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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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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!
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1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3
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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
BONZA View - July 2018
Why are we here on this planet?
Ever ask yourself that question? Bet you have and 99% of us justify the answer through what we do to sustain our families, working for a lifetime, recycling our throw outs and educating and informing ourselves about health, wealth and fitness.
Could we do more? Definitely but who has the time, passion and willpower. I like to think that the millions…… yes millions…… of baby boomers I have connected with through BONZA over the last 20 odd years is a good effort. I can reflect on this and it leaves me with a sense of accomplishment as I assist people to participate economically and socially and plan for now and the future as we age. You know then that when my time comes and I ask what my legacy is then BONZA will be the answer I think. In my opinion most of us will ask the question at some stage no doubt in our lives.
If I am right and only one percent will have really contributed outstandingly, then a gong must go to Lord Howe Island and in particular one man. I have just returned from a week on Lord Howe Island and it is a paradise for conservationists and a remarkable place to see.
On flying into the island, I was immediately taken by its natural beauty and compared it immediately to the same island paradise of Norfolk Island that is a tourist’s delight. It only took one trip to the local museum (also acts as the information point) to realise the difference between the two.
You don’t go to Lord Howe for a holiday although it is very relaxing and has golf, tennis, snorkelling, fishing just as the likes of Norfolk Island does but the difference is Ian Hutton. Ian visited the island in 1980 and stayed on as a naturalist and then conservationist. In his words…..
“For me, living on Lord Howe Island is like living inside a David Attenborough documentary. Outside my front door is the Island rainforest – alive with the calls of rare endemic birds. A 30-minute walk through the palm forest and into the hills takes me to 200 metre high cliffs, and from there I can see many of the Island’s 14 seabird species, which breed in tens of thousands every year. The Island’s mountain summits are slightly less accessible, but where else on such a short trek, could one enter a mysterious “coal age” mist forest, clad with mosses, ferns and ancient flowering plants, most of which are totally restricted to that environment. Alternatively, if the mood takes me, I can motor out in my dinghy to the Island’s coral reef (in less than five minutes) and snorkel over a dazzling realm of colourful corals and fish, whose myriad variety stuns the senses.” -Ian Hutton
The island museum tells the conservation story visually or you can walk the island for days to see the results but he runs programs daily about the bird life, marine life, local flora and the changes that have been made to Lord Howe over the decades. The eradication of feral cats, goats and next year the rats that came 200 years ago. All man made problems for the local fauna and some species are now extinct because of it.
But now, through his remarkable vision and work, the bird life is the healthiest in the world with 130 permanent and migratory species of land birds and sea birds. There are only 300 inhabitants on the island and only 400 guests are allowed at one time.
His vast knowledge of conservation and its issues is worth listening to and students come from all over to learn from him. Indeed, over 20 were there from Wellington University in NZ whilst we visited and we sat with them during his enthralling lecture on birdlife. His informative documentaries he has made are also shown every day except Saturday and he is available to talk to you during or after the talks.
I had the pleasure of shaking his hand before I left and thanked him for his passion, knowledge, devotion and achievements and I know when he asks the question of why he is here on this planet, then his work is the answer and proves he is in the one percent of humanity that truly excels in leaving a legacy for future generations.
How can Boomers be true to ourselves?
I mentioned in a previous article that in an age of distrust and false news, it is important that “To thine own self be true”. So how do we be true to ourselves and live with the distrust?
I am not a preacher so there will be no sermon from the pulpit but I can subject you to my daily routine as a Boomer advocate and how I am true to myself even though others disappoint me with their questionable antics. I try and be true to my blogs and if by doing that it is of some assistance to you then I am content with that fact but it is not been presented as the ideal life style for Boomers but more my mindfulness of my age so you may learn from it and use my ideas or not.
The best way of imparting my day to you is to break it up into three sections- morning, noon and night.
Morning- I decided to keep working part-time after 65 for some fitness, routine and some extra income with the pension so on three mornings a week I am woken by my alarm at 4.15 for a 5 o’clock start at my cleaning job which sees me walking, vacuuming, mopping and sweeping for 2 hours. On the alternate mornings I wake around 5.30 and do some yoga for 20 minutes (including planking for my core body strength) then head off for some exercise by walking for 10 000 steps or more (scenic routes are better). Both activities always end with a cup of coffee at a local café or McCafe because I find it a rewarding carrot for my physical efforts and I have the added excitement of a freebie after so many clicks on my loyalty card.
