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Couple's retirement plans "ruined" after investment fail

<p>A couple from Brisbane claim their retirement has been "ruined" after an investment went wrong. </p> <p>After first visiting Coffs Harbour in 1976, Raymond and Wendy Dibb saw potential in the area, land-banking 2.7 hectares of rural acreage in the late 1980s. </p> <p>The couple bought the land in Korora for $118,000 in 1988 and sat on it for decades, waiting for the day they could make their retirement fortune by subdividing and selling it off.</p> <p>However they never got the chance, as the land was compulsorily acquired by Transport for NSW back in 2021 in order to make way for the Pacific Highway bypass.</p> <p>The $2.2 billion highway is now currently being built over the top of the block, which will be the site of a major intersection when the project opens to traffic in late 2026.</p> <p>The couple believed the land was worth a hefty $5.5 million, although Transport NSW valued it at just $1.062 million back in 2021.</p> <p>A gruelling three-year legal battle finally ended in the NSW Court of Appeal on June 28th, with the Dibbs being awarded $1.359 million in compensation, although they argued they deserved more. </p> <p>“This was a pretty significant financial transaction that’s really gone bad for us,” Raymond Dibb told the<em> </em><a title="www.smh.com.au" href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/couple-loses-property-fight-after-highway-swallows-5-5-million-dream-20240703-p5jqrx.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em>. </a>“And it’s got nothing to do with our investment choices."</p> <p>“We’re talking about landowners just minding their own business, and someone comes knocking on your door, saying, ‘We’re going to take your land’”.</p> <p>Mr Dibb slammed the entire process of the acquisition, saying that he believed an independent body should conduct compulsory acquisitions rather than the government.</p> <p>In the Land and Environment Court, Justice Nicola Pain ended up increasing the couple’s compensation to $1.42 million after it was determined the land could have produced seven residential lots with less risk and cost.</p> <p>She found they were also entitled to money to cover fees and stamp duty on a replacement block for their land bank, which the couple argued they would need to buy to delay paying capital gains tax.</p> <p>Transport for NSW argued that they should not have been granted any money for stamp duty, with Justices Kristina Stern, Anthony Payne and Jeremy Kirk agreeing.</p> <p>This was stripped from the award and they refused to revalue the block of land. The couple were also ordered to pay the government’s costs of the two-day appeal.</p> <p>Mr Dibb is considering seeking leave to appeal against the High Court’s decision. He added that the couple’s retirement plans had been ruined by Transport for NSW, which originally offered just $470,000 for the land back in 2019.</p> <p>A spokesperson for Transport for NSW said the government body “empathises with residents and landowners affected by property acquisitions” and said they always “try to minimise the need for property acquisition”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Australian superannuation changes and your retirement savings

<p>Superannuation has been a working retirement model plan for years, and the government makes constant changes to ensure these approaches remain feasible in today’s society. The Australian government announced changes to superannuation in February 2023, and since then, there have been new considerations for employers to deliberate over regarding super account plans for employees. Here is a look at the most recent alterations and what they mean for your super account and retirement plans. </p> <h2>Understanding Superannuation</h2> <p>Superannuation, or “super,” is money put aside in an account throughout an employee’s work experience. The sole purpose is for these individuals to have something to live on when they retire. </p> <p>For most people, it involves their employers taking from their salary and putting aside the dictated sum in a super account. These contributions are paid outside your wages or salary and are based on existing laws on how much recruiters must pay. There are also age and earning limits involved. For instance, you may not be eligible for a super account if you’re under 18 and work less than 30 hours weekly. Eligible individuals have to work over 30 hours weekly and have an earning cap of $450 or more (before tax) to be paid super. </p> <p>These funds are typically invested in assets like stocks, bonds, real estate, and others that can help yield interest over time. You can also manage your investments through the forex market using an advanced <a href="https://www.oanda.com/au-en/trading/platforms/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian trading platform</a>. </p> <h2>Recent Superannuation Changes in Australia</h2> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2024/06/Australian-superannuation-changes-and-your-retirement-savings01.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p> </p> <p>Following the introduction of the Superannuation Bill in 2016, a series of changes have been made to the annotation laws. </p> <p>On November 9, 2016, the Australian government introduced the bill, which was meant to help preserve the objectives of superannuation in the legislation. From the onset, this model aimed to provide income in retirement to replace or supplement the age-pending laws. The objective of this scheme has remained the same, and changes made over the years have been towards improving efficacy rather than impeding its relevance. </p> <p>The most recent of these reforms took place in 2013, and below is a summary of what these changes entail and how they affect retirees.</p> <h2>Superannuation on Paid Parental Leave</h2> <p>One of the first alterations was the announcement that superannuation would be payable to the Commonwealth’s Parental Leave Scheme to close the gender super gap. This means that superannuation will be paid on Government-funded Paid Parental Leave (PPL) for parents who give birth or adopt children on or after July 1, 2025. </p> <p>It’s easy to understand why this measure was introduced. When implemented, it is expected to benefit over 18,000 parents annually. Also, it will bring more balance to the ratio of payables between women and men. </p> <h2>Increase in Super Guarantee</h2> <p>The May 2024 Federal Budget also revealed the legislated increase of the Sper Guarantee to 12% will remain the same. From July 1, 2024, the fee will increase to 11.5%, after which an additional 0.5% will be added on July 1, 2025. </p> <p>Employees can look forward to this increase as some extra long-term payment to their retirement funds. Although it might seem like a slight increase, the addition over the long-term working period accumulates too much and could make a significant difference, especially with compound interest. </p> <h2>Super Payment at the Time of Salary and Wages</h2> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2024/06/Australian-superannuation-changes-and-your-retirement-savings02.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>This particular change was proposed but is yet to be legislated. It states that from July 1, 2026, employers will be required to pay their workers suer at the same time they pay salary and other wages. </p> <p>This change aims to better track these payments and mitigate issues, such as non-payments or discrepancies. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) also revealed that monitoring compliance from employers to their employees will be easy. </p> <p>Furthermore, there are reasons to believe this will bring better yields on the end of the receivers since fees paid faster will compound better ad yields and higher interests. </p> <h2>Additional Changes to Be Legislated</h2> <p>From July 1, 2025, a 30% concessional tax rate will be implemented for future earnings for balances over $3 million rather than the usual 15%. </p> <p>This alteration will impact over 80,000 people between 2025 and 2026. Lastly, the existing 2-year freeze on deeming rates at 2.25% has been shifted forward until June 30, 2025. </p> <p>This translates to retirees <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/money/2024/mar/26/little-planning-for-looming-retirement-crisis-blackrock-chief-warns" target="_blank" rel="noopener">continuing to benefit</a> from the present rate of 0.25% until the new allocated time. This measure can help alleviate the cost of living and is currently benefiting over 876,000 income support recipients and 450,000 aged pensioners. </p> <h2>Maximising Your Retirement Savings With Super</h2> <p>Super savings were introduced to allow employees to save a percentage of their earnings towards retirement so they have something to live on in their non-working years. The recent changes will surely improve things, and all you have to do is be sure that your employee is paying your super and doing so at the expected time. You can use the <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/calculators-and-tools/super-estimate-my-super" target="_blank" rel="noopener">“estimate my super”</a> tool offered by the government to estimate how much your employee should pay. </p> <p><em>All images: Supplied.</em></p> <p><em>In collaboration with OANDA.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Five tips to help you start new hobbies in retirement

