We are on Facebook daily- https://www.facebook.com/BonzaBabyboomersOfNewZealandAndAustralia
OK Boomers ….. we have some good news for you. The federal government is keen for us to keep working (for those who want to or must) as there is a skill and taxes shortage due to our large numbers retiring each week. So how do you do that?
Introducing Self Propelled- Moving Forward in Life written by Brian Murphy and just released by Aurora House Publishing.
This book is your ‘little Boomer book’, full of ‘ok boomer’ advice that the young gens love us for. It will assist you identify what is missing from your true self and teach you skills on how to re-invent yourself and move forward to where you want to be.
My aim in writing the book was to provide people with an easy to follow process to change their minds about life, especially my generation as we age but for all generations, as it outlines the skills needed to self-evaluate then identifying missing links in our skills and then how to learn those skills to move on with an individual plan for social and economic participation in society.
It focuses on self-image (man in the mirror) and replacement on what is missing in our makeup by teaching us relevant life skills that we may have not learnt or to remind us of practices we need to follow to deal with the modern world but have forgotten due to our busy daily.
(Murphy is a life educator, career expo presenter, personal adviser and seminar organiser who has worked extensively with mature age. He has written this book to enhance your lives so you can all live a BONZA life.)
Copies online at Amazon or Booktopia and good bookstores.
A Doctor’s Review of Self Propelled
‘I read your book and it has changed my life. It is very relevant to seniors and made me re-think my life and how I want to live it. I now only work a shorter week to balance my life. It has the same message the government has but explains it in a way people can easily understand. I would highly recommend it.” Dr. Andrew Haynes Mudgeeraba
On-line Book Club Review:
Self-Propelled - Moving Forward in Life is a book about the Boomer generation and is meant for the Boomers, though there are many passages that can be applicable to the younger generations as well.
The Baby Boomers consist of the generation preceding Generation X and can be defined as individuals born post-war in the 1940's. It is a self-help book that helps the older generation navigate their way through the new era of technology.
The author, Brian Murphy, has a website called BONZA (Baby Boomers of New Zealand and Australia) which exclusively deals with his research regarding ageing in Australia. In his research, he tackles ageism, inadequate superannuation, mature-age policies and other issues that concern the Boomers.
He urges Boomers to think of their post-retirement lives and start planning accordingly. The book also delves into the concept of self-actualisation, and how to attain this state through simple steps. It includes the three personality types and the four life positions.
One of the main themes of the book focuses on an individual’s ability to adapt to change. Due to the vast changes that have taken place with the advent of technology, Boomers have recently found themselves pushed to the side-lines. They also face the harsh criticism of the younger generation, referring to the ‘OK BOOMER’ trend on the internet. With all these factors in mind, the author gives the Boomers many steps in which they can easily adapt to their surroundings and thrive.
The author gives the readers many ideas on how to continue working after retirement and the many ways they can save for the future. This is a growing need in the current scenario as the government may not be able to support all the retired individuals due to their increasing numbers.
One of the aspects I liked in the book was the idea of drawing your life’s timeline to consider how much time you have left and what you can make of it. This is applicable to all generations. The book motivates you to become your best self and age with grace. The last chapter of the book is solely dedicated to listing out the various jobs retired individuals can consider and also mentions some personal qualities they can cultivate to be better at their jobs.
I rate the book four out of four stars. The book is professionally edited and well formatted. Additionally, the art on the cover page is very apt and perfectly sums up what the book stands for. I also find the insertion of various motivational quotes inspiring. It contains no profanity or erotic content. This book will be suitable for the Boomer generation, but it can be enjoyed by any adult as it contains a universal appeal.
What is BONZA? (Baby Boomers of NZ & Australia)
BONZA is an information site or lifestyle magazine for Baby Boomers.
We want all Boomers to plan for their future and support each other.
More than 20 000 thousand Australian Boomers retire each month now (around 240 000 per year) so welcome to Ageing Australia.
What can we do for ourselves if we are a Boomer to prepare for life after work?
This site will give you the information you need to change your life.
" Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”- Theodore Roosevelt 1910
BONZA REPORT 2021- CLICK HERE
IS it ever too late to learn?
Apparently not as I have been asked to share with you by a young gen, the stories of those who started their dream later in life.
Here is the first of many stories, this one about of a 57 year old who decided to become a racing driver.
My thanks to Blaire Aramenko for her energy and drive-Ed
I just wanted to let you know that Episode 1 of the At Any Age video series is now live!
You said you wanted to share on your platform -- thank you so much again for your support!
Quick refresher: At Any Age follows inspirational men and women who are challenging themselves with activities normally reserved for younger folks. Episode 1 follows Dean Neuls as he competes in the Porsche GT3 Car Racing series against men half his age!
You can watch episode 1 here >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU0NzJfQLyg
Here are a few visuals you’re welcome to share too >> https://drive.google.com/…/1_EiXcNK2K9zNcncUjAVerMvYMDtgHV3…
Again, this is free content - just share it if you feel your followers will enjoy it. Let me know if you have any questions!
Social Media | AlgaeCal
Guide for developing a Mature Age Policy(MAP)
Want to end Ageism in the workplace? BONZA has developed, with the assistance of government, community, and private sector personnel, a process to create a Mature Age Policy (MAP) in your workplace that reflects your needs and wants for Over 50 workers. Can you share this with your employer please so we can eradicate Ageism?
A Guide to developing a Mature Age Policy
Afghanistan is this century’s Vietnam war
I can’t help but draw comparisons between the Afghanistan and Vietnam Wars in that we have involved ourselves in civil war again and took sides because of our alliance with the USA.
I am no expert in diplomacy and realize that we must show some commitment to the US power as they are the big brother to us, and we have needed them before when enemies attacked in WW2. But they attacked our country, and they came to the rescue, and we will forever be grateful to them.
I was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War and was not conscripted because of my beliefs but I did say to the magistrate on being charged with not accepting my conscription that I would have a completely different view of the idea of serving if another country was attacking us.
We all know what happened in the Vietnam War and its humiliating end and how bravely all the troops fought but one side won the war, and we were not on that side. Not that it matters. Today the Vietnamese people live a splendid life and are united because they eventually let their policies develop the nation and we finally treat our Vietnam vets as the true heroes they are.
Afghanistan is no different from our involvement with Vietnam. Two sides with different policies in a civil war and once again it appears, we are on the wrong side. Our troops have now fought in this tragedy of a country for some time in what has been a historical saga of other countries interfering in their societal beliefs and culture without success.
I don’t have to like it but it’s fact that only they will eventually sort it out in my opinion. You can’t defeat ideology; only hope they change it in time.
Now our soldiers who have had a reputation of being some of the world’s finest, are being dragged through the courts and accused of all sorts of atrocities (somewhat like the Vietnam scenario with worldwide distribution of children burning after napalm was dropped on their village by the Yanks- who could forget those photos) and now we have our servicemen (even if only in such small numbers) being shown in photos apparently shooting innocent civilians and not even in war zones.
I will not pass judgment on any of them as they deserve their time in court but I question our reason for being in this God-forsaken country and having to send them back there for so many rotations and believing it will not affect them in some way. Let's get the hell out of there.
One thing I am convinced of after COVID is that I have changed my mind about travel.
I am not saying I would never go but I would hesitate before the trip for 26 plus hours on a plane to see other parts of the world when there are so many places to see close to home.
Five hours to Perth or Broome, four to Darwin, three to Adelaide, two to Melbourne, and less to Sydney, Cairns or Ularoo seems much more manageable to me.
Let's face it, all those hours on a plane and then the tour in OS places is physically and mentally exhausting, to say the least.
Os to me is now Norfolk or Lord Howe Island, NZ, Fiji, or Bali. Maybe Singapore at a pinch but travel has changed for me and I look at this couple who have just travelled Qld and I say good on you guys and you loved it and had a HOLIDAY.
