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Boomer couple divide audiences after revealing they're spending their children's inheritance

<p>A couple from Victoria have ignited a fierce debate over spending their children's inheritance, after they revealed they are happy to spend the money on holidays during their retirement years. </p> <p>Leanne and Leon Ryland appeared on the SBS show <em>Insight</em>, along with their son Alex, to discuss how they are spending their retirement fund without considering leaving their cash flow to their two grown up kids. </p> <p>The couple have spent $170,000 on travelling so far, with their goal to visit the wonders of the world taking them to Machu Picchu in Peru, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, with the US being next on their agenda. </p> <p>The couple joked the only thing their two sons would inherit would be their “shelf of s***”, a pile of cheap trinkets from their travels.</p> <p>However, the couple also own a home, and have been using their superannuation, pension and savings to fund their travels. </p> <p>Their jet setting comes after they saw a financial planner before they retired about four years ago after saving their whole lives.</p> <p>“We’ve done all the right things by investing in property, boosting up our super, making sure that was healthy, going without a lot of things,” Ms Ryland said.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9JyzoDvYkM/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9JyzoDvYkM/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Insight at SBS (@insightsbs)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“And he said, ‘You’re crazy if you don’t retire when you can, because you’ll spend most of your wealth on travel or whatever in the first 10 years and then after that it slows down’."</p> <p>“It’s changing your mindset. You get into a phase now where you actually spend instead of save.”</p> <p>The cashed-up boomers run a Facebook group called “SKIclub”, which stands for “spending kids inheritance”, where retirees can share travel tips.</p> <p>Ms Ryland said she’s trying to convince her husband they have to “spend now, because if we don’t spend it, you know he gets it”, pointing to her son.</p> <p>“We’re not going be able to spend all this money so let’s do it because in another 10 years we won’t be climbing the Great Wall of China. We won’t be going up Machu Picchu,” she said.</p> <p>“We won’t be doing those things. So we’ve gotta do it now because what else is there?”</p> <p>The attitude of the couple quickly welcomed a wave of criticism online, who were quick to brand the pair as “entitled”. </p> <p>“SBS <em>Insight</em> tonight is hilarious — boomer privilege at its best &amp; still not conscious of it. So entitled,” one person wrote on X.</p> <p>“Boomers are evil … bragging about overseas holidays with no regard for the environment, spending all their money so their kids have no inheritance,” another wrote.</p> <p>“Clogging healthcare due to their perceived entitlement for health and refusal to die. Selfish and privileged.”</p> <p>However, despite the views of many on social media, the couple’s son Alex appeared to support his parents' decision.</p> <p>“It’s their money,” he told the program.</p> <p>“They’ve worked hard their entire life and invested well in order to get that money so I think they should be able to do whatever they’d like with it.”</p> <p>Alex's sentiment was echoed by others online, with one person saying, "They have a right to do what they want, after the years of being so amazing and responsible for raising a kids, their turn is now."</p> <p>Another simply stated, "It's their money, they can do what they want."</p> <p><em>Insight</em>’s ‘The Boomer Economy’ is available to stream on <a title="https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/news-series/insight" href="https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/news-series/insight" data-outlook-id="534ae148-66c7-42db-b3ee-8f15bf016de4">SBS On Demand</a> now.</p> <p><em>Image credits: SBS</em></p>

Retirement Life

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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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"Tax the boomers": Outrage over elderly couple's complaint after $1m Lotto win