For any X, Y OR Z generationer reading this and laughing at the routine, may I say to you that I have earnt this after 52 jobs in my life and 40 years of parenting so I do have the most euphoric feeling each day knowing that I can do what I bloody well want to …ha-ha.
On arriving home from work (my wife has departed to her work in IT) I then put on the boxing gloves and do some bag punching or head for the yard for a general clean-up of palm fronds and weeds before my breakfast. Sometimes it is necessary to return to the yard after breakfast and put in some gardening time with whipper snipping and branch and hedge cutting and trimming. I try to assist the neighbours as well as they all work full-time.
After a quick shower, I head for the computer and check out the news of the day from ABC, Huffington Post and News Corp so I have a general idea about what is going on in the world. Then it is time for site checking- LinkedIn, Facebook and my BONZA web site and then write about some blog topic for each of them that maybe of some use to my fellow Boomers.
Housework is next with vacuum cleaning. Clean windows and other household chores so my better half does not have to come home to an untidy house (her pride and joy so there is my incentive for brownie points with her). Time then to do some shopping if it is necessary or go and socialise with other Boomer friends and family.
I am also a community worker in that I give my time to the local church to do their gardening and keep the local councillor up to date with work requests for graffiti or road damage in our area. My wife says I am after brownie points with my God for the church work but, as with BONZA, I like to give something for the privilege of living in this great country.
Noon- Time for some ‘me’ time with Netflix or SBS On Demand and ABC IView while I eat some lunch which is usually leftovers from the previous evening. My wife and I have only purchased food for each meal during the week so we can keep our food bill around the 150 dollar mark for the week and have also checked products for excess sugar levels as part of being true to ourselves with healthy food.
I usually then do some reading and jigsaw puzzle to keep the mind active before preparing some of the ingredients for the evening meal.
Some research time then happens on the computer and I look for interesting travel destinations for our holiday breaks or relevant information to Boomers which I add to the Facebook or web site as a blog. We keep a travel account as suggested by Scott Pape- the Barefoot Investor- so our holiday money is waiting for our pleasure time which is around 3 trips a year unless it is OS and that is always a dear holiday with plane tickets so once a year there. I have listed some of our destinations on the BONZA website for your perusal.
The superannuation pays 12% on average annually so still living off the interest and draw a monthly pension adage as well which can go to travel.
Night- The evening revolves around meal time, communicating the day’s events and planning ahead. Then take a good book to bed and lights out by 9.30.
Weekends of course are different in that we try and do one decent long walk in the hinterland or on the beach and then relax a little after the weeks activities. My work wage enables me to treat ourselves for breakfast out on Saturday as a reward.
So how is that different to your week? Hopefully not much but you can see how we focus on the import things such as home, communicating, wealth measures, health and fitness and being an active member of the community.
In all honesty, we probably should be more social with others but, for those who still work, the reality is that work is stressful and socialising is hard when you are tired so we leave it to movies and live music when we can for destressing until she who rules also retires.
Our lifestyle allows us to stay fit and healthy, have money to enjoy and also enjoy life so the fake news people of the world have little impact on us until election time. You really don’t need the stress or drama in your life so delete as much as possible and ‘to thine own self be true‘.
To thine own self be true," says Polonius in Hamlet. It is time for us to do so.
We are witnessing what is plainly an age of public distrust of institutions and people in authority who we can no longer trust because they lie to us and it is at this time that we have to realise that there is only one person we can truly trust and that is ourselves.
The Royal Commission into banking has proven what we all thought and that is as members and customers of banks, financial institutions and superannuation companies, our needs do not come first which is evident by one statement alone that customers who were dead were still being charged fees and the fact that even though banks knew they had committed irregularities, they still didn’t bother contacting their clients.
Members of the three tiers of government continue to feed off the public like pigs at a trough and put their needs first and the public's second. Councils being sacked and public figures resigning at all levels due to mismanagement.
On the global stage, President Trump finally admits what we all suspected, he did have an affair thus destabilizing world trust. What can we believe? Who can we believe?
News Corp warns us that false news on blogs and by independent sources is damaging world trust in the media so how can we believe what we read?
I am going to do what we all have to do and trust in myself to work out who is false. I have the skills of life to do so and I am sure you do to. We are the most educated generation of all time, the Boomers that is, and that education will allow us to look beyond the negatives and keep living a fit and healthy lifestyle while we wait for our saviours, the good guys and girls, who are out there but just need our patience and support.
Hang in there Boomers and stay positive.
Are you aware of the pitfalls in Super?