Reflections on Reaching 70
Last year I asked my old classmates who turned 70 a year earlier than me to write down their thoughts on what turning 70 ( stage 3 in the ageing process) meant to them.
My parents lied about my birthdate when they enrolled me at primary school, and I spent the next 15 years with a lack of social maturity and accompanying school problems due to the age difference to my peers I believe.
It’s my turn this year and my tee-shirt gift (see photo) on the occasion from fellow BONZA advocate Rob Sutherland sums it up in a humorous way. I particularly like the picture of cars at the beach because we loved our surfing stage of life and lived out of those vans.
I wrote down my memories of my boomer upbringing in my book A BONZA Life and I would think that we will be the luckiest, happiest, and most protected generation in history. COVID only strengthens that belief when you consider how the world is changing with travel and lifestyle restrictions as an example for today’s younger generations, and how we were protected from the ravages of war.
In my youth, few reached this age, so I looked at it with doom and gloom as I grew older and nearer and now, I am here.
On reflection though, I am grateful to be born a Boomer and have no regrets.
Mistakes were mostly genuinely ill-informed decisions with appropriate consequences. I wagged school a bit and didn’t study so bad results and lost opportunities. I took some drugs as a teenager without being aware of the outcomes for long-term use but was blessed with enough common sense, as it was before drug education, to leave that behind before I was 20.
I proposed to my girlfriend at 23 because it was expected or the thing to do but realise today that our children have a better process of seeing and doing things before they make a commitment to another person for life. My ex-wife admitted that we married too young at our divorce.
Our teen years were full of liberation from the confines of walls our parent’s generation built to protect us from the world conflicts that had scarred their lives. We wanted changes though and we made it happen and technology enabled us to be united in our thinking as we witnessed world events on television.
I was bashed by police during a Vietnam demonstration ( I am a conscientious objector who fronted court after I was called up in the lottery conscription) but probably deserved it after mouthing off to police who were present. What made it worse for me was that I was a Police Cadet at the time, but you can read about that in the book. I was expelled from school for drinking during lunchtime and going back into a class drunk. The list goes on, but it was all part of my lack of emotional intelligence and so I made a decision to turn my life around and by the time I was 30 I had a family, a degree from Queensland University and a teaching career so I am also grateful for our access to a free education our generation received because I wasted my time in the school system and it gave me a second chance.
I loved my parenting years and put in 100% but still lost my family when they were in their teens because my wife found someone else so maybe I wasn’t such a good husband, but I tried to negotiate to the last moment up to the divorce. I had to move on, and I did and found the love of my life and happiness although I missed those important bonding years of my two daughter’s teens. Interestingly, even though my wife left me, my daughters have a sense of abandonment now from my departure, which is sad.
I had 50 jobs or more in my working life, with about 4 career jobs but when studying, saving for a house deposit and looking for extra cash in my married life, most were part-time ones. Jobs were plentiful for Boomers is my point.
The first stage of ageing for me came in my 50s when I became the brunt of ageist comments, but I never lost that Baby Boomer enthusiasm and stayed positive as Maslow describes as self-actualised. My second book Self-Propelled covers this term and what it means for each of us to be able to move forward in life no matter what happens. Have a read if you are stuck or in a grind.
The second stage of ageing came in my 60s and the focus was on superannuation. How grateful I am to Paul Keating’s government for introducing it to all in 1991. It has been our saviour and the reason that 70 does not mean gloom and doom for Boomers as we are mostly financially independent because of it, especially those who knew how important it was to contribute extra to it in those last years of work.
So here I am 70 and planning trips around Australia and NZ, having all the time in the world to myself, contributing through BONZA and community projects of my choosing, enjoying my family and friends of old and new, practising a healthy lifestyle, and looking forward to a decade of fun and adventure before the body starts to inevitably slow down in my 80s. What a wonderful life it is, and as many of you would agree, being part of history’s luckiest generation. -Brian Murphy-Editor
Story time. Most of us had a group of friends back when we were teenagers who we hung out with. Mine are in this original photo taken in a flat at Auchenflower in Brisbane when we were celebrating a 21st birthday. Great bunch of guys.
My mate Keith Blake is on the left hand side standing with a black beard and Rob Sutherland is in the front on the right and that's me beside him. We are still mates over 50 years after.
Keith is now the resident advocate and creative director of this site (we have fun labelling ourselves) and Rob is the short story writer and fellow creative director who is responsible for that intrepid PI Leo Budge in his stories with a twist.
I wrote a book about our lives A BONZA Life so you can find out more about them there but Keith used to win competitions back in the day for his sketches. He sent me this as a memento of that time and a replica of that photo with his creative input as he did back in the day.
Hope it brings back many memories for you all boomers and is appreciated for the era and the fun we all had.
Title: A BONZA LIFE
Author: Brian Murphy
Publisher: Aurora House
The ‘baby boom’ of the mid-twentieth century was the catalyst for dramatic change. Changes to tradition, government, societal expectations, war and peace, education, the arts, sciences and culture would conquer the world over the next 50 years.
Brian Murphy lived an average Boomer life in Brisbane, Australia, with his stay-at-home mum, his returned WW2 soldier dad, and his five siblings. Life was simple back then, with few pressures. But as Brian grew older, he craved exploring the world outside, and eventually ventured out into the unknown with his Boomer friends.
This was a period of history that arguably allowed Boomers the opportunity to achieve more as a group than any previous generation.
A period of stability, general world peace, free education, liberal thinking, and individual achievement.
So how did the average Baby Boomer cope in this changing world? How did it affect their everyday lives? What hurdles did they have to overcome?
Baby Boomer advocate, Brian Murphy, answers these questions and shines a light on the lives of the Boomer generation in his debut novel A BONZA LIFE. This book is his life story and shows how he adapted to a changed world and how he became involved in improving the working lives of fellow Baby Boomers.
A BONZA LIFE is an educational and inspiring read for anyone looking to learn more about the Boomer generation and how they’ve adjusted to this changing world.
Get your copy now from either Amazon or Booktopia.
or if you read this send me your address on contact and I will post you a free book.
Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
A Bonza Life is a work of non-fiction written in the format of an autobiography by author Brian Murphy. As the title suggests, there is a strong influence of Australian culture on the life of the author, but the book also seeks to define and explore the Boomer phenomenon of the mid-twentieth century and what it really meant to grow up in such turbulent and changing times. Murphy recounts his life from early childhood influences in Brisbane out into a much wider exploration of the world alongside the backdrop of changes to global politics, perspectives and cultural shifts along the way.
Both educational and heartfelt, author Brian Murphy lets his readership into a touching perspective on the Boomer generation and the magnitude of what this new generation has experienced in terms of the shift in human history. I really enjoyed the cultural intelligence and awareness of the author as he draws his parallels between his own life experiences and the achievements of the
generation as a whole as a result of their adaptability and a new perspective on life after the Second World War. The Australian-isms of the piece also give it a unique and intimate narrative feel that stops the work from ever becoming clinical or textbook-like, and Murphy’s warmth exudes from every page as our trusted guide through his past. Overall, A Bonza Life provides exactly what it
promises as an education on the Boomer experience, but is also a heartfelt and highly engaging true-life story.
You found us! Now you are here, stay a while..
Are you a Baby Boomer in Australia or New Zealand?
Are you researching the Baby Boomers?
What is a baby boomer?
The post-World War II generation known as Baby Boomers is a multi-national birth cohort totaling roughly 88 million, within the populations of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States (I call this group of four the CANZUS nations).
The birth years of this generation vary slightly among the four nations, so the definitions of Baby Boomers I have used in my studies are as follows: born in the United States, between 1946 and 1964 (75 million); born in Canada, between 1946 and 1966 (8 million); born in Australia, between 1945 and 1963 (4 million); and born
in New Zealand, between 1945 and 1963 (1 million)- Dr Thomas E Muller
Australia's numbers have increased to over 5 million through immigration.
