The younger generation forget that we paid our own way 344



View Profile

Last week, one article that really had you talking was the conversation about paid parental leave and how we had little to no help from the government when we were raising our children.

It raised a lot of debate about then vs today, with the majority of our over 60s saying that they did not believe that new parents needed more than the payout they are already receiving. You can read the full article here if you missed it.

We had one comment that surprised us – it was from someone who was not in their 60s. The young lady wrote this:

“What I think is that those not paying taxes i.e. those over 60 should mind their own business because it isn’t their own money being spent. They are happy to take our money from our taxes that we pay and are rude enough to even complain if working mothers get a very small part of their hard earned tax dollars back! How much did a house cost in those days? Seriously, times have changed!”

First of all, this could not be further from the truth. It is sad that our youth believe that we do not deserve to have a say over what government money may potentially be spent on. We were merely commenting on how we were able to raise a child on next to nothing and yet the X and Y Generations just want more and more to fund their spending and to replicate their usual income, whatever that may be. They think that minimum wage per week is not enough, yet it is more than our pension.

Our community members responded in droves to this young woman, with some saying that they are 65 and still paying taxes, while others have worked hard for decades and are now retired. It should be pointed out that yes, we know that times have changed, but it doesn’t mean that morals and the way we spend money should change. There are greedy people in this world, yes, and there are wealthy people, although that does not mean that they’re mutually exclusive.

The price of a house in 1970 was a lot less than today’s housing prices, but it was relevant to how much we earned. Kerry made an interesting comment on the article, saying, “It is such a different world now, we had so little when we had our small children, as did all our peers and yet we were so happy. Does owning a McMansion, 2 expensive cars and state of the art baby gear make young families any happier? I wonder when the expectations of this world and the financial strain will slow down”. 

The younger generation are simply not told about how we paid tax and paid our dues for many, many years. The images they have of over 60s is that we are pension-receiving, money-hungry wrinkly old bags that have no use any more. We don’t deserve to have opinions and we sure as heck can’t be telling them what’s what. They need to understand that we are simply pointing out that we were in their shoes once and we had it much worse off. We just want them to appreciate what they have and be grateful – something that seems lost nowadays.

What this woman also forgot was that self-funded retirees continue to be taxed on stamp duty, land tax and levies. Yes, 20 and 30-year-olds of Australia: we worked so hard that we actually have savings put away for retirement! Shock, horror! It’s a gross misconception that everyone over the age of 65 has an aged pension – if they knew even a little about it, they would know it’s hardly enough to live on and it hurts to see more money going to those who will already receive more than they need (in the form of paid parental leave).

And, as Starts at 60 member Mitchell Cook so perfectly put it, “It is the duty of everyone to ensure that future generations are better off than we are”. Yes, that includes us, and you, the youth of today. We oppose paid parental leave schemes so that in the future the government will have enough money to provide you things you need and your children need, and that isn’t a flat screen TV or flashy car. 

What do you think? Do you think we have a right to oppose bills that the government proposes as we have been tax payers all our lives? Or should we be quiet because most of us don’t need to pay tax anymore? 

Image source:

To find your nearest Coffee Meetup and register, please click here or head to

We hope to see you celebrating the over 60 life with other over 60s on February 17 2015.


Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 4.00.39 pm

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Extremely well said the young have it so easy compared to when we were raising our families with no help Oh! I forgot the $14.00 a month child endowment and we saved that money for school uniforms etc!

    9 REPLY
    • My child endowment was 2 pound a month = to $4.00 today. My husband’s wage was 8 pound a week and we lived off that and paid rent.

    • Child endowment in my time (1970s) was $2/month from the 2nd child, but none for the 1st. Made do with second-hand furnitures, 3 in 1 TV set, deep-freezer for bulk-buying perishables, medium-sized fridge, & a twin-tub wringer washing machine. Clothes nappies were the order of the day, no clothes dryer for Hills hoist was sufficient during sunny days, & a clothes line in the garage for rainy days! Stay-at-home mum, kept the family healthy, managed to save for yearly holidays, thru careful budgeting! If my generation managed this, so can the NOW generation! Have instilled these values to my sons, and, hopefully it will suffice them & their families into their own future!