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-bishop-1522973">Alison Bishop</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-east-london-924">University of East London</a></em></p> <p>Retirement can be an exciting but also scary prospect for many. How you fill your time is totally up to you, but with so many choices it can be a bit daunting. But it’s important to make sure you keep active, physically and mentally.</p> <p>Hobbies can <a href="https://www.careuk.com/help-advice/why-are-long-lost-hobbies-important-for-older-people">increase wellbeing</a> by boosting brain function, enhancing social skills and improving fine motor skills. <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/366160647_Psychological_benefits_of_hobby_engagement_in_older_age_a_longitudinal_cross-country_analysis_of_93263_older_adults_in_16_countries">A study carried out in 2022</a> found that spending time on hobbies was associated with lower symptoms of depression and a perceived increase in a person’s sense of health, happiness and overall life satisfaction.</p> <p>However, many older people don’t take up hobbies for all sorts of reasons. This might include fears that they are not as good at something in their older age as they were when they were younger. This fear of trying new things can lead to increased feelings of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338142/">loneliness and isolation</a>.</p> <p>Here are five tips using <a href="https://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/ppintroarticle.pdf">positive psychology</a> that could help you or someone in your life if they are scared or nervous about picking up a hobby.</p> <h2>1. Broaden your strengths</h2> <p>Our idea of what we are good at is formed at a very young age and often reflects subjects that we were good at in our school days. Positive psychology’s “<a href="https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths-and-virtues">theory of strengths</a>” encourages us to think more broadly about what constitutes a strength. For instance, it considers curiosity, kindness and bravery as strengths. When applied to choosing a hobby, it means that if you believe one of your strengths is kindness, you could consider working in outreach or charity as a hobby or spending time speaking with people who are housebound.</p> <h2>2. Find activities you already enjoy</h2> <p>The “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1693418/pdf/15347528.pdf?inf_contact_key=9944754ba1372fa9ce5ee1421d8427bc">broaden and build theory”</a> suggests that when we feel positive emotions such joy or love, we are more likely to engage in new activities, thoughts and behaviours. It follows then, that if you look at times in your life when you experience these emotions this could help you start a new hobby. So, if you enjoy walking in the countryside, then the theory suggests that those feelings would enable you to join a rambling club.</p> <h2>3. Remember moments you’ve lost track of time</h2> <p>Another way to identify an activity that would be good to do is by using “<a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/flow-state#what-it-is">flow theory”</a>. This suggests that when we are doing something that we become completely absorbed in, that our brainwave patterns change and we can lose track of time. For this to happen, we need an activity that is meaningful to us to complete, with just the right amount of challenge so that it is not too easy or too hard.</p> <p>An exercise that reveals your personal flow template involves looking back on your life to find as many times as possible when you’ve been doing something and completely lost track of time. Write these down and see if these moments have anything in common. For example, are they all creative activities or all outdoors and physical? This will reveal something about yourself and the type of activity that is aligned with who you are, and could suggest new hobbies.</p> <h2>4. Be kind to yourself</h2> <p>“<a href="https://self-compassion.org/">Self-compassion theory</a>” teaches us the importance of being as kind to ourselves as we would be to a friend. When we are thinking about what we are good at, we can be unkind to ourselves by comparing ourselves unfavourably to others or to an imagined high standard.</p> <p>Self-compassion theory states that our imperfections make us human, and it is our shared knowledge of this that connects us to others. Where a goal in an activity is kindness with ourselves and those doing the activity with us rather than performance, we can access a new more meaningful reason to take part in something.</p> <h2>5. Imagine your perfect day</h2> <p>The last tip from positive psychology involves creating <a href="https://www.thepositivepsychologypeople.com/reflections-on-a-beautiful-day/">a story of the perfect average day</a> and then planning to actually live it. How do your hobbies fit into this? How does this day tap into your broadened idea of your strengths? How does it include kindness to yourself and others?</p> <p>It also helps to identify goals either for retirement more generally or for participating in a hobby. By picturing the perfect average day you can create more meaning and purpose in life by seeing how all the parts of your life fit together. It also reveals short term goals for example, if you plan to go to an art club but can’t get there, then a goal could be asking for a lift from another club member. When these pieces are in place, hope is ignited, and a vision created of how life can go forward so that you really can live your best retired life.<!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-bishop-1522973">Alison Bishop</a>, Lecturer in Positive Psychology Coaching, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-east-london-924">University of East London</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/five-tips-to-help-you-start-new-hobbies-in-retirement-226764">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Retirement Life

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How do I plan for my retirement? Step one – start right away

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p>Planning for retirement is important because it will help you build the nest egg you’ll need to financially sustain your retirement years.</p> <p>Past <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/epdf/10.1080/03601277.2012.660859?needAccess=true">studies</a> have shown that those who plan for their retirement are more likely to be better off at retirement compared to those don’t.</p> <p>The sooner the planning process gets underway, the better. This gives your money more time to grow by generating investment returns. And the income from your first job is your first opportunity to save for retirement. As the saying goes: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”</p> <p>As people <a href="https://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=15601">can expect to live longer</a>, they must save more for retirement so that they don’t outlive their savings. This is particularly true given that the pensions landscape worldwide has undergone some major changes.</p> <p>In the past, governments and employers provided retirement income for individuals through government social security benefits and employment-based retirement funds. Because of increasing life expectancies, pension plans that guaranteed a retirement benefit to employees are now rare. Employees are now responsible for making contributions towards their own pensions as well as choosing the investments offered by the pension fund.</p> <p>Since employers are no longer responsible for funding their employees’ retirement and governments lack resources to provide a universal state pension, each person is ultimately responsible for ensuring they have enough retirement savings. So it’s very important to know the basics of the retirement planning process.</p> <p>As a researcher, I’m interested in how people use financial products to overcome economic challenges and build wealth. One of the things I investigate is whether planning for retirement leads to better retirement outcomes. For instance, my <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bomikazi-Zeka-2/publication/340130176_Retirement_funding_adequacy_in_black_South_African_townships/links/5e8bf3924585150839c6408b/Retirement-funding-adequacy-in-black-South-African-townships.pdf?_sg%5B0%5D=started_experiment_milestone&amp;origin=journalDetail&amp;_rtd=e30%3D">research</a> has found that individuals whose financial affairs are in order are more likely to maintain their standard of living at retirement.</p> <p>Given that everyone’s financial situation is unique, it’s always a good idea to speak to a financial planner for tailored financial advice.</p> <p>If you haven’t given retirement planning much thought or don’t know where to start, here are four points to help get the ball rolling.</p> <h2>What are my retirement goals?</h2> <p>Retirement goals make you think about what you want to achieve by the time you retire and what you need to do to achieve it. Some people may have a goal in mind about when they want to retire, or how much wealth they’d like to have by the time they retire. And since wealth has different meanings for different people, others may think about maintaining or improving their standard of living at retirement.</p> <p>Once you’ve thought about your retirement goals, the <a href="https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/management/smart-goal/">“smart” goals</a> framework is a useful guide. It outlines that goals should be: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.</p> <p>When goals are clear, within reach, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive, they become a blueprint to help you turn them into a reality.</p> <h2>How do I start saving for retirement?</h2> <p>For those who have a job that comes with retirement fund membership, a workplace pension is used to provide for retirement. But there are also other options available to help you save.</p> <p>For instance, retirement annuity funds are voluntary retirement savings. Personal assets such as <a href="https://www.allangray.co.za/what-we-offer/unit-trust-investment/#fund-3">unit trusts</a> or <a href="https://www.gov.za/faq/money-matters/how-can-i-make-tax-free-investment">tax-free investments</a> can also be used as a savings tool. Unit trusts are generally better suited for people willing to take on risk because their value is tied to the movements of financial markets. In other words, they can generate positive returns but they can also lose value. The drawback of tax-free investments in South Africa is that they have a lifetime contribution limit. You can’t use them to save more than R500,000 (US$27,400).</p> <p>Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages and what works best for one person may not be best for another. But there are several ways to save for retirement depending on your financial situation and retirement goals. Getting professional advice will help you determine what’s best for you.</p> <h2>Will my retirement savings be enough?</h2> <p>Once you’ve set your retirement goals and have a retirement savings plan in place, you can calculate whether you are saving enough to achieve your retirement goals.</p> <p>For example, if your retirement goal is: “I want to retire at the age of 65 years with an income equivalent to R35,000 (US$1,900) per month” then you can use a <a href="https://www.sanlam.co.za/tools/Pages/retirement.aspx">retirement calculator</a> to track your progress and determine whether you need to make adjustments to meet your goals.</p> <p>You might have to increase the monthly amount you’re putting away for retirement or reconsider your retirement age. The retirement calculators are also a useful tool for regular check-ins on your progress should your financial situation change – for example, if you change employers and earn a different salary.</p> <h2>What other issues should I consider?</h2> <p>It’s also important to think about your lifestyle and priorities.</p> <p>For instance:</p> <ul> <li> <p>do you aim to retire with your mortgage settled?</p> </li> <li> <p>are there debts you plan to clear before you retire or children who need financial support at retirement?</p> </li> <li> <p>would you like to renovate your home?</p> </li> <li> <p>would you like to buy a new car when you reach retirement age?</p> </li> </ul> <p>Another important consideration is healthcare costs. Many people assume that they will be able to work indefinitely and overlook the fact that healthcare costs may increase with age.</p> <h2>Starting early matters</h2> <p>Many people plan to work after retirement age, while others don’t plan to retire at all. It may be that they can’t afford to. They may have accessed their retirement benefits too soon, made inconsistent retirement fund contributions, or had to pay high administrative costs that eroded the final value of a retirement payout.</p> <p>So best be prepared. Retirement may seem like a distant event to plan and save for, especially when there are more pressing financial needs. It’s important to think about the financial decisions you make now that may cost you in the future. If you start to plan for your retirement now, your future self will thank you for it.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230553/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, Assistant Professor in Finance and Financial Planning, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-do-i-plan-for-my-retirement-step-one-start-right-away-230553">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Retirement Income

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Stay or go? Most older Australians want to retire where they are, but renters don’t always get a choice