I am sure we have all experienced a WANNABE moment in our lives whether in a career sense or our hopes about nurturing our nature. My latest book was written for children and reviewed by Goodreads-
Pud: The Wannabe Cat by Brian Murphy is the true story of a lost cat. Brian’s cat Pud used to enjoy spending time with his family, Sue, Ben, and his special playmate, Theo. When Pud accidentally fell asleep in the gardener’s trailer, he ended up lost in a strange neighborhood for two weeks. While trying to find his way home, Pud encountered a ferocious dog, a greedy fox, a frilly-necked lizard, an enormous eagle, and a friendly wombat. He also ended up getting soaking wet and ice cold. Pud was tired, hungry, and scared of all these new creatures he had never met before. Pud could only hope that he would finally get back to his loving family and warm home before using up his nine lives.
Pud: The Wannabe Cat is a delightful story from the imagination of author Brian Murphy. When Brian’s cat disappeared, the family was devastated and did everything they could to find out what happened to Pud. The cat did eventually return home, much to the delight of his owners, and Brian created this story as a tribute to Pud, imagining what the cat must have endured during his time away from home. I’m sure many readers have suffered a similar experience and can relate to Brian’s story. He has taken a traumatic event and used it to create this wonderful story including some hilarious cat humor.
Pud: The Wannabe Cat is beautifully illustrated and includes a photo of the wannabe cat. Any child would love to read this charming story.
Time to talk to your families about dying Boomers if you already haven't. This research will assist the conversation in my opinion.
Ageing Australia is an exciting period for Baby Boomers but what happens when your time is up?
We dodged a bullet with COVID in our nation as effective leadership on all fronts meant that we did not match the horrendous death rate of our generation as in other countries and for that, I am humbled and gracious. But we are still ageing and the age care industry reaction to COVID has outlined that they had no plans for emergencies and nor did they have the resources to cope with it.
There will be 7 million Australians over 65 in 2055 the Bureau of Statistics tells us out of a projected population of 40 million so around 18% older Aussies. How will we cope as there is no game plan in history so maybe we have to make individual choices?
The Aged Care Commission will bring changes such as these:
New quality indicators to be introduced in 2021
Residential aged care services must submit quality indicator information every three months through the My Aged Care website, as part of the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program).
On 1 October 2020, the Commission became responsible for key activities around the QI Program including education and communication for providers, consumer information and managing non-compliance by providers who do not submit data.
From 1 July 2021, new and updated quality indicators will be included in the program, following an extensive trial overseen by the Department of Health to test their relevance, appropriateness, and feasibility.
Alongside the updated quality indicators of pressure injuries, use of physical restraint, and unplanned weight loss, the two new indicators are falls and major injury, and medication management.
The new and updated indicators use the most up-to-date evidence, are easier to collect and, importantly, are reported more simply as the percentage of care recipients affected. A principal objective of the indicators is to enable providers to measure and monitor their performance and support continuous quality improvement. Over time, it is expected that the indicators will also be used to help develop national benchmarks in the specified areas of care.
The issue we all need to face in this rapidly changing world is our death. I have an opinion on this as I do not want to be a dribbling mess in a hospital bed at the end of my life surrounded by a loving family who suffer more than I do because they cannot control the situation. This article will explain the dying process and will assist those who have never faced death.
But what if we don’t know when we will die? We have options here Boomers and not all of you will agree with me, but you need to take some control now of how you will die.
My doctor, who works in Age Care, tells me that the government spends more on our health issues in the last year of life than they do for the rest of our lives. He is frustrated by age care facilities that are instructed not to send dying aged patients to the hospital to prolong their lives when he has asked them not to do so and yet they ring an ambulance.
It gets worse at the hospital because a well-meaning family can’t make a decision for their loved ones in such an emotionally charged situation and therefore, we are kept alive or at least breathing for longer because machines cannot be turned off.
Doctors can act but we should not leave it to them in my opinion although my father planned with his GP to administer morphine when he indicated his life was over with leukemia.
The Australian Medical Association, the peak body for registered doctors, currently does not support medically assisted suicide (End of Life Care policy). In language which leaves the reader stuck between the lines, the association states, after defining euthanasia in its voluntary and involuntary forms:
"The AMA believes however that if a medical practitioner acts in accordance with good medical practice, the following forms of management at the end of life do not constitute euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide:
• not initiating life-prolonging measures;
• not continuing life-prolonging measures;
• the administration of treatment or other action intended to relieve symptoms which may have secondary consequences of hastening death".
If we all have access to euthanasia in the next few years, then there is your first option. If not, then you need to have a conversation with family and sign a legal proxy for someone to decide based on your wishes when the time comes. It can also be noted on a health care plan through your doctor.
My research has found this excellent site where all your questions will be answered before you decide. It is not for everyone Boomers but don’t end up the dribbling mess in a hospital bed if you can do something about it.
And finally, your last option- Exit International.
Great resource for those who are dying or wonder how they will die
How will I die? Many of us have asked that question of ourselves and my partner hates the subject yet I am a realist. We have to talk about it. I received a message last night from and old work colleague and she has started a new business. Kel Louise is one of the most caring people I have every met and she is genuinely interested in people.
I worked with her in Community Services as her manager and colleague and she was a stand-out. Contact her if you want to talk as we all have to face the subject and as we care for an elderly family member at the moment then it is very real to us.
I've been reading a lot from Stephen Jenkinson. 'Die Wise' and 'Griefwalker' documentary. His work is thought provoking.
It is an area no ones wants to talk about and yet we all will go through the process. We prepare for everything else in our lives, birth, work, marriage, family, retirement but not actually dying.
I've just started a webpage
Very early days but I'm hooked.- Kel"
A message from the Director of the Office for Seniors in NZ thanking BONZA for our submission. The document Better Later Life is a real beauty. They have a great plan now for NZ SuperSeniors. Hope OZ can do the same soon. -Ed Brian Murphy www.bonza.com.au
Thank you very much for your feedback on our draft strategy Better later Life: He Oranga Kaumātua 2019 to 2034.
We had a great response, receiving a total of 230 written submissions, many of which were on behalf of organisations and community groups. The feedback was incredibly useful with a wide range of responses from around the country.
We have prepared a summary of the submissions which is now available on the SuperSeniors website.
We are currently finalising the new strategy and will email you when it is launched and available on the SuperSeniors website - this is expected to be towards the end of the year.
We thank you for your contribution and look forward to launching the new strategy later in the year.
For the Times They are a Changin
What an interesting old world we live in today with such easy access to online media and information. Here I am on wet Easter Sunday contemplating life and upgrading my BONZA blogs when the enormity of how quickly the modern world changes hits me.
Back in the day when I was younger, I was kept ignorant of most positive messages because you had to seek the written word. Pictures were also few and far between and I indulged myself of a picture frenzy by visiting a local library. Today I am subjected to numerous pictures of world events from the burning of Notre Dame to the rather sad picture attached to this article of Santa being crucified in some shop window somewhere in the world.
Just as the killing of Muslims whilst praying in Christchurch appalled me, so does this picture which is on my phone on a holy day for all Christians. I think spirituality is a necessity of life to give us hope and faith and a purpose in life and even though I am restricted to my own region (a universal one where I will always do the right thing in life), I believe that this photo would offend many people.
Having got that off my chest I will also impart on you some good news for me about health. I am trying particularly hard to keep fit through yoga and walking and healthy through my food type input and smaller portions of meals so when I read today that certain types of healthy foods I have been eating are not necessarily so, then I know the times are a changin rapidly. How quickly it turns around.
Let me explain further. I have been eating nuts, beans, rye bread, tomatoes, eggplant and capsicum with many other foods but today I am informed that all these have too many lectins (you need some but not a lot) in them which are not good for your gut. Definition is below.
“Lectins may impact health in multiple ways, ranging from digestion to chronic disease risk. They have been shown to cause red blood cells to cluster together.
They are categorized as antinutrients since they block the absorption of some nutrients.
Lectins may cause an upset stomach when plant foods are eaten uncooked. They are also the reason why it can be dangerous to eat undercooked legumes.
