Sixty Something: The older generation is being left behind 320



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Well fellow SAS readers, how much more do we need to take? Today I am reading posts from some of you that tell me about not being able to afford heat or the struggle with rent etc. Plights that the bulk of us seem to have once we cannot work anymore, are ageing. It saddens me to think that in a world constantly “going forward”, that the older generation is being left behind.

Do young people think their time will never come? Do they think it will be much better for them? Why do I constantly hear from them how we have messed our own retirement up? Do they not know that most of my era didn’t receive superannuation or baby bonuses or maternity leave? Do they not know that we worked 40, 50 and 60 hours a week, every week to make this country what it should be today? Apparently not or they just don’t care.  

Many young people today don’t understand the meaning of giving back. Many young people think that a parent should have done everything for their children because they choose to have them.  Many young people don’t believe they have any obligation to their parents. While on the whole I agree your children are not here to take car of you, it saddens me to think that some children don’t feel the love I have naturally assumed parents feel for kids and vice versa. I will worry and care for my kids as long as I live and no matter how they treat me, so why do they think that we bring this situation on ourselves as we age? I hope they don’t have to go through it with their children. I hope they have kids that care if they are cold or hungry.

Now for the government! What can I say? Although I am not a fan of this present government, I admit that over many years, no matter which party is in office, the ageing population, although receiving some assistance from some parties, has been sadly overlooked and it’s getting worse. Yes, even politicians will age! The difference is they realise it will be easier for most of them, because of their big retirement benefits and quirks. Oh how so many pensioners would love to sit with partners and have a lovely lunch without looking at the cost or sharing with someone – just once a month or so would be nice. How so many pensioners would love just to flick the heater button and not worry how they will pay the bill. How they would love a small holiday once in a while. With the situation as it is now, these things will be so far beyond the average 60-something to afford, they won’t even dream about it.

I can’t remember what year, but I believe John Howard, when leader of the Opposition, admitted to not even knowing the cost of a carton of milk or the average weekly grocery bill. I don’t believe things have changed much and no I don’t feel guilty or eternally grateful for what I receive from the government.

You see, for many years I paid my dues. I worked very hard, I paid taxes and got nothing but promises in return. Why should we pay a percentage of the money we earned back to the government? They didn’t work their butts off for it. Because we were told it was to benefit us in old age, just like super is supposed to do now. This has not happened. We talk and talk and the government pretends to listen. We were not like blessed with genius brains to secure a highly paid job. We were not all blessed with our lives going to plan so that we ended up with a pair home in our senior years or plenty of money in the bank. But we are all human beings. We all deserve equality and respect and human kindness and I am afraid I am not seeing this happening anymore. The majority of young people seem to think we have brought this on ourselves, the government seem to live in hope that our failing public health system will wipe some of us out and the rest will take care of itself.  

We live in a world that has very little concern or care for each other. Is this what progress has caused? I call it greed and shame on this country for letting it happen.  

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Fran Spears

Born in 1953. Came to Hobart from the north west coast of Tassie to be closer to my son as I have mild chronic bronchitis. Mild and chronic in same sentence – even that makes me laugh. Have just completed and passed my diploma in Public Relations. Love to write and have lead a reasonably interesting life. My motto: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!"

  1. Yes its just too sad. The young people complaining now were brought up by us who worked long hrs to give them decent upbringing

  2. Yep we didnt know what the dole was. I spent 5 years as a mechanic on a large cattle property and dint know what a 40 hour week was. Back in 1961 i was there as a mechanic but seemed to do all sorts of things. seeing the place was about 3500 sq. miles i didnt get home some nights untill all hours pumping water etc. Now of course i am just that old fool that likes to whinge about the government.

    3 REPLY
    • Eddie,you areTHE PAST,the new political system which we elected is looking forTHE FUTURE,TO SELL AND LEASE,and to benefit for life from their entitlements.Your voice should be joint by all of us,something has to be done,no other political leaders are able to bring to reality the present gov.

    • Eddie you are a hard working man. The backbone of America. Stand proud.

      1 REPLY
      • #Sheri Dickson …”the backbone of America”! Pardon? When I last checked we were still Australia! LOL!

  3. Yes life is tough when all you have is the pension to live on. No big superfund on retirement like the next generation will have. Some of us had our own business and had to pay this super for our employees.

    12 REPLY
    • Kerrian as compulsory super did not become an established law until 1993 may i suggest it was your own super you were paying now if you were upper management or a public servant there were super schemes for you to pay into….as for the rest of us and we are the majority there was no super schemes on offer at all or if there was one it was designed to give a very paltry return. Working women of course were not offered super even if it was available in the firm she was working for. So those of us from 60 upwards never had a super scheme to contribute to or the scheme came far to late to have any effective value for the recipiant……so we are all dependent on the government pension. Some of us may own our own homes but that only makes us asset rich as we have no income to speak of. I only wish that the current scheme had been available back in the 60s…my husband and i would be living a comfortable existence and not worrying about where the money for the next bill is coming from.

