Retirement

Downsizing: Movers, planners, stayers

Downsizing is a major consideration for Australian homeowners when they enter retirement. The current study gathered data from the members of National Seniors Australia on their reasons for downsizing, and asked about some policy measures that may encourage them to downsize if they haven’t yet done so. Many homeowners wish to keep living in the family home in retirement. We asked this group of people what discourages them from considering downsizing.

Gap year for seniors

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt has floated the idea of seniors taking a ‘gap year’ in the lead-up to retirement.

He told the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday that there were more than six million Australians aged between 50 and 75 and many may want to transition to retirement through the seniors’ equivalent of the teenagers’ rite of passage ‘gap year’.

“This may involve part-time employment, changing careers, volunteer work or a combination of both,” Mr Wyatt said.

He said he was yet to consult cabinet on the issue.

A retirement age no longer exists

A retirement age does not exist. It is whenever you like and, most importantly, when you can afford it.

Putting yourself in a position to afford it can be difficult. The options are many, complex, and confusing. Age pensions should not be seen an income stream, and are subject to governmental changes and means tests. Plus, every investment and strategy comes with a risk.

“Potential retirees need to be armed with as much information as possible about how to fund their financial needs,” explains Basil La Brooy from the National Seniors Australia Financial Information Desk.

Home care system needs more work to prevent failure

The Federal Government’s consumer-directed home care program has a risk of failing, despite almost universal support for it among older people.

National Seniors’ Research Director Professor John McCallum said 98 per cent of its members believed choice of home care services was important, regardless of their age, with those living on the Age Pension most likely to say it was ‘extremely important’.

National laws needed as 5.5 million baby boomers retire

National Seniors will continue its campaign for national reform of the retirement village industry, following Queensland Government moves to toughen consumer protection for residents.

Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the Queensland Government was leading the way with its announcement last weekend that it would take urgent action to ensure fairness for seniors living in retirement villages and residential parks.

"Given that many of these retirement village companies operate nationally, we think it's only fair that people should have national laws," Mr Henschke said.

Seniors want consistent laws on retirement villages

National Seniors has repeated its long-standing calls for uniform legislation governing retirement villages to protect vulnerable seniors from exploitation.

Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said the Four Corners/Fairfax Media program on ABC TV on Monday night and other news reports had shown the sector was in dire need of a makeover to overcome piecemeal state laws that left older people locked into increasing fees and charges, including exit fees.

He said a simple, standard, fair, universal contract and a commissioner to oversee any complaints were clearly needed.

Financial squeeze can cancel out joys of retirement, study shows

A new study has found that retirement can be just as stressful as working in a lower-paying job.

The first study to measure stress levels before and after retirement, rather than asking people how they felt, took five saliva samples throughout the day from 1,143 high-, middle- and low-grade public servants working in London.

Most expect to work into retirement years

New research shows most Australians in paid employment expect to be working in some form well into their retirement.

A total of 61 per cent of workers surveyed believed their working life would continue into their retirement years.

Seventy per cent said they expected to draw a government pension in retirement.

Galaxy Research’s Ready to Retire Study, commissioned by News Corp Australia in partnership with Industry SuperFunds, found many workers were concerned about how much they would need in retirement savings to live stress-free.

One in two households set for comfortable retirement, report shows

Only one in two Australian households are expected to have enough money for a comfortable retirement, a new report shows.

The latest CommBank Retire Ready Index released this week shows that 53 per cent of households would have enough combined super, personal assets and the Age Pension.

But when the Age Pension was removed, the number of households able to afford a comfortable retirement dropped to 17 per cent, and to a meagre six per cent when based on superannuation only.

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