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christopher-phelps-378137">Christopher Phelps</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-ong-viforj-113482">Rachel Ong ViforJ</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/william-clark-1488932">William Clark</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-los-angeles-1301">University of California, Los Angeles</a></em></p> <p>As Australia’s population gets older, more people are confronted with a choice: retire where they are or seek new horizons elsewhere.</p> <p>Choosing to grow old in your existing home or neighbourhood is known as “ageing in place”. It enables older people to stay connected to their community and maintain familiarity with their surroundings.</p> <p>For many, the decision to “age in place” will be tied to their connection to the family home. But for many, secure and affordable housing is increasingly <a href="https://theconversation.com/ageing-in-a-housing-crisis-growing-numbers-of-older-australians-are-facing-a-bleak-future-209237">beyond reach</a>. This choice may then be impeded by a lack of suitable accommodation in their current or desired neighbourhoods.</p> <p>Our recently published <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/01640275231209683">study</a> asks what motivates older homeowners and renters to age in place or relocate, and what factors disrupt these preferences. It suggests older renters are often not given a fair choice.</p> <h2>Most older Australians want to age in place</h2> <p>Having the option to age in place enables older people to retain autonomy over their lifestyles and identity, promoting emotional wellbeing.</p> <p>Using 20 years of data from the government-funded Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, we tracked the preferences of Australians aged 55 and over.</p> <p>Encouragingly, most older Australians are already where they want to be.</p> <p>Two-thirds (67%) of respondents strongly preferred to stay in their current neighbourhood, and an additional one-fifth (19%) had a moderate preference to stay.</p> <p>Only 6% showed a moderate or strong desire to leave. Ageing in place is then the natural choice for a vast majority of older Australians.</p> <p><iframe id="s3LTM" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/s3LTM/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Our study highlights several motivations for people to stay put as they retire.</p> <p>For homeowners, family ties matter. Owners with children residing nearby were around one and a half times more likely to have a higher preference to stay.</p> <p>Older owners might then have a reason to call on their substantial <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-housing-wealth-gap-between-older-and-younger-australians-has-widened-alarmingly-in-the-past-30-years-heres-why-197027">housing wealth</a> and keep their children nearby via the <a href="https://360info.org/how-to-help-the-young-buy-a-home/">“bank of mum and dad”</a>.</p> <p>For renters, how long they stay is important. Those renting their home for 10 years or more were 1.7 times more likely to have a higher preference to stay than short-term renters.</p> <h2>Renters face the most disruption</h2> <p>The survey enabled us to follow where older people lived a year after they provided their preferences. This helped us gauge how often they turned their desires into reality.</p> <p>The chart below indicates that private renters face greater obstacles to ageing in place.</p> <p>Around one in 10 private renters that desired to age in place were disrupted – they wanted to stay in their neighbourhood but didn’t. This suggests they moved out of their neighbourhood involuntarily.</p> <p>Only 2% of homeowners and social renters experienced the same disruption. However, for those in these tenures that did not desire to age in place, involuntary immobility was a greater concern. Only 15% of those that wanted to leave succeeded, leaving the vast majority “stuck in place”.</p> <p><iframe id="IlliV" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/IlliV/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The private rental market is the least secure of tenures, and so private tenants are often exposed to involuntary moves. Australia’s private rental system is lightly regulated compared to many other countries, creating tenure insecurity concerns.</p> <p>On the other hand, social renters were particularly susceptible to involuntary immobility. Social housing is scarce in Australia and subject to <a href="https://theconversation.com/its-soul-destroying-how-people-on-a-housing-wait-list-of-175-000-describe-their-years-of-waiting-210705">lengthy waiting lists</a>. A neighbourhood move often requires transferring to the less affordable and less secure private rental housing.</p> <p>Even after considering financial status, social renters were four times as likely to be stuck as compared to private renters. Social tenants are strongly deterred from moving in the current system.</p> <h2>How can we support older Australians’ preferences?</h2> <p>Our study exposes some barriers in the housing system that hinder people from being able to age in place, or move when they want to. Clearly, older renters enjoy fewer protections against disruptions to their preferences to age in place than older owners.</p> <p>For private renters, tenure insecurity in the <a href="https://theconversation.com/insecure-renting-ages-you-faster-than-owning-a-home-unemployment-or-obesity-better-housing-policy-can-change-this-216364">private rental sector</a> is a key reform priority. This can be achieved through stronger regulation that improves tenants’ rights. For example, more states could adopt <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-5-key-tenancy-reforms-are-affecting-renters-and-landlords-around-australia-187779?utm_source=twitter&amp;utm_medium=bylinetwitterbutton">recent regulatory rental reforms</a> that support the rights of pet owners and protect against no-grounds evictions.</p> <p>Large numbers of older private renters also face severe <a href="https://www.oldertenants.org.au/publications/ageing-in-a-housing-crisis-older-peoples-housing-insecurity-homelessness-in-australia">rental stress</a>, which may force them to move from their preferred neighbourhood. <a href="https://theconversation.com/1-billion-per-year-or-less-could-halve-rental-housing-stress-146397">Commonwealth rent assistance reform</a> would alleviate some of this stress through an increase in rates and better targeting.</p> <p>An increase in the supply of social housing would play an important role in improving both tenure security and housing affordability. Older social renters enjoy fewer obstacles to ageing in place than older private renters.</p> <p>However, if social renters want to move into the private rental market to relocate, they face difficulty securing accommodation. This will likely discourage moves as it would require sacrificing the tenure security offered by social housing. However, policy initiatives that improve the <a href="https://www.ahuri.edu.au/sites/default/files/migration/documents/PES-358-Lessons-from-public-housing-urban-renewal-evaluation.pdf">quality of the public housing stock</a> can reduce feelings of being stuck.</p> <p>As <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/home-ownership-and-housing-tenure">homeownership rates decline</a> both among young people and those nearing retirement, we can expect the population of older renters to grow.</p> <p>Overall, our findings support a strong case for policy reform in the rental sectors to address the needs and preferences of older renters.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/218024/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/christopher-phelps-378137"><em>Christopher Phelps</em></a><em>, Research Fellow, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-ong-viforj-113482">Rachel Ong ViforJ</a>, ARC Future Fellow &amp; Professor of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/curtin-university-873">Curtin University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/william-clark-1488932">William Clark</a>, Research Professor of Geography, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-california-los-angeles-1301">University of California, Los Angeles</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/stay-or-go-most-older-australians-want-to-retire-where-they-are-but-renters-dont-always-get-a-choice-218024">original article</a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Read this before choosing a retirement village

<p>Making the move from your own home into a retirement village is a huge decision. And with more than 2,000 villages around the country there’s a world of choice. These are some of the things you need to know before you make the move.</p> <p><strong>Get your priorities straight</strong></p> <p>Think about the kind of village you can see yourself living in. Make a list of features that you absolutely must have and a list of those that are desirable but not essential. Don’t be tempted to compromise on the first list because you could end up very unhappy in the long run.</p> <p>Do your research and find a village that meets your requirements. Don’t rush into somewhere that you aren’t completely sure about.</p> <p><strong>Money, money, money</strong></p> <p>Retirement villages aren’t cheap so you’ll need to be realistic about what it’s going to cost and how much you have to spend. It’s a good idea to see a professional financial adviser to get a complete picture of your financial situation, including things like selling your current home, super and any shares you own.</p> <p>You will have to sign a contract with the village before you move in, so get your financial adviser or a lawyer to go over it with you and make sure you understand all your obligations.</p> <p><strong>Location is key</strong></p> <p>As with any move, you need to think carefully about location. If the village is a long way from your current residence it can drastically alter your social life and connections with friends and family.</p> <p>You also need to think about proximity to public transport, shops, health services and community activities.</p> <p><strong>Choose your style</strong></p> <p>Retirement villages range from self-contained independent living to serviced accommodation and residential aged care. They also vary greatly in size from just a handful of units to villages with hundreds of residents. Larger villages tend to have more facilities, so if you’re an active person who loves to swim or play tennis then this could be the choice for you.</p> <p>However, extra facilities come with extra costs so if these aren’t important to you then you could find a cheaper option. You’ll also want to find out about communal dining options and social activities or groups within the village.</p> <p><strong>Get the help you need</strong></p> <p>As with accommodation styles, there is a wide range in the levels of assistance available. This can be as basic as having a cleaner come once a week right up to full nursing care. Some villages have the option to raise your level of care as you age or become unwell, which can be a better option than moving into a new village.</p> <p><strong>Stick to the rules</strong></p> <p>Can visitors stay the night? Can I have a pet? Is there a system for resolving disputes? You’ll want to be familiar with the rules and regulations of the village so read the fine print in your contract or ask questions before you commit.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Retirement Life

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The one thing you must do before retirement

<p>When you think about planning for retirement, the standard advice is to take a thorough look at your superannuation and finances. Although money is undoubtedly an important aspect of retirement planning, making a plan for your emotion and physical wellbeing is just as crucial.</p> <p>New research from the UK has found that retirement can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. The study, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, looked at the impact of retirement on 7,000 people aged 50 to 70, and found that while retirement gives most people a small health booth, over the medium to long-term it causes a “drastic decline in health”.</p> <p>For both men and women, retirement decreases the likelihood of "very good” or "excellent" self-reported health by 40 per cent, increases risk for depression by 40 per cent, and diagnosis of a physical illness by 60 per cent. The study’s lead author, Gabriel Sahlgren, noted: "Work, especially paid work, gives many people a sense of purpose. Losing that may lead to declines in health."</p> <p>The lesson: Make a plan for your emotional and physical health.</p> <p>“Don't wait until you retire to decide how you're going to keep busy,” Dave Bernard, retirement blogger and author of Are You Just Existing and Calling it a Life?, told Prevention, adding, “And you need to look well beyond the first six months.”</p> <p>Just as it’s necessary to make sure your finances are in order before retirement, it’s crucial to ask yourself: What will my new sense of purpose in retirement be?</p> <p>“Many times, adults might not think about what it actually means to be retired, or they think about retirement in abstract terms,” says Angela Curl, an assistant professor in the University of Missouri School of Social Work.</p> <p>She says you need to make concrete plans for retirement. “If you want to volunteer when you are retired, ask yourself where and how often. Having specific plans and steps to follow will help you enter retirement more easily,” says Curl.</p> <p>Creating a plan of how you’ll spend your time when you retire will keep you mentally and physically strong, ensuring that you’ll be healthy enough to enjoy your well-deserved retirement.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Retirement Life

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Most expensive countries to retire in revealed