    • …….AM READING THESE FRM N.Z – i c life is CHALLENGING 4 the older set OVER THE DITCH -too !! OX

    • Not necessarily Marie. As an employer in small business I had to pay the super over and above their wages.

    • Don’t know why the generations below us can’t get it through their heads, we didn’t have a super scheme and most of people in their late sixties only had one wage coming in, the costs of kids school, rent etc took all the pay packet, we went with out,no dinners out , recycled clothes but we were happy, now we rely on the pension, we earned it, taxes paid, fifty hour a week worked, get off our case

    • Kerrian Dennis the majority of companies incude the compulsory component of super into the salary package. Any extra percentage is over that is a bonus like any other higher pay rate so if you were offered $55000 pa for a position it would include the compulsory super in that figure. If you were paying your staff their super on top of their normal wage perhaps your accountant didn’t give you the best advice? I certainly would have liked to be working for your company!

    • Rosemary, how’s my people do you know working for small business are earning $55k and over. Yes I know as the salary gets higher super is built into the package.

    • Kerrian Dennis I picked that figure out of the air. I certainly have never earned that much. I still work 3 days a week at 72 and my super is STILL part of my salary package (as it has been, working for the same employer since before compulsory super began). All employees where I work have the super component as part of their package right down to the lowliest junior and my working friends are in the same situation.

    • Actually Rosemary that is not correct. This is an excerpt from a taxation guide for small businesses where it says:-
      “As an employer, your business needs to pay superannuation for your staff, on top of their salary. Most employees will be covered by the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) law, whether full-time, part-time or casual, and even contractors in most cases”.
      So it does appear to be over and above their salary and any company that is taking it from their employees’ wages is more than likely doing the wrong thing.

  4. Dont waste our breath on them sick of a generation that had everything now complaining because mummy and daddy are spending their money, or so they think

    6 REPLY
    • Even worse…we now have to work until 67, and after taking nine months to finally get a job they can’t understand why we can’t reserve at least two days a week to look after the grandies. I love them, I truly do, but this tests my patience.

    • even when you do retire they will still expect you to rear their kids , they do not give a damn if we are not fit or well or that we too have worked all our lives and would now like some peace and quiet and time to do whatever we want to do . I never asked anyone to look after my kids , i had them , i looked after them .

      1 REPLY
    • I am in my late seventies. Looked after my grandkids quite a lot. loved doing it. Maybe I have been lucky with my kids. Those born before the war had less super, most none. Each generation has it differently. I think governments do not understand. It is all economics to them Recent legislation cutting part pensions says it all.

    • I am nearing 70 and am still working and loving every it of it
      My husband is 71and works 4hrs a day and then tends to his garden when he comes home mind you we da have 30minutes nanny nap everyday best thing ever and the time will come when we go on a pension and that time is not far away

  5. My husband and I have always worked and he had two jobs when we were first married. Finished one at 5 and went to another at 9. He went on to be self employed and was never made aware of the need to have superannuation. I now work full time and will need to continue to do so for as long as I can so that I can receive superannuation to give us at least something !!! I only started receiving superannuation when it became compulsory. We never received baby bonuses and because my mother also worked I paid for creche fees to have my children looked after whilst we worked. I realise that it is hard for the younger generation to get a start today but they expect it all in the beginning instead of working for it. Our children love and appreciate us so we are lucky but as far as being financially stable in our retirement that will not be the case…….Lets hope the children can help us then !!

    11 REPLY
    • It would not be that hard if they did not expect to have a huge big house in an expensive area, an SUV, holidays with all the trimmings,etc.I realise not all young people are the same but many expect too much immediately.

    • Who else started out with a couple of wooden chairs and a card table like us? No air conditioning and half the house without floor coverings or soft furnishings. Most of our furniture was somebody else’s hand me downs. It took a long time and a lot of money to move on from there but we had our home. No family, to help so I had to stay home whilst hubby worked two jobs. Started work in late 30s and. No super till mid 40s. Only hols were driving to Victoria with children or hired camper vans for local. Now there is noise about older Australians spending their duper on overseas hols. And yet I am forever seeing young friends with families overseas.

    • Sheila, I agree with most of what you said……except for “was never made aware of the need to have superannuation” What did you think you were going to live on? My husband & I paid into a superannuation fund from the 50’s.

    • This us me to a tee no super. Widowed at 47 now working at 69 no light at the end of the tunnel for me. I did work I between having 4 children. But no super offered new nothing about it.

  6. The worse part of having put super away and you lose your job and the super you did have was all used up in account fees so i now have no super left so where is that fair

    1 REPLY
    • I did have a little super in my account, from several years ago. Have just been advised that, because my account is “inactive” ie I havent put anything into it for a while, the government has seen fit to take my money. I know I can apply to get it back, but why should I have to ! It’s my money, I’m still alive, so why should they be able to touch it !