<p>A "greedy" elderly couple have been rinsed online after complaining about losing their age pension payments after they won the Lotto. </p> <p>The couple, aged 73 and 67, wrote into <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/money/super-and-retirement/we-won-the-lottery-but-lost-our-pension-could-we-have-prevented-this-20240702-p5jqga.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em></a>'s financial advice column with Noel Whittaker to ask how they could've prevented losing the government funds and still kept hold of their million-dollar winnings. </p> <p>The couple's submission read, "We are a couple... both retired and receiving the full aged pension. We recently won $1,000,000 in the lottery and have placed that money in a basic interest-bearing savings account with our bank."</p> <p>"We intend to use that money to buy a new house and sell our existing one but may just renovate. The windfall has stopped our pension completely until we spend the money, which is all good and well. But could we have prevented the pension loss in any way?"</p> <p>Whittaker responded that the couple should consider themselves extremely fortunate and enjoy the money, saying they "could have a far better lifestyle living off capital instead of relying on welfare". </p> <p>He also urged the couple not "spend to get a pension". </p> <p>The boomers' questions quickly drew attention online, with many flocking to Facebook comments to slam the couple for their "greed". </p> <p>One person wrote, "If you won the lotto, why would you want the pension?", while another added, "Ah yes, the call of the boomers everywhere, 'I have millions but where's my pension money?'"</p> <p>Others said the Lotto winners should consider themselves lucky they are now able to provide for themselves, with one person writing, "Pension is a support system to allow you to survive without/reduced work in retirement. If you are a multimillionaire then you don't need it."</p> <p>Another person echoed the sentiment, saying, "Wow, what entitlement. The pension is a safety net, if you don’t qualify for it think yourself lucky."</p> <p>Other social media users simply shared their outrage towards the boomer generation, as one frustrated person wrote, "Won a million and whinging they can't scam the taxpayers, what self-centered arrogance", while another added, "Tax the boomers! No more handouts."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <div class="x6s0dn4 x3nfvp2" style="font-family: inherit; align-items: center; display: inline-flex; min-width: 604px;"> <ul class="html-ul xe8uvvx xdj266r x4uap5 x18d9i69 xkhd6sd x1n0m28w x78zum5 x1wfe3co xat24cr xsgj6o6 x1o1nzlu xyqdw3p" style="list-style: none; margin: 0px -8px 0px 4px; padding: 3px 0px 0px; display: flex; min-height: 15px; line-height: 12px; caret-color: #1c1e21; color: #1c1e21; font-family: system-ui, -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, '.SFNSText-Regular', sans-serif; font-size: 12.000001px;" aria-hidden="false"> <li class="html-li xe8uvvx xdj266r xat24cr xexx8yu x4uap5 x18d9i69 xkhd6sd x1rg5ohu x1emribx x1i64zmx" style="list-style: none; display: inline-block; padding: 0px; margin: 0px 8px;"> </li> </ul> </div>

Retirement Income

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"Best speech ever": Roger Federer's hilarious address to graduates

<p>Roger Federer has gone viral for all the right reasons after giving a hilarious and inspirational speech to a group of graduates. </p> <p>The Swiss tennis legend addressed the 2024 graduating class at prestigious Ivy League university Dartmouth, where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his charity and philanthropic pursuits since retiring from tennis in 2022. </p> <p>The 25-minute speech has been widely dubbed as "the best speech ever" online, as he quipped about the highlights of his illustrious career while sharing sage advice for the new grads.</p> <p>“Hello class of 2024, this is so exciting,” Federer began while wearing a college gown. </p> <p>“I’m so excited to join you today, really you have know idea how excited I am. Keep in mind this is literally only the second time I’ve ever set foot on a college campus. But for some reason you are giving me a doctorate degree."</p> <p>“I just came here to give a speech, but I get to go home as 'Dr Roger'. That’s a pretty nice bonus, 'Dr Roger' just has to be my most unexpected victory ever. Thank you.”</p> <p>After stating he will “try my best not to choke”, Federer went on to give a hilarious and heartwarming speech, complete with a number of life lessons.</p> <p>The 42-year-old shared that he left school at 16 and never went to college, but had recently “graduated tennis” with his retirement making international headlines. </p> <p>“I know the word is ‘retire’,” he said. “‘Roger Federer retired from tennis’. Retired. The word is awful."</p> <p>“You wouldn’t say you ‘retired’ from college, right? Sounds terrible. Like you, I’ve finished one big thing and I’m moving on to the next. Like you, I’m figuring out what that is." </p> <p>“Graduates, I feel your pain. I know what it’s like when people keep asking what your plan is for the rest of your life. They ask me ‘now that you are not a professional tennis player, what do you do?’ I don’t know and it’s OK not to know.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C8FaLe5NGlt/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C8FaLe5NGlt/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Roger Federer (@rogerfederer)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Among his advice, Federer insisted that “effortless is a myth”, referring to a word that was often used to describe his appearance on court, and urged the graduates to prioritise working hard. </p> <p>“The truth is, I had to work very hard to make it look easy,” he said. "I spent years whining, swearing, throwing my racquet, before I learned to keep my cool.”</p> <p>He also spoke about one match in particular, perhaps the most memorable from his career.</p> <p>“I tried not to lose. But I did lose,” he said.</p> <p>"Sometimes big. For me, one of the biggest was the finals at Wimbledon in 2008. Me versus Nadal. Some call it the greatest match of all time. OK, all respect to Rafa, but I think it would have been way, way better if I had won."</p> <p>“Losing at Wimbledon was a big deal because winning Wimbledon is everything.”</p> <p>Before wrapping up his speech, the sporting legend ended with some practical tennis advice after he asked Dartmouth president Sian Beilock to pass him a tennis racquet.</p> <p>“OK, so for your forehand, you’ll want to use an eastern grip,” he said.</p> <p>“Keep your knuckles apart a little bit. Obviously, you don’t want to squeeze the grip too hard.</p> <p>“Switching from forehand to backhand should be easy. Also, remember it all starts with the footwork and the take-back is as important as the follow-through."</p> <p>“No, this is not a metaphor. It’s just good technique.”</p> <p>Federer then ended his address with a wholesome message for the graduates, saying, “I will never forget this day and I know you won’t either.”</p> <p>“You have worked so hard to get here and left nothing on the court. From one graduate to another, I can’t wait to see what you all do next. Whatever game you choose, give it your best. Go for your shots. Play free. Try everything."</p> <p>“And most of all, be kind to one another and have fun out there.”</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pqWUuYTcG-o?si=i4Pi8XY2JRYkyhd1" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram - Dartmouth</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Australia’s oldest woman celebrates 110th birthday

