Do You Have Sympathy for Older People Who Are Broke?

Do you have any sympathy for older people say 60 plus who are financially insecure in other words broke?

I recently met a older couple in their late 60's living in a small caravan in a caravan park up on the NSW Central Coast, they are relatively fit and I don't know their circumstances but he was complaining he couldn't get food parcels sent to him like the younger people do in this lockdown and how they can't afford a car.

Doesn't look like they have any disability and I was going to ask if he had worked .

I gather they are around 67 because he said he recently changed over to the old age pension and gets rent supplement for the rent in the park

They complained about the noise and drunks in the park especially at night and drunks walking past, their van is situated on the low fence line where the public footpath is nearby so I did feel sorry for them to have to put up with that in this time of their life, they hate it where they live and waiting for a Department of Housing house

Putting these people aside what about others that age group who are broke, do you have any empathy or not? You must remember also superannuation only came in about 1990 /91 and the big recession in Australia 91-94 where over a million unemployed so everyone wasn't lucky along with in some cases 21% interest rates!

Take into account some people have had Monday to Friday basic wage jobs ..but…..looking at the other side still in the last 20 years times have been much much better with compulsory Super and high employment

Comments

  • -1

    Not a whole lot.. while others were making smarter decisions, some think life's a party. Aesop's Ant & the Grasshopper

    • +155

      Not a whole lot

      Depends entirely on circumstances. Divorce in middle aged and suddenly you're starting from nearly scratch. Tragedy, scammed out of their money, all sorts.

      Lose it all on gambling, drugs or a lavish lifestyle and yeah, no sympathy.

      • +31

        I know of a couple in 2000 who worked at Swissair for most of their time, he a pilot, she a flight attendant, in their 50ties, when the company went broke.
        Their shares invested in … guess what? Swissair. Their Super, guess where? Swissair, their salary coming from … Swissair.
        Yes not smart decision in regards to Shares. Super not much choice ….
        I think thy are still working now, he as a Taxi driver, she as a hair dresser at her apartment.

        • +11

          Yeah it is why my investment strategy is "never in my industry" and especially not the company I work for. I get shares every year from my company and sell them immediately and invest elsewhere. Not because I think my industry is bad and especially not because I think my company is a bad investment, BUT if my industry and or company go pear shaped I don't want to lose the lot.

          • @gromit: What if the other industries and companies you have shares in go broke? The risk is likely similar in a volatile and uncertain world.

            • +8

              @PCAviator: it is not similar at all, specific industries collapse or go through turmoil all the time. The point is to avoid all eggs in one basket, with my strategy if it happens in my industry or my company I lose my job BUT my investments are ok. If it happens in another industry (in my case it would have to be many industries) then I still have my job. If it happens in every industry then we are all screwed regardless anyway.

              The idea is to treat your job as part of your investment and hence when using a diversification strategy I can say I am already heavily invested in this industry therefore other investments need to be elsewhere.

        • wow…all eggs in one basket went wrong lol

        • +2

          My dad lost 50 grands in Swissair shares. But their pilots were very well looked after. Swissair bought Sabena from Belgium and LOT from Poland. Investing also blindly into duty free shops it was a case of them hiring McKinsey who in turn employed interns. Pay finance graduates crap well do not expect any better. Nowadays Lufthansa owns Swissair. Booking Europe on the Lufthansa website is expensive. However Swissair has to my surprise rock bottom fares. Definately worth checking out.

          • +29

            @payless69: I got sick of having 21 year olds coming in and telling me how to do my job from these consulting companies, if I wanted to hear what a 21 year old graduate had to say I'd drop down to the uni dorms and punch some cones

        • My respect to these people who still hold on and continue their life.

      • +10

        My grandparents lost about 90% of their savings in the gfc

        • +1

          How ? The "adjustment" was "only" about 40-50%, unless they were investing in derivatives.

        • true,i know who lost in flightcentre shares

          • @selfishnarcissistman: Just curious how they lost when the company is still going and hit over $50 after the GFC

            • @jacobb: perhaps margin call ?

