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


        • Good work. Like you said, keep on that track and you will be wealthy in time by default.

          The problem with young people today (grandpa Simpson mode enabled) is that they want all the toys and gadgets at the expense of savings or investment for the future, right now.

          I've also noticed at the same time, said young people, are purchasing all these luxuries on debt or hedging their bets and using what little surplus cash they have 'investing' in crypto (it's not investing, it's a crapshoot with unknown LT value at present) in the hopes of getting rich quick to sustain a lifestyle their income cannot sustain.

          • +1

            @afah0447: I drive around and see the sheer amount of suvs and 4wds minimum cost 50k with many costing 80-100-120+k its insane. And some households have 2 not just 1. And they wonder why they are in the position they are in.

  • It would great if someone posted some actual research on the matter, I'm sure it's out there. Either some people clearly understand that life deals a different hand to most of us and the cards may not always fall the way you hoped, wanted wished they could. I'm sure there are plenty who made poor life choices and just as many who didn't but they ended up with two cents at retirement age.
    Lots of uniformed dumb comments like: "It takes 100 bucks a week/month depending on the time frame max from age 18 to 65 to build a multi millionaire portfolio. I feel sorry for the ones that had illness hit them hard or something they couldn't control. But thats a very small percent of people"
    How on earth would this person know the %. They don't so it's a stupid uniformed comment probably based on anecdotal evidence, if that.
    The pension was meant to be a safety net for those that could no longer work due to their age. Yes it's becoming unafordable and hopefully super ( which by the way ) only began in 1992 and then at only 3% hasn't been around long enough to help everyone, will save the federal budget. And there are industries like hospitality where it's often not paid.
    And it's a little ironic that a site that leads to thousands and thousands of purchases of items that are not needed but are cheap ( BTW , I'm in that category ) has some commenters telling old folk that their virtually penniless due to bad life choices.

  • LOL 😷

  • +3

    What’s with the change of post? Butthurt or??

  • +1

    Is there a background to this post? Seems like random gibberish.

    • Wait, looks like this guy changed the title of the post for a while. It's back to its old title.

  • +1

    I am close to that age group.. soon to retire ..
    In my case I have a reasonable super balance, > 1,000,000 and I own my own home .. so I should do ok

    To get that I have saved all my live and been careful… I have never traveled overseas (Except when work paid) nor even had an expensive holiday in Australia and I have always been careful on spending money on stuff like cars etc..

    But I have been lucky .. and I have had to make other sacrifices to keep my job which have cost me personally … Other friends did not make the sacrifices I made and wound up loosing houses and families when their jobs were sent overseas or they were replaced by foreign workers on 457 visas like what happened to me. (No.. there are not a wide spread skills shortage in many industries in Australia)

    I even know of a few who committed suicide because of it

    So easily other things like job loss etc could have destroyed it all for me .. so I understand how some people can wind up in the situation of no money in retirement though no fault of their own,.

    Yes there are people who have made bad decisions in their life that resulted in that situation .. but there are many who did not .. so you cannot generalise and need to look at each case individually ..

    • +1

      when do you plan on enjoying life? cant take it all with ya

  • You think it's bad now…
    Wait until the next generation are still paying mortgages well into retirement.

    The current wage growth and increasing inflation will be a killer. Then combine that with all time low interest rates, and property prices 5+ times annual salaries on mortgages over 30 years.

    • ye but dont worry the rich people will be even richer and even greedier in the next generation

  • +2

    I have sympathy for anyone in pain. Because sympathy is free and entirely useless without material backing or physical assistance. Why bother conserving it?

  • +2

    Such a relief seeing empathetic and understanding comments here.

  • -1

    If they lived everyday like it's the last their entire lives, i don't feel sorry for them. If their situation is caused by something out of their control, yes. That being said, anyone living paycheck to paycheck right now, be careful.

  • -1

    Unfortunately I cannot as I am first generation Aussie which means my parents and uncles /aunties came here owning only a suitcase and knowing no English. If they made it, an Australian born boomer has no excuse.

  • +2

    Actually, after a split from the wife years ago I lost almost anything. I moved to Sydney but the property prices were stupid so I rented, so when I got working I purchased an investment home 60kms outside Brisbane on a 95% loan. As I got older, in my 50s, left Sydney and moved to Qld.
    I've worked all my life, I've moved where I need to and now live in my ex investment house, which is now paid off. Do I have any sympathy for people who don't own their house and live in caravans - No. They could have done what I have and they didn't, either because of laziness or excuses or "investing" in get rich quick schemes.
    They made their bed now they can lay in it.

  • I think we'd need a bit more info on this. Did they suffer some personal tragedy that put them in that situation? I'd feel sympathy for anyone that has suffered a tragedy.

    Are they complaining about their lifestyle? Well that's a different story.

    The people you mention are getting by just fine, living within their means. Their complaints are complaints anyone could have about any situation they are in. I'm sure there's some rich people in Bondi with 5 investment properties complaining about drunks and having to pay so much tax compared to young people (low income earners).

    People complain all the time. Weather it's justified or not.

  • This thread is full of a lack of understanding of the inequalities that exist in the world. This isn't a condemnation but perhaps a suggestion maybe to look inwards and ask yourself why the judgment? Self-righteousness isn't a good colour on anyone. More importantly, leave people to live the way they want, once you realise comparison is pointless because you don't understand what is going on in someone else's life, maybe you'd become a little more understanding.

  • Kinda lucky they’re not homeless (maybe they technically are, depending on the definition of a home). A former prime minister once remarked, in his later years, that you’re not supposed to “live” on a pension — it’s an anti-destitution measure. So survival can be pretty bleak, depending on your mindset.

    Always makes me laugh (as a closet economist) when I hear someone on the pension say they paid their taxes! There ain’t a government savings account with your name on it… that money is spent! Long ago! When is a government ever out of perpetual debt these days? So any pension money one gets is not owed!

    But we could do with a lot more modest… and I mean modest… social housing. Nobody in a rich country should have to go homeless. That’s the real shame on any government and society.

  • No

  • I do feel some sympathy, but some questions too. My parents are slightly older (just turned 70). They were massively screwed by the 90's recession (our whole family moved to Australia as my dad got a job here, my dad got made redundant and couldn't find a job, had to sell their overseas investment property at a cut priced amount). Remember, house prices were still ridiculously cheap after that. My parents worked hard to build themselves back up after that period in history.

    Don't get me wrong, there's still a lot of individual circumstances and our first instinct should be understanding rather than judgement (it's quite evident that a high percentage of OzBargainers have some level of Asperger's which is shown by their lack of empathy). There's still a lot I don't know in this story, but through my family, I've always been raised to be financially conservative and to save for a rainy day (I must be fair here and admit that not everyone has received the same level of teaching).

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