      1 REPLY
      • I remember the absolute glee with which we bought our first (and only, as it turned out) NEW dining suite. we were so proud of it. We’d been married for about five years before we could afford that, and it wasn’t all that grand, but it was new!

    • Addit: self-funded pensioners, still paying taxes (GST) on house/contents/car insurances, utilities, merchandise, grocery items, etc., albeit not on income tax.

    • I agree ladies they do not know what it’s like to struggle. They seam to have money for expensive tattoos. Smoking and drinking out to dinner then call poor me we were lucky to have chicken for Easter and Christmas and for entertainment we had a sausage bbq with friends with everyone sharing salads and the carton of cheap wine we all put in for. It makes me mad when I hear how hard it is for them these days they are so selfish want want want that’s their motto Australia is far to generous to those who will not work and still have children they are freeloaders not the baby boomers

    • Yes I remember when chicken was for Sunday roast. Like a luxury. Boy we knew how to stretch a quid. That’s $2 for those who don’t know.

    • I got $4 for first child & $2 each for second & third, per fortnight, by cheque. Stopped as each got to high school. Was always used to buy school books. Stay at home mum, had a small cheap fridge, bought 3 rooms of cheap furniture in a package deal (kitchen, lounge & main bedroom), no floor coverings for 2 yrs after moving into house as couldn’t afford it – used mats given by rellies, had a twin tub washing machine – no walking away till wash finished), no clothes dryer till it rained for 4 wks in a row & had to buy one on instalment plan, otherwise it was clothes hoist, cloth nappies that had to be soaked before washing, no car so walked every where, shopped 3 times a week so I could carry groceries home in basket on pram, special entertainment for kids was a walk to park nearby, picnic lunches in the backyard or a walk to local library. Not much money but we were thankful for what we had. These days everyone wants everything YESTERDAY, whether they can afford it or not.

    • these youngsters with flash houses and cars are going to be in deep deep s–t when they start to put interest rates up, it is a real worry, we had 17% interest at one time admittedly our loan was only 27 thousand but we had paid off a block of land in the previous 13 years as that is how long it took to do –had a car that was 15 years old untill I had to go back to work then i got a little toyota that was 9 years old so we could pay our loans, both of us started work at 14 and worked till 65 –[58 me because of health problems ] raised two kids on one pound a month child support when i married i stayed home for 7 years but we were getting nowhere so i had to go back and i stayed working till i was 58, so life was not real easy we are now 73 and 78 and are still driving a car we got second hand in 1995 it was only 5 years old we thought we were real flash then but we still have it and it is our only car these days

  2. The young of today would not know what hardship was, we never had any of the handouts they have today.
    I am now 67 and still working full time like many of us, how come they are so misinformed. Lack of education?

    4 REPLY
    • I know what hardship is, I’m 42 and was raised by a single parent in the 70’s and 80’s. I now have 2 of my own and still have to do without a lot so I can provide for them. I’m grateful that I can get family tax benefit A and B because my husband pays a fortune in tax.

    • If your husband pays a fortune in tax then he earns a a fortune , that’s how our tax system works .more you earn the more you pay . That’s why I cannot understand everyone’s comment on why the wealthy don’t pay tax? That’s just down right rubbish .

    • Not all young people have their hand out. I’ve worked my butt off, never gotten the dole, worked nights to care for my mum while she was sick and to help out financially then worked my way through 6 years of uni, I paid my HECS debt off in 5 years and now I have a great income and a great job. I don’t expect money from the government and I know a lot of people exactly the same as myself. You shouldn’t generalise.

      1 REPLY
      • Actually I think all shouldn’t generalise! But unfortunately, younger people may have had a few “shortages”with parents being sole parents etc. But when you are the actual parent trying to pay for everything in the 70’s you had several issues to contend with…. little handouts from the government, large mortgages in line with low pay, especially for women. There is parity between what we paid, & we were paying for homes -that is in relation to what people are being paid today and the cost of homes. The difference was we didn’t expect to have huge homes to start, brand new cars in the driveway, and some of us had to sign contracts with lenders to not fall pregnant for three years, as we had to pay double house payments. I think the argument is that a lot of us Over 60’s are still contributing to the taxation system, we are not senile and have a right to make comments just as younger people do – the difference between our generation and this, is that we respected our previous generations contribution to society. Please…..have respect for this one.

