Older people should fund their retirement using their house value 347



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In a controversial move, The Productivity Commission has slipped in a recommendation last week that will see older Australians encouraged to “tap into their house value” to help boost their standard of living and reduce the pressures on the Federal Budget being applied by pensions.  It might be the right thing for “the country” but is it right for people who have planned their lives all the way through to retirement to be told that the rules are changing when they can do little but fall into the carefully laid out plans of the commission?

The Productivity Commission is moving in on a push for the value of the family home to be considered in the Aged Pension Assets Test.  And it is not the first time these recommendations have been heard. The Productivity commission suggested during the era of Abbott that the Pension test should be changed to include assets testing of the family home if its value were to exceed $750,000. Now it seems they are back again and putting similar pressures on Turnbull.

Karen Chester, a Productivity Commissioner spoke to The Australian, saying people over 65 had approximately $926 billion tied up in home equity and that this needed to be seen as one of the financial tools people use to deliver them wellbeing in their old age. She called on people to see three pillars, referring to Age Pension, superannuation and the family home as the big tools at hand.  This is rather than just the age pension and super which has not yet grown large enough to support todays older generations across the board.

According to our own surveys, approximately 75 percent of older Australians, over 60, own their own home without a mortgage making it an appealing asset against which an older person can draw down cash, should appropriate financial products be developed for them to do so.

The Productivity Commission is expected to release a report at the end of the month that shows how hard it will be yet how important they think it is for reform to take place. The biggest tool they are likely to recommend is the reverse mortgage, which many people in older generations say they are uncomfortable with.

So it leads us to three big questions which we want to poll you on today, and we also want to hear your comments about how you feel about Reverse Mortgages being suggested as the tool for funding your retirement. If we get enough responses, we’ll send them to the Productivity Commissioner for insight.

Let’s talk about this today.

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Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. Whys that so they can afford to give away to to Refugees and people’s not of the country NO BLOODY WA THX

    2 REPLY
    • For goodness sake Jean this has nothing to do with refugees – keep focused on the subject or your view is not credible.

    • SSStick to the topic Jean. This has nothing to do with refugees, who do deserve our support.

  2. no way……. for those who are lucky enough to actually own a home…. leave them be….. look after Australians first….

    1 REPLY
  3. What easier way for them to solve the housing crisis and this supposed Financial crisis that Australia is not having by getting Baby Boomers to sell their homes. The older generation went without, to provide housing for themselves and their growing families and how dare any Political party even consider this !!!

    18 REPLY
    • Well said Libbi.
      I’m one of the baby boomers & yes I started with 1 towel & a 2 borrowed bean bags. & two kids. I worked my butt off eventually own my own house. I did this all on my own. Now I’m faced as many are with 16’ooo a year whilst others foreigners that come in and get 56’ooo a year & have never paid in a cent to the country. & I have this as fact not fiction
      So YES how dare they !!!!

    • Well said Libbi, I worked continually from 15 years of age until I was 68, I had no govt. help, I worked continually even when my 2 children were very very young without any help whatsoever, I absolutely slaved to get where I am today, I own my home. I have no super as we didn’t have it when I worked so it was minimal when I eventually got some when I finished work. So why do the govt give the immigrants and refugees all our money when they have done bugger all to earn it and get much much mire than we get on the pension, disgusting the govt should be looking after Australians first and foremost. For goodness leave the baby boomers alone, we slaved to get our homes, there is much easier ways for the Govt to get money they should be going Big business, the filthy rich, the overseas companies who have all the tax loops to steal our money

    • So this is where the money is going as well as foreign aid don’t get me. Wrong I’m all about helping people. BUT hello how’s about helping your own 1st

    • I agree with you both, it is great being big hearted with our country and inviting others in, I am not against immigration but I can tell you something now I am against older Australians being expected to pay for this, and it that is what is happening. They need to build and provide more housing before they even consider bringing more people in to this country. And what backward logic is this anyway, cut our pensions so they can pay these new people the dole !!

    • Looks like the baby boomers are going to get screwed again. Shame on the Australian gov. Whatgives the the right to take our homes! I didnt have super when I started work in the 70s !

