Government strips retirees of vital access just when they need it most. What do you think about this rule?

Self-funded retirees were dealt a major blow today with the announcement the New South Wales government will “strip self-funded retirees

Self-funded retirees were dealt a major blow today with the announcement the New South Wales government will “strip self-funded retirees of Gold Opal cards and increase the daily cap on the cost of public transport for pensioners,” as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald. The rule applies to retirees in NSW, with many hoping it doesn’t spread to other parts of Australia. Many retirees rely on discounted public transport to get around their city and an increase in the cost of fares could impact heavily on their lifestyle and quality of life.

As if Australian seniors didn’t have it tough enough already, a struggling world economy has many Australians worried about how these financial woes will impact on their super and savings. As we near retirement age there is less room for mistakes or losses in superannuation accounts and decreasing values in investments can have a significant affect on our retirement plans, meaning you have to reevaluate your bank balance just when you thought you were at the finishing line.

However, while there is good reason for many Australians to take heed of the sharp downturn in global markets, it’s not necessarily all bad news with experts saying you can manage your super fund and savings to get through any economic downturn.

Dixon Advisory Managing Director Nerida Cole says it’s important for retirees to work with their super fund to reduce the risks in their investments.

“Heightened volatility in global markets can be very stressful for superannuation members – particularly if they are retired or just about to retire as they have fewer options to rebuild capital if a loss occurs,” Ms Cole said.

“Contemplating how to manage investments during a downturn is complex and unfortunately media reports can sensationalise the outlook which can make it even harder to stick to a long term investment strategy.”

Ms Cole said it’s important for retirees to plan out there expenses to make the most of their money and their super accounts. Some simple calculations can go a long way towards reducing stress and helping to manage finances.

“To minimise the impact on super savings, it is crucial to apply some tried and tested investment principles to reduce the risk across an investment portfolio (while not an exhaustive list). Calculate how much cash is needed to cover your annual living expenses plus lump sum expenses within the next 2-3 years and make sure you these requirements can be covered.

“Importantly, stay focused on your long term plan, particularly in the face of market noise. That doesn’t mean if the underlying economic situation has changed you shouldn’t make some adjustments. Dixon Advisory often suggest working through the different investment outcomes – negative and positive – on your portfolio and how this would impact on your lifestyle.”

Australia’s economy is strongly linked to our trade and export deals with China, and with China’s economy wavering and the US stock market continuing to fall, there is speculation Australia could be heading for a slow down.

AustralianSuper Chief Investment Officer Mark Delaney is encouraging people to reassess and think about their financial goals for the future, rather than make any rash decisions right now.

“Super is always a really long term investment. Market events like this happen every year almost, sometimes twice a year. Retirement is a long term decision,” said AustralianSuper Chief Investment Officer Mark Delaney.

“[Super fund] members should focus on the long term, invest in a very good fund, and manage according to that plan, and your savings should be well looked after.

“Investments are all about a view of the future, anticipating where things are going to go. We don’t think things will deteriorate substantially further from here. The key consideration in building a retirement portfolio is to have one that is appropriately diversified,” Mr Delaney said.

Do you worry about your retirement plan? Are you worried your super fund and savings?

  1. Darryl Smith

    This is typical we have done just another kick in the backside

  2. Darryl Smith

    This is typical we have done just another kick in the backside

  3. Fran Spears

    The government really does have a lot to answer for. And just recently an SAS member I know enquirer about concession fares on the Ghan to be told the concessions from the government finish at the end of the financial year. Even if you could afford it with concessions they are booked out beyond that. Retirees and pensioners are being left wit h nothing.

  4. Fran Spears

    The government really does have a lot to answer for. And just recently an SAS member I know enquired about concession fares on the Ghan to be told the concessions from the government finish at the end of the financial year. Even if you could afford it with concessions they are booked out beyond that. Retirees and pensioners are being left with nothing.

    • Joan Rowe

      Well, you know, we are getting old and we should not be wanting to go gallivanting around spending money we that worked and saved for retirement. WE are OLD, we should go away and die as one of my grandsons says. That’s the attitude of the youth of today, they have their hand out but don’t want to do anything for it.

