Today I’m going to write to you about how I feel being on a pension. I am on a disability pension as I have Chronic Bronchitis. I never would have imagined ten years ago, being on any sort of a pension at age 63. I have never had many illnesses and I have always worked hard, either in the home, or out. When my husband and I split up five years ago, I worked even harder. This is what I want to talk to you about. Working hard, still ending up on a pension and being looked down upon, even by some other pensioners, because of it. Also being made to feel the least important of pensioners so to speak.
Now my disability is nothing you can see or notice if you are just standing there looking at me. However, if you’d like to walk with me, you will soon notice how hard it is for me to breathe. Breathing is not something you think about – unless you can’t. It affects everything you do. However, I am in the mild category and most certainly feel so sorry for anyone who is worse than me. Still, there are things I can’t manage anymore hence a pension and I have been told I will get worse, although how quickly is up to me I guess.
Pension. It’s not a word I like. It automatically makes people think you are old or dying and even to some, ripping off the government. Here’s the thing, I hate the term “self funded” just as much. No offence to all those self funded retirees out there. Good luck to you all that life has worked out for you this way. The thing is, those of us who are on pensions be it disability or aged and not self funded seem to be forgotten a little.
Often, even on this site sometimes, discussions turn to how the economy is affecting self funded retirees. The low interest rates etc seem to be the main instigator in taking money from the hard earned resources of the self funded. I have heard some of these people saying how unfair it is to them, as they are losing from their super ect. Discussions are more often than not about the self funded retiree when the pensions mentioned.
I don’t, through no fault of mine, have enough super or anything else to help me through my older years, but I have to pay the same for a loaf of bread as anyone else. I pay a lot of my pension in rent. I don’t want the interest rates in particular to go up. This not only makes it hard for young or older to buy a home or live comfortably but it makes it hard for me and people like me also. If interest rates rise, then the owner of my home will put up the rent. If interest rates rise then the produce grower will charge more. If interest rates rise, then it affects us all none way or another. So when someone discusses how unfair it is for the self funded retiree, please give a thought for those of us not fortunate enough to have that little extra. Remember that whether you work or not, whether your life turned out pretty much as it should or not, whether your life is just starting or nearly over and no matter what sort of government assistance you are on, interest rates and any other factors affect all of us in one way or another. So please stop emphasising the woes of the self funded retiree and fight for all Australians.
Yes I am on a pension, yes there are lots I could still do, but gave up after my 800 something job application, but no I shouldn’t be made to feel inferior because circumstances took away my chance of not having to rely on the government. No I haven’t been lazy or just “expected” to be given a handout. Who in their right mind wants to live off the pittance the government keeps making us feel guilty for taking? Let’s not have disability, aged ourself funded retirees. Let’s just have Australians.
To write for Starts at 60 and potentially win a $20 voucher, send your articles to our Community Editor here.