              • +1

                @MITM: WTF mate, whose grandparents are out there betting their life savings on margin calls?

                • +1

                  @csimpson: Seems like people have money in investment management firms. Probably thinking people with properly diversified super are suckers! I mean.. Apart from the epic tax breaks.

          • @selfishnarcissistman: I know someone who lost a heap in FC as well, suddenly they wanted help because they hadn't saved anything from all those good times earning a $130k manager commish + ownership shares. Couldn't survive on two base wages of $80k yet 6 months later are doubling their mortgage again.

            We reward people for not living within their means so you can completely understand why they don't.

      • -37

        Im not even close to 50 and I got scam, they call it plandemic2020 …

        • +21

          Your future prospects look grim.

      • +19

        I know of a couple people like this.

        A butcher who was very successful (but by bloody working hard) lost his son.
        He had a number of shops and was working 80-120hours per week, all for his family.
        His world caved when his son died and he couldn't do the requisite hours (to compete with the Supermarkets).
        Turned to drink to cope, and spiralled. Lost everything.

        Another one are people who are alcoholics/addicts who binge drink/take drugs. Yes they can keep it together for 2 weeks, but its like a release valve and they blow up. Usually they have very deep trauma (constant childhood beatings, child rape, being prayed on by pedophile/s, etc). They can keep it together on the outside until their self sabotage behaviour occurs.
        Many times they get off the drink/drug but the self sabotage continues in their life.
        Many times they become desperate and people take advantage of them.

        Often their children blame them and feel deep seated resentfulness as they see other families help their children (young - just with emotional support/ older - help with first deposit, etc), this leads to cycle of poverty and addiction.

        Other times it can be an issue where someone has beaten cancer 2 or 3 times - but couldn't afford the time off work and lost house, wife, etc.

        Those who didn't have super, self employed older individuals are probably the worst off.

        I don't think people realise how close they are to having their world come crashing down tbh.
        Many times those who get off lightly do so because the tragedy didn't effect them early, but latter after their equity/cash 'reserves' had time to build up.

        Imagine opening a shop in a high traffic work area (with high rent) just before the Pandemic.
        Sure you could of had done the perfect planning and it could of been a great success initially… but then an uncontrollable event occurs.

        • +4

          Yeah you don't know what a persons circumstances are, it really goes to show that we shouldn't judge people too harshly without knowing the full story. And we rarely, if ever, know the full story.

        • Well this hit deep :(

    • -2

      some think life is a suicide party

    • +1

      At least they get old age pension. In asia, you're on the street.
      So I agree, your life is the sum of your decisions.

  • +99

    Op
    Do you really have sympathy for them?

    You know nothing about their lives and seem to have made a pretty big judgement call on people you don’t even know.

    Edit. Username check out

  • +77

    Doesnt look like they have any disability and i was going to ask if he had worked .

    Yikes

    Not all disability/impairment is physically obvious, cob .

    • +24

      Or the assumption that the only excuse for not being a rich boomer is a physical disability.

      Some people are just clueless.

      • -1

        Being clueless is either an education issue or a mental health issue.

  • +118

    You've erred twice:

    You created a generalisation based on your own life experience, you didn't exactly say it but the implication is there: "old people who are broke without disability deserve it".

    Then you've applied your generalisation to a single sample: "the older couple in the park".

    Finally I'll leave it with this: "i dont know their circumstances".

    You have no idea, I have no idea.

    At the end of the day money is a tool, value your happiness. If you aren't going to be nice, say nothing at all.

    Worse still it really feels like you are getting off on making a forum post about this struggling couple.

    EDIT: This is OPs post history in recent times.
    Gullible to Aggressive Sales Tactics - Now My Partner Is Telling Me to Sleep outside

    I have a new partner now ,she is a lovely filpino lady and we are both of mature age however she has been critisizing me on being gulliable i guess i have been gulliable /stupid especialy in the last few weeks i have been at home whilst she is working part time.