Four Corners did an eye-opening story on Super funds this week on how they treat their members basically in my opinion as the enemy.
Mercer Super: “We do not intend to advertise the new lower fees to existing members and we don't want to make it easy for them to [a] find out about the new lower fees and [b] access them."
If you are not happy with the fees being taken from your Super then shop around and change to another one. Our Super is our retirement quality, and the more you have the better the retirement, so it is to your advantage to take an interest.
Size does matter so check your fees and ask trusted friends or other Super funds can they do better but look also at the make-up of your Super.
I have a report given to BONZA about a lady who checked her insurance amounts (yes you have insurance cover in your Super for Income Protection, disability and death or TPD) and because she had not indicated that she was a white collar worker on her Super profile then she was paying 3 times the required insurance fee and over a period of 10 years added up to 14 000 dollars out of her contributions. This is an extraordinary amount of compound interest lost by her for something that is never explained to members.
You also need to be aware that your beneficiary has to be noted (nominated beneficiary) and renewed every three years with your Superannuation if you want your spouse or family to get your Superannuation on your death otherwise it will be up to the board of directors to decide who receives the payout.
Further, I found out the government take a Super tax amount from all the funds so I asked why it doesn't show on my Super transactions. The answer was that they take it as a lump sum on their total funds so they don't break it down to individual accounts...it goes before it gets to you..still think we should know as members.
Super is your future so keep up with it no matter what your age is.
I am worried about my future.
I received an email through this site from a single woman in her 60s who had no job, no home and no assets and is extremely worried about her future.
Interestingly, the Bonza Report below highlights single women’s insecure future as they age with no superannuation, no secure home and no security at nights if they are alone so this email is timely.
I have advised her to seek on-going employment in the services industry e.g. home care services or cleaning professionally and to look for hidden jobs like animal minding/walking or home services for hipsters with money.
Is this demeaning work for women? No….we have to keep working part time to supplement the pension and if there is no super then it is even more important so any work at this stage of our lives is important.
Basically, the truth is that ageism stops us using our skills and education to find work as we age so accept the opportunities that come your way and don’t let pride get in the way in my opinion.
Scott Pape – the Barefoot Investor- tells us in his book which is an all-time best seller because everyone loves it. He spells out life in a humorous way and explains why we must keep working as we will not have the super the younger generations have but we can still survive well with planning. Do yourself a favour and read his book.
Back to the email….my next piece of advice was to remember that we are pensioners when your time comes and there are great concessions in all areas….bills, take away, travel, retail....so your outgoings will be reduced….shopping for groceries becomes a needs only basis.
The other question of security will raise its ugly head soon if not already and women will need security aids such as alarms and training in protecting themselves with any item they can grab.
The bigger picture will be an eventual government focus on what can be done to reassure them that someone (not police as there will be too many) who will check on them and be there for them if needed.
How difficult it is to be an advocate in this tech- savvy/ social media world of ours today.
I have been a Boomer advocate through 2 decades now and I once described myself as a chronic idealist in that 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 started in 1998, I would take my Over Head Transparencies along to community meetings and explain the illuminated identified issues, projected onto the white screen, about 5 million Baby Boomers ageing and the impact it would have on society in the areas of welfare, health and aged care all of which have now come of age There was no precedent to study as we were the first generation to live well beyond the then retirement age of 65.
The new millennium meant that technology well and truly took over from the industrial age and OHT’s disappeared to be replaced by PowerPoint presentations and web sites. I felt at home in this era as my IT minded wife became my munshi and I was taught how to develop the presentations 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 Boomer to anyone or group that would listen. This lead to opportunities to open dialogue with corporations, governments and the Boomers themselves who loved the BONZA web site www.bonza.com.au and viewed it in the hundreds of thousands as there were few of them then.
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.
By 2016 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.
So advocacy is now a business and you can do your own petition, 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.
So what should I do as an older advocate? Maybe ‘get a life’ as one Boomer suggested a couple of years ago but even though I contemplated giving it away, someone would 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 at 20 year down the track with one information web site for Boomers, one interactive site on Facebook for those who like to talk about issues and two books about Boomers published, one last year and the motivational book for Boomers this year.
If you are wondering then if it is worth it then yes is my answer. When a local GP tells me the book is a good tool to motivate people to move forward and when the government are reading it in Canberra then I know that some of the things we outlined in the Bonza Report in 2014 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.
Grow old with passion Super Adults and here’s to the last 20 years!