<p>Lorna Henstridge, believed to be Australia's oldest woman, has celebrated her 110th birthday. </p> <p>The centenarian was born in Adelaide on June 6, 1914 and was raised in Bute, a small town in the Yorke Peninsula.</p> <p>She has lived through two world wars, five monarchs and two pandemics including the 1918 influenza and Covid-19. </p> <p>Henstridge celebrated her birthday at her aged care home in Bordertown on Thursday surrounded by her three children, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. </p> <p>School kids from the town also shared their birthday wishes to the centenarian. </p> <p>Henstridge is the second-oldest Australian, behind Ken Weeks, who turns 111 this year.</p> <p>The oldest living person in the world, American-Spanish woman Maria Branyas Morera, turned 117 in March.</p> <p>Henstridge recalled how different life used to be a hundred years ago.</p> <p>“My father used to take me on horseback to the railway crossing when I was five years old to go to school," she said. </p> <p>She also shared her secret to living a long life, which includes enjoying every moment of it, and staying physically and mentally active.</p> <p>“Be active, be interested in the world, be interested in your friends. If you can do that, you’ll get a certain pleasure out of living," she said. </p> <p>Living to an old age may run in the family according to Henstridge's daughter Jennie Jacobs, who said that her grandmother lived until her 90s and her great-grandmother passed aged 100. </p> <p><em>Image: 7NEWS</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Why you should never take nutrition advice from a centenarian

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bradley-elliott-1014864">Bradley Elliott</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-westminster-916">University of Westminster</a></em></p> <p>It’s a cliche of reporting on people who reach 100 years of age, or even 110, to ask them some variation of the question: “What did you do to live this long?”</p> <p>Inevitably, some interesting and unexpected answer is highlighted. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2024/apr/05/briton-says-becoming-worlds-oldest-man-at-111-is-pure-luck">Fish and chips</a> every Friday. Drinking a glass of <a href="https://news.sky.com/story/worlds-oldest-man-juan-vicente-perez-dies-aged-114-13107627">strong liquor</a> every day. <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/susannah-mushatt-jones-loves-bacon-2015-10">Bacon</a> for breakfast every morning. <a href="https://apnews.com/article/health-france-nursing-homes-795c8273f66b61669e93103cc9c25cd0">Wine and chocolate</a>.</p> <p>While a popular news story, this is a relatively meaningless question that doesn’t help us understand why certain people have lived so long. Let me try to explain why, via beautiful buildings, fighter pilots and statistics.</p> <p>In the second world war, Allied statisticians were applying their skills to minimising the number of bombers being shot down by enemy fire. By studying the damage patterns of bombers returning from action, maps could be drawn up of the most frequently damaged parts of aeroplanes so that expensive, heavy armour could be added to these areas.</p> <p>Simple enough, right? Then, along comes statistician Abraham Wald who argues for the exact <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/2287454?origin=crossref">opposite point</a>. The planes that they’re studying are all those that did return from combat with extensive damage, but what about those that didn’t return?</p> <p>Wald argues that armour should be added to those places that are undamaged on all the returning planes, as any plane hit in these undamaged areas was shot down, never making it back to be surveyed.</p> <h2>Survivorship bias</h2> <p>This phenomenon is known as survivorship bias, or the cognitive and statistical bias introduced by only counting those that are around to count but ignoring those that haven’t “survived”.</p> <p>You can take these examples to the absurd. Imagine a group of 100 people, all of whom have smoked their entire life. As a group, the smokers would die earlier of cancers, lung disease or heart disease, but one or two might defy the odds and live to 100 years of age. Now imagine the intrepid journalist interviewing the lucky soul on their 100th birthday with that classic question: “What do you attribute your successful ageing to?”</p> <p>“Smoking a pack a day,” says the newly minted centenarian.</p> <p>It seems obvious but survivorship bias is everywhere in society. We can all think of that one famous actor or entrepreneur who succeeded despite adversity, who worked hard, believed in themselves and one day made it. But we never read about or hear about the countless examples of people who tried, gave it their all and never quite made it.</p> <p>That’s not a good media story. But this creates a bias, we primarily hear the successes, never the failures. This bias applies to our perceptions of architecture (mostly great buildings from a given period “survive”), to finances (we often hear examples of people who have succeeded in risky investments, those who fail don’t sell books or self-help plans) and to career plans (“If you work hard, and drop out of college now, you can be a successful athlete like me,” say those who have succeeded).</p> <p>I work with a variety of older people and often include extreme outliers who have lived to extreme ages. We’re currently studying over 65-year-olds who have maintained unusually high levels of exercise into older age and have maintained excellent health.</p> <p>They’re phenomenal examples of older humans, many of them are faster, fitter and stronger than me by many of the measures we perform in the lab, despite being almost twice my age.</p> <p>While we know that their lifelong exercise is associated with their unusually good health into older age, we can’t directly say one causes the other yet. It could be that highly active people are protected against chronic diseases such as cancers, diabetes and heart disease. But it also could be that these people are still active into older age as they’ve not been afflicted by cancers, diabetes or heart disease earlier in their lives.</p> <p>Conversely, there could be some unknown third factor that we’ve not yet identified about these people that both keeps them healthy and separately keeps them exercising.</p> <p>For clarity, there are things that scientists like me will say in carefully caveated, scientific language that will probably help you to live longer. Being very physically active, not eating too much and not smoking are all on that list, along with generally having a positive outlook in life, and of course, picking the right parents and grandparents.</p> <p>Correlation does not equal causation. That point is hammered home relentlessly to students in science degrees. It’s how our brain works, we see a pattern between two variables, and assume they’re linked in some way. But often, like in survivorship bias, we’re not looking at all the data, and so finding patterns where there are none.<!-- 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/229159/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/bradley-elliott-1014864">Bradley Elliott</a>, Senior Lecturer in Physiology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-westminster-916">University of Westminster</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/why-you-should-never-take-nutrition-advice-from-a-centenarian-229159">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Retirement Life