<p dir="ltr">Australia has become one of the most expensive countries in the world to spend your retirement, with experts sharing how much we need to retire comfortably. </p> <p dir="ltr">Australia is now regarded as the world's seventh most expensive place to retire, and is also a major target for scammers, given the country’s superannuation initiative. </p> <p dir="ltr">Swedish loan broking group Sambla calculated Australians need at least $640,911 to retire comfortably, with this hefty amount one of the biggest in the world. </p> <p dir="ltr">Australia's 4.1 per cent inflation rate is also higher than most of the rich world, which means a retiree would need $34,221 a year to survive, provided they aren't renting.</p> <p dir="ltr">Australia is also a target for scammers, having $3.6trillion in superannuation savings, or the fourth highest pool in the world.</p> <p dir="ltr">In comparison, Switzerland has been named the most expensive place in the world to retire, requiring $927,034 in retirement savings to grow old in the Alps, translating into annual costs of $46,632.</p> <p dir="ltr">Check out the entire top ten list of most expensive countries to retire below. </p> <p dir="ltr">10. France. $583,950 in retirement savings required</p> <p dir="ltr">9. Austria. $598,434 in retirement savings required</p> <p dir="ltr">8. Iceland. $607,558 in retirement savings required</p> <p dir="ltr">7. Australia. $640,911 in retirement savings required</p> <p dir="ltr">6. Canada. $665,752 in retirement savings required</p> <p dir="ltr">5. Liechtenstein. $772,984 in retirement savings required</p> <p dir="ltr">4. Singapore. $773,456 in retirement savings required</p> <p dir="ltr">3. Qatar. $791,029 in retirement savings required</p> <p dir="ltr">2. Monaco. $795,431 in retirement savings required</p> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation">1. Switzerland. $927,035 in retirement savings required</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Retirement Life

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It’s not just about accumulating super. Australians need to learn how to spend their retirement savings

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marc-olynyk-1493791">Marc Olynyk</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>Australia’s superannuation and retirement income system is complex and difficult to navigate.</p> <p>Retirees need to make decisions on numerous issues where they have less than full information and understanding, both financial and non-financial. They also require access to retirement products to help them manage and balance income needs against longevity risk.</p> <p>Recognising these issues, the government released a <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2023-441613">discussion paper</a> this month seeking views on three key issues:</p> <ol> <li> <p>helping super fund members navigate the retirement income system</p> </li> <li> <p>supporting superannuation funds to deliver better services</p> </li> <li> <p>making retirement income products more accessible.</p> </li> </ol> <p>Australia has one of the largest and most sophisticated pension systems in the world. Valued at more than <a href="https://www.apra.gov.au/quarterly-superannuation-statistics">A$3.5 trillion</a> as at September 2023, and is the <a href="https://www.thinkingaheadinstitute.org/research-papers/global-pension-assets-study-2023/">5th largest pension scheme</a> in terms of asset size.</p> <p>It is also the <a href="https://www.mercer.com/insights/investments/market-outlook-and-trends/mercer-cfa-global-pension-index/">5th most highly rated retirement income system</a> internationally behind the Netherlands, Iceland, Denmark and Israel.</p> <h2>What is wrong with the super system?</h2> <p>But while the super system ranks highly in terms of integrity and sustainability, the numbers are not as flattering when it comes to “adequacy”.</p> <p>Adequacy is the level of income available to retirees depending on their different circumstances. According to a recent <a href="https://www.mercer.com/insights/investments/market-outlook-and-trends/mercer-cfa-global-pension-index/">study</a>, Australia is ranked 20th out of 47 worldwide on the adequacy index.</p> <p><a href="https://www.investmentmagazine.com.au/2023/02/purpose-of-super-law-to-herald-tax-reform/">Reform</a> in the <em>pre-retirement</em> phase of Australia’s retirement income scheme is ongoing and designed to support accumulating wealth for retirement.</p> <p>These ongoing reforms have been designed to make superannuation easier to understand and to reduce much of the decision making required. They’ve been needed because of an apparent lack of skills, interest and financial literacy among Australians.</p> <p>While the message that we need to save to be comfortable in retirement is getting through, the lack of information about how to manage these savings once we retire means many retirees are left to navigate the complex system as best they can.</p> <p>Given the complexity and volatility of Australia’s financial system, it’s hardly surprising many of the decisions made by retirees don’t produce the best financial results. For example, more than <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2023-441613">84%</a> of retirement savings are held in account-based pensions which, if not properly managed, can run out. This is despite government and community awareness that outliving your savings is a real possibility.</p> <p>About 50% of retirees currently withdraw at the minimum pension rate, which means many people experience a lower standard of living than what would normally be expected with the super they have accumulated. This can result in wealth not being used and instead being passed on to the next generation.</p> <h2>Help is needed now because the retiree sector is booming</h2> <p>Over the next decade there is going to be a big increase in the number of people retiring and transitioning from the accumulation phase of their super to the pension phase. It’s estimated <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2023-441613">2.5 million</a> Australians will move to the retirement phase in this period.</p> <p>Following the 2014 <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/publication/c2014-fsi-final-report">Financial System Inquiry</a>, the government introduced the <a href="http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/sia1993473/s52.html">Retirement Income Covenant</a> in 2022 to force super fund trustees to develop a strategy that would provide better retirement outcomes for their members.</p> <p>The strategy is based on retirees maximising their expected retirement income, managing expected risks to their retirement income and having flexible access to super funds during their retirement.</p> <p>A 2022-23 review conducted by <a href="https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/find-a-document/reports/rep-766-implementation-of-the-retirement-income-covenant-findings-from-the-apra-and-asic-thematic-review/">Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission</a> found while trustees were providing more help to retirees, overall there was a lack of progress and urgency among trustees to improve retirement outcomes.</p> <h2>How the system could be improved</h2> <p>Several proposals have been put forward to improve the experiences and decision-making of retirees. These have included:</p> <ul> <li> <p>improved support from and education by superannuation fund trustees</p> </li> <li> <p>changing how people view their super savings from an accumulation of wealth to a system that enables drawdown of retirement savings over time to fund expenses.</p> </li> <li> <p>providing an automatic rollover of retirement savings into an income-stream instead of allowing a lump sum withdrawal on retirement</p> </li> <li> <p>expanding existing income products (that are starting to be offered by several financial institutions) which combine providing investment choice with a pension for life</p> </li> <li> <p>setting up a MyRetire product that would run parallel to <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/programs-and-initiatives-superannuation/mysuper">MySuper</a> and provide a simple and cost-effective retirement income system for less engaged members. MySuper only applies to the accumulation phase. Once a member starts an income stream in retirement, their MySuper account ceases</p> </li> <li> <p>improving access to financial planning advice which is shown to play a significant role in preparing Australians for retirement.</p> </li> </ul> <p>The government, superannuation industry and the community all have a greater role to play in improving the financial outcomes and experiences of retirees.</p> <p>With Australia’s ageing population, the need to better support retirees to achieve a dignified retirement is becoming more urgent.</p> <p>All Australians expect and deserve a financially secure retirement.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/219217/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marc-olynyk-1493791"><em>Marc Olynyk</em></a><em>, Director of Financial Planning, Deakin Business School, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/its-not-just-about-accumulating-super-australians-need-to-learn-how-to-spend-their-retirement-savings-219217">original article</a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Unlocking the wealth in your home for a better retirement