      1 REPLY
      • Dorne the Government do this to stop what remains getting eaten away by fees and charges and making the owner of the super fund rich. Think about it for a while and it will make sense to you as you will at least have something left. Smart people inform themselves about their super and how it works……don’t rely on anyone else.

  7. We should all be spending what we have on ourselves and not saving it to leave our children- they are earning money we couldn’t even dream of.

    6 REPLY
    • Yes I am enjoying myself as I lost my Husband within a fortnight and we didn’t see it coming so I now spend my money on holidays or what ever I want,as my two boys are far better than what we were at there age, life is to short to think of the what is.

    • I said to my daughters i was thinking of getting a small life insurance . Their responce was no, they don’t want my money.

    • My family encourage me to spend on holidays etc etc. Selfish families are the ones who make good news coverage. We don’t hear about the silent majority who love and care for their parents as they age.

  8. I don’t think it is very helpful to complain about our lot… Some things were harder, some things were easier… The world is changing and the next generation has its own challenges, with price of housing, climate change , insecure jobs etc… Let’s not forget we created a lot of the mess we are living our children, and let’s not forget, we also created them, so no point complaining on the way they are now, we brought them up that way… Deal with it….

    11 REPLY
    • Not sure what was easier back in our day. All I know is we were far more responsible and self sufficient and managed on very little. They could learn a lot from how it was for us.

    • I don’t remember receiving $ 5000 for having my children . Or $10000 for our first home , or paid maternity leave , or a led TV , Ora microwave or receiving $ 6000 for crèche allowances etc . So yeah ! I guess we created a mess for them big time with paying taxes all our working life and having no super from the beginning of our working life, so I guess we do owe them an apology . What a joke , how bad are we ?

    • Sure, the social benefits have improved, for the better. Before globalisation took over our economy we had a manufacturing industry and people had plenty of local jobs. Now a lot of jobs are insecure, and far away. buying a house is more difficult and requires often 2 income to service a mortgage. Our education was free, today students are left with a dept before they even have a mortgage. We did not have mobile phone bills, Internet bills, gst,.. My daughter is a working teacher, on a casual contract as it takes years to be permanent, her education was not free, and not cheap…. We had hard working lives, but we also had simpler lifes with lots of opportunities to achieve our dreams.Not all young people are selfish, they are the one paying tax to pay our pensions and I truly believe we should stop having this poor me attitude. We should count our blessings and be grateful that we do have a generation working and paying tax to give us the health care we take for granted, the pension, our cheap travel etc…

    • With you there Maryvonne. Too many folks whinging about what government and other do or don’t do…..when the solution is staring them in the face……inform yourself and get on with it. Superannuation is not rocket science. I started my super with the then AMP back in 1966 when I was a first year apprentice electrician…..I retired 3 years ago and am quite comfortable thanks to my saving regime.

    • Oh dear…. You do whinge and whine you lot… I am 67 so I too have been there and done that…I have been through a lot including divorce …… I have not had it many ways..
      However you all sound just like what “they” think of us!!

    • Yes we can be thankful for what you say maryvonne but also we do get sick of being told that we used hell for them and gave them a mess and that we are all leaners we are not and we do deserve respect.

    • Maryvonne Norman I agree. I never ever expected to live on a pension,& knew I couldn’t , my Nan just did, with only a small amount of savings, l was the main breadwinner of the family, worked 2 jobs , worked cleaning at night. in 1962 soon after we married, we bought land , in good suburb & paid it off, friends land was much cheaper, this was the best investment ever. I am not wealthy but have what I want & can help my kids out. I don’t know anyone who can’t afford to eat, use electricity , etc. or have the occasional luxury . We all have to be careful. AND times were better then , No Welfare, it has been the countries downfall , everyone relies on it.

    • Try counting your blessings – if you have some sort of roof over your head, 2 or 3 meals a day, a change of clothes, then you are wealthy indeed!

  9. I am in my sixties and am still working
    Accountant said that I am better off
    Doctor said the same thing
    Don’t give up work. And you will live a longer healthier life and he’s right I’m not Farr from the big70 and gong even feel it

    3 REPLY
    • That’s right Pattye, I was forced to retire at 62 due to server Arthritis, since then I have had 4 major surgeries and can’t work even if I wanted to. Nice for some!!!!!

    • And you girl are right
      Some are lucky I have my mothers genes I’m lucky
      But the day will come when I will give up work and then who know
      Been every where just about so I guess i will work in my garden

  10. And then there was the 18% interest rates when a lot of people lost there homes

    1 REPLY
    • Thanks to Labor, This never affected me, as we had owned our house for a while & had a bit of equity built up.

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