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Why it’s still a scientific mystery how some can live past 100 – and how to crack it

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/richard-faragher-224976">Richard Faragher</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-brighton-942">University of Brighton</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nir-barzilai-1293752">Nir Barzilai</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/albert-einstein-college-of-medicine-3638">Albert Einstein College of Medicine</a></em></p> <p>A 35-year-old man <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18544745/">only has a 1.5% chance of dying in the next ten years</a>. But the same man at 75 has a 45% chance of dying before he reaches 85. Clearly, ageing is bad for our health. On the bright side, we have made unprecedented progress in understanding the fundamental mechanisms that control ageing and late-life disease.</p> <p>A few tightly linked biological processes, sometimes called the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23746838/">“hallmarks of ageing”</a>, including our supply of stem cells and communication between cells, act to keep us healthy in the early part of our lives – with <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-secret-to-staying-young-scientists-boost-lifespan-of-mice-by-deleting-defective-cells-54068">problems arising as these start to fail</a>. <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34699859/">Clinical trials are ongoing</a> to see if targeting some of these hallmarks can improve <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31542391/">diabetic kidney disease</a>, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29997249/">aspects of</a> <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33977284/">immune function</a> and age-related <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30616998/">scarring of the lungs</a> among others. So far, so good.</p> <p>Unfortunately, big, unanswered questions remain in the biology of ageing. To evaluate what these are and how to address them, the <a href="https://www.afar.org/">American Federation For Aging Research</a>, a charity, recently convened a series of <a href="https://www.afar.org/imported/AFAR_GeroFuturesThinkTankReport_November2021.pdf">meetings for leading scientists and doctors</a>. The experts agreed that understanding what is special about the biology of humans who survive more than a century is now a key challenge.</p> <p>These centenarians <a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/18826/number-of-hundred-year-olds-centenarians-worldwide/">comprise less than 0.02% of the UK population</a> but have exceeded the life expectancy of their peers by almost 50 years (babies born in the 1920s typically had a life expectancy of less than 55). How are they doing it?</p> <p>We know that centenarians live so long because they are unusually healthy. They remain in good health for about 30 years longer than most normal people and when they finally fall ill, they are only sick for a very short time. This <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27377170/">“compression of morbidity”</a> is clearly good for them, but also benefits society as a whole. In the US, the medical care costs for a centenarian in their last two years of life <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_198.pdf">are about a third of those of someone who dies in their seventies</a> (a time when most centenarians don’t even need to see a doctor).</p> <p>The children of centenarians are also much healthier than average, indicating they are inheriting something beneficial from their parents. But is this genetic or environmental?</p> <h2>Centenarians aren’t always health conscious</h2> <p>Are centenarians the poster children for a healthy lifestyle? For the general population, watching your weight, not smoking, drinking moderately and eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day can <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27296932/">increase life expectancy by up to 14 years</a> compared with someone who does none of these things. This difference <a href="https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld5801/ldselect/ldsctech/183/18305.htm#_idTextAnchor012">exceeds that seen</a> between the least and most deprived areas in the UK, so intuitively it would be expected to play a role in surviving for a century.</p> <p>But astonishingly, this needn’t be the case. <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21812767/">One study</a> found that up to 60% of Ashkenazi Jewish centenarians have smoked heavily most of their lives, half have been obese for the same period of time, less than half do even moderate exercise and under 3% are vegetarians. The children of centenarians appear no more health conscious than the general population either.</p> <p>Compared to peers with the same food consumption, wealth and body weight, however, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29050682/">they have half the prevalence of cardiovascular disease</a>. There is something innately exceptional about these people.</p> <h2>The big secret</h2> <p>Could it be down to rare genetics? If so, then there are two ways in which this could work. Centenarians might carry unusual genetic variants that extend lifespan, or instead they might lack common ones that cause late-life disease and impairment. Several studies, including our own work, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32860726/">have shown</a> that centenarians have just as many bad genetic variants as the general population.</p> <p>Some even carry two copies of the largest known common risk gene for Alzheimer’s disease (APOE4), but still don’t get the illness. So a plausible working hypothesis is that centenarians carry rare, beneficial genetic variations rather than a lack of disadvantageous ones. And the best available data is consistent with this.</p> <p>Over 60% of centenarians have genetic changes that alter the genes which regulate growth in early life. This implies that these remarkable people are human examples of a type of lifespan extension observed in other species. Most people know that <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28803893/">small dogs tend to live longer than big ones</a> but fewer are aware that this is a general phenomenon across the animal kingdom. <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26857482/">Ponies can live longer than horses</a> and many strains of laboratory mice with dwarfing mutations <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29653683/">live longer than their full-sized counterparts</a>. One potential cause of this is reduced levels of a growth hormone called IGF-1 – although human centenarians <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28630896/">are not necessarily shorter than the rest of us</a>.</p> <p>Obviously, growth hormone is necessary early on in life, but there is increasing evidence that high levels of IGF-1 in mid to late life <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18316725/">are associated with increased late-life illness</a>. The detailed mechanisms underlying this remain an open question, but even among centenarians, women with the lowest levels of growth hormone <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24618355/">live longer than those with the highest</a>. They also have better cognitive and muscle function.</p> <p>That doesn’t solve the problem, though. Centenarians are also different from the rest of us in other ways. For example, they tend to have good cholesterol levels – hinting there may several reasons for their longevity.</p> <p>Ultimately, centenarians are “natural experiments” who show us that it is possible to live in excellent health even if you have been dealt a risky genetic hand and chose to pay no attention to health messages – but only if you carry rare, poorly understood mutations.</p> <p>Understanding exactly how these work should allow scientists to develop new drugs or other interventions that target biological processes in the right tissues at the right time. If these become a reality perhaps more of us than we think will see the next century in. But, until then, don’t take healthy lifestyle tips from centenarians.<!-- 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/172020/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/richard-faragher-224976">Richard Faragher</a>, Professor of Biogerontology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-brighton-942">University of Brighton</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nir-barzilai-1293752">Nir Barzilai</a>, Professor of Medicine and Genetics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/albert-einstein-college-of-medicine-3638">Albert Einstein College of Medicine</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/why-its-still-a-scientific-mystery-how-some-can-live-past-100-and-how-to-crack-it-172020">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Retirement Life