The lectin in red kidney beans is called phytohemagglutinin. It is responsible for red kidney bean poisoning, which results from eating raw or undercooked kidney beans. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consuming just four raw kidney beans could cause symptoms including severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.”
So, there you go. Obviously, they weren’t the only foods I have been eating but out they go.
To top it off, the same site tells me that antibiotics are the curse of the world if taken constantly and can kill the good bacteria in your stomach for up to 2 years. I try to say no but I don’t get sick much since taking Nasonex for my nose each day which cuts off the bad flow of germs from the source in my nostrils to my throat and then to the chest so no cough or chest infections when the seasons change.
No doubt you have your own likes dislikes, wants and needs but just make sure that you keep updated as the times are changing rapidly.
Reflections of an Anxious Boomer… First Year of Retirement
Is retirement easy for Boomers?
I was never comfortable with retirement and did so with some anxiety as the retirees of my youth had quickly disappeared into God’s waiting room and were never seen again in my eyes. But times have changed and I did retiree with trepidation but without fanfare 12 months ago.
So what has the first 12 months been like? The first thing that is worth noting is the time it takes Centrelink to process your Age Pension application. Their argument is that some 20 000 Boomers retire now each month in Australia so that is a huge increase in workload compared to the Silent generation before us so I waited not so patiently for nearly 2 months for a decision even though it is back paid to application date.
It is also worth noting that the local Centrelink office is absolutely in the dark with your application and nothing you do will make it go faster at that office as it is processed in age pension land somewhere else nor does the complaints line or the internet make any difference although it is good to vent when you are frustrated. I eventually contacted the Minister’s office and had it approved within a couple of days. I felt a little guilty about this approach but I had no income and anyway, why aren’t more workers hired if the work load has increased?
So make sure you apply before your birthday so it is well on the way when you are eligible. It is also worth remembering that you should make an appointment with the Financial Services Officer for a free interview about your eligibility for pension as they have great knowledge that will be helpful to you as an individual.
Those retirees of my youth that I previously mentioned all died fairly quickly from my recollection and I am a great believer that their death was from a feeling of rejection and accompanying ageism that killed them off before 70 on average.
We are doing much better with the average death age now over 80 so we can look at life on retirement as virtually a second coming. I have a life in retirement and work 3 days a week for 2 hours each day which gives me purpose and income for coffee and breakfast on the weekend at the local café.
Also keeps me fit which is the next topic in my year of reflection. The gym 2 mornings a week for toning not body building works well and a healthier lifestyle which includes a different approach to food. Forget sugar if you can as I have been able to maintain a 12 kilo weight loss by eating vegetarian food and have enjoyed it thoroughly so keep an open mind about food.
I also walk each day and surf when I can plus some bike riding which is all very enjoyable. Our walks are either local, beach, hinterland or designated ones like the Milford Track which was just incredible.
My finances were the next anxiety and I have been able to live off the interest of my superannuation combined with pension and work income as mentioned previously very comfortably while retaining the principle super amount. I have a travel account and the generous interest on super goes into that 50% and the rest for bills and living so we have been able to have a few holidays.
If you haven’t yet retired then put as much as you can into your super account as it will allow you through generous interest on your contributions to retire with some dignity and maybe even earlier than you thought if you are a young Boomer.
Living is easier for us because we shop for each meal now and therefore have no left overs each week by spending around $150 on food.
My social life has been an improvement to previous work life as I have the time to meet regularly with family and friends for coffee at least one day per week which I love doing. You also get to choose who you want to spend your time with as I find I am less patient with difficult people and do not want to waste my valuable time with them.
I also meet my grandkids on their birthdays and Xmas and that is rewarding as you watch them grow. My children and mostly settled elsewhere and we communicate by phone now as I found texting was non rewarding as things were taken literally even when you were joking so one huge lesson was that.. Use the phone to talk.
I will never be happy being a retiree as Boomers have so much energy and never want to grow old but I will continue editing BONZA, assisting my local councillor with suggesting local change (something he has responded well to) and will keep fit and healthy for as long as I can because none of us can stop the clock so we must make the most of our time we have left.
Enjoy your retirement. I am
Voluntary Euthanasia Submission ( Bill became law in 2021)
Parliament House Qld 4000
To Whom It May Concern
Submission from BONZA in favour of Voluntary Euthanasia.
I am the editor of the Boomer Advocacy web site www.bonza.com.au (Baby Boomers of NZ & Australia) and have been in the role for over 20 years. During that time, I have continually identified the priorities and the beliefs of my generation through one to one meeting, large public gatherings of over a thousand at Expos and Centrelink presentations, emails to the web site from readers and supporters and on-line votes on the web site and therefore have accessed many thousands of them on many issues affecting Boomers including the issue of Voluntary Euthanasia.
Data from the on-going vote on the issue, which is located on the web site, has it as 80% in favour of voluntary euthanasia of hundreds who voted. That figure if projected to all Australian Boomers could mean that 4 million of the 5 million Boomers would agree with voluntary euthanasia which is a resounding yes vote.
It is not an issue that causes great debate among the younger generations in my opinion because they are too busy discovering the wonders of this world of ours, but more of an awakening of human empathy for those who have had to deal with it with family and friends as they approach palliative care due to terminal illness. It takes a great toll on you personally to watch someone you love to die in pain without much human dignity and you have to ask yourself why it couldn’t be different.
Three former Queensland Premiers (Beattie, Bligh and Newman) for instance, have all changed their mind on the subject and are now in favour after witnessing the deaths of their parents as has newspaper columnist Nikki Gemmell who wrote so emotionally about her mother’s suicide in 2015 -
Elayn's "bleak and desperate death" opened Nikki's eyes to the euthanasia debate. The author penned a column for The Australian about the shock, the grief and the overwhelming guilt she felt after her mother's death. "[It] broke our family," she wrote. "I felt skinned, felled by vulnerability and a sense of failure; a danger to myself and others. Was this very modern death empowerment or despair? Selflessness or Selfishness?"
"If only we could have been there, if only we could have held her hand. It could have been so different if we could have just surrounded her with love," Nikki said of her mother's death.
We age, I believe, in FOUR stages.
Stage One: Over 50s who suddenly realise that they are being treated as seniors and are introduced the first time to ageism when they are the brunt of the jokes.
Stage Two: Over 60s who see the finishing post for work and are in a mad rush to gather superannuation. It is about this time for most that their parents start to enter the sick to terminally sick stage and they are responsible for their welfare and the process of their palliative care in many cases.
Stage Three: Over 70s and we accept we are older and make adjustments to our routines so we can still enjoy life and our favourite pastimes. It is a glass half-full period were a positive attitude will give one last period of well-being and happiness.
Stage Four: Over 80s when the body is rapidly deteriorating, and friends and siblings are dying around you and you begin to worry about how you will die when your turn comes.
It is in these last stages of life that people become more aware of their mortality and when their health declines then voluntary euthanasia becomes more relevant. We want to die with dignity and not be a burden on society and surely it is our right to decide how to die.
I have no problem with the fact that certain religions would frown on the act but if the majority are in favour then we should make it our own business and make that decision personally without the beliefs of others condemning us to an undignified painful death.
Indeed, what a difference it would make to our society if we could gather our families when we are told no more can be done for our health and enjoy their company one last time before we entered a room for our passing with the assistance of an injection.
The positive memories that process conjures surely far outweighs the ‘dying surrounded by loving family’ scenario that leaves out the agonised and terrified soul in the bed who probably hasn’t uttered a word in days.
Marshall Perron's (Former NT Minister) Open Letter on Euthanasia also moved me and defines the big picture so well.
I believe there is an unrecognised phenomenon in Australia that should be of concern. I refer to the growing incidence of rational suicide by the elderly and the terminally and hopelessly ill. This letter is being sent to all state and Territory coroners to increase awareness of this important issue.