    Relative That Can't Manage Money Needs Grocery Budget of $40

    One of my relatives can't manage his money and is close walk to Woolworths, IGA, Aldi and Coles. He can shop at one or walk to any and mix if necessary

    Why This Look among Young Males?

    Im a old guy but see this "new " type of image everywhere on social media with younger guys particularly

    • +11

      Sounds like he is the relative who can’t budget because of his excitement of cheap coffee on another post

      Also astounded he thinks he can judge anyone

    • +12

      Gullible to Aggressive Sales Tactics - Now My Partner Is Telling Me to Sleep outside

      I reckon OP got the doghouse today.

      Next post from OP: in trouble with the missus, but I’m better than those caravan people…

    • +4

      This is Projecting 101

      • Soo this hits too close to home for OP.

    • -44

      you have too much time on your hands to sit there and copy all that out? omg thats creepy

      • +39

        You mean, creepy like making assumptions about people you don't know and sharing your thoughts about it on the internet with strangers on a site primarily designed for sharing bargains?

      • +1

        Who started the game?

  • +77

    This is a disgusting post.

    You cannot assume someone is/isn’t disabled just because they don’t seem it. Around 80-90% of people with disability have an invisible disability.

    It doesn’t matter why they may have financial issues.

    It literally has no impact on you - to judge someone for having financial issues is genuinely gross.

    • -13

      It literally has no impact on you

      Everyone on welfare increases the burden on taxpayers. That's where the resentment comes from.

      • +34

        That resentment was created by rich people who don't pay their fair share in tax, to distract you from that exact fact. Whilst self-described middle class battlers look down on people who are less well off, the rich continue to take your money. But do continue to whinge about how people on welfare are putting a dent in your pocket when you've already paid your tax and that money no longer belongs to you.

        • -3

          How much is a fair share of tax and who decides this? Some people think everyone should pay the same amount of tax, others for what each uses.

          But do continue to whinge about how people on welfare are putting a dent in your pocket when you've already paid your tax and that money no longer belongs to you.

          If the welfare bill (or any other spending) was lower the government could afford to eventually reduce taxes. Similarly if it increases, they will seek to increase taxes.

          • +9

            @Scrooge McDuck:

            How much is a fair share of tax and who decides this? Some people think everyone should pay the same amount of tax, others for what each uses.

            I think paying the same amount of tax is asinine - the tax code decides what is a fair share.

            If the welfare bill (or any other spending) was lower the government could afford to eventually reduce taxes. Similarly if it increases, they will seek to increase taxes.

            Do you truly believe that? We still have a whole bunch of taxes to protect an industry that no longer exists (hint: our car industry).

            The true mark of a society is how we treat our most vulnerable. The whole "f you I got mine" mentality that stems from hatred of anyone on social support etc is cancerous. Case in point, look at the Yank conservatives and their almost rabid obsession against socialised healthcare (among other things) - and as a result, their social support is abysmal. It is at par with a developing nation (if not worse at times).

            So, I'm more than happy to pay my share and have the mature social support structures that Australia has.

            • -1

              @ThadtheChad:

              The true mark of a society is how we treat our most vulnerable. The whole "f you I got mine" mentality that stems from hatred of anyone on social support etc is cancerous. Case in point, look at the Yank conservatives and their almost rabid obsession against socialised healthcare (among other things) - and as a result, their social support is abysmal. It is at par with a developing nation (if not worse at times).

              This is probably too logical for someone like @Scrooge McDuck - they only understand greed and selfishness.

            • +1

              @ThadtheChad: Given the good that the raise in social support did through the pandemic I'd gladly pay another 1% tax to make the raise permanent. The quality of life for so many people I know finally got to something other than battling day to day.

        • +3

          It's funny how battlers think if only there were 50% less people on welfare I'd pay 50% less tax! Joshy be sitting there saying "this ain't it".

      • +11

        Protect rich people's money? Good
        Provide people with the basic necessities to survive and not go hungry? Bad

        I bet you pay more as a percentage of your income than money millionaires/billionaires out there. Even if those people don't work, as long as they spend the money, thats already doing more good than giving it to the rich where it'll sit on some offshore bank account. Seriously though, what's the point of advancing humanity and coming up with so much technology if we have to still 40-50 hour weeks to feed ourselves.