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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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Why millions of Aussies are falling behind on superannuation savings

<p>Millions of Aussies are falling behind on their superannuation savings, with nearly one in two Australians on track for a grim retirement. </p> <p>According to research from superannuation and investments company Vanguard, this huge number of Australians have no idea how much they are playing in fees to their super funds, which can greatly impact how much you have in savings when your retirement day comes. </p> <p>“We are coming up against a stubborn statistic in our retirement research again this year — almost one in two Australians still don’t know what they pay in super fees,” Vanguard Investments Australia managing director Daniel Shrimski said.</p> <p>Also adding to the confusion of how much is needed for comfortable gold year is different companies sharing conflicting numbers on what figures to strive for in your superannuation.</p> <p>Superannuation consultancy company Australian Retirement Trust’s latest research shows the average superannuation balance for someone age 35 to 44 is $92,700, however this should be closer to $156,000 to be on track for a “comfortable retirement”.</p> <p>The average worker aged 55 to 64 has $285,900 in super but a 60-year-old needs close to $453,000 in retirement savings, ART said.</p> <p>“In the past 12 months, only one in five of us has checked our super balance,” Australian Retirement Trust executive general manager Anne Fuchs said, adding 70 per cent of Australians feel they don’t have enough money to retire on.</p> <p>“We talk to members all the time who have reached the end of their working life full of regret, wishing they had done something earlier. Australia has a monster problem whereby not enough of us are engaging with our super."</p> <p>“The earlier you start paying attention and understanding how your money is invested ... then you’ll really be able to finish work and put your feet up.”</p> <p>Financial consultancy Link Wealth director and financial adviser Joshua Lee told <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/new-research-shows-aussie-superannuation-savings-falling-short-of-retirement-needs--c-14507773" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a> that one of the most important tips for Australians is to take notice and understand their superannuation payments and what they pay in fees.</p> <p>“Take notice of what your account is doing,” he said.</p> <p>“Look at your statement when it comes in every year so you can understand what fees are being deducted from your account because that will have an impact on how much money you have come retirement.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Retirement Life