<p>In an era where the cost of living continues to rise, Australian retirees are facing unique financial challenges. Many find themselves in a situation where the bulk of their wealth is tied up in their family homes, leaving them with limited options to fund their retirement comfortably.</p> <p>That’s where <a href="https://householdcapital.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Household Capital</a> steps in.</p> <p>As a specialist retirement funding provider, Household Capital offers a solution that empowers retirees to make the most of their home’s value.</p> <p>Through a helpful and enlightening Q&A session with Household Capital, we explore how their innovative approach allows retirees aged 60 and above to access their home wealth responsibly, providing flexible options such as regular income streams, lump sum payments, and even assistance for those still paying off mortgages!</p> <p>Whether you're looking to beat the cost-of-living crisis, help your children enter the property market, or simply secure a more comfortable retirement, Household Capital offers a pathway to a brighter financial future. Here’s how:</p> <h3>Q: What does Household Capital do?</h3> <p>A: Household Capital is a specialist retirement funding provider that provides responsible long-term access to your home wealth. Our approach aims to provide you with the best of both worlds – to continue living in your family home with the confidence to enjoy the retirement lifestyle you deserve.</p> <h3>Q: How does Household Capital help retired Australians?</h3> <p>A: If you’re like most Australian retirees, the majority of your wealth is probably tied up in your family home. This wealth is a valuable resource that could be used to improve your retirement funding and enhance your retirement lifestyle. Our Household Loan helps Australian homeowners aged 60 plus to unlock that wealth and put you in control of your retirement. Your home wealth can be drawn as a regular income, a lump sum payment to renovate your home, buy a new car or cover medical expenses, or both! Importantly, it provides flexibility and choice, so you can look to the future with confidence.</p> <h3>Q: How can Household Capital help me beat the cost-of-living crisis?</h3> <p>A: Many Australians are grappling with the rising cost of living. Food, medical costs, insurance premiums, petrol prices – it seems never ending. How do retired Australians manage this on a fixed income? In many cases, they don’t. Some give up doing things they love – other forgo necessities. Unlocking the wealth in your home can provide a regular income to supplement that received from your superannuation or government pension. You don’t have to go without. You can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.</p> <h3>Q: I’m over 60 and still paying a mortgage – can you help me?</h3> <p>A: You may be one of the millions of Australians aged over 60 still paying off their home loan. Those principal and interest repayments can really stress budgets, especially as the interest rate for ‘old loans’ may be much higher than current rates for younger borrowers.<br />For some over 60s, it means they can’t retire when they want to. For others, it’s having to find that monthly repayment from a fixed income that’s already been stretched by increasing rates and inflation. There is a better way. Many of our customers use a Household Loan to refinance their bank loan. Because a Household Loan does not require regular repayments, your retirement income is freed up. Notably, there is no risk of foreclosure if you miss repayments – because regular repayments are not required. You can stay in your home as long as you want with guaranteed lifetime occupancy and retain 100 percent ownership, meaning you benefit fully from any growth in your home’s value.</p> <h3>Q: How can I help my kids get onto the property ladder?</h3> <p>A: Did you know the ‘bank of mum and dad’ is consistently ranked among Australia’s top ten lenders? Typically, funds are drawn from retirement savings, which can have a detrimental impact on the ‘bank’ over the longer term. If your retirement funding needs are in hand, you can use your home wealth to contribute to a first home buyers deposit or help children with mortgage expenses. This enables you to help children and grandchildren when they need it most and use your home wealth to help the next generation build theirs.</p> <h3>Q: How much home wealth could I unlock?</h3> <p>A: The amount of home wealth you could unlock is dependent on the Loan to Value ratio (LVR). The calculation takes multiple factors into account including the age of the youngest borrower and the value of your property. The LVR for a Household Loan starts at 20 percent of the agreed property value for those aged 60 and increases one percent per year thereafter.</p> <p>To see how much home wealth you could unlock, check out Household Capital’s <a href="https://householdcapital.com.au/home-equity-calculators/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">online calculator</a> or call and speak to one of their Australian-based retirement specialists on 1300 734 720.</p> <p><em>Applications for credit are subject to eligibility and lending criteria. Fees and charges are payable, and terms and conditions apply (available upon request). Household Capital Pty Limited ACN 618 068 214, Australian Credit Licence 545906, is the Servicer for the credit provider Household Capital Services Pty Limited ACN 625 860 764</em></p> <p><em>Image: Supplied.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Household Capital.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Happy ending after company's awful retirement send-off

<p>An elderly gentleman in the United States, who had faithfully served as an "extremely dependable" employee for 42 years, recently experienced a remarkable change in his fortunes, thanks in large part to the generosity of individuals from Australia.</p> <p>John Bartlett, the dedicated worker in question, had received <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/retirement-life/you-deserve-more-company-slammed-over-measly-send-off-party" target="_blank" rel="noopener">underwhelming recognition from an unnamed company</a> for his decades of commitment. His daily 40-minute commute on public transportation to a job paying only the minimum wage went largely unnoticed until recently, causing widespread consternation.</p> <p>Sonia, one of his colleagues, was deeply moved by the perceived injustice and decided to share a video clip of Bartlett's story online. In her post, she expressed her wish that his hard work had been better acknowledged and thanked him for his unwavering loyalty. She noted that Bartlett loved his job so much that he was reluctant to retire, receiving nothing more than a barbecue and a certificate as a token of appreciation.</p> <p>After sharing Bartlett's story on social media, Sonia was inundated with messages from people eager to contribute to his well-deserved retirement. Responding to this outpouring of support, she set up a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/happy-retirement-john#xd_co_f=YjM1NWNiYzAtN2QwYS00MDc2LTgzZWEtNzRiYzE2ZjczZDU2~" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> campaign, inviting the public to contribute "a little something for a better retirement" for him.</p> <p>Within a matter of days, the fundraiser received an overwhelming response, with donations and messages pouring in from around the world, including numerous contributions from Australians. The campaign was eventually closed after more than 1,900 individuals contributed, resulting in a total of A$57,454 for Bartlett's retirement fund.</p> <p>In his 70s, Bartlett was left speechless when Sonia shared this incredible news with him. She conveyed the global impact of his story and the messages of support he had received from people across the globe. Overwhelmed by the gesture, Bartlett could only smile and nod in response.</p> <p>“They left messages for you," said Sonia in the video. "So I’m going to print it out and go ahead and make something nice for you so you can read it on your own time. We started the GoFundMe because they wanted to give you something for your retirement on their part and it just blew up overnight. You deserve it, OK? I’m going to make sure everything goes to your account, just for you.”</p> <p>Supporters encouraged Bartlett to use the funds for special treats, like a grand holiday or for spending time with loved ones. Messages from donors expressed their heartfelt wishes for his retirement and new beginnings.</p> <p>Sonia expressed her gratitude to the donors, assuring them that every cent raised would be placed directly into Bartlett's account. In her final update to the GoFundMe account, she thanked donors for their kindness and reaffirmed her commitment to ensuring Bartlett received every penny, attributing the success of the campaign to their collective efforts.</p> <p>In the end, the power of community and compassion won out, as people from all walks of life came together to make a meaningful difference in the life of an individual who had dedicated so much to his job.</p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Modern prime ministers have typically left parliament soon after defeat. So why doesn’t Scott Morrison?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-strangio-1232">Paul Strangio</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p>With each passing month, Scott Morrison is developing into a post-prime-ministership peculiarity. Well over a year since voters cast him from power, he remains limpet-like in the House of Representatives, defying speculation that he is ready to quit parliament and trigger a byelection in his New South Wales seat of Cook. Hanging around on the backbench is generally not the way of ousted national leaders in the modern political era.</p> <p>It is true that in bygone times former prime ministers did not scurry to leave parliament after losing office. The most spectacular example is Australia’s leader during the first world war, William Morris Hughes. Bumped from office in 1923, the “Little Digger”, as he was known, remained in the House for another three decades, relentlessly scheming for power. Only death in 1952 brought closure to his parliamentary career.</p> <p>Since the 1980s, however, the habit of former PMs has been to hastily abandon politics once the mantle of office has slipped their grasp. Malcolm Fraser established this modern pattern, triggering a byelection in his seat of Wannon two months after his Coalition government was defeated by the Bob Hawke-led Labor Party in March 1983.</p> <p>From that time there have been few exceptions to this norm. Deposed from office by Paul Keating in December 1991, Hawke was out of the parliament by February 1992, with his seat of Wills won by the independent, Phil Cleary. Keating, too, followed the trend. After his Labor government lost power to the John Howard-led Coalition in March 1996, Keating resigned from the House the following month.</p> <p>For Howard, the decision was taken out of his hands, as voters not only finished his prime ministership in November 2007 but terminated his more than three decades as the member for Bennelong.</p> <p>Howard’s slayer, Kevin Rudd, did buck the trend after he was overthrown by caucus colleagues in June 2010. Convinced of the righteousness of his resurrection and thirsting to avenge his usurper, Julia Gillard, he stayed on for another parliamentary term, wresting the prime ministership back in June 2013. However, when electors put an end to his second government three months later, Rudd swiftly exited politics. Meanwhile, Gillard had resigned as the member for Lalor only weeks after being dethroned by Rudd.</p> <p>Prone to eccentricity, Tony Abbott is the clearest exception to the rule of modern ex-PMs not dallying in parliament once their reign is over. Deposed by Malcolm Turnbull in September 2015, less than two years after becoming prime minister, Abbott lingered mostly aimlessly on the backbench for the rest of that term and the next. Recontesting his seat of Warringah again at the May 2019 election, he lost to the independent, Zali Steggall.</p> <p>In contrast to Abbott, Turnbull left parliament with almost unseemly haste once he was unseated from power. After being dumped from the leadership in favour of Morrison in August 2018, he tendered his resignation as the member for Wentworth within a week. In the ensuing byelection, his seat too went to an independent, Kerryn Phelps.</p> <p>How do we explain the modern pattern of former prime ministers sprinting to the exit door once their time in office is over?</p> <p>In earlier times, there was a role for ex-leaders as elder statesmen in parliament. The best example is the Great Depression-era PM, Labor’s James Scullin. Despite failing health, he remained in the House for nearly another two decades and served as a trusted confidant to John Curtin throughout the harrying days of the second world war.</p> <p>Modern former prime ministers can be a source of counsel to their successors, offering advice both welcome and unwelcome. But there is no appetite among colleagues for them to hang around in parliament fulfilling that function. The media are quick to portray them as an unhelpful distraction or curiosity, while opponents point-score off them. Better they are out of the way.</p> <p>Another reason modern former leaders are impatient to move on is that, with extended lifespans and expanded opportunities post-office (for example, book-writing deals, lecture circuits, ambassadorships, business ventures, NGO and think-tank appointments), ex-PMs can now enjoy a second wind once out of parliament in a way that was not so open to earlier predecessors. Politics is now less of a lifetime vocation.</p> <p>Why, then, is Morrison clinging on? We can discount his declarations that he is relishing being the member for Cook. Being a humble backbencher visits daily humiliation on him. Indeed, Morrison’s post-prime ministership has been most notable for his reputation being tarnished by revelations of his bizarre commandeering of several portfolios while PM, and by the adverse findings against him by the Robodebt Royal Commission.</p> <p>These scandals have undoubtedly complicated an early departure for Morrison because, in going, he would be seen to be retreating in disgrace. He needs time and space from the scandals for the semblance of a dignified escape. The opportunities Morrison had hoped for following politics have potentially also thinned because of his sullied reputation.</p> <p>Finally, there is the political calculation surrounding his exit for his party. Stay or go, Morrison is a headache for Opposition Leader Peter Dutton. As long as the scandal-ravaged Morrison hangs around, he is damaging the Liberal brand.</p> <p>Yet a byelection in his electorate is also unwelcome. Though Cook is very safe on paper, the history of the seats of three former PMs going to independents over the past 30 years is intriguing and not to be lightly dismissed.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/212544/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-strangio-1232">Paul Strangio</a>, Professor of Politics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/modern-prime-ministers-have-typically-left-parliament-soon-after-defeat-so-why-doesnt-scott-morrison-212544">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Retirement reinvented: how to find fulfilment later in life