Australia has an ageing society. While lifespans are extending, death itself is increasingly the result of debilitating degenerative disease of mind and body. Medical advances provide for dwindling life to be sustained until medicos allow death to occur. Terminal sedation, the standard response for intractable symptoms, is common and considered undignified. Some people are determined to avoid spending their final months or years as a demented patient.
More and more Australians are rejecting this period of futile suffering and exercising autonomy over their own death. While many such suicides are understandable, I contend that some of them would at least be delayed, or even not eventuate at all, if the victims were able to seek and receive assistance to die from others.
A result of being denied assistance is that many of these deaths are unnecessarily premature, lonely and violent. Premature because the individual has to act while they have the physical and mental capacity. Lonely because the individual is aware that assisting a suicide is an offence and they do not want to implicate family or friends. Violent because they must use whatever means to die they can access. There is a high level of interest in learning how to die peacefully and importing illegal substances to achieve that aim.
I suspect you regularly receive reports of deaths where evidence indicates the individual was terminally or hopelessly ill and considered their life was (or will become) unbearable. Providing the person was competent and acted without coercion from others, the event can be considered to be a rational response to their circumstances.
The number of rational suicides known to individual coroners is certain to be only a fraction of those actually taking place. ABS and other institutions acknowledge that suicide is (and has always been) under- reported for a variety of reasons. One that is particularly relevant in cases where the individual is terminally ill is that death by inhaling inert gas is undetectable if the apparatus used is removed (illegally) before the body is 'discovered'. Death is recorded as being the result of natural causes and as such, not reportable to coroners. There is anecdotal evidence that such disguised deaths occur regularly in Australia.
What we do not know is the number of unsuccessful attempts at rational suicide; cases where the individual botched the process through inadequate investigation, preparation and/or failure of equipment. Having to act alone can be fraught with difficulties.
The vast majority of rational suicide cases are known only to the immediate family. The public, policy makers and politicians are blissfully unaware of the scale of the distress, and will remain so without the official watchdogs, coroners, exposing what is happening behind closed doors.
I contend that when investigating a suicide clearly related to voluntary euthanasia, a coroner should consider and report on whether he/she believed the person was motivated to kill themselves while they maintained the capacity to do so, and that in all probability, if they believed they could lawfully receive assistance to end their life at some later point in time, the person may well have deferred their decision to die. It would seem this evaluation and conclusion could be undertaken under the 'why' heading in the list of objectives of the coroner.
Additionally, in the case of a violent suicide (e.g. firearm, hanging etc.) the coroner could also consider whether the act would likely have been less violent and thereby lessen the anguish for family and others involved in the aftermath, if the person had lawful access to a more tranquil way to take their own life.
Reports of double suicides, murder suicide or attempts at such actions are occasionally reported but may not be infrequent. Where these appear to be motivated by fear of losing control over end of life decisions a coroner could, as a matter of public importance, consider recommendations that will help prevent or reduce future deaths of a similar kind. It is surely in the public interest that violent suicides are reduced and rational suicide delayed, even if they cannot be prevented.
Rational suicide exists, it is time we acknowledged it officially, defined it and quantified it.
I appeal to you to consider establishing guidelines that would reveal the numbers of euthanasia suicides and make recommendations to reduce the adverse effects. A starting point might be the adoption of a common definition of rational suicide or euthanasia suicide. Coroners could also recommend Parliament, Government or a Law Reform Commission review the law on assisted suicide considering the reality of rational suicide. - Marshall Perron
I would urge all Queensland politicians to vote with your conscience and for the greater good and make voluntary euthanasia a reality in this state.
B. Ed, Dip. Teaching, Dip. Professional Counselling, Cert. IV Community Services, Cert. IV Training and Assessment, JP (Com. Decs)
Grey Army CEO Australia 1997
Grey Skills NZ Founder 1998-2001
BONZA Website Editor 2001-2020
Centrelink Personal Adviser 2002-2007
Maturelink Consultant Centrelink 2006-2007
Employment Adviser 2007- 2014
Mature Age Expo Organiser 2004-2007
Reinvent Your Career Key Speaker 2009-2010
How to survive on your Pensioner Income
Interesting how life changes when we become a pensioner and how much more careful you have to be with your money if you want to live as comfortably as possible in your golden years. We all miss that workplace income and find it difficult to survive without it.
The reality of life in 2018 is that the average woman lives to 84 and a man to 80. You need approximately $20000 a year to live comfortably as a single pensioner and around $35000 for a couple.
God knows we would all like more to do more financially but we are talking realities here as the pension is still around $20000 with no superannuation. Thank heavens I have some.
So how do you get your dollar to stretch more so you can make the eighties deadline (forgive the pun) in some style?
I am not going to go into specifics as we all have a different income, assets and budgetary requirements so I will generalise but the key is pensioner discounts.
I save hundreds of dollars a year now on some bills by using that ace when negotiating but you have to ask. One sentence is compulsory every time you are buying or financially planning- do you give age pensioner discount?
Rego, transport, electricity, water, rates, movies, take-way, coffee, medication, some shops ... the list is endless. There are around 8 million of us over 50 ... one third of the population and half of that 8 million over 65 so we are important to the economy and worth discounting.
My financial planning includes part pension, superannuation, part time work and DISCOUNTS. I am going okay and hope that will be the case until my deadline so do your most to benefit from being an age pensioner.
Happy golden years to us all.
Is their a Hidden Tax on Baby Boomer Super?
Went to visit the FIS (Financial Officer) at Centrelink about my superannuation.
Wanted to know if it was better to take it as a pension or withdraw the investment gain only as it accumulated and leave the lump sum there.
He advised me that the government take 15% of the accumulating investment each year as a tax without informing me and it is not recorded in the transactions on my super website home page.
His advice was to open another investment account with the Australian Super (minimum $50000) and use the current account as a pension account (must keep 5% in there) and withdraw a set amount regularly.
So talk to your super fund (mine confirmed that they do take the money each year without record (much to my dismay) but make a free appointment with the FIS first.
My super offered no advice when I spoke to them just confirmed that it was correct. You can pay for an appointment with one of their financial advisers if you like after the FIS appointment.
I still think it should be recorded somewhere that this amount is being deducted.
Bucket List Travel
A bucket list of things to do is a Boomer priority but there are moments when we will be challenged.
Where can Boomers travel in safety?
Just completed (Feb/March 2016)the Milford Track walk (over 100 000 steps on my Fitbit) and saw some pristine country that is hard to describe. A mixture of enchanted forest (everything covered in moss) to bubbling streams to rainforest ..all on day one. Then mountain terrain with huge boulders from the ice-age on day 2 and back to 21 km of first class scenery on day 3. Just marvellous..finished with a trip around the Milford Sound.
Put it on the bucket-list but you need some fitness and a wish to enjoy life. It is demanding and challenging but so enjoyable. The guides were non- intrusive but kept a well-oiled infrastructure working and at night you socialise with 50 others that share the experience with you (unless you want to be an independent walker and take in all your own resources) but I enjoyed a hot shower and comfortable bed.
Spent some time in the Northern Territory. My better half is very budget minded when we plan a holiday so I thought it might help others to pass on how we did it.
The Territory can be seen within a few days or a few weeks depending on what you have in mind.
There are two seasons- wet and dry- and you can forget touring in the wet season- Nov to Feb as even the markerts are closed and much of the area is shut down.
We hired a car to do it- Toyota Yarris- and it was a pleasure to drive. You don't need a four wheel drive unless you want off road but we did the triangular from Darwin to Kakado to Katherine to Darwin via Litchfield National Park and really enjoyed our holiday.
Hire the car through the NT Tourism site and you get unlimited mileage whereas it is restricted to a few hundred if you hire direct from the car rentals.
Loved Kakado for the scenery, indigenous heritage eg rock paintings and the Jabiru Tourist Park which was like and oasis with their lovely pool and dining outdoors.Had a meat lovers pizza with croc, buffalo and roo meat.
