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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.
Our favourite group of all times and their music will be played in centuries to come- THE BEATLES
Paul McCartney’s new release Kisses On The Bottom is available. Also now you can watch the official EPK for the album in its entirety at the link below. The interview features Paul and Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma chat about the process of recording KOTB.
Please share the new full Kisses On The Bottom EPK with your readers at Bonza.
Kisses On The Bottom Full EPK Link: http://youtu.be/J2j_Aw2SJBQ
Stream KOTB on AOL Music: http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds/spinner#/1
Stream KOTB on MSN Music: http://music.msn.com/music/listeningbooth/
Buy Kisses On The Bottom: http://www.amazon.com/Kisses-Bottom-Paul-McCartney/dp/B006OAB3ME/?tag=concordreco0c-20
Buy Kisses On The Bottom (Deluxe): http://www.amazon.com/Kisses-Bottom-Paul-McCartney/dp/B006RVDX00/?tag=concordreco0c-20
‘Kisses On The Bottom’ assets: http://www.42west.biz/PMCARTNEY/assets.zip
Official website: http://www.paulmccartney.com
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 no 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.
According to the AARP, Boomers and older Americans are giving retirement a major makeover, which has led to the emergence of a new life stage – an encore career. This period can involve paid, part-time work, or revolve around an entirely new business idea. I'm with Annuity.org, where our goal is to provide relevant financial information on a multitude of topics. Recently, we have developed a comprehensive guide to investing in a business during an encore career.
I've at attached a couple of resources for you to check out:
I would be thrilled if you were to include us on your page, alongside your other helpful sites, at http://www.bonza.com.au/links.html. Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a wonderful day!
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!
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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..
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
BONZA View - February 2017
Boomers health better than previous generations in the golden years
Boomers keep on keeping on I believe because we have never subscribed to the “you’re too old for that” theory. We tend to take it as it comes and live our lives to the full as we have done in every decade of our lives.
When you look at our forefathers and mothers society wrote them off at mid 60s by retiring them and labelling them as “past it” and they responded accordingly and shut down. I had neighbours when I was younger who retired at 65 and were dead a year later I believe because they stopped participating.
One thing we can be sure of is that if you decide that your life is over then your brain will respond by shutting down your health and subsequently your body.
We are eating better than previous generations, exercising more vigorously and more often, still playing sport, joining clubs, travelling and generally participating in life.
We have web access to an enormous amount of information on body health, the causes of aches and pains and what we can do to eradicate them or just see a specialist in that area as they are trained to assist the older generations much more than their predecessors were.
My day now consists of an early morning rise (in bed at 9), yoga or body stretching every morning, some apple cider vinegar in water before eating to motivate all the body organs, some porridge yogurt and blueberries for breakfast, supplements (fish oil and magnesium for joints) taken after breakfast, gym workout or a walk every day (I wear a Fitbit so I do the 10000 steps required for fitness every day), part time work 3 days a week and every other day in the garden for some physical work and an awareness of sugar so that sauces, soft drink, baked beans etc. that have a high sugar content are not part of my diet (check the labels on everything you buy at the supermarket for sugar content).
I follow the 70/20/10 food plan- 70% healthy food, 20% of combined and 10% of don’t spoil the moment by preaching health (if everyone is getting an ice cream then have one as well to be part of the moment). Good for the mental health that one but everything is about a balance.
Your mind also needs to be active so use the computer at home or the library, read books, volunteer and do something to keep mentally alert. I do little jobs for my neighbours as they work so it is a win/win for us all and I feel useful as well.
The day ends with some great television or a movie and one aspirin to keep the blood thinned before bed at 9 winds up my day.
Hope that helps you in some way Boomers and you live a long, happy and healthy life.
It's Time to Dismantle Centrelink- too big and too many mistakes being made.
Please sign the petition so we can have a smaller Centrelink for unemployed and separate departments for aged and youth
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 2017 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 $18000 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.
Hidden Tax on 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.
My Transition to Retirement
I have been truly worried about the transition to retiring for some years now. How I would survive what would I do and what sort of world I was leaving for my children and their children.
Goodness knows the younger generations add to that worry by making us feel as guilty as we possibly can with their accusations of us ruining the earth for future generations and purposely trying to be different from our parents to the detriment of family values and life.
Yes I admit guilt in wanting to be different from my parents but only because they were so tied down to a boring lifestyle and world and we wanted more. I suspect every generation is guilty of that but I don’t subscribe to the ruining the earth theory.
The population explosion has caused tremendous strain on every aspect of our lives but we have always stayed positive, identified the problems and searched for answers and outcomes to those problems.
Boomers are doers and we want a better world for all so I feel strongly that the scale is balanced without input to discover better ways of doing things in the arts, science, business, construction, medicine and a variety of other fields.
My working life was always full on with over 50 jobs in a 51 year period with a sustained work ethic to them all. I never let anyone down- colleague or employer.
I loved work and I love people so it was never a huge problem to go- I owe, I owe it’s off to work I go – was the general policy. I also found work to be some respite from home life and parenting which can be both very demanding and I worked as hard on my home life- my parenting and partnership- as I did my work life.
Indeed I used many of the skills I was taught at work to make sure my home life was enhanced and have had a good partnership and family life due to that attitude.
At 63 my work colleagues suddenly saw me ageing and changed their attitude to me from respect to tolerance.
My employer upset me with what were clearly ageism practices which deflated my ego and made me feel worthless.
I was seen as interfering and problematic whenever I pointed out bad practices in our workplace.
My past accomplishments and high standards seem to matter little- which is common I have found to my age group.
I resigned after being pressured to do so and suffered health problems accordingly as, like most men, our work is our ego.
My X generation wife was devastated as she felt strongly that I should have seen out my role until retirement and she was not supportive of my stand against my employer over my principles.
So I was 63 and unemployed and soon realised after numerous knockbacks from employers for other roles that I may have been unemployable.
The plan was always to sell my skills and high qualifications for a similar or better role in another company if I lost my job and I formed my own consultancy to spearhead that push.
I managed many interviews but could not secure a new role.
I was forced to look to the future and start planning for retirement. My wife has superb skills in budgeting so with her assistance and now much appreciated support I planned my time until aged pension.
Firstly an interview with the FIS officer at Centrelink who was able to calculate what I would receive in part pension.
Then it was only a matter of doing my yearly budget based on past costs and decide how much money would be needed annually to supplement my living from my superannuation.
I discovered through my planning that my super would easily last for another decade of living and with some luck we would also be able to travel by banking any extra income.
I went to my network next and asked a good friend for work as a part time cleaner which was to bring me a few hundred dollars a fortnight for coffee and takeaways and then some bigger roles like the G20 as a security guard and the federal elections eventually enabled us to have a travel account and a trip to UK and Norway this year.
All things in all life are now good. My good stressless health is supplemented by regular yoga and gym visits, walking regularly with my FITBIT in tow- 10 000 steps a day- and cutting down on the sugar intake which has shed 10 kilos from my body.
I feel great and I am enjoying life to the max with my kids and grandkids and my partner so for those of you who are worried about retiring then can I say it has been like most things we have had to face in our Boomer life- take it as it comes.
Beatles Documentary film by Ron Howard
I am really looking forward to this Ron Howard film because the Beatles had an enormous influence on my life and in reality all our lives.
The world in 1964 was so different to today's world. It was a black and white boring world of too many rules, no colour, censorship in all areas, little after hours entertainment, dead weekends, old music on the radio and strict schooling.
My weekends seemed to last forever as I listened to the odd pop hour that was allowed on radio and I contemplated my future whilst lying on my bed in a boring life in a colourless world.
Over dramatised you might say but it is my reflection of those times and other than sport and movies, there was little to do to occupy your spare time as you were surrounded by a dull world still recovering from the war years.
Then came the Beatles in 1964 and our generation simply worshipped them.
They wore different clothes like collarless suits that eventually were to metamorphose into psychedelic colours, longer hair, wit and humour when being interviewed and a message of rebellion against older generations who were holding back change.
A rebellious attitude that immediately alienated my generation from authority but eventually demanding the societal changes we were clueless at initiating individually.
We had a focus and we had our heroes. We desperately wanted to be mirror images of them.
Our hair grew longer, our clothes were all Beatles influenced, Westminster style shops opened in Brisbane, new clubs opened on Saturday nights and their music was everywhere.
Censorship declined and the world eventually gave in under their influence and opened their minds to change and a new modern open philosophy.
What a great era for me to be alive in and I cant wait to see Ron's slant on it.
Rons film was just terrific. I finally got to see them in a full concert and theIr music and humour reduced me to tears of joy. Really worth seeing.
I am an Age Pensioner- How did that happen?
Time to reflect on life as I have turned 65.
I remember my childhood without technology..games in the yard all day, matinee movies on Saturday..Sunday school....walk to school..family picnics..annual holidays together..eating around a table with real conversation..
I remember school and how we survived the playground..played sport..and were taught the 3 rs....my teens and football on the weekends..the awkwardness of local dances and introduction to pop music and long hair..
I remember the freedom of my late teens in the 60s and growing up in a rapidly changing world..married at 23 and a father by 26..then the best years of my life..parenting my children...studying at night for a degree....
I remember painful divorce and a new start..I remember commencing work and changing jobs every 5 years or so..45 jobs in all with part time work saving for a deposit for a house and working while studying...
and now it is all over..or is it..I have a part time job..I can volunteer at the local hospital, more travel, time with grand kids and good friends drinking coffee and having real conversation and my loving family all around me..
Cheers to retirement and I hope you all make the most of it when it is your turn to reflect.
Just completed 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.
Litchfeild 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.
All in all it was a great holiday and we are back in Feb 2017 for a trip on the Ghan train from Darwin to Adelaide.
The BONZA Report- A Report on the Future of Australian Babyboomers
After 17 years of listening to Boomers, talking to employers, government and community BONZA takes pride in presenting the first BONZA Report.
It is a collective view and you may or may not agree with it all but it is the thoughts and ideas of "my generation".
We hope it makes a difference to our lives by sowing some seeds of change.
It has been sent to all Federal Government Departments and political parties for their perusal and use in planning for the future for my generation.
LINK (Download the report here)
The BONZA Report- 2014
Who are Baby Boomers?
Founded in 2001 BONZA is all about Baby Boomers who are aged 53 to 71 (born between 1946 - 1964) with over 5 million in Australia (ABS) and 1 million in New Zealand. (Between 1998-2001 I had the pleasure of working all over NZ and assisted hundreds of KIWI Boomers find employment through my company Grey Skills)
We have always been aware of our generation and our uniqueness in that we are a constant worry for our governments due to our numbers and the predicted cost of our ageing process to them. I don't want to be a burden- do you? Let's prepare ourselves so that does not happen if we can prevent it.
In 2011, the first of the Boomers became eligible for aged pensions and the numbers doubled from the previous year. In the next couple of decades aged care becomes the focus.
Families and individuals will be encouraged to have ageing Boomers stay in their own homes and be cared for as they age because we cant build enough aged care homes to cope with the high numbers.
Increased health problems will also dominate the annual budgets every year for the next 40 years and the security of single aged females will be another challenge to solve.
We are living longer so governments are encouraging us to work longer, stay healthier and invest our money wisely by planning for our futures.
I was asked by a Boomer why we are different than say Y generationers as they also have large numbers.
The answer is purely lack of superannuation to look after ourselves in retirement. We need about $30 000 a year for 20 odd years of retirement and the pension is only $18 000 and we have an average of $60 000 now.
Aim for around 250 000 in super at least but you will not need a million to live a good life.
The Y generation will have hundreds of thousands of dollars on retirement if they work all their lives. Hope that makes sense.
Boomer Health Flick
Saw a great film; Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Worth a view if you are overweight and/or unhealthy.
Also a good overview:
There are many pieces to the Boomer jigsaw puzzle and BONZA's 'Moving' Forward PowerPoint explains why we have to put those pieces together to see the big picture and encourage Boomers to focus on planning a new career rather than retirement.
In 2023 the age pension age goes up to 67 so it is better we stop thinking retirement and thinking long-term income. A 'mind switch' to the way we are thinking now is needed urgently.
My advice to Boomers in 2017 is simple. You have to work as long as possible because the superannuation market is so unpredictable and you need money for what could be a 20+ year retirement.
Why not do work that you choose so maybe do some study as it is never too late to start a new life.
If not study then there is work to match your skills in the aged industry, child care, community services or doing your own thing in starting or purchasing a business.
I believe we should be planning our future in three stages so that we get the most out of our different phases of life.
Stage 1- Over 50 and still actively working and saving through superannuation.
Stage 2- Over 60 and still working full time if possible (even as a volunteer) but at least part time to preserve health, superannuation and savings.
Stage 3- Over 70 and retired for most (a few will continue no doubt) and downsizing so money lasts as long as you can.
Working keeps you healthier and you will live more comfortably in old age rather than waiting anxiously for death.
Try yoga a few times a week to stay flexible and a dispirin a day to keep the blood thinning.
Many of us will be working or volunteering until our seventies so start thinking 'what can I do' and not 'who would want me at this age'.
Speaking of health, please read my story on dental treatment in Thailand in the Health section above because it could be a cheaper option for you in having your teeth fixed. Bad teeth will ruin your health.
Two centuries ago we were dying on average in our 40s. We are lucky enough to have twice that time on this earth so make the most of it.
It is no ones fault we have to work just our time on this earth is different from our ancestors.
Enjoy your family as they will be there when your time ends and you will feel complete because they are.
We need to work together to make sure that we have a BONZA life as we age, enjoy each others company and leave a positive image of our time on this earth.
Over 60s Employment
I work as a part time cleaner because of the few job opportunities over 60s have.
I had tried Uber driving but did not like the way y generationers treated my car (although you can deliver parcels for Uber now using your car) so when an offer came to be a cleaner with company of a close friend I grabbed it.
There will never be more than a few jobs for us. The alternative is government organised compulsory volunteering for welfare payments.
Look forward to new over 60s ambassador Susan Ryan researching future jobs for us though. We can’t be all cleaners or Uber drivers.
Feedback from surveys:
Superannuation - 58% have 10-100000; 17% have 100-600000 and 25% have over $600000 so lack of super for Boomers is a real issue in Ageing Australia.
Voluntary Euthanasia Referendum; 80% VOTED YES for one. I have these old survey results but have put the survey question on the front page in the new format above as it is an important and urgent issue and the same result is happening there.
It runs at over 70% for yes as well so why not add it to the coming referendum for the Indigenous.
Most Boomers I speak to on the matter already have a plan for euthanasia and some have the means already so why not make it legal.
Interesting to listen to debate on the Tasmanian Euthanasia Bill this year which was defeated by two votes. It makes you think when one chap said, "I don't want people I love to find me after suicide."
Victoria is our next hope in 2017. Let's hope they pass the bill.
Let's decide as a nation to give some dignity to the terminally ill who want to end their lives.
Marshall Perron was so concerned over the issue that he has written an open letter to all state and territory coroners about the need for voluntary euthanasia now. Please go to the noticeboard page above to view his letter. It is compelling reading.
Saw the movie last Cab to Darwin on the topic of euthanasia. It was a masterpiece..well acted and compelling. I believe that the title will become an Australian Boomer favourite with us announcing to friends and family that we are on the last cab to Darwin when our time comes.
Also former Qld Labor Premier Peter Beattie this week (March 2014) in the Australian wrote an article under the heading......
In the end, one's thinking turns to euthanasia
As premier I fought it, but ageing has forced me to
re-examine my views on this thorny moral issue
Further, I spoke with my doctor at a recent visit and he told me how difficult it is to get the over 80s to sign the authority to turn off the machines that keep them alive even though, "We are spending more money in the last year of life to keep people alive now than we did for the rest of their life," he said.
Another good reason for voluntary euthanasia would be the trillions we would save the country if you can take the emotion out of the debate.
In The Australian on 16/1/16 Nikki Gremmell wrote about her experience with her mother. Good reason for a referdendum I say. Would you want to go through this experience ?
" It feels like such a modern story for modern times.
My mother euthanised herself — it’s difficult to say “committed suicide” — late last year. No one really throws around that bald and loaded S word amid all the talk of “dying with dignity”. I don’t know if she fully considered the emotional depth charges her actions set off within so many lives. The fact is, my elderly mother euthanised herself, by herself, in front of the telly. Some builders — who had been taking their time renovating her bathroom, leaving her without it for weeks — found her the following morning. Everything was thought through very carefully.
My mother was in chronic pain. She’d had a foot operation 10 months earlier. I’d like to talk to the surgeon who took my mother’s carefully saved money and assured her he could “fix” her; I cannot bear to. He left her with a spine thrown out of kilter by the drastic surgery; left her too angry and despairing to talk about a further fix; left her twisted around a walking stick in her final weeks like a withered crone from a fairytale.".......
....... Independence. Empowerment. A say in her own circumstances.
So. In the end, she did it her way. She took care not to implicate any of her children — when the police officers informed me of her death they also pulled out a pad and took notes. Now I know why. I could have been the subject of a police investigation if I’d had anything to do with the situation.
My mother was careful; she’d done her research. But in the fraught world of euthanasia in Australia, I just say this: if the family cannot by law be involved in the wishes of a person wanting to be euthanised, then you are condemning that person to a monstrously bleak and lonely death. One that I, as the daughter, will never recover from.
I didn’t listen enough to her; didn’t grant her the dignity of a proper audience when she spoke of her Dying with Dignity books and forums; I’d get too emotional. Perhaps, in the end, she thought it easier to go it alone without the clutter of familial complication, to take matters into her own hands secretly and with great determination.
Nothing has ever been as dramatic in my life as my mother’s leaving of it. Were her final moments an act of empowerment, or despair? A gesture of motherly love, or selfishness? A friend in her 80s gripped my fist at the funeral, tighter than it’s ever been held. “You’re now a part of the SWS,” she whispered fiercely. “What’s that?” “The Strong Women’s Society.” She spoke as if it were a highly secret organisation to which I’d suddenly been granted honorary membership. Mum was a member of that too. I have to hold on to that. To make sense of it all."
Brothers in Arms Memorial Ypres Belgium
I returned to the Western Front in May 2014 and would like to share this story with you. It is an amazing place for Australians with tens of thousands of our lads never found.
Here died thousands of Young Australians who would never return to their families in OZ and are now part of all our families as they lie buried in this cemetery and the many others in this area that is now part of Australia forever.
The French recognize our significant contribution with a Franco- Australian museum in that village of Villiers- Bretonneux which is attached to a school rebuilt with Australian donations and all over the school yard and in their classrooms are Australian flags and messages such as 'Do not forget Australia.
This should be our spiritual home of World War One as our soldiers are revered here. You must go as it will humble you and also fill you with tremendous paradox of pride and sorrow.
Take time to see all the Australian sites in this area of France and Belgium- you will not be sorry and these brave young men should never be left alone.
This is the story of one of them John Hunter from Nanango and his brother Jim.
My brother Rod, my son Beau and I recently returned from a trip to the Western Front. My brother is a retired Major who spent time with the 49th Battalion and he was very interested in the graves of thousands from his battalion who lost their lives fighting on the Western Front in WW1.
On a day tour near Ypres in Belgium we were asked by the guide, as we were running out of time, if we wanted to see trenches or a film that a local publican had about Aussie diggers in Belgium.
After the film (by Australian by the name of Hurley who was in this area at the time) we were told a story by the publican Johan Vandewalle about how he was involved in the finding and exhumation of 5 Aussie soldiers whose remains were accidentally dug up in 2006 during road widening.
One of the soldiers turned out to be John (Jack) Hunter from Nanango who was wrapped and buried by his brother Jim during the battle of Polygon Woods but he was unable to find him on returning after fighting ceased and he remained there undetected for those 89 years.
Johan was severely affected by his find because he had to unwrap the body and as he did so the sun reflected off the retina of Jack's eye which had been persevered by his coat for all those years.
He has been raising funds for a memorial called 'brothers in arms’ since then to honour the brothers and their comrades. He is driven by the cause and we feel he needs assistance to achieve his target as most help at this stage is coming from local bikers in Europe.
I really think it was fate that Rod met this chap and we are keen to assist him raise the funds needed to build his ‘Brothers In Arms’ memorial.
I feel it is a remarkable story and we will approach Campbell Newman the Premier of Queensland and indeed all Australians to see if they can assist with donations.
Is it possible for any of you out there to raise awareness locally so that when the battle has its 100 year celebration in 2017 there is a memorial to commemorate this boy and this intriguing story of brotherly love.
All donations can be made directly to the memorial site on that web site.'
Hope you agree that it is a worthy cause and a great way to commemorate their sacrifice.
April 2016 UPDATE
Johan emailed me and informed BONZA that he is coming to Australia this month to help seek more donations for the memorial which now has been approved.
See media release below.
Please join us in sharing those good times, innovative ideas and suggestions to make the rest of our lives a BONZA one.
We advocate for:
I have never read an article that describes the Boomers as well as Jo Chandler from The Age newspaper has written.
Do yourself a favour and read it......
And this one on retirement......
Lots to do folks,so let’s get on with it in 2014 and have a BONZA LIFE!
( NB: BONZA is also an Aussie slang term for great or fabulous)