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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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World's oldest woman turns 117

<p>One of the world's oldest living person has turned 117. </p> <p>Maria Branyas Morera born on March 4, 1907 in San Francisco, lived through the 1918 pandemic, the two World Wars, Spain’s civil war and fully recovered after contracting Covid just days before her 113th birthday. </p> <p>She was one of the world's oldest Covid survivor's in 2020 and is now the 12th oldest verified person in history. </p> <p>Maria, who moved to Catalonia, Spain when she was eight, proudly announced her age on X, formerly known as Twitter in a post that read:  “Good morning, world. Today I turn 117 years old. I’ve come this far.”</p> <p>Maria, who has lived in a nursing home for the past 23 years, is healthier than ever aside from hearing difficulties and mobility issues, and scientists are studying her to find out the secrets to a long life. </p> <p>“She remembers with impressive clarity events from when she was only four years old, and she does not present any cardiovascular disease, common in elderly people," Scientist Manel Esteller told Spanish outlet <em>ABC</em>.</p> <p>“It is clear that there is a genetic component because there are several members of her family who are over 90 years old.”</p> <p>Scientists and Maria are working together to gain further insights into living longer, and researchers hope that studying Maria’s genes will help with the development of drugs which could combat diseases associated with ageing.</p> <p>Maria had three children with her husband  a Catalan doctor named Joan Moret.</p> <p>Her husband passed away 1976, and Maria also outlived her only son, August who tragically passed away in a tractor accident when he was 86. </p> <p>Maria now has two daughters, 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.</p> <p>The oldest person ever established was a Frenchwoman named Jeanne Calment, who lived to the age of 122 years and 164 days.</p> <p><em>Image: news.com.au/ Guiness Book of Records</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Why Ita Buttrose chose to leave the ABC

<p>In her last week as the head of the ABC, Ita Buttrose has broken her silence on why she chose to step down from the role. </p> <p>Speaking with <em>Stellar</em> magazine ahead of International Women's Day, the 82-year-old journalist has clarified that her decision to leave the public broadcaster had “nothing to do with current events.”</p> <p>After serving her five-year term, reports have swirled that her departure is related to the December sacking of presenter Antoinette Lattouf, who was let go after she shared a social media post about the Israel Gaza war, in which she condemned the treatment of Palestinian civilians.</p> <p>Following the controversial sacking, more than 100 of ABC's union staff slammed managing director David Anderson triggering a vote of no confidence. </p> <p>Ms Buttrose supported Mr Anderson through the ordeal, declaring it’s “abhorrent and incorrect” that he showed a lack of support for independent journalists amid Ms Lattouf’s axing.</p> <p>Due to the chaos at the ABC, many speculated that Buttrose's departure was to escape the turmoil, but she has since refuted the claims. </p> <p>“I did notify the government and the minister Michelle Rowland in August last year that I was not going to seek another term,” Ms Buttrose told <em>Stellar</em>.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C366msrI_qc/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C366msrI_qc/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Stellar (@stellarmag)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Five years is quite a long time to serve the ABC. I know some chairs have gone on and done a second term, but I’m conscious that I’m a woman of a certain age. And despite [US president] Joe Biden thinking he should run another term – I don’t think he should – sometimes you need to examine yourself and say, ‘Well, I am a person of a certain age and everything’s fine, and cognitively I’m good’ but still, weigh it up. Another five years. What would it be like?" </p> <p>“You have to know in yourself when you need to step aside. I felt that. It had nothing to do with any current events.”</p> <p>Ms Buttrose went on to defend questions surrounding outside influence on the national broadcaster.</p> <p>“The role of independence of the national broadcaster is paramount to what we do. It’s enshrined in legislation,” she said.</p> <p>“The ABC and I have never been influenced by outside lobbyists, people passionate about their particular cause as politicians, commercial interests, you name it." </p> <p>“The ABC has never caved in. I’ve never caved in. Neither has the managing director nor the board.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Retirement Life

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As Scott Morrison leaves parliament, where does he rank among Australian prime ministers?