Katherine was dry but has a magic natural springs area which the City Council has developed and is worth a swim in the crystal clear water.
Katherine Gorge is unbelievable. Walk up to the lookout before you take the boat tour as it is breathtakingly beautiful from up there.
The boat tour is a must and the gorge itself is an Aussie treasure for its beauty and history. So old that there are no fossils as the earth didn't even have plant life then. Saw crocs bathing on the shore as we passed up the gorge.
Litchfield National Park is quite beautiful and has a pleasant walk to rock pools and outdoor camping. We stayed at Lake Bennett resort and were well looked after (even a huge cheese and nibbles platter to feed from as I watched the footie finals)
Darwin has Sunday food markets at Mindl Beach, the war museum, botanical gardens for many different plants (NT is really another world compared to other parts of OZ for plant life), outdoor movies, fantastic harbour precinct, great walks and bikeways and very friendly people.
Love you OZ.
All in all it was a great holiday and we also enjoyed Adelaide but will be back there when we do a campervan tour in September from Perth to Adelaide. More then.
ED Note (Feb 2018): More travel to Norfolk Island, the Ghan and WA and Lord Howe Island plus Ayers Rock in ' Don't you just love OZ' in the Funstuff site at top of page
Are you an Australian or Kiwi Baby Boomer with a story you'd like to share with our online community? Email our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could have it published on BONZA.com.au!
Lots to do folks,so let’s get on with it in 2022 and have a BONZA LIFE!
( NB: BONZA is also an Aussie slang term for great or fabulous)
A lot of messages for those who suffer from Australian poet Jennifer Lamar-
Boomer art - Face images by our cartoonist Keith Blake and the coastal scene by 1770 artist Kent Barton
The Worst Time Is Xmas When You Have No Family Around You
Sandy is a Baby Boomer. She is 65, divorced with no children and lives alone in her unit she owns. Bonza asked her how she felt about her future knowing there will be hundreds of thousands of single women over 60 in Australia in the next decade who will become the focus for government concern about their futures and her first comment was how lonely it was around Xmas for her.
The government is already aware of the magnitude of the problems this group will bring and are planning ways to secure their safety, enable them to socialise, providing them with age care accommodation, allowing for their diverse health and fitness requirements but it is such a diverse group to plan for in reality.
Many, for instance, have never worked because they were stay at home mums, so they have no superannuation. (We all accept they worked very hard with daily family routines in this period of their lives but for no financial reward). Some of this group are already widows and struggling to make ends meet.
Those who have worked and are divorced may not own their home now and to remain financially viable over a few decades then you will need to.
At least they may have family to take them in in their declining years and care for them even if reluctantly.
Some have never had children due to medical reasons or by choice and will be ageing without any family support and living on the pension only.
Sandy spoke with us and gave us an insight into her anxieties and concerns knowing that her current situation may assist others with their plans and could also influence government thinking and policy as BONZA continue to advocate for all Boomers and for this we are very grateful.
She is also isolated in that poor fitness does not allow her to be involved in physical activities and some poor self-esteem means her face to face social life is minimal.
She visits her local restaurants for special dinners, consumes a little alcohol, is unfit and lonely and is also a prime target for unsavoury characters in the community whenever she is out and about.
It will only get worse as she ages and even though she is young at heart, her body will break down over the next decade as she enters her seventies.
Knowing all this, we asked her who will look after her and what are her options as she ages?
Sandy listed her future options and important plans as:
BONZA is aware that many over 50 establishments would be a suitable destination now while she is medically able and that would give her a social life with her peers, but she is reluctant after seeing their contracts.
The units in these establishments are expensive also so if she can’t afford one then maybe a shared house or unit with someone in the same situation where costs can be shared would be an option for her.
Woman should also talk to the Centrelink Financial Officer(FIS) about their finances, so they can ascertain what is available for them. It is a free service and will put your mind at ease.
She wants to maintain her independence by staying in her unit for as long as possible, so this must be respected as it is her wish and right.
Finally, it will become a government issue and priority in our opinion to build suitable aged care hubs where the women can be housed securely and maybe have medical centres attached for their long term medical requirements and include fitness classes, so people can stay healthier for longer.
Keep having a BONZA life Boomers because Ageing Australia will not be a bed of roses for many of us.
Brian Murphy- Editor
Brian Murphy editor of BONZA and author of A BONZA LIFE introducing his book.
News Corp article 20.11.19
News Corp article about my book on boomers. Click on article.
Top Articles from BONZA
Annual National Thank a Cop Day
What can you do on this day?
All we are asking is for you to say thank you to the police in your community.
Imagine a society without our police. I know the answer to that because we couldn’t function without them and the community would be in chaos. Yet we rarely get to thank them personally for what they do.
National Thank A Cop Day is your opportunity to make them feel valued and loved. On the 19th September annually is the community’s chance during Police Week to personally thank each and everyone of them.
It is not a day for them to march or parade or do anything else but their jobs. It is a community day when we say thank-you.
Stop them in the street and tell them you appreciate them, send flowers or a pizza to the local cop shop, shout them a coffee or just a simple thank you as you pass by them doing their job is a start, but it is up to each community or individual. I am sure you can make them feel loved in many ways, so we invite you to start planning and please let us know what you will do.
In recent times there is ample evidence that they are doing it tough as the job becomes more demanding and individuals lose respect for them and show it in aggressive ways.
They need more than receiving government medals and awards. I personally feel that our sincere thanks will mean more to them than any award without being disrespectful but that is just my opinion.
Could you please start planning what your community could do through your workplaces, organisations, sponsoring or highlighting the day so that we are all aware of it and respond accordingly on the day.
The idea for a National Thank a Cop Day came from talking to a Police officer in McDonalds one morning and he mentioned that he was feeling very negative about the role and the lack of appreciation shown by the public for what they do. I really felt for him and decided that many of us just never get the chance to say thank you to them and we should make a day to do so.
Read full article here
BOOMER point of view - 2020
It is time for Plan B and life after COVID 19.
I don’t think I am Robinson Crusoe when I say that I am tired of the virus COVID and I dare say many of you feel the same. There is no doubt our leaders and Aussies, in general, need to be praised for their outstanding attitude in not letting the virus heap the same destruction it has in most other countries and, along with NZ, we can be pleased it didn’t or a lot more loved ones would have died no doubt.
When it all started it was an unknown beast to us all rather bewildering in its ferocity and speed of contamination. We wondered just what would happen and where it was taking us as a society. We have all isolated, lock-down, or suffered some very anxious moments in those months early in 2020 and became quite fatalistic about our futures. Without a virus cure yet and still no idea when it will happen, I believe it might be time for Plan B (what to do other than lockdown).
Political parties would not do themselves a disservice in my opinion by looking at alternative options policy for our lifestyle soon as elections roll up because many are wanting a new living with COVID lifestyle.
Closed borders and states haggling over when to open borders, stirrers who refuse to comply with COVID rules, government mistakes in locking us down and enforcing quarantine rules, businesses shut down and going bankrupt and schools closing on a regular basis are just some of the everyday happenings that are becoming overwhelming to many. Don’t get me wrong, I know it is all for our protection, but it doesn’t work 100% because we do not all comply.
I have seen thousands walk over the Queensland border from NSW and yet you can’t drive or fly in, have talked to people who found a way into other states around through countryside crossings and continued to party or do what they like, no matter what they are threatened with, so why frustrate ourselves even more with them?
My plan B is simple. Open the borders and live with it. That means specialist teams at the ready so that if there is an outbreak anywhere, the hub is shutdown with whatever it takes until safe again approvals are given and any dissenters are jailed until the hub is reopened. It also means the current social distancing and cleansing routines continuing but with some normality to our lives as well.
I know you won’t all agree because we are scared but I for one would rather live than exist but do it with a plan, not willy nilly.
Till Death Do Us Part
Swedish death clean is a not so common process in Australian culture but it is the process of disposing of your possessions before you die. Our possessions are like our relationships and particularly marriage when some of us promised loyalty until death do us part. I have hobbies and material possessions from my youth, a drawer full of paperwork that is relevant only to me, and containers of important milestones of my life in the closet and all of it will be gone before I go if I can possible do it.
All the furniture can be sold, money dispersed, and my photos and awards dumped so I feel organised. How are you feeling about your possessions and are you organised?
My senior year class turns 70 this year and for the first time in my life I am happy that my parents lied about my age and sent me to school a year early because I will be the only one in my class who is still in my sixties. Wonderful.
We all know now about the 4 stages of ageing.
The modern world demands we organise ourselves more than our ancestors who left it mostly too others. You need for instance to make sure the paperwork is complete. All your passwords for IT and bank accounts etc should be in the hands of a trusted person so the Will process is not too complicated for the relatives left behind. Make sure the Will is up to date and your super has been allocated on your super account to the nominated person and not just noted on the Will.
Rather than continue with a list, I recommend you listen to the ABC podcast https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/the-pineapple-project/tipsheets/
My dad said two things on his death bed when he was 73 that I will always remember. Go and live your life as it goes so quickly and 73 is a good innings but I wish I had a second innings. Keep enjoying life Boomers.
What does it take to be an advocate? The answer is in one word.
How difficult it is to be an advocate in this tech- savvy/ social media world of ours today. I have thought about that a lot and the answer must be dedication.
I have been a Baby Boomer advocate for over two decades now and I once described myself as a chronic idealist about my passion as it has consumed my life since I first became interested in 1997. I refuse to give up on ‘my generation’ but it would be the same for anyone who advocated for the views of a minority I guess if they were doing it with passion for the cause.
When I first took an interest, I would take my Over Head Transparencies along to community meetings and explained the identified issues, projected onto the white screen, and talk about the 5 million Baby Boomers ageing in Australia and the impact it would have on society in the areas of welfare, health and aged care on the bottom line government budgets in the future. All the predictions have now come of age. There was no precedent plan to study as we were the first generation to live well beyond the then retirement age of 65 and few really worried about their futures or bothered to enlighten themselves so I took the facts to them.
Remember this was before the government issued Intergenerational Reports of this century and before companies jumped on the Baby Boomer issues bandwagon of how to live after the income stopped, where we might live and if we really had to retire at 65.
Everything had to be done in my own time and there is no income for me doing this role as advocate, but I felt a calling of sorts to paint the questionable future of our mob to anyone who would listen. Thankfully, the new millennium meant that technology could assist me, but I now had to convert OHTs into web sites and PowerPoint presentations. I felt at home in this developing era and we were busy as my IT minded wife became my munshi and I was taught how to develop the presentations for which I am eternally grateful and it was so much more interesting and colourful that the Industrial Age equipment.
I am a natural talker so I spent thousands of hours talking all things Baby Boomer to anyone or group that would listen in these early years but the training I received from the Education Department to be a Change Agent for different education communities certainly honed those skills. This lead to opportunities to open dialogue with corporations, governments and the Baby Boomers themselves who loved the BONZA web site www.bonza.com.au and viewed it in the hundreds of thousands as there were few websites early this century.
I was also sending out a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the millennium but by 2009 it was obvious that emails were out and social media was in so I started a Facebook page for Boomers which still operates today. I still, in 2020, update the Facebook page daily and search for new topics to keep Baby Boomers informed.
I was, and still am, being smothered by social media and blogs but am happy to say that I regard it as a positive as so many more people are advocating and most doing a great job with real news rather than fake. I believe that we are hearing more about the individual struggles now and it has a subsequent meaningful effect on us all.
Over the last decade I have produced A BONZA Report 3 times for Government outlining options for Baby Boomers; have presented the Baby Boomer inspired a pro submission to the Euthanasia Inquiry debate; submitted Baby boomer ideology to the NZ Seniors Department for their Futures document; made submissions to Treasury and the Human Rights committee about ageism in the workplace; presented a submission for the government to make Mature Age Policy (MAP0 in every workplace so we are aware of our rights and options as we age in our workplace and not just second guessing what they are.
I also harass local government members and state members about our issues, and I feel it makes a difference.
Advocacy is now a business and you can do your own petitions, ask for donations, and highlight inconsistencies and problems to a large audience. You would have to think out of the box to gain any following on social media and the once supportive news media will ignore any press release as their audience has shrunk and they are flat out competing against the bloggers but my one word still stands as dedication will keep you honest and on the right path.
What should I do as an older advocate in the future? Maybe ‘get a life’ as one Baby Boomer suggested a couple of years ago but even though I contemplated giving it away, someone would then contact me and congratulate me for BONZA which of course is now an information site rather than an interactive site. As long as one person out there benefits from what I do then the show goes on.
So that is where we are after all this time with one information web site for Baby Boomers, one interactive site on Facebook for those who like to talk about issues and two books about Boomers published, A BONZA Life in 2019 (which is a Readers Favourite 5 star book about those years mentioned) and Self Propelled (a motivational book to change your life) in 2020
If you are wondering if it is worth it to be an advocate, then yes is my answer but you must be dedicated to the cause. When a local GP tells me my book Self Propelled has changed his life and is a good tool to motivate people to move forward and when the government is receiving Baby Boomer options in Canberra then I know that some of the things we outlined in the Bonza Report will someday come of age (copy on web site if you haven’t read it) and that can only be a good thing for Boomers.
Keep up the passion advocates.
It’s Never too Late to Learn
You ever wonder when we argue with people why we sometimes say the most inappropriate, immature and hurtful things? I have been having a good look in the mirror this year and I don’t like what I see. I am not focusing in the mirror on the many wrinkles and sagging muscles or the extra kilos that I am trying diligently to lose but more on my personality.
I want to change because my life is in turmoil at the moment and it can not continue like that. What makes people change I asked myself and the answer came in an old uni book by Thomas Harris- I’m OK- You’re OK?
I reread it and he focused on the fact that we are influenced by three innate personalities- the child, the parent and the adult and we have them all.
The child is the beliefs we computerised when we are in non-verbal stage as a baby and we take in our environment and its many sounds and structures. We are not OK at that stage as everyone else is Ok because we cannot comprehend what is going on so being not OK is there forever ingrained in us from birth and will cause much conflict in some lives.
The second phase is the parent when we are exposed to a huge collection of unquestioned and imposed external events and rules in the first five years and it is a unique period to us all as it is recorded by our brain but has yet to be verified.
Depending on the parenting style you encountered leaves this phase questionable on its value to you.
The final stage is on-going as we decide whether the data we have gathered from child, parent and real life is true or not and this is the adult personality doing its on-going role.
I am trying to keep this as simple as possible, so you want to keep reading but I think you should basically understand the three symptoms now and how they control us and where we gained them.
Back to the arguments we all have and our conduct. Example- “where is my blue shirt or have you hidden it somewhere again?” “You must be blind (comes the answer) it is in the cupboard with all the other clothes I have ironed in my spare time”. “Why do you have to be such a pain when I ask a question? Didn’t you ever learn manners?”
Both people in this argument are using childish language and some parent ones as in the ‘manners’ comment. It is the language of many a discussion/argument and controls you in that it is not the adult model Harris outlines which reflects I’m OK – You’re OK but more in this case of I’m OK- You’re not OK.
“The shirt has been ironed and in your cupboard.” “Thanks for that- I appreciate your hard work.” Adult talking to an adult. No messages, no sarcasm and no unhappiness about the language content and both are equal.
The method is called Transitional Analysis and it is explained simply in Harris’s book so have a read. I now have an answer to how I can change my life and why I would want to change by reading his book. Harris says that there are 3 reasons people want to change their lives- one is that they hurt sufficiently and are dreadfully unhappy in their lives. They are sick of making the same mistakes and the terrible consequences of those decisions.
Secondly is a slow type of despair called ennui or boredom. Looking for a what now opportunity because they are only existing and not really living a life.
The last thing is they suddenly discover that they can change and by using adult language in all they do will change them and their relationships. His book will explain more in depth for you if you are interested.
Probably all three for me- got some changes to make. Have a BONZA life!
Brian Murphy- Editor
NEW GENERATIONS REQUIRE NEW LAWS TO REFLECT THE SOCIETY OF THE DAY.
My elderly mother in law had her phone cut off last week on the Monday by Telstra - her one source to the outside world cut off. She lives in community housing with no car and cannot, like many of her generation, grasp using a mobile phone.
After complaining to Telstra Customer Service, I was told she would be given medical priority as she is a risk from frequent falls and is currently suffering a black eye from one. She takes anti-depressants, blood thinners and various other medication. As a DV sufferer, she goes to a health professional to talk about her stress and post traumatic memories and they phone with appointments or she may need to phone us in an emergency.
Telstra were on to it immediately, I thought, and within two days I had my first response from them. Yes, the phone had been disconnected but to another provider because she had requested it to be done for NBN purposes. It was then explained to this reconnection technician that she would not have done that as the only reason she had a new link phone box was that Telstra had told her 12 months ago that if it was not installed she would lose her phone connection. (Rather psychic of them I mused)
Oh no, I was told, someone would have had to have her personal details and gone online to request the connection go to another provider otherwise it would be illegal. This woman has not installed Internet because it would be a waste of money as she would not use it, so I knew that what they were alleging was incorrect, but I was reassured that they have their top people on it and would be reconnected quickly.
I might add here that this ridiculous practise of having to verify your personal details when Telstra phone you is out-dated as it is a favourite scam now by criminals to pinch personal ID’s by phoning people and telling them that you are from the Tax Dept or Telstra and they require your details.
So, three days later an email is eventually sent by Telstra reconnections to say that the phone will be reconnected to unit 1 at her address, supposedly good news from them accept she lives in unit 8. After telling them the problem of the wrong address in the hope it was a typo, I was told they would investigate it, but we may have lost her connection to the new provider and they could not get it back unless she went into the nearest Telstra office and gave permission for it to be swapped back to her. I explained that she had not given permission for it to be disconnected so why would she need to give permission for it to be reconnected.
By Thursday I was worried as it was nearly the weekend and four days of investigation had not produced any results, but I was told, “we are working on it”. By Friday morning she went to her medical appointment but was told that it had been cancelled as they could not contact her to verify she was coming as is the usual practice. Telstra was told this but still could not promise that it would be reconnected or when it would be but were still giving it urgent attention.
Finally, a call late Friday from them came to explain that the phone could not be reconnected as it needed to have a modem now even for phone connection even though she was not going to have Internet installed. The Telstra NBN guys would contact this week to make an appointment and would install it and then reconnect the phone. It is Monday evening and still no call seven days later.
I would imagine you are speechless as I am. I have never seen such incompetence and is really neglect of the elderly which brings me to the topic of this article. New laws and services are needed for new generations. My wife and I have been conversing with Telstra but what about the millions of ageing Australians who would have no idea nor the skills to rectify such a monumental stuff up.
As BONZA has been highlighting for 20 years, there is no previous game plan for Ageing Australia as it is the first time in history that we have lived so long. Average age for death now is in its 80s so the laws and rules must be adjusted or rectified for mature people. Governments normally have some previous legislation or practices to refer to, so I get it- it is difficult for all, but we can’t keep this incompetence up.
We need better service from large companies like Telstra and even government centres like Centrelink. Several million elderly will never learn IT and that is a fact so should they be ignored. I think not. There must be trained mature age representatives across the spectrum of daily life who understand the needs of the elderly and can assist them genuinely and with patience and compassion as there will be one in four people who are mature aged.
Finally, there are many laws to consider changing for the elderly such as traffic, driving, security for women, ageism, elderly abuse for a start but the most pressing and important is voluntary euthanasia. We all deserve the dignity of knowing that when our time comes, we have a gathering of the clan to say our goodbyes if we wish and then press the button to end our time on this earth.
Push for some changes Boomers. We never accepted bloody-mindedness from governments in our youth so rekindle that passion now and press for change.
ACTIVE LISTENING AND PLANNING FOR A BETTER LIFE
I have always spent the last months of a year looking back on my achievements and challenges from that year both personally and in the workplace. Nothing is different now as we prepare to enter another year of work and family life.
Indeed, as a manager in the past, I sent at least a half day with staff in late November allowing them to highlight at a planning session, what they believed worked and what didn’t with our team in that previous 12-month period. I also encouraged in that planning and refection session for them to suggest ideas for the future and once we had collated those ideas then to decide which three would be the focus for the next year along with current practices that were working for them. This was accomplished by placing a 1, 2 and 3 preference beside the three they chose so that the most popular votes in terms of votes were accepted by all the team as our focus for the next year.
I know it worked for me and my teams in that they all felt strongly that they were being listened too and were part of a team focus during an individual feedback interview with them after the planning session. This allowed for a much happier and focused group who loved coming to work.
My family also were subject to somewhat the same process when we talked over the Xmas and New Year period so that we all had a say about what worked and what didn’t as far as activities, family chores, outings, budgeting and social interaction in the previous year and what we would like to keep or change in the new year.
We all need to take active listening (only one person speaks at a time) and planning very seriously in our home and work environments so that, as we enter a new year, it is with the passion and excitement that there will be change in some form, otherwise we are guilty of making the same mistakes and doing the same things each year which can only produce a boring and frustrated workplace or a bored family.
Strap yourself in because here we go into another year of intrigue, discovery, disappointments and gains in this game called life. Good luck all.
Aged Care Brutality
Thousands of you were upset by this picture of a lady allegedly attacked by staff in a nursing home that we placed on our FaceBook page and expressed your outrage.
There will never be a trial as she has dementia but I think we all saw a little of ourselves in this and have some concern for the future.
There will have to be repercussions..hopefully a Federal inquiry into the aged care industry and as an advocacy for all things about Boomers, BONZA encourages you to talk about how wrong it is to friends, family, social media and letters to the editor of your local media outlet....don't forget you members of parliament and don't give up..its your future so make a difference.
This is a story that happened in Spain on the 29 th May 2016. My mate Keith Blake was travelling with his wife Sally and he sent me this on Facebook. They were attacked by two young men.
" We have felt safe in Spain so far, having only seen one incident of pick pockets on the Metro. But today we were targeted.
We had been shopping and stopped at a little bar for a rest and a wine on the way home.
We then walked through The Ravel to the top end of our street, but just before we got there we were approached from behind by two young blokes offering discount tickets. I was carrying my camera in one hand and the shopping bags in the other but one of them thrust a card at me and I grabbed it.
He then grabbed me and swung his body around me, lifting my wallet from deep in my front pocket. In one move he swung around, still holding on to me and passed it to his mate.
This is where they came unstuck.
Sally was beside me and immediately put the second guy in a headlock, and screamed "Thief, Thief!".
I flung the first guy off me and grabbed my wallet out of the hands of the guy in the headlock. No. 1 thief scurried off and so did No 2 when Sally released her grip.
People came running to see if we were alright, but they should have been more concerned for the two would be thieves.
Never pick on two grey haired Aussies, especially when one is Super Sally! Lesson learned for two young tearaways!!
Boomer Reunions.. Is it Time for Baby Boomers to Reminisce?
BONZA organised a high school reunion around 10 years ago and we had 600 fellow high school Boomers attend..just for the one school Indooroopilly High in Brisbane but it was great to invite 10 odd years of ex-students as you saw faces from the years before and after your year..ex army cadet leaders, prefects and sportsmen and woman who made school life so vibrant. Ex teachers were also invited and many were cheered as they spoke to the crowd.
I really enjoyed it and recommend it to you all..gather some ex classmates and reminisce to your hearts content.
In the last 10 years I have tracked down and met many old friends who I had lost contact with in the frantic pace of life for coffee..work and raising kids in particular use up so much of our lives and I felt a need to see them again.
Read full article here