aged care sector is almost unparalleled in this day and age so get in there and grab a slice of the good life.

    You may miss your dog and cat, you may miss the back yard garden but you can enter a lifestyle where the major problem of each day is to decide what to do to enjoy yourself.
    Anonymous
    4th Sep 2014
    8:25am
    Paddles, I went and had a walk around a beautiful retirement village on Saturday. As we walked around we saw people standing talking or working in their small gardens. All had smiles on their faces.

    Stopped and talked to two couples (separately) and one couple invited us to look through their home. It was so spacious and well designed and the wife said it was a dream kitchen and the best she had ever had.

    Without exception all we spoke to on our walk around said they would never live "out there" again as they loved living in the gated environment and there was such a great social life and amenities that they were never bored or lonely. Wished they had made the move sooner and did not miss the big gardens and maintenance etc. Small dogs are allowed but I never heard a single dog bark while there.

    Our decision to move into this village is firming up and have now put in a hold on a certain block and the home will be built sometime in the not too distant future I hope.
    MITZY
    5th Sep 2014
    5:10pm
    Paddles: This would be a good subject for Your Life Choices to investigate and put forth some facts on it.
    From what I hear, all is plain sailing entering an over 55's and ongoing. Although the problem will not be yours when you pass on, there seems to be a minefield of different scenarios about "exiting". These are different in every state of Oz.
    There is a website: www.iSeniority.com.au that gives valuable information on the pros and cons and the exit seems to be the most foreboding. They have a calculator you can use to work out what your exit fee would be based on different scenarios.
    Based on IF the DEPARTURE fee is calculated on the ENTRY fee
    and you purchase one of these units and die within ten years of entry, the departure fee is 2.5% (average) from 1 to 10 years of residence.
    NIL fee after 10 years (average).
    Say you paid $300,000
    After 10 years the value is $444,073 (average)
    Capital Gain $144,073
    Departure Fee $147,033
    Net Proceeds or Refund $297,037
    A loss of $2,963, i.e. minus 10%
    And of course you are paying all the way with maintenance fees and sometimes admin fees, depending on the way they operate.
    The calculator will give an example of gains/losses from 1 to 25 years and their is a blank sheet for you to work out your particular circumstances.
    It appears you need to be living this lifestyle from 55 years onwards and the longer you are there, you gradually make a profit on your original outlay, but not a particularly large one?
    When your family is looking after your estate, it would be good to know what they have to accomplish to sell your unit; do they do it, or does the retirement village buy it back from you and give your estate the "end proceeds".

    I'm lucky, 12 months before my husband passed away we moved from a big house to a newly built smaller single level duplex. It is situate in a small cul-de-sac of about 14 homes and we are at the entry to the cul-de-sac. It is the only duplex in the street. I have been here the past 2 years on my own and the other duplex is occupied by a lady 6 months younger than myself and her husband passed away around the same time as mine. We go out together to the pictures occasionally and do our shopping together and although the duplex is a strata plan, we do everything ourselves. We pay our own contents insurance, but the buildings insurance we pay half of it each. The only other expense jointly is $125.00 each every six months into a fund to cover maintenance of the outside of the building. We have a joint bank account where we put this money in every six months.
    It will be a long long time before we need to paint/repair the inside as it is all new. My unit has all the disability aids in it as we had to put them in before we moved in as my husband had MS. So, if I get a bit tottery in my most senior years I will have the aids to assist me. I have a beach 5 minutes away and I walk my dog every morning from 7 to 9 a.m. (weather permitting) along the beach with another 4 or 5 retirees and their dogs. I then go again for a walk around my neighbourhood from 3 to 3.30 p.m. daily. I have two cousins and their families living close by, so I'm not short of company.


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