        • +5

          It is disgusting that people go for second plates during parties where there is just enough for everyone to have food so that everyone gets some but it is somehow ok to encourage hoarding of investment properties, invite foreign buyers and jack up rents when there are many homeless and struggling economically.

      • what impact or burden do you feel paying taxes? you literally don't have to. it's a choice.

        • you literally don't have to. it's a choice.

          If you could convince the ATO of that I'd have tens of thousands of dollars for you each year.

      • -1

        Just so you know, taxes aren't used to fund welfare in a fiat currency economy like Australia. The government just destroys/deletes tax money you give them. They create new money when they spend on welfare. While it might seem like this is the same as taking literal tax dollars and handing them directly to welfare recipients it isn't. It's not accurate to say welfare creates a burden on tax payers when there is no direct connection and many other factors influence the complex system that is our economy.

  • +19

    It must make you feel good about yourself.

    Strive to be better, rather than putting others down.

    Username checks out.

  • +10

    Sympathy costs you nothing

    Regardless of how they got to where they are, it costs nothing to be sympathetic

    You can call them stupid/careless, at the end of the day. What does that get you.

    • +1

      Sympathy is actually an emotional toll on yourself.

      People that do it too much actually mentally/emotionally suffer from it.

  • +4

    So OP, did you help them out, or just look down on them as you passed by?

    • +1

      Neither. OP was busy typing up a forum post.

      • "sir repeat that last bit of your story, I'm just putting it up on ozb to judge you".

  • +7

    Username checks out LOL.

  • +2

    Depends.

    If it's someone who is like 5th generation Australian with no discernable disadvantages, then yes little sympathy, however if it's someone who for no fault of their own (bank/mutual collapse/accident) then I totally understand.

  • +21

    life doesn't always go as planned

    • -5

      Sure, but if you work really hard, continually upskill and make yourself useful, you guard against tragedy and have options when things fall apart.

      If they've grown up in the most prosperous era of Australia and have little to show for it after 60ish years, I'd certainly be interested to learn how that happened.

      • +15

        Next time I see somebody scrubbing the toilets at Westfield I'll let them know they just have to leave their kids at home and go to uni or TAFE at night so they can continually upskill - simples.

        What's that? English isn't great, can't get into uni because foreign quals not recognised? Sounds like a weak excuse.

        Wait, there's something else? Crippling depression? Autism? Dyslexia? Trauma? Like, Skeletor said you just need options, man. I'm sure there are heaps.

        Or maybe just scrub toilets harder and one day you can make yourself useful someplace nicer, like a casino. Ima remember you when I'm there sipping a cocktail and thinking about whether to swap my office job with an underground car park for one that has aboveground parking slightly further away, but also lets me work from home three days a week. How good is the meritocracy?

        • +1

          Or maybe just scrub toilets harder

          I laughed at this bit.

          Imagine if someone said that to a toilet cleaner as a means of escaping their job for a better one. And actually thinking they were right.

      • +3

        Sure, but if you work really hard, continually upskill and make yourself useful

        Your boss can buy another Merc.

  • +1

    Probably the norm to continue working till you die in the future. Humans are living longer and inflation is getting worse each day. Gone are the days where you can have a comfortable retirement just by saving up. Investments need to at least beat the rate of inflation.

    • +2

      Probably the norm to continue working till you die in the future.

      Superannuation was only implemented in 1992, and to stop this exact issue

      • +1

        I guess though its not enough especially with the cost of living nowadays

        • Not enough for the older generation, but might just be enough for the current generation

          • +7

            @YeemaiI: To be fair, the older generation could afford a 4 bedroom house selling shoes door to door.

            Current/future gens have to pay for the older generations pension and health care and their own.

      • Problem is that if everyone has it, inflation/prices adjust for this.

  • +2

    You just don't know what is going on. Appearances can be deceiving.