    • It is not only the refugees that want our homes, the younger generations do , there is not enough housing for them either. Instead of us being expected to sell up, they need to open more Crown land and build cheap and affordable housing. The population of Australia is growing

      1 REPLY
      • Time to take MPs to task about lack of housing. 226 MPs in all parties own 563 properties. With that amount of investment they are in the best place to keep property prices and rents high as a lowering of property prices could hurt their hip pockets.
        They certainly won’t be addressing housing affordability.

    • Yes they forget very quickly how our generation went without to get everything we have today….
      We worked hard and saved …
      We had no Single Mothers benefits….
      We had and still have Moral Values I believe….
      Let the Politians fund the problem with a cut to their excessive pensions….

    • So very true we looked after our kids we worked with no hand outs like they get today We worked to buy our homes our cars went without to get what we have today How dare they want us to sell our homes We will be more a burden as the government have to help pay for rent assistance Before hitting us look at the migrants who are abusing our system You find they will save a lot of money

    • Jean Harrison And now 12,000 Refugees are starting to come needing everything for free ,our Ancestors didn’t get everything for free & had to work very hard ,fought for our Country only to be told there were no jobs ,it wasn’t easy street for them .Dutton has said we may take another 20,000 where is all this money coming from ,borrowing & borrowing .As sad as it might be there a billions of Refugees & they never stop having babies ,all this will be payed for by welfare & tax payers .

    • Just read where N.S.W Premier Mike Baird wants to spend $40 million to un – radicalize young Muslims ,what a joke & waste of money ,they were born here & don’t want to be Australian .

    • Vivienne Marjenberg it is a myth that migrants and refugees get everything! I am a migrant from 38 years ago we got nothing then and they get nothing now! My son worked with refugees for a while and they had to apply to charities for everything they got. Centre link has already put out a statement that they do not give handouts to migrants and refugees. I wish people would stop spreading this and concentrate on the real issues

    • What is it with this government, continually waging war on us seniors. How about fixing all the tax dodgers like Google, Apple, Ikea, etc. And why are taxpayers paying $380 million in fuel subsidies to Gina Rinehart? 🙁

      1 REPLY
      • Rex Erskine the LNP will ALWAYS support big business and corporations as they are the Libs biggest doners!! They should govern for ALL Australians but unfortunately pensioners are in the minority and easy pickings for them. They will always screw low income earners to support the rich.

    • Tax big companies like they should be & put a freeze on politicians extras!!!! See what they say to that, they will bloody scream blue murder!!!!!!

  4. I have already downsized to a 2 bedroom unit in a Retirement Village which was not worth $750,000 at the time or anywhere near it, if anyone is sitting on a property worth more then yes they would also have Superannuation to support their lifestyle in Retirement and therefore should not be entitled to the Pension, however I did not mean they should be forced to sell the home they worked all their lives for.

    4 REPLY
    • In the area we have lived most of our lives $850 is the cost of a two bed unit. Our home is modest but do we have to leave the area we have lived in, houses all,our supports and community.

    • Pearl I didn’t say you have to move anywhere, I downsized due to health problems and my unit I have now took most of the money I got for my home, which is only 5 minutes from where I use to live so everything is pretty much the same for me.

    • Brought a house for $25000O years ago spent another $250000 on complete reno . Home now worth well over one million. Why should we be penalized because the value of our home increased dramatically. The only thing of value we will be able to leave our children.

    • Sandysteve Rivett that is exactly what the Government don’t want you doing, is to leave your family your home, yet they will expect to be able to do the same and on the backs of the TAXPAYERS who pay for their RETIREMENT for them. You know the old story, one set of rules for them and another set for everyone else.

  5. I heard Peter Dutton say they were considering bringing even more Syrian Refugees in, than the 13 thousand extra people they already committed to, 27 thousand extra new people in the country next year already. These people need to be housed, there is not enough rental accommodation for Australians, so they need your house and as a bonus they won’t have to pay you a pension !! Trust the Liberals..you sure can’t

    4 REPLY
    • We need to get out of this Eu for sure hey !!!

      1 REPLY
      • Jean Harrison we ARE NOT in the EU (European Union)
        Last time I looked we live in the Southern Hemisphere!!

    • I agree it is more than that, we have people living on the streets now and young Australians can’t get rental accommodation because there is no housing, but the Government needs to adress these issues before it brings more people here to compete with Australian’s for housing and jobs

    • Why are existing Australians left out n the cold ? Our sick, poor, homeless not to mention ex-service personnel and given away to refugees, what is wrong with the old Nissan huts in camps till they settle – our Parents had to exist like that till they worked their way out of the camps financially.