<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>This week Scott Morrison, Australia’s 30th prime minister, will deliver his valedictory speech to the House of Representatives. As Morrison leaves parliament, it’s timely to ask where he is placed in the pantheon of Australia’s national leaders.</p> <p>Already there have been unflattering verdicts on Morrison’s prime-ministerial standing. For example, in her withering account of his leadership, veteran columnist and author <a href="https://scribepublications.com.au/books-authors/books/bulldozed-9781922585981">Niki Savva writes</a> that among detractors, “Morrison was regarded as the worst prime minister since Billy McMahon”. Moreover, according to Savva, following the August 2022 revelation of his commandeering of five ministries during the COVID pandemic, his reputation sunk still lower: “he was worse than McMahon. Worse even than Tony Abbott, who lasted a scant two years in the job”.</p> <h2>How can we rank prime ministerial performance?</h2> <p>How might we know how Morrison’s record stacks up against his prime-ministerial peers? One device for evaluating comparative leadership performance is expert rankings. Australia has had a slow take-up in this field, unlike the United States, where presidential rankings have a lineage stretching back three-quarters of a century and are a veritable scholarly cottage industry.</p> <p>In recent years, there have been forays into this territory in Australia, with three prime-ministerial rankings conducted by newspapers and two initiated by Monash University in 2010 and 2020. (I was the organiser of both of these Monash rankings.)</p> <p>These rankings have been largely consistent in their results. The experts, mostly political historians and political scientists, have judged the nation’s greatest prime minister to be its second world war leader, John Curtin. The other leaders in the top echelon are, in rough order, Bob Hawke, Ben Chifley, Alfred Deakin, Robert Menzies, Andrew Fisher, John Howard, Paul Keating and Gough Whitlam.</p> <p>At the other end of the scale, Billy McMahon, who is chiefly remembered for being defeated by Labor’s Whitlam at the December 1972 election, thereby bringing to a close the Liberal Party’s postwar ascendancy, has been consistently rated Australia’s prime-ministerial dunce. Even his biographer, Patrick Mullins, acknowledges that McMahon has become “a by-word for failure, silliness, ridicule”.</p> <p>However, in the most recent of the rankings, the Monash 2020 survey, McMahon had a close competitor for bottom place: Tony Abbott. Forty-four out of 66 respondents to that survey assessed Abbott’s prime ministership a failure. Other prime ministers to the rear of the field included Abbott’s contemporaries, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull.</p> <p>Morrison was not included in the 2020 rankings because as the incumbent his prime ministership was incomplete, and so it was premature to evaluate his performance. Let us now, though, measure his record against the nine benchmarks that the experts were asked to consider in rating the nation’s leaders.</p> <h2>So how does Morrison shape up?</h2> <p>The first is “effectively managing cabinet”. To date, little has been disclosed about the integrity of cabinet processes under Morrison’s stewardship. Yet, whatever the merits of that management, his scandalous breach of the norms of cabinet government by <a href="https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-the-bell-report-on-morrisons-multi-ministries-provides-a-bad-character-reference-195368">secretly assuming several ministries</a> will irretrievably stain his reputation in this regard.</p> <p>Next is “maintaining support of Coalition/party”. That Morrison avoided being deposed by his party, which was the fate of his immediate predecessors (Rudd, Julia Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull), counts in his favour. As the ABC docuseries Nemesis shows, however, his prime ministership was marked by serious frictions both within the Liberal Party and between the Liberal and National coalition partners.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gLXdXUwGrJs?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>“Demonstrating personal integrity”. This was not one of Morrison’s strong suits. As Savva makes searingly evident, and Nemesis also highlights, Morrison earned a reputation for being economical with the truth (including hiding his acquisition of colleagues’ ministries), for evading accountability and shifting blame (“I don’t hold a hose, mate”), and for corrupted processes under his watch (an example being the <a href="https://theconversation.com/more-sports-rort-questions-for-morrison-after-bridget-mckenzie-speaks-out-133160">shameless pork-barrelling</a> of the community sport infrastructure program in the lead-up to the 2019 election).</p> <p>“Leaving a significant policy legacy”. Here Morrison is partly damned by his own words. In office, he insisted he was not concerned about his legacy, equating the idea with a vanity project. Indeed, an obsession with the theatre of politics and a corresponding lack of substance caused his prime ministership to come to be seen as bereft of purpose.</p> <p>On the other hand, management of the COVID pandemic, however mixed, accords a significance to his time in office. AUKUS stands as the other major legacy of Morrison’s prime ministership, entrenched as it has been by his successor, Anthony Albanese. The agreement promises to influence Australia’s defence capability until the middle of this century and beyond, although only time will tell whether it enhances the nation’s security or is a dangerous white elephant.</p> <p>“Relationship with the electorate”. Morrison’s record here is mixed. In his favour, he won an election (something McMahon couldn’t claim). Yet, by the time of the 2022 election, according to the Australian Election Study, he was the least popular major party leader in the history of that survey, which dates back to the 1980s.</p> <p>His public toxicity was a primary factor in the Coalition’s defeat, one of his Liberal colleagues comparing the depth of public sentiment against the prime minister in 2022 to “having a 10,000-tonne boulder attached to your leg”.</p> <p>“Communication effectiveness”. Styling himself as a Cronulla Sharks-supporting “daggy dad” from the suburbs, at least initially Morrison’s communication mode seemed to be well received in the community. He was relentlessly on message during the 2019 election campaign.</p> <p>But the shine rapidly wore off his persona following that victory, with growing doubts about his authenticity. Rather than persuade, his habit was to hector, and rather than empathise, he exuded smugness. A series of notorious tin-eared statements, which especially alienated women voters, came to define his image. By the end he was known as the “bulldozer-in-chief”.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yamdw5VeNtA?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>“Nurturing national unity”. An innovation of Morrison’s at the beginning of the pandemic was the national cabinet. Bringing together the prime minister and premiers, it worked effectively for a time, only for partisan interests over lockdowns to strain relations between Canberra and the states.</p> <p>Under pressure, Morrison also flirted with divisive culture-war politics, instances being his divisive Religious Discrimination Bill and his egregious handpicking of the anti-transgender Liberal candidate Katherine Deves to contest the 2022 election.</p> <p>“Defending and promoting Australia’s interests abroad”. The AUKUS pact has vehement critics, led by Morrison’s prime-ministerial peers Keating and Turnbull, who argue it jeopardises national sovereignty.</p> <p>There is no denying, however, that AUKUS was Morrison’s signature foreign policy enterprise. On the other hand, Australia’s reputation as a laggard on climate change under the Coalition hurt our international standing, not least among Pacific neighbours. The Morrison government’s belated commitment to a net zero carbon emissions by 2050 target was too little, too late. Bellicose rhetoric towards Beijing also led to a deterioration in relations with the nation’s major trading partner (as well as estranging Chinese-Australian voters).</p> <p>“Being able to manage turbulent times”. Here, again, Morrison’s record is at best mixed. In his favour is decisive early actions to ameliorate the COVID pandemic, headed by the JobKeeper program. As the pandemic progressed, however, his government was too often flat-footed, demonstrated by its dilatory approach to procuring vaccines. His response to natural disasters, most notably the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires, was another shortcoming, exemplified by his secret holiday to Hawaii in the midst of the crisis. Arguably, his prime ministership was doomed from that moment.</p> <h2>And the verdict?</h2> <p>Prime-ministerial reputations can take time to settle. The passing of years fleshes out historical knowledge as well as providing greater perspective on performance in office. For example, the fate of AUKUS will quite possibly affect Morrison’s standing well into the future.</p> <p>Even allowing for this, it seems safe to forecast that Morrison will be rated among the least distinguished of Australian prime ministers. His government’s relatively successful early management of the COVID pandemic and the legacy of AUKUS might spare him from falling below McMahon and Abbott at the bottom of the prime-ministerial heap. But avoiding that ignominy will probably be a close-run thing.<!-- 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/223003/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>, Emeritus 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/as-scott-morrison-leaves-parliament-where-does-he-rank-among-australian-prime-ministers-223003">original article</a>.</em></p>