  3. I am still working and paying taxes. So far I have saved the govt. 4 and 1/2 years of pension payments!

    12 REPLY
    • Me too…. Still working full time, husband retired but not eligible for full pension, I do receive the pension bonus and he receives the same amount I do…….and I still pay taxes to pay for those that don’t work!!

    • yes, and if you can still work thats great, unfortunately I was retrenched at 56 from my part time job along with 67 others. No big payout and then on the Newstart where I had to eat into what super I had… not that much……. just to live as I run a household alone… good on you….. oh by the way what is a pension bonus… never heard of that one..??

    • Gianna I would still be working except for a cardiac arrest 2 years ago, I am looking for lighter work, even though I’m 69, I feel I need too still be useful.

    • Not getting it myself as I’m 62 n working, but I believe if you continue to work past pension age the government pays a percentage of the pension you would have received if you weren’t working, to you as a lump sum when u do retire. That my understanding from a former colleague.

      1 REPLY
      • I know that is correct if you get a British pension, but I haven’t heard of it here.

    • I am not entitled to the bonus. It cut out
      for people after a certain DOB. I missed out by 6 months. I am not even eligible for a senior card! I am looking at semi-retirement after the end of this financial year. I cannot think of full retirement, such a big change!

      1 REPLY
      • I am 67 and still working part-time; I get part pension and the bonus scheme overlooks the first $250 that I earn. Ring Centrelink FIS and they will explain it to you

    • We received 5 shillings endowment for our children 50 years ago. Nothing to be compared with this day and age.

    • I am still working didnt take retirement when due so still paying taxes not eligible for the bonus missed out by 6 months. Been saving Gov 5 years of pension money

    • The Pension Bonus Scheme registration is limited to those who “met the age & residence requirements for Age Pension before 20/09/2009 & lodged an application to register prior to 01/07/2014”. Applied to those who deferred claiming the Age Pension & continues to work, from 1-5 years max. Read this in the News for Seniors, issue 92, from CENTRELINK.

    • You still get the pension even if you are working, you pay a highertax on it did you not apply for the pension?

    • There is an income test and the cut-off for part pension for a single person is $1,868.60 per fortnight.

  4. Oh the house prices were nothing when you were young. You were so lucky.

    My first home was a 10 square 3 bedroom house that cost $15,000. It had no driveway, garden, floor coverings etc., it was basic. My husbands take home pay. $91 a week. We had three kids in that house and one car.

    My parents got me an exemption and took me out of school a few weeks before my 14th birthday. I was employed full time a week later. So from 13 to 57 I paid taxes. When the kids were born and the $2 a month family benefit came in, I thought it was a privilege, not a right. I stayed home with my kids and did ironing at home or cleaning jobs during school hours to make ends meet.

    My husband is 67 this year and still working full time. Still paying taxes. He has been working full time from 15 to 67. That young people is 52 years in the workplace working full time and paying taxes. How much government benefits did we or do we get. NOTHING. How much do you get. Who is a drain on welfare. It’s not the oldies.

    16 REPLY
    • Work hard when you’re young… They say, for a better retirement. I know many people who worked so hard their bodies are buggered. It’s a pity the govt didn’t take heed. It’s a sad disgusting world we have now.

    • Yes Margaret my life was so similar to yours I was exempt from school just before my 14 birthday as well and have paid taxes from 13 -60 now retired and my husband still works also 67 and w crony get a pension

    • Well said ,i was the same ,i had 2 hand operation ,i did worked my hands to the bone ,paid taxes for 50 years ,no pension ,for me they said ,never sat on my bum for a hand out ,i was bullied on fb for saying what you have said ,by young ones ,

    • Well said and totally agree the only time I didn’t work was to the age of 15 there after have worked ever since to now in one way or another.

    • Our first house built in 1970 was of a similar price and take home pay was also similar. When we decided to have a family interest rates were rising and over sometime were at 16%. No parental leave was available to us and child endowment was small. My husband and I have worked a combined 100 years and paid taxes right up until we reached the age of 65. Our is it that our younger generation are so ill formed of our what our generation.