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tania-wiseman-1183187">Tania Wiseman</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swansea-university-2638">Swansea University</a></em></p> <p>Retirement can feel like a strange time for many people. Gone is the routine of work, your time is your own – in theory. How to stop chores from taking over can become a tricky balance. Some people retreat and return to work. Often, those that persevere find they are as busy as ever – but not always with the fun leisurely activities they were looking forward to.</p> <p>It’s strange that this is so often the case because retirement is something many of us look forward to for most of our working lives. Indeed, it’s the one time in life when you can really devote yourself to hobbies and interests, leisure and pleasure.<br />This uncertain picture means that approaching retirement can be a time of fear – <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkudla/2020/03/13/6-ways-to-ease-your-retirement-anxiety/">retirement anxiety</a> is a real thing. So too are the <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/retirement-stress-taking-it-too-easy-can-be-bad-for-you">retirement blues</a>.</p> <p>When you add in potential health concerns and financial worries, it’s maybe not surprising that a recent survey found that more than half of <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/money/more-than-half-of-over40s-feel-anxious-about-retiring-survey-suggests-b2146484.html">over-40s feel anxious about retiring</a>.</p> <p>One retirement challenge is how to replace the <a href="https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/ger-2020-0109/html#:%7E:text=We%20find%20that%20retirement%20changes,effect%20on%20the%20network's%20size.">friendships</a> you make through work. Indeed, it seems the people who fare best in retirement find ways to cultivate connections.</p> <p>The longest-running <a href="https://www.adultdevelopmentstudy.org/">study on human happiness</a> found the thing that makes us most happy in life is our relationships and positive social connections – they also help us to live longer too. Indeed, this 85-year-old Harvard study shows that maintaining quality relationships has a huge benefit for our physical and mental health and wellbeing.</p> <p>Similarly, the charity The Centre for Better Ageing has found that <a href="https://ageing-better.org.uk/resources/later-life-2015-executive-summary">social connections</a> are just as important as money and health to a good later life.</p> <h2>Beyond routine</h2> <p>When it comes to retirement anxiety, <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-71672-1_2">my research</a> with retirees shows that most people who have been retired for several years learn to manage their concerns and develop <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-71672-1_5">satisfying and interesting lives</a>.</p> <p>As with a lot of us, most of their time was taken up with home-based chores, self-care, looking after friends and relatives and serving the community – along with working really hard to keep fit, so as to “age well”.</p> <p>But my research also found that negative notions of ageing can <a href="https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-71672-1">become internalised</a> and prevent people from having fun and making new connections.</p> <p>In my study, people said they were conscious that others might judge the <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/bfm:978-3-030-71672-1/1?pdf=chapter%20toc">suitability of their leisure choices</a>. While some rebels could only really enjoy a pastime if they knew their children would disapprove (think daytime drinking, gambling, watching TV, cycling on busy roads in a rainstorm and flirting with strangers), most were limited in their leisure choices by this concern.</p> <p>Several did not have any pastimes they enjoyed. <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-71672-1_6">Those who found a balance</a> had rich and varied leisure lives, but they preferred people from their own age group and a similar background, where they were less likely to be told how amazing they are, for their age.</p> <h2>From anxiety to adventure</h2> <p>While mixing with people from similar backgrounds and age groups can feel safe and comfortable. It can also mean you miss out on new and interesting experiences or having your worldviews challenged or expanded by spending time with different people</p> <p>Retirement is the ideal opportunity to mix things up and gently expand your leisure repertoire. It’s a time to embrace the convivial in the presence of others, not just the usual people you see.</p> <p>If you are happy with your leisure life, great. But if there is a little something missing, a little fun that could enhance it, consider adding in something new. Think outside the box of what’s “<a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-71672-1_5">suitable for your age group</a>”, (what does that even mean?). Indeed, age should not be a barrier to anything, age discrimination is illegal. So if you’re interested then it’s suitable.</p> <p>If you have limited resources learn a language with <a href="https://www.duolingo.com/">Duolingo</a> in five minutes a day. Then when you’re ready, find a language conversation group and join them for a social event.</p> <p>Learn a song, you can do it yourself using YouTube tutorials. If you enjoy that, you could join a community choir, or drag your friends and family to a karaoke night. You could even pick up an instrument and see how it feels to add percussion. Alternatively, perfect a dance at home and if you like it try a dance class – <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe4xqYSoiUo">pole dancing</a> has become very popular.</p> <p>If you have a bit more time to spare, explore taking an interest to the next level. There are local groups for many activities, including rowing, climbing, circus skills, martial arts and horse riding – what takes your fancy?</p> <p>Not an “organised group” person? Try Frisbee, a boomerang, kite flying, bike rides, skateboarding or roller skating. You don’t have to be with people, just being around them is interesting.</p> <p>For more sedate options consider a cinema club, jazz club, poetry group, or start a quiz team. If you like the TV show <a href="https://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-great-pottery-throw-down">The Great Pottery Throw Down</a> join a ceramic studio and unlock your inner creativity. If you have a free afternoon or evening, look at <a href="https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/">Eventbright</a> and try something random, because we don’t really know what we love until we find it.</p> <p>Nothing has to be a lifelong commitment. If you like it, carry on, if not, then move on to something else. Anything you try will make a good story to tell the younger people in your life – they need to know that later life is an adventure worth working towards.</p> <p>So defy expectations, knock down those mental barriers and try something different. Start today and see where it takes you.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/201358/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tania-wiseman-1183187">Tania Wiseman</a>, Associate Professor, Head of Therapies , Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swansea-university-2638">Swansea University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/retirement-reinvented-how-to-find-fulfilment-later-in-life-201358">original article</a>.</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Australia’s ‘retirement age’ just became 67. So why are the French so upset about working until 64?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-whiteford-2016">Peter Whiteford</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>Since Saturday, Australians have been required to wait until the age of 67 until they can get the age pension.</p> <p>The original so-called “retirement age” of 65 for men dated back to <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud01_outline.pdf">1909</a>.</p> <p>Women had their pension age lifted from 60 to 65 between 1995 and <a href="https://insidestory.org.au/work-till-you-drop/">2013</a>. And all Australians have had it lifted in stages from July 2017, in a process that ended on <a href="https://www.dss.gov.au/seniors/benefits-payments/age-pension">July 1 2023</a>.</p> <p>It has happened with little protest – a stark contrast to the demonstrations and riots that rocked France earlier this year, when President Macron proposed and passed laws to lift the French pension age from 62 to 64.</p> <h2>What’s so special about French pensions?</h2> <p>French strikes and demonstrations over the retirement age aren’t new.</p> <p>There were nationwide protests when France increased its retirement age from 60 to 62 in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/nov/10/french-retirement-age-reform-62">2010</a>, before that in <a href="https://www.etui.org/covid-social-impact/france/pension-reform-in-france-background-summary-an-overview-of-pension-reforms-since-the-1990s-updated-july-2019">2003</a>, and in <a href="https://theconversation.com/pension-reform-in-france-macron-and-demonstrators-resume-epic-tussle-begun-over-30-years-ago-198354">1995</a>, when France tried to increase the pension age for public sector workers.</p> <p>Just about anything you could want to know about public pension schemes in high-income countries can be found in the <a href="https://www.oecd.org/about/">OECD</a> report <a href="https://www.oecd.org/publications/oecd-pensions-at-a-glance-19991363.htm">Pensions at a Glance</a>, published every two years, most recently in 2021.</p> <p>Public pension spending in <a href="https://www.oecd.org/els/public-pensions/PAG2021-country-profile-France.pdf">France</a> is 13.6% of GDP, compared to 4% in <a href="https://www.oecd.org/els/public-pensions/PAG2021-country-profile-Australia.pdf">Australia</a>.</p> <p>In part, this is because France has an older population than Australia, but it is also because French pension payments are more generous than both Australia’s age pension and superannuation supports taken together.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="E0wpD" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/E0wpD/7/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The OECD finding that Australia provides a replacement rate of about 40% and France of about 74% is “forward looking”, in that it is based on what a worker on average earnings is estimated to be entitled to under the system applying in 2020, if she or he works from age 22 until that country’s normal retirement age.</p> <p>For low-paid workers, Australia’s means-tested age pension makes the payments about as generous as those in France.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="rJpy5" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/rJpy5/4/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>A separate 2018 OECD calculation showed that the average after-tax income of a French household headed by someone 65 years or older was <a href="https://www.oecd.org/publications/oecd-pensions-at-a-glance-19991363.htm">99.8%</a> of the average income of all French households.</p> <p>In contrast, the average after-tax income of an Australian household headed by someone of that age was 75% of that of all households.</p> <p>Given that French households receive about the same disposable income while retired as working, it is easy to see why they are keen to retire.</p> <p>And the heavy tax contributions required to fund their retirement incomes give them little opportunity to save privately while working.</p> <p>The level of median private wealth in Australia (converted at prevailing exchange rates) is nearly <a href="https://www.credit-suisse.com/media/assets/corporate/docs/about-us/research/publications/global-wealth-databook-2022.pdf">twice</a> that in France.</p> <p>Yet French public pension wealth is substantial. Calculating the value of the future pension income streams using life expectancies, the net pension wealth of French retirees amounts to 14 years of average earnings, compared to just over seven in Australia.</p> <p>Because the value of these income streams is strongly influenced by how long the pensions are received, raising the French pension age by two years would cut the value of French pension wealth by around 8%.</p> <h2>Why was postponing pensions easier in Australia?</h2> <p>The phase-in of the Australian change after 2017 meant it didn’t affect the retirement incomes of Australian workers until many years after the change was first announced, and didn’t affect the incomes of those already retired at all.</p> <p>And the Australian change legislated in 2009 was part of a <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/2738/2009_budget_pension_changes.pdf">broader program</a> of reforms that included the biggest single <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Newstartrelatedpayments/Report/section?id=committees%2Freportsen%2F024323%2F72678">increase in age and disability pensions and carer payments</a> in Australian history.</p> <p>Yet it will have losers. Those losing the most will be those with the shortest life expectancies. Indigenous men have life expectancies nearly <a href="https://www.niaa.gov.au/resource-centre/indigenous-affairs/commonwealth-closing-gap-annual-report-2022">nine</a> years lower than non-Indigenous men and Indigenous women nearly eight years lower.</p> <h2>Which Australians will pay the highest price?</h2> <p>And the change has pushed a substantial number of Australians aged 65 and over who would have once received the pension on to the <a href="https://theconversation.com/top-economists-want-jobseeker-boosted-100-per-week-tied-to-wages-150364">much-lower</a> Jobseeker unemployment payment.</p> <p>The number of people aged 65 years and over receiving JobSeeker climbed from zero in 2017 to <a href="https://www.data.gov.au/data/dataset/dss-income-support-recipients-monthly-time-series/resource/05f06c42-e027-43aa-b83e-28292f683ede">40,300</a> by May this year – and will climb further because of this month’s change.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><figcaption></figcaption></figure> <p>These people are severely disadvantaged by this change, as the level of payment for an older unemployed person is more than $300 a fortnight less than the age pension, a gap that will only be slightly reduced by the increases announced in the most recent Commonwealth budget.</p> <p>Relatively little attention has been paid to these people, who because of the low level of payment are among the poorest in the Australian population – with very limited prospects of being able to improve their circumstances.</p> <p>In contrast, the idea of boosting tax on the earnings of superannuation balances over <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/feb/28/albanese-government-lifts-tax-rate-on-superannuation-balances-over-3m">A$3 million</a> attracted <a href="https://www.firstlinks.com.au/mechanics-3m-dollar-super-tax-must-fixed">widespread criticism</a>.</p> <p>The very different institutional environments of Australia and France have created different lobby groups, with different interests to protect.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/208648/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-whiteford-2016">Peter Whiteford</a>, Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/australias-retirement-age-just-became-67-so-why-are-the-french-so-upset-about-working-until-64-208648">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Nat Barr stuns retired navy expert with blunt Titan query

<p dir="ltr"><em>Sunrise</em> host Natalie Barr has weighed in on the missing Titan submersible, posing a question that appeared to take an experienced - and retired - US Navy submarine commander by surprise. </p> <p dir="ltr">Barr was speaking to David Marquet about the vessel - which went missing in the North Atlantic with five passengers onboard and only 96 hours of life support - and its dangerous predicament.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/search-underway-for-tourists-missing-on-titanic-submarine">Rescue teams have been racing</a> against the clock and fighting difficult search conditions in a bid to locate the Titan submersible after it went missing on a journey to explore the sunken wreckage of the Titanic. </p> <p dir="ltr">And while <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/encouraging-signs-in-search-for-missing-sub">reports of banging</a> from deep beneath the ocean’s surface have offered some a glimmer of hope - and others a sense of dread - the high-stakes situation has crews on edge, and left many wondering what had led to the decision to descend, for the Titan’s passengers and owners alike.</p> <p dir="ltr">Reports have begun to circulate that the Titan had been plagued with safety concerns prior to this trip, and during former dives, and Barr sought more information from Marquet on that matter. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We are still hearing all the things people are saying about why they should not have gone,” she said. “The passenger window was only certified to go half the depth that it went.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Should they be there in the first place?”</p> <p dir="ltr">The to-the-point question appeared to stun the ex-commander, who needed to take a moment before proceeding with his answer. </p> <p dir="ltr">“They are adults, and they made a decision. It’s hard to question the judgement,” he said, before going on to note that the CEO of OceanGate - the company responsible for the missing vessel - had been one of the five people onboard, “so obviously he believes in the equipment.” </p> <p dir="ltr">“Knowing what I know,” Marquet added, “what it takes to keep nuclear submarines running, you would not be finding me on that ship, but it’s easy after-the-fact to find criticism.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He then shared that while he did have an appreciation for people who chose to push “the envelope in terms of exploring and innovation”, that “sometimes they push a little too far”. </p> <p dir="ltr">The “still possible” search for the Titan continues, though the US Coast Guard have stated that it has less than 24 hours of available air remaining, and even if they are able to locate the submersible, massive challenges still lie ahead in retrieving it from the conditions so far below the surface. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Sunrise / Seven</em></p>

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"I've done enough": Hero tradie slams raising of retirement age

<p>Thousands of Australians are rallying behind one hard-working tradie, who is standing up in opposition to the proposed rising of the retirement age. </p> <p>On July 1st, the Aussie pension eligibility age will rise from 65 to 67, with research suggesting that it will rise again to the age of 70 by 2050.</p> <p>The tradie shared a photo holding a sign that reads, "Only a bloke who's worked in an office his whole life would think you can work until you're 70."</p> <p>Many have echoed his statement, particularly blue-collar workers who say it is asking too much of people approaching 70 to keep up physically demanding labour.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The LNP has been working for years to oppress &amp; dumb down the Australian population so that it has more power &amp; control over us. But insisting that the retirement age should be 70 is just wrong. This isn’t about ‘left’ or ‘right’ any more. It’s about the elite vs the rest of us <a href="https://t.co/yxIuAL75rm">pic.twitter.com/yxIuAL75rm</a></p> <p>— Bethany Williams 💙🇺🇦💛 (@BethanyinCBR) <a href="https://twitter.com/BethanyinCBR/status/1332236229077659651?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 27, 2020</a></p></blockquote> <p>"My body is just tired, as is my husband's, who is 66. We both need to just rest now. We had planned on retirement at 65. Then they changed the goal posts," one person shared in replying to the image.</p> <p>"I've worked 43 years as a butcher. I'm almost 65 yrs old, I think I've done enough, and my body agrees," a second added.</p> <p>"I spent many years in a quarry as well as a coal mine, my body is physically worn out, so I 110 per cent agree with his poster," a third agreed.</p> <p>Others shared that they thought it was simply unfair to ask older Aussies to keep working in manual labour in order to provide for their families, during a time when they should be resting and starting to plan their retirement years without stressing about finances.</p> <p>Many angered Aussies spoke out about the politicians who are responsible for raising the age pension number, saying they have no idea how physically taxing manual labour jobs can be.</p> <p>"The politicians all need to get out of their chairs and do a tradies' job for a week or two then they will know what a bad back is and realise that the body won't let you work until you are 70," one person wrote. </p> <p>A second added added, "I would like to see all politicians work a week as a bricklayer, a boilermaker, a plumber, or a builder - doing what we did to 65, they couldn't for a week."</p> <p>Currently, Australians are able to access a pension wage at 65 years and 6 months as long as they were born between July 1st 1952 and December 31st 1953.</p> <p>Those born after that date will be able to access their pension from the age of 66.</p> <p>However, from July 1st anyone born after January 1st 1957 will have to work even longer with the pension age increasing to 67-years-old. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Retirement Life

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When babysitting your grandkids is not the retirement plan

