In these increasingly divided times it’s important not to add fuel to fires which cast generation against generation when the real enemy is the system which should serve all citizens with respect and honour.
But since that’s not going to happen any time soon, let’s once again rage that Australia’s current pensions and superannuation systems are based on the needs of baby boomers and anyone not in their rather unique asset-heavy economic situation are going to spend our autumn years fighting one another over rat meat in a tarpaulin-covered ditch.
First the good news: if you’re a retiree right now then you are living the life of Riley – and Riley is doing better than any other generation in history.
A new Grattan Institute study concluded that most Australian retirees suffered barely any change to lifestyle upon retirement and that rates of superannuation are perfectly sufficient, despite the current scare tactics being employed by the super industry.
There’s a downside though. Quick question: do you own your own home? No? Then your outcome might be more rat-meaty.
This is due to something which is slowly dawning on our political leaders with varying degrees of horror: every retirement system in Australia pre-supposes that the retiree in question owns their own home. And that is increasingly not the case – and lifelong renters are going to find retirement very difficult, especially older single women.
“It’s clearly a problem. Home-ownership rates are falling very fast, particularly in those on lower incomes,” Grattan’s John Daley told Domain. “Our estimates are in that 35 years home-ownership rates among retirees will be about 57 per cent, and right now they’re 80 per cent for existing retirees.”
There are some suggestions how best to combat these effects: one is upping the rental assistance for pensioners. Another is to change the asset-assumed nature of the pension to better reflect the likely have/have-not split.
In the meantime: now’s a great time to stake out the culverts and railway bridges that might provide you shelter in your dotage.
And also stock up on rat meat while you can.