    • Joan Rowe

      Lee Horrocks : I would if I could.Already had the police to him twice since he was 13. Now almost 17 he is physically stronger and has that abusive streak, which at the moment I can control with threats of the police and a permanent record. But now I am starting to get “you can’t prove anything”. Following in his mother’s footsteps., but she has PDDnos.

  5. Debbie Bryant

    I have noticed that there seems to be a misconception in the community that self funded retirees are loaded. This action by the NSW government reinforces this misconception. Yes some self funded retirees are doing very nicely thank you. But the majority are just struggling like retirees on the age pension. This action by the NSW government is so unfair and discriminatory.

  6. Debbie Bryant

    I have noticed that there seems to be a misconception in the community that self funded retirees are loaded. This action by the NSW government reinforces this misconception. Yes some self funded retirees are doing very nicely thank you. But the majority are just struggling like retirees on the age pension. This action by the NSW government is so unfair and discriminatory.

    • Jane Whitfield

      My neighbor is a self funded retiree & he has to watch every cent. I really think after working & saving so hard it is grossly unfair to cut the benifits of people like him.

    • Rachel Rush

      Australia got the idea of superannuation from NZ . The Libs(Tories we call them in NZ) stopped it in NZ thirty years ago, NZ has restarted it, not sure how long ago and why. Every NZ gets the NZ pension, plus they have a good means testing system. It will take years for the first self funded retiree to conduct into the system. But under the Tories the rich still get richer and the poor get poorer in New Zealand.

    • Rhonda Christie

      Well said Debbie. This is just the beginning I fear, the Government is slowly pulling the rug out from under us.

    • Helena Ackroyd

      We hear this argument all the time from SFRs but to really be informed on the subject it would be interesting to see just how much income and assets precludes them from accessing a part fortnightly aged pension.

  7. Kelly  

    Contact your local member of parliament . Make sure they know what you think.

  8. Wayne Ferne

    I guess they need to pack up and move to one of those countries where pensioners are doing so much better than us. Can anyone name one?

  9. Wayne Ferne

    I guess they need to pack up and move to one of those countries where pensioners are doing so much better than us. Can anyone name one?

      • Anne Jones  

        Beer is $12 a glass in Norway!

    • Leone O

      My ancestors and I have put 175 years of blood sweat and tears into this country. Nothing flash. Just labour, sweat and careful living. Why should I have to move to another country? The fault lies with the wealthy politicians who simply have no idea about the lives and problems of the people they look down on.

    • Sue Todd

      Well said Leone, 40 years of work here and now Wayne tells us to move if we’re not happy? Why should we!

    • Wayne Ferne

      Sue Todd I didnt say to move Sue. Its just an option for the poor me crowd. Why be miserable and unhappy when you can live like a Queen in another country? But if thats not an option, stop complaining.

    • Leone O

      Wayne has standard Liberal views. Take from the lowest earners to buy bombs to kill citizens of other countries then bitch about the survivors.

    • Wayne Ferne

      Deborah Drinan Spread that rumour will you please Deb, there’s about 650k here that might believe it.

    • Sue Todd

      Well I’m not happy with the way this government is treating pensioners, so I guess I’m one of the ones you think should move. Should I take all my family and friends with me, or go alone. Will I find when I get there that you have to have worked in that country to be eligible for the pension? That’s what most countries expect, except ours. Here you work and get paid a fortnight what a pollie gets a night in TA and meal allowance. Now they want to cut it

    • Beryl Anderson

      Obviously Wayne is one of the most happy ones. It’s not always easy to fix or control something you didn’t cause. And you need to be able to afford to move. Then what? All alone in a foreign country..the point is if they can do it so can we.. but our governments are too greedy for handouts.

    • Wayne Ferne

      Beryl Anderson Apples and Oranges Beryl. Denmark, a small country in area with a small population. Plus, they have a surplus, we had one once too, remember?

    • Wayne Ferne

      Beryl Anderson and as she says, highly taxed. It has to be paid for somehow!! We dont do so badly, regardless of what some may say. Perhaps those migrants that dont think they get given enough, should leave.

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