Retirement Life

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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>

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"Lost everything": Retirees left homeless after houseboat destroyed

<p>Two grandparents from South Australia have lost everything after a tree fell on their houseboat during a wild storm. </p> <p>Pam, 77, and David, 82, moved into their two-bedroom houseboat on the Murray River when they first retired over 20 years ago, after finally living out their dream of living on the water. </p> <p>During a storm on February 13th, when their houseboat was moored about 700m from the Renmark boat ramp, their lives were changed forever when a tree fell through their roof. </p> <p>Their granddaughter Shenay Harris said it was a miracle the pair escaped with only minor injuries.</p> <p>“They’re both sitting in their armchairs next to each other. My nan was actually stuck. Her legs were pinned from all the rubble of the roof caving in, and my pop managed to be able to stand up and reach for the phone to call emergency services,” Harris told <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/south-australian-grandparents-lose-everything-after-tree-falls-on-houseboat-in-murray-river-during-storm--c-13615764" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>7News</em></a>.</p> <p>“Looking at the boat and where they were sitting and everything, we have no idea how they are still with us. It’s just absolutely amazing that they’re still here, and they’re OK.”</p> <p>Shenay said her grandparents were now feeling lost about their future, while also grieving the loss of their retirement home. </p> <p>“My pop, he’s absolutely shattered. He’s said to us ‘it’s all over now’ ... (we’re) trying to reassure him (that) ‘no, it’s just a new beginning’,” Harris said.</p> <p>“They’ve been on that boat for 23 years, so it’s been my whole childhood and life with them living on the boat."</p> <p>The houseboat was not insured at the time of the accident, leaving both of the retirees homeless, with no hope for a replacement boat or a payout to get them back on their feet. </p> <p>“They’ve literally just lost everything they’ve got, you know, no assets, nowhere to go, no money,” Shenay said.</p> <p>An <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/riverland-houseboat-tragedy-pamelas-joy?cdn-cache=0" target="_blank" rel="noopener">online fundraiser</a> has been set up to support the couple as they figure out the next stage of their life, so far raising $3,000.</p> <p>“They’re both pensioners, they’ve really got nothing to their name now, having lost the boat. So really just to get them back on their feet.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: GoFundMe / 7News</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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