    Even with compulsory super at 10% the average salary of say $60k with annual return of 6% (don't forget returns will be less because government gets their 15% cut at the beginning and 15% of your returns) after 30 years you'd only have like $500k.

    • 100% right ,its not enough to last the average 30 years left in retirement.

  • -2

    Life is full of forks. Take the wrong one? Not a problem. Just go back and walk down the other one.

    There is always an opportunity around the next corner. What people do when they see it is what matters. Will they walk pass it or will they take it.

  • +7

    Lol… so it’s old people this week? Got a heads up on what demographic you are going to target next week?

    • +3

      “OzBaRgAiNeRs WhO dOn’T uNdErStAnD mE” ?

  • +1

    Username doesn't check out.

    SuperNintendoChalmers has a good point.

    My parents migrated to Australia in the 80s and managed to raise us and buy a house and build up some savings for retirement. So little sympathy unless there's something tragic or health related. Sometimes people are in bad spots because they make bad decisions.

    • +2

      Largely agree with "little sympathy unless…." - to which I'll add …ruined themselves supporting no hoper (or no get up and go) kids.

      But honestly how would you know?

    • My parents migrated to Australia in the 80s and managed to raise us and buy a house and build up some savings for retirement

      was very doable in the 80's and 90's

    • +3

      My parents arrived in the 90s and did the same while barely speaking much English. They sacrificed a lot though.
      But it does make you wonder how some people in their 50-60s still don't own a home yet.

      • +1

        They sacrificed a lot though.

        That might be it. Dunno about you but we barely went on holidays.

    • +1

      The immigrant story is a good one. I see it used a lot, the central premise being if a new player to the game can win, that anyone can.

      What's missing is that the people who immigrate are not selected at random.They tend be the more intelligent, driven, adventurous, and durable people of the population they left. That should be self evident, because it's very hard to leave the area you grew up in and are comfortable with. It has to get very, very bad before the average person is willing to leave and take a risk with the unknown.

      However you see them, it is quite unlikely your parents are ordinary people.

      • Thanks, it says a lot about them. But to me they have been incredibly had working in very limited professions. Coming from rural villages in Asia means that education was extremely limited and a lot of hard sacrifices and hard work was put in.

    • because they did ok that means its possible for everyone xD

  • +12

    My wife's grandparents were kinda like this.
    Worked their whole lives. Never owned a house of their own. Died with only an old car and a tiny amount of savings.
    They just assumed the government pension would look after them in their old age.
    Do I have sympathy for that? No, why would I? They got exactly what they wanted.
    They put nothing aside, decided to rely on the pension, and did so.

    • What did they spend on ,unless they gave to their kids .
      you have to remember too usually in those days only the man worked

    • Depending on lifestyle, for some people it can actually provide what they want.

      Take my dad for instance - blew his money when young so now he is a pensioner, he leads a very simple lifestyle and only spends around half his pension. That said whilst he doesn't own a house he also gets free rent.

      It's a pity he blew his money and I'd not follow his example, but his situation does suggest that saving a lot of money for retirement isn't always personally beneficial - because when you're old you may change and wont necessarily care about expensive things. And you can't take a big bag of money to the grave.

      • That said whilst he doesn't own a house he also gets free rent

        from whom?

        • A long term friend.

      • Depending on lifestyle, for some people it can actually provide what they want

        he also gets free rent

        So lifestyle actually has nothing to do with it. If he didn't have such a generous mate he'd be spending 60-80% of his welfare on housing like the rest of pensioners with no assets.

        He is just very lucky.

        • He is lucky but it's not necessary for pensioners to spend 60-80% if they are willing to move to an affordable regional city, take the below rental at $200 a week. They also get rent assistance. With rent assistance it would take about 36% of a single pensioners weekly income of $554 to fund a $200/week rental - so would be doable for my dad while maintaining current spending level. Mainly comes down to lifestyle.

          2/45 Otway Street South, Ballarat East, Vic 3350 https://www.realestate.com.au/property-unit-vic-ballarat+eas...

          A key reason why a lot of pensioners do badly is they don't want to move to an affordable area.