<p><em><strong>Megan Giles is a retirement designer for women. She supports and coaches women approaching retirement to successfully transition and create a lifestyle that is fulfilling, meaningful to them and lights them up each day.</strong></em></p> <p>You’re retiring, or maybe you’re about to cut down to part-time hours and you can smell freedom in the air. You have the schedule for a pilates studio on your fridge, a list of restaurants to try, and a couple ideas for that abandoned corner of your garden. At last you have time to do all of those things you’ve always wanted to do.</p> <p>And then the phone rings. “Mum, now that you’re not working, it would be great if you could look after [grandchild] on a Friday…” And your heart sinks. You love your grandchild to bits, but a regular baby-sitting gig is not part of your plan.</p> <p>While this is the perfect scenario for many people approaching retirement, it’s important to recognise that it’s not for everyone.</p> <p>What happens if your family has other ideas for your life after work, e.g. caring for grandchildren, or they have assumptions about what you can and can't (or shouldn't!) do in retirement. Do you acquiesce and abandon your dreams or do you recognise the value of your time and dreams and decide to ‘just go for it’?</p> <p>The trouble with choosing to pursue your own path is the huge amount of guilt this can bring up, particularly for women. You feel that you should be there for your children and grandchildren. You know that your support will make their life easier as they have demanding jobs and because the cost of living and day care is expensive. Or perhaps you convince yourself that you do have the time and energy because, well, you’re not working anymore. But the risk that goes with this is that you start to feel resentful because you’re not being true to your dreams.</p> <p>Broaching this with adult children, however, can be a tricky thing to do. It brings up conflicting emotions including love, guilt, joy, fear and obligation and the last thing you want to do is make a loved one feel bad.</p> <p>In recognition of this, the following provides tips for sharing your retirement ideals with your family in a positive way:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Make an uninterrupted time to talk.</strong> While it might be an easy time to catch your children, try to avoid the early evening ‘witching hour’ when feeding and bathing can create mayhem</li> <li><strong>Share your goals.</strong> Rather than assuming your family know what will be important to you, let them know what you would like to get out of retirement, particularly while you are active and have good health</li> <li><strong>Articulate your concerns or fears.</strong> Let them know, for example, that you worry about being able to keep up with your energetic grandchild, or that you risk letting them down in the longer term when you decide to go travelling and can’t do that regular Tuesday ‘gig’</li> <li><strong>Listen to what it is that your adult children are seeking</strong> and see if you can come up with alternate options together (it doesn’t always have to be one thing or the other)</li> <li><strong>Let your family know that you love and care for them unconditionally.</strong> Not being able to provide regular baby-sitting duties does not mean that you love them any less</li> </ul> <p>As the saying goes, you first have to look after yourself before you can look after others and this applies especially in retirement. However uncomfortable it may seem initially, have the conversation in order to understand and align both your and your family’s expectations, and then give yourself permission to follow your dreams in retirement!</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Why one Aussie couple chose to retire overseas

<p>Have you ever considered escaping the high cost of living in Australia for a more affordable (and comfortable) retirement overseas? One couple did and they haven’t looked back.</p> <p>For many retirees, the high cost of living in Australia means strict budgeting to make sure their finite amount of retirement income can go the distance. As groceries and utilities continue to rise, and with the government looking to cut back discounts and rebates, it doesn’t leave much in the kitty for leisure or recreation, let alone holidays!</p> <p>That’s no problem for Over60 community members Virginia and David Downton, 61 and 66, who chose to retire to popular South-East Asian destination, Thailand.</p> <p>“We live here for a fraction of the cost of living in Australia,” Virginia says. “We live in a great condo with a gym and a pool, we have lots of friends and regularly travel all over Thailand or visit other Asian countries.”</p> <p>The retired couple were living in sunny Cairns in the far north of Queensland when they decided to make the big move to Thailand. Having visited the country many times before, it didn’t take much soul searching for Virginia and David to settle on this beautiful part of the world. “We are comfortable here and know that we can afford to live here very comfortably, which is something we cannot afford in Australia, sadly,” she explains.</p> <p>They found their current residence browsing the internet, after searching ‘places for rent in Thailand’ on Google. Before permanently moving over, they rented the place for a year first to get a feel for the area. The condo ticked all the boxes for the couple. Rent was cheap, the place was fully furnished (down to the linen, cutlery and cookware), and it had a pool and gym. Plus, it’s within walking distance of a language school, which the couple attend two days a week.</p> <p>“We decided that if we were going to live here we should learn to speak the language,” Virginia says. “We’re now able to have brief conversations with the locals. They are very helpful and appreciate the fact that we’re trying to learn their language. Their eyes actually light up when we speak to them in Thai.” She added that the Thai people are “so friendly” and want to know all about Australia.</p> <p>While they may be far from friends and family, the internet has made it easy for them to stay in touch. They’re also surrounded by many other retired Aussies, who are located in tourist hotspots Chiang Mai and Bangkok, as well as many other parts of the country.</p> <p>Many Australian retirees have made the move to tropical parts of South East Asia, with Thailand and Indonesia being two popular choices. The cheaper cost of living is usually one of the motivating factors behind the decision, with retirees able to stretch their cash further in places like Thailand.</p> <p>“Everything here is around two thirds less than in Australia, which makes the lifestyle here very affordable. Medical care is included in this!” Virginia says. “We feel we are permanently settled. We may buy later on or continue to rent. We will come back to Australia for holidays, but not permanently. Of course, things may change but we doubt it.”</p> <p>If you’re considering retiring overseas, Virginia and David suggest doing your homework first. They say take a look around the entire country you plan on moving to, whether that’s Thailand or somewhere else, and don’t restrict your exploration to the tourist areas. Also, be aware of visas and the local culture and if in doubt, ask someone for help.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Reinventing retirement with Encore Living

<p>Retirement communities aren’t what they used to be. Not so long ago, the term ‘retirement’ conjured images of ‘nursing homes’ but the growing population of baby boomers starting or preparing for retirement is changing all that. </p> <p>There’s growing resistance to anything that looks like, smells like or smacks of a nursing home or institution these days, and that’s a good thing. The youngest baby boomers turned 50 just a few of years ago, and they’re looking for something completely different. </p> <p>Lifestyle Villages where members enjoy private residences but share recreational or community spaces are becoming more popular. These developments attract younger residents – 55 or over – who are looking to downsize their maintenance but up-size their lifestyle with a community of like minded individuals with whom they can feel in tune.</p> <p>And here are four ways retirement communities are changing the face of retirement for the better:</p> <p><strong>1.    A greater focus on health and wellness</strong></p> <p>Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle is key to getting the most out of your retirement. Most of the new-look developments are located in enhanced lifestyle locations, so there’s plenty for you to do nearby and great infrastructure to help you take advantage of it. </p> <p>Plus, with walking paths, community facilities, group fitness classes and more on site, they couldn’t be further from the image of the passive nursing home. With so many lifestyle options available to you, it’s easy to prioritise your emotional and physical well being.</p> <p><strong>2.    Totally connected </strong></p> <p>Just because you’ve retired doesn’t mean you’ve disconnected from the world. The latest communities realise keeping connected is crucial in today’s age and have built accessibility to technology into the fabric of their master plans. </p> <p>That means there’s easy connectivity to the internet, giving you the ability to remain in touch 24/7 at the click of a mouse. </p> <p><strong>3.    Encouraging independence all the way </strong></p> <p>Today’s retirement communities are designed to make you feel more independent as you age, not less. This is in keeping with the fact that residents are more youthful than ever before. In fact, retirees not only feel younger, they are younger – the age of people living in these communities has dropped to a youthful 55 rather than the expected 65+.</p> <p>Equipped with high-quality amenities, easy-access open spaces and proximity to transport options, the planned communities reinforce the feeling of self-determination and freedom that should be integral to retirement. </p> <p>And while you’ll live in your own home, the supportive community of having like-minded individuals around and security infrastructure like CCTV will make you feel as if someone is always looking out for you.  </p> <p><strong>4.    Surprisingly affordable day-to-day</strong></p> <p>You might be considering a move to a retirement community because maintaining your current family home is taking up the time you could be enjoying a simpler lifestyle. And downsizing your maintenance also means you can enjoy substantial savings in the cost of living.</p> <p>New 6-star energy-rated resort-style homes mean you’ll save more in energy costs straight off the bat (not to mention it’s designed to be kinder to the environment). You’ll also reduce fuel and car running costs with central layouts that make it easier to live, shop and thrive close to home.</p> <p>Retirement communities are a radical rethinking of retirement – one that embraces the future of ageing with gusto and creativity. </p> <p>They’re a return to more communal, more social living in keeping with a generation that has transformed our way of thinking so many times throughout the decades – and doubtless it’s not done yet!</p> <p>An <a href="https://encoreliving.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Encore Living</a> community is all of the above and more. Encore Living design and build communities to accommodate the needs of retirees. </p> <p>And with Gippsland being such a beautiful place to live and play, Encore Living villages at Trafalgar and Paynesville are perfectly situated to take advantage of the best of regional lifestyle. </p> <p>Both villages offer a choice of either two- or three-bedroom villas, designed and built to encourage independent living, while enhancing lifestyle, security and freedom.</p> <p>“We recognise everyone’s circumstances are different and with this in mind we have developed a range of contract options so you can personalise your retirement lifestyle,” says Manager of Encore Living Trafalgar Debra Beary. </p> <p>“Rosa and I are committed to helping people understand the legal, financial and service aspects of living in a village and answering any queries regarding retirement living.”</p> <p>With construction at Trafalgar moving into Stage 5 of the development and the much-anticipated Community Centre underway, it’s a great time to take a fresh look at the retirement living options an Encore Living village offers. </p> <p>Starting with the upcoming works on the Community Centre and display villas at Encore Living’s Paynesville village is an exciting first step for those who have expressed interest in either moving to or continuing their own “seachange” lifestyle. </p> <p>“Community connectivity is an important aspect of village life. We encourage our residents to develop a sense of belonging, both within the village and as part of the wider community.” Debra said. </p> <p>For more information visit <a href="https://encoreliving.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">encoreliving.com.au</a> or contact Debra or Rosa on 1800 ENCORE (1800 362 673) for an appointment.</p> <p><em>Images: supplied. </em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Encore Living.</em></p>

Retirement Life

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