    • Could not have said it better myself . Well done. And our work was dam hard too, so much so, my husband and I have much pain in backs, knees, hands that makes retirement not very enjoyable.

    • They wouldn’t be able to live on the wages we had to when we were young. They cannot save for anything it’s a want want now what have worked for years to achieve they have far more opportunities these days most families have two cars both work then place their children on child care the govt helps with they receive more govt help today which is unnecessary they should be able to pay for their expenses
      I would have never asked my parents for financial help these days they do they call it their inheritance where is their pride in working to achieve on their own like most of us did way back then.

    • Well said Margaret the young have absolutely no idea about anything its all about them now, when you get older they would prefer it if you would just disappear never to be seen again.

    • Mum worked damn hard as a single parent, she got a little bit of child endowment but nothing from my father. She worked full time and now gets a pension. At almost 70 she is struggling to find a place that she can afford to live in because most places are well over 200 a week so she lives with me and my family for now. My husband has never been on the dole since he left school and started working, he works full time but brings home a low income wage. We have 2 kids. He pays 6000 to 8000 in tax and get maybe 20 to 80 back. Why shouldn’t I get some family tax benefit or some assistance from the government?? Should I say no to that and have my kids go without a hell of a lot of stuff just because you all did and I did as a child?? I don’t smoke and rarely drink btw, the cinema is an extremely rare treat, eating out?? Forget about that!! Why shouldn’t I get something for all that my husband pays???
      Didn’t people of my mums and your generation fight to make it better for the next generation?
      I am extremely grateful for what we get, we even have to shop at a charity shop for food because even though I get family tax A and B, I still can’t afford to make ends meet all the time.
      I think these things should be means tested and that the dole and such should be work for the dole, but I will absolutely not feel guilty for having money from the government.

    • We are still working in our mid 60,s so you have that luxury of tax A B , and we pay much much more than 8000 in tax , so if we feel like having a burst , do you not think we are entitled ? Let’s see if you are fairing well at our age ., thanks to the Gillard government for fiddling with our super ,we will have to work longer if we want to continue to enjoy the last years of our lives or afford a nursing home . I’m not suggesting you should feel guilty ! I’m suggesting the government stop giving out
      handouts unless there is a situation where parents are physically unable to work for a health reason .
      Oh , and I also worked , and raised two kids , did the school things , after school sports , paid school fees etc, combined we have worked nearly 100 years and paid tax . Never received anything for free. So do we match up ? Don’t think so , because my $ 2 a fortnight for having kids did very little , I wasn’t paid thousands when I had a child either. We were asked our opinion here and there it is . All this free money should stop Unless there is a legitimate reason parents cannot work .So the young need to stop saying the seniors are a drain on our welfare system . They actually deserve more , the young can work , the seniors are running out of steam and life .

    • Margaret, you’ve explained it well. Work for 40 plus years, raise a family, pay taxes, contribute in a positive way to society, learn to save for what we needed to buy, and then receive buggar all in benefits from the government. I think a “means test” should be called a “you planned ahead, the jokes on you…stiff luck” . Not bitter here, just pissed off with the handouts going around out there.

  5. I also paid taxes from the day I was 14 yrs old till I was 61 and had a stroke ! Crippled with reum .artritis because of allergic to aspirin for stroke also have lupus and glaucoma … I wish I could work but it is impossible physically I get $420 a week to live on ay bills food and rent etc etc .no rent allowance . I would love to work ! We worked hard in our day not like the spoilt Woosies today they wouldn’t work in an iron lung at home or work want everything laid on think its their god given right .

  6. Actually tax is taken out of the pension! We worked hard, long hours, no handout, no help looking after our children! By the way most of our generation looked after our parents as well, when they were unwell or unable!
    I am 68 years old, we do not have money hidden under the bed as most young people think, we have not spent our children,s inheritance as there is none to spend! In fact we have no money because we helped our children, giving them what help we could with our meagre savings! This we did happily and without regret.
    For the most part I have a lot of respect for young people, but there are also far too many that have an undeserved sense of entitlement, greed and lack of compassion towards others!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *