BONZA Editor Brian Murphy has 2 books for sale at A$12 plus postage. Please order through contact page above.
You found us! Now you are here,stay a while..
Are you researching the Boomers?
Are you looking for a good laugh?
Are you looking for work?
Check out:What was it like to be a Boomer?
The editor has written some stories about his life as a Boomer. Hover over ABOUT THE EDITOR above for access.
A book for all Baby Boomers
I recommend the following book ...
The Rest of Your Life
How to Make it as Good as You Want
... to all Baby Boomers. It will be a real asset for all those who are planning responsibly for the future. Compiled by Paul McKeon for people in their 40s, 50s & 60s who want to really enjoy the second half of their lives.
Please access the link below to order your E-book copy.
I recently published my second book called “Once I was a Teenager”. It’s about how life was in the 50s and 60s in Australia.
It’s a nostalgic book about how life was then. Such as our mother’s pithy sayings...”no nice man will marry you if (you eat with your mouth open)”, or “wait ‘til your father get’s home”, or “wear a clean pair of knickers when you go out. What if you are in a car accident!”
We are offspring of parents of WW2, and we have their values which puzzle our offspring.
This is a really funny book with a foreword by Little Pattie (who remembers that Aussie 60s teen singing sensation, who is still performing today?)
Often our children don’t ask how life was for us. Well, you will chuckle and reminisce with this book. Guaranteed. Little Pattie loves it. I give proceeds to an orphan charity, but would love to be in contact with you guys.
You can contact me at email@example.com.
New health book just for over 50s
Research shows that Health and Finances are two of the biggest issues for people who are planning or experiencing retirement.
While there are hundreds of books about health on the market, there are very few that focus on the health issues that affect the lives of older people.
A new book titled “How to stay Healthy, Active and Sharp in Retirement” is designed to correct this omission.
It’s written by 15 leading health experts and it covers all the major physical and mental issues that people over 50 need to manage
Here’s a list of the subjects covered
11. Living beyond expectations ( Petrea King. Quest For Life Foundation )
12. Relationships and Sex (Sandra Kimball . Relationship Counsellor & author)
13. Keeping your immune system healthy (Prof. Fabienne Mackay Monash University)
14. How to reduce your risk of getting dementia (Dr. Simone Reppermund -UNSW Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing)
15. Dental health (Prof Peter Barnard.)
16. Your attitude keeps you young (or makes you old) (Paul McKeon)
This is not a book about sickness. The overriding message is that it’s possible to delay the ageing process and enjoy a better quality of life in our later years. It’s full of positive suggestions about how we can be happier and healthier if we follow the expert advice offered in the book.
The book is only available on line. You can find out more or buy a copy by clicking on this link
For comment or more information, please contact the Editor Paul McKeon on 02 6652 7581
Award winning author Diana Todd-Banks has a program for those interested in self employment. Please go to the Notice Board page to read her full email and ideas.
"Just a thought: on your BONZA site would it be feasible to create a section for those who are wanting to work (with their skills)? Then promote that section to the outside world. If any of that interests you and you need help let me know, I'll help you.
Cheers and keep up the great work."
Award Winning Best Selling Author
Life Change Coach * Web TV Host * Speaker
cell: (61) 407 187 008
Media Release- 17/6/2014
Is the 70 retirement really about Boomers?
The labor government decided that retirement would be 67 in 2023 because of the numbers of Boomers that would require government assistance by then in the key areas of health, aged care and pensions. I had no argument with that decision at the time as only a small percentage of Boomers will have enough superannuation to be able to be self-sustainable so working them for longer will add some personal wealth to their financial portfolio and offset some government costs.
As a student of the Intergenerational reports of 2002, 2007 and 2010 I understand the intent behind that decision. Then came the LNP version this year of retirement at 70 by 2035 and once again I thought I understood why but on further examination I am not so sure now.
All the current Boomers will be over 70 by 2035 as the youngest of them are 50 this year (and the older ones 68) so this decision is more for the X generationers ( 35 to 49) and even the Y ‘s ( 20 to 34) so do we really need to do it? I think not. If the Boomers are already retired then the 70 limit will only penalise the younger generations who will already have good superannuation to live on by that year (if the industry stays true) so they wont be the burden we will be on government coffers.
Surely a better route to take would be to increase employer and employee contributions to achieve the 17-18% superannuation contribution level recommended by economists (only 9% now) that will be needed for us to sustain our old age by that time and therefore leave retirement at 67.
The government could also legislate to stop any creative accounting by the younger generations so that they were still eligible for pension at 67 even with their generous accumulated superannuation so that the pension is a safety net only at that stage for those who have little or no wealth due to circumstances beyond their control- illness, accident or disability.
Finally, readers of my web site www.bonza.com.au are adamant they want a referendum for euthanasia soon as possible so we can have more control over our future and not linger on bed ridden in our old age.
That would also reduce costs for government substantially as my doctor tells me that more is spent on us in our final year of life than on all the previous years of our lifetime health care.
Superannuation- Alarm Bells are Ringing
I have some real concerns about the future of superannuation for Boomers on hearing this story.
Did some work for a lady and she filled me in on the hassles of superannuation. She is 72 and her partner died last year and left her his superannuation in his will.
The company REST (hospitality superannuation) will not pay her anything as per Trustee decision and wont say why. She is leaving to live in Portugal.
Seems such a shame but I was blown away when she said her partner's will was not enough to get the money paid. If not claimed the money goes to the government in three years. She reckons it is another revenue grab from them.
I have asked some experts to comment.
Brian Murphy August 2014
Noel Whittaker is a financial expert and adviser. Here is his answer to the problem-
As the baby boomers retire there is a growing awareness of the importance of having a will. That’s a great start, but the sad reality is that family situations can change, and challenges to wills have become common place.
Unfortunately, the outcome of any litigation is always uncertain. This is why it is often appropriate to hold assets in such a way that they fall outside the scope of the will and are thus generally secure from litigation.
These include assets such as property and shares held as joint tenants, and retirement income stream products like allocated pensions and annuities when there is a reversionary beneficiary. Insurance bonds are also excluded from the will as the proceeds vest in the nominated beneficiary on the death of the bond owner.
Superannuation is another asset that does not necessarily flow in terms of the will. The trustee of the fund has the final say as to who gets the proceeds, unless there is a current binding nomination requiring the trustee to pay the proceeds in the manner specified in the nomination document.
The situation where assets are held as joint tenants is the most common, but in this context the term "tenants" doesn't have a thing to do with landlord and tenant, - it refers to ownership of assets such as property and shares.
If you buy a house in partnership with another, usually your spouse, you normally have the ownership registered as "joint tenants". This means that, if either party dies, the co-owner, irrespective of the terms of the will, then owns the entire property.
However, if the property is held as "tenants in common" the share of the deceased is transferred in terms of the will of the deceased.
Which one do you choose? It depends on who you want to receive the asset if you die first. Usually couples buy the family home as joint tenants to give each other the security of knowing that it can't be bequeathed to a third party if there are family arguments and the will is challenged.
There are three situations that occur regularly where it is probably best to hold an asset as "tenants in common". The first is where you are buying a property in partnership with one or more friends. In most cases you would both expect your share to go to your family if you died, not the friend.
The second is when you, and other family members, are left property through your parent's will. This is similar to buying property with a friend. Almost certainly you would want your share of the estate to go to your own estate if you died, not to your siblings.
Last is when re-marriage occurs. Both parties may have children from a previous marriage, and usually prefer to keep their assets separate so they can be willed to their children from that previous marriage. If the house was held as joint tenants it would go straight to the co-owner and the children may miss out.
Some wills give the spouse a life interest, which leaves the family home to the children but allows the spouse to live in the family home for life. The purpose is prevent the children of the deceased being disinherited if the spouse remarries, and ensures that the spouse can never be forced to vacate the property. This strategy should not used without a full understanding of the ramifications involved as there can be social security and capital gains tax issues.
Sadly, life interests tend to produce undesirable outcomes. They condemn the spouse to living out their declining years in a home that usually becomes unsuitable as they grow older and it prevents them from selling the property and moving to another.
There can be arguments between the spouse and the children about who should pay the maintenance and problems finding money to pay medical expenses. In an extreme case the spouse could move to a nursing home and find themselves destitute as an unhelpful family now own what was the matrimonial home.
Noel Whittaker AM
Ed Note: Bottom line- check out superannuation nomination on Google and you may need to fill one in for your company
If You Lose Your Job, Remember This
The best memory I have of my dad from when I was growing up happened when I was about 7 years old. At the time he was looking for work in Washington state, and he, my mom, my little brother, and I were all living in a tent.
My dad knew I likedAirwolf, a 1980’s TV show about a hi-tech helicopter used to fight criminals. For my birthday he made me a replica Airwolf carved of wood from a tree near our tent.
This is also one of the only memories I have of my dad when I was a kid.
The High Point
When I was 10 my dad got a job working for a conveyor belt manufacturer as a welder and maintenance man. He worked hard and made the most of his opportunity, and rose through the company pretty rapidly. By the time I was a teenager he was traveling throughout the world, and had his picture taken on a camel in front of the Great Pyramids. He spent extended periods of time working in Chile and Germany, and had friends on almost every continent.
Those years were the high point of my Dad’s life, to him. I don’t blame him—feeling important is a powerful drug. During these years the name "Dave McKissen" meant something to people who were not in our family. However, these were not good years for our relationship, and I barely saw him.
But they were the best years for our family, financially.
Then he lost his job during my senior year of high school, right before I turned 18.
The Low Point
My dad hasn’t had regular, consistent employment for the past 15 years. It’s not because of any larger economic issues, and it’s not because of a lack of talent. My dad’s hands and brain are connected in a way that mine aren’t. Though he lacks a degree, he is the most talented engineer I’ve ever seen. A treehouse that is born in his mind ends up in my yard in the time it would take me to find a hammer.
I see the same talent in my son, and I am literally in awe of the two of them.
My dad is also good at more than just building things—he is a good guy, with a good heart, and people love him. I love him. He is a great Grandpa.
But when he lost his job, he lost part of himself.
When you feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself the search to find that missing piece can take you to some very dark places. It did for my dad, and much of the last 15 years have been hard on him, and the people that care about him.
Remember That You're Still Here
After a recent article I received a few emails from people who had lost their job, and a couple of emails from people who are facing an impending job loss.
I don’t have good advice on what to do about a stint of unemployment on a resume.
What I can say is that if you lose your job, don’t lose yourself.
You’re still here, even if your job isn't.
The best parts of you, the parts that will be remembered, usually have nothing to do with your job. You should give your job your best, but don’t make the best part of you your job.
You also may have to realize that you may never reach your prior peak. It’s hard to imagine the circumstances that placed my dad on a camel in front of the Great Pyramids occurring again.
But just because that time has come and gone doesn't mean you have come and gone.
As for my dad, things are finally getting better. We work at filling in the missing memories by going to a bar near my house and having a beer, or by playing horseshoes in our neighbour's yard. Last year we took a road trip together to Philadelphia, Mississippi in my Smart Car.
He has a standing gig to serve as the local Catholic school’s jack-of-all-trades and handyman when they have the funds in their budget. It’s a job that’s just a few blocks from our house, and last year he painted the auditorium.
The walls in that auditorium won’t last as long as the Great Pyramids, but they will be there for a few years, and his grandkids know that "Dave McKissen" painted them.
Dustin McKissen is the Vice President of First Resource, an association management, economic development, and consulting firm with roots in the manufacturing sector. He is also a proud member of LinkedIn's Publishers and Bloggers Group. You can find him on Twitter @DMcKissen.
Did every Baby Boomer achieve greatness in their life? No they didn’t.
Some just went along for the ride and achieved small things on a small scale and what a ride it was. From the baby boom in the late 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s which was the catalyst for the dramatic changes to society over the next 50 years to changes to traditions, government focus, societal expectations, war and peace, education, arts, science, cultures almost across the board and changes bring high levels of stress.
So how did the average baby boomer cope? How did it affect their everyday lives and how did they react to the changes and cope with stress?
Baby Boomer advocate Brian Murphy brings a wealth of experience and research covering a 20 year advocacy period in his book “The Life of an Average Baby Boomer” released through Amazon Kindle books.
Brian is an educator and life mentor and is passionate about ‘my generation” and has consistently informed Boomers about the big picture of what lies ahead for us all as Australia Ages and how it will affect us as individuals through public presentations and his web site www.bonza.com.au
You will learn a lot from the book gaining new information that is relevant to you as an individual and you will also be motivated to plan for the future and move forward in your life.
He shares his life memories freely and in an honest and simplistic manner that many will be able to relate to as average Boomers. His adventurous childhood and teen years, bad school experiences, his call-up for national service and related court appearances as a Conscientious Objector, mates and marriages, parenting experiences, retirement and his years in New Zealand founding and running Grey Skills and the subsequent efforts on his return to OZ in informing and educating government and society of the pitfalls of the Boomer generation and our influence on welfare, health and aged care budgets.
The Life of an Average Boomer www.amazon.com.au
Have Some Fun- Using Your Brain
Brain Study: If you can read this OUT LOUD you have a strong mind. And better than that: Alzheimer's is a long, long, ways down the road before it ever gets anywhere near you.
Only very good minds can read this. This is weird, but interesting!
7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5!
1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3
Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17,
B3 PROUD! 0NLY C3R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15. PL3453 F0RW4RD 1F U C4N R34D 7H15.
If you can read this, you have a strange mind, too. Only 55 people out of 100 can.
I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
This is a TEST ----------------Good Luck!!!
We can all use some brain exercise!!
How old are your eyes?
The Eye Test
Can you find the B's
(there are 2 B's) DON'T skip
Once you've found the B's
Find the 1
Once you found the 1............…;.
Find the 6
Once you've found the 6…;
Find the N (it's hard!!)
Once you've found the N…;
Find the Q..
Welcome to BONZA!!
"We wake up each day with problems and it is how we face those problems that makes our life". The Meaning of Life by Viktor Frankl
National Thank a Cop Day- 19th Sept
REVIEW of First National Thank A Cop Day 19.9.18
By Brian Murphy (for PM, Premiers, Police Ministers, Education Ministers, business groups and companies, community groups, editors, radio program producers and other interested bodies)
The idea for a National Thank a Cop day came from talking to a cop 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.
A day when the public celebrates the tremendous efforts of our police in keeping us all safe and protecting and enforcing the laws. We owe them so much, so this day is to remind them of that on a national large-scale basis and the emphasis is on celebration.
I did some research and found that there were some special days being held in some states such as Blue Ribbon Day in Victoria and Tasmania for fallen officers but nothing general to thank them on a national basis.
I decided to go ahead and challenge the public to support such a day and started an email and Facebook campaign to develop a solid push for it.
My first contact was with Mark Burgess who is the CEO of the Police Federation of Australia. He was supportive of the initiative from day one but suggested it would be better with more lead in time so 19.9 19 would be a better date. He was proven correct as I only had 3 weeks to create a campaign and it was just not enough time to delegate or create a network.
Mark will raise the topic as an agenda item at a national meeting, so all states police unions and associations can be involved in 2019.
Emails were then sent to the Prime Minister’s department, all state premiers, state police ministers, state education ministers and local mayors (Mayor Tom Tate from the Gold Coast used his Facebook site to recognise the day and thank all cops for the work they do) and most states replied as supportive but bureaucracy being what it is had no time to act.
Several hundred schools in all states were sent a media release and a suggestion that local officers be invited to school assembly to be thanked publicly.
All media editors, television channel news rooms and morning shows, radio stations including ABC and media Facebook pages were given the media release and replied that the date would be noted but Neil Mitchell from Melbourne morning radio was the only interview given on the topic.
Sixty community organisations were notified and 30 large national business organisations and all that answered were supportive and I used my web site that I edit www.bonza.com.au plus my Facebook site Baby Boomers of NZ and Australia and my LinkedIn site to spread the word. Hundreds of people were immediately supportive, and thousands viewed the web page, but I did not secure a sponsor (need a national company to help spread the word).
The police health society were also supportive as I am sure they realise the goodwill it would bring to the minds of those officers who are suffering in some way due to their police duties.
My local MPs Karen Andrews federally and Ros Bates on a state stage will do their bit for next year no doubt and Karen Andrews office is looking to see how we get the date on a national calendar so 1919 will be tagged for the day.
The vision is that police will enjoy that day on duty more than any other because we all make the effort to treat them well with handshakes, hugs, free food, flowers (I sent a bunch to my local cop shop this year), recognition on school assemblies and in the community (and any other way you can think of to make it a real celebration).
I hope you all share that image and I look forward to the community supporting National Thank a Cop Day on the 19 September 2019 and every year after on that date.
Would you please support this initiative by raising the topic at your next meeting so 2019 is a raging success for our police? Thank You as there should be lots of positive things happening like this in our modern stressful world.- Ed
PS How disappointing that McDonald's Australia have declined involvement only because I witnessed an unruly customer in Mac's earlier this year and the staff had no hesitation going to 2 cops who were waiting for a coffee and asking for assistance yet wont celebrate their positive role with us all. Poor form Macs and I wont be spending there any more- Ed
BOOMER POINT OF VIEW- OCTOBER 2018
Move Baby Boomers to the Bush
An ABC report last week spoke of the governments wish to move migrants to the bush using some of the same material BONZA has been bleating about for 20 years (read the Intergenerational Reports on BONZA web site- very interesting planning research for our futures)
"The Federal Government's populist ploy to appear to be relieving Australian capital cities of their growing pains by forcing migrants to live in country towns is the wrong solution.
The migrants we are talking about are the skilled migrants that are needed to balance the increasing number of retirees leaving the work force.
The NSW Intergenerational Report issued a year ago indicated that 40 years ago there were seven income-earning workers for each retiree; this has now dropped to four and projected to fall to 2.4 in 40 years' time.
It is the big bulge of baby boomers who are moving out of work that signal the need for skilled migration.
The people we need are IT experts, finance experts, creative industry workers and these people are urban dwellers.
Just like their equivalents in New York, London and Singapore, they want the excitement of a big city. "- ABC NEWS
If Baby Boomers went BUSH we could work part time in country towns for a little income and teach skills to bush kids.
Migrants would form their own communities and become isolated in many cases whereas we would enjoy the peace no doubt and a slower pace. Not for all but would appeal to some.-
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.
A bucket list of things to do is a Boomer priority but there are moments when we will be challenged.
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!!
What is BONZA?
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
Bucket List Travel
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
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.
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.
It is the most interesting experience the way your brain opens the folder that is marked with their names and the memories poor in as you talk and remember different events and experiences that meant so much at the time.
The high school reunion was like being back in class as different stories are offered by the assembled group..lots of laughs lots of great memories.
Yesterday I went to lunch with a small group who used to meet after school in a cafe at Taringa in Brisbane and we talked about the innocence of the time and the dances and parties we attended together.
Names were mentioned that I had not heard for 50 years as that's how long it has been since we were all together but I felt so comfortable with them..my old friends.
Yes, I recommended reunions to you all. Find your friends and say hello because it just makes you feel good and you are reminded of what a lovely life most Boomers had.
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.
Lots to do folks,so let’s get on with it in 2018 and have a BONZA LIFE!
( NB: BONZA is also an Aussie slang term for great or fabulous)