  6. Well I said this was coming and it’s nothing to do with refugees. The government needs to start looking at taxing the big end of town. When an economy is like ours introducing new taxes on the people is just stupid but if they introduced just a 1%wealth tax on the big end of town they would be able to get billions . The liberals got rid of the carbon tax and now the government PAYS big business big bucks for incentives to cut carbon (yeh right) . How many of us saw that decrease in electricity or gas. The liberals have cut all these taxes to the big end and they now need to find that money so they are going to come after pensions super health education services for the aged and your house. Oh and on top of that they will introduce GST. I’m not being dramatic this is actually happening.

    6 REPLY
    • Didn’t we all Bea. I so knew it We want out of that blooming EU otherwise it is going to go on & on till there’s nothing left for us. Then we will properly also take the blame grrrr

    • By introducing a 1% wealth tax it could raise over 25 billion dollars that more than double of what a GST increase could raise even at 25%. So why are the liberals not doing this. They are to busy protecting the wealthy end that’s why

    • Annette I’m talking about corporate taxes banking taxes businesses that earn millions in profit these are the big tax avoiders not those on income tax it’s the big end.

    • You are absolutely right Bea Little. I will never understand why a great number of pensioners support the LNP.
      They never govern for all Australians just their millionaire mates.

  7. THE GOVERNMENT WANTS WHAT? as i understand it pensioner are being asked to sell there houses to supoort their pension.let me get this str8.they worked hard all their lives bought a home raised their children,now you want them to sell their homes so they can live in a retirement village or any other building What the f..k I hope come next election all the sneaky underhanded acts of bastardry bought by the liberals is remembered and shown on pre election adverts by labor and these poor excuses for Australians are shown the boot and the door

    21 REPLY
    • I hope common sense prevails with older Australian’s and they boot these Liberals out before we all become homelss

    • Well I think Malcolm Turnbull can lead by example and get rid of his mansion as it is far too big for he and his wife and would ideally house a number of elderly people or homeless people on limited welfare payments looking for accommodation. I also think all politicians who claim an allowance to have their partner stay with them in Canberra should give it up and save the money for the good of those less fortunate. Most of them already own properties in Canberra so don’t need the extra funds just to open the front door and sleep in their bed.

    • They all can lead by their own fucking examples!!!! They are nothing more than money grabbing arseholes. All there to line their own pockets and bugger tgeir fellow Australians…. the very own people who put them there. Willing to let the pensioners suffer again and again. STOP giving handouts to the rag heads/non Austrslians ans look after their own

    • You should read the post more carefully Stephen Richard. It’s not Government it’s a suggestion from Productivity Commission. Not selling your house it’s a reverse mortgage to boost funds in retirement.

    • Do you not think the libs asked the productivity to look into this.they have done a lot of underhanded things since they came to power.

    • Try the new ALA party they labor party have their hands in the till about time their was another player

    • A Robin Hood commission. They should look at cutting their spending, stop trying to buy votes by being popular at the expense of people who have done the right thing, worked hard, saved and tried to look after themselves. Another thing is looking at loopholes and the creative accounting practised.


    • Jacqueline Johnston The usual hysterical comments from the socialists. If anything the ALP would support this stance. And the fools want them back? No thank you.

      1 REPLY
      • John Green yours is a typical response from a LNP supporter. Obviously you think we pensioners deserve to be forced to sell our homes. Well we might not be as rich as you but we do need to keep a roof over our heads.

    • Stephen Richard-John Malcolm while it is a government body it is an Independent government body set up in 1998 to advise and make recommendations to Governments, be they Liberal or Labour. So your comment ” “government wants what” is not correct it’s an independent government body recommendation only

    • Tony Weston yes Tony and who are steering the Governments of the world – those same theiving banker

    • i think living in a multi million dollar home and claiming the pension is the ULTMATE LOOPHOLE CHRISTINE CHAN ..SUPER IS BEING ATTACKRD BY LABOUR as a rort well what about these over the top homes……….tax payers who are lot worse off are funding his after all

  8. We are such an easy target. We worked hard for our homes and didn’t have all the assistance the younger people get these days. Leave us alone and target the fat cats.

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