We are going to change the world’s perception of Ageing. Wow you are saying, so how do we do that? Personally, I am over the negativity that comes with ageing and we all know that the days of retiring and dying are over and there is a new life to live for us all.
The 60’s saw us change the world so we will do it again and make ageing exciting and interesting. We will also be socially and economically viable.
We are going to do a Mind-Switch and only be positive about our lives and plan for the future. In reality most of us have it good. Even if you are short of a few dollars to live on, we have our health and fitness in our hands and have access to free fitness programs through local councils or just an individual plan to walk/bike/jog daily.
We have opportunities to volunteer, do part-time work, IT access to a new world of information, relax, travel, gym work, join social clubs, help our neighbours and family, assist the community as watchers for government, play sport, enjoy hobbies, become self-employed and have fun doing whatever. The younger generations would love to do what we do.
I had coffee with my brother yesterday which is always enjoyable but a neighbour of his joined us and then his brother as well and it felt good as we are all Boomers. We sat and talked about surfing, swimming, part-time work and how proud we are of our children and were the world is heading.
All positive stuff but after I left them, my mind transported me to Mr Sturgess who lived in our family street in Auchenflower Brisbane when I was a teenager. He worked for Queensland Rail as a manager and retired dutifully at 65 but was dead within a year. Then I thought of Fraser who visited me in my role as a Personal Adviser with Centrelink and he worked for the Gold Coast City Council as a Foreman. He said to me at the time that he feared retiring because he would have nothing to do.
Boomers are different now as we age and we can change this perception of life finishing on retirement and, yes, many of you already have. But to those who are fearful, in my opinion, you need to live for the day (mindfulness is the modern term) and don’t accept you have changed all that much. You see, we adapt if we are in control of our thinking and we can be very adventurous if we are accepting of our self-image. We can’t do what we used to do but we can do new things and take on new challenges.
I have tried to assist by producing a book that will enhance the lives of those Boomers who are struggling- BOOMERS MOVING FORWARD- A Motivational Book for Super Adults (available through Amazon Boomers Moving Forward as paperback or eBook) and I hope you take the time and effort to begin this journey of change and enjoy your golden years with a new outlook. Remember, the process has worked for many Boomers (aged 54 to 72) so it is surely worth a read.
A younger post office worker said to me yesterday that she was aware of how the Boomers changed the world for the better back then and really appreciated it but she wished we would get out of politics. I laughed and I showed her the book and said we are ready to change the world again and to leave another positive image for future generations.
I have named the change MATURELINK so that you can focus on a single word which encompasses all things ageing. The book will explain it all.
Let’s go Boomers. Let’s change the world again together and do your mind-switch!
The BONZA Report- A Report on the Future of Australian Babyboomers
After over 20 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 plus displayed on LinkedIn and BONZA Facebook page and for use in planning for the future for my generation.
BONZA REPORT 2018
Suggested Action Plan Needed by Employers and Government
There are 5.5 million Boomers in Australia ranging in age from 54 to 72 and ten thousand of them are now retiring daily. They have on average about $70000 in Superannuation and will be expected to live until their eighties once they retire.
Welfare, health and aged care are Boomer priorities and will cost the government dearly in the coming decades.
It is the considered opinion of BONZA that no government and few employers have a current policy that capably addresses the needs of the Boomers so this report will make available their many suggestions that BONZA advocates on behalf of all Boomers in the hope that some if not all can be implemented.
Considering the time spent by the Commonwealth in researching our generation through the Intergenerational Reports of 2002, 2007, 2010 and now 2018 highlighting the burden that the generation is placing on government coiffeurs and will continue to do so then such a Boomer Policy is sorely needed.
BONZA Boomer Grassroot Recommendations for government and employer mature age policies:
Mature Age Unpaid Leave for over 50's (Quality time out from their workplace so they can travel while they are fit to do so)
Maturelink- over 50s need a separate one stop shop/office in every city focussing on their employment and training needs (The missing link for Boomers as many are lost in the current system which has them vying for jobs and looking for mature age specific information alongside younger generations at Job Service offices across Australia)
Govt subsidies for grandparent flats (A family approach to an Ageing Australia in line with European and Asian cultures to enable parents to be looked after by their children in their declining years)
A need for Community Health Clinics for the aged (Hospitals with their average 5 hour waiting periods for attention are no place for the ageing)
Community based program for aged to take an interest in the local community (Boomerang Centres run by local Boomers for the benefit of Ageing Australia)
Government incentives to stop the wealth drain (Boomers are unemployed and many under-employed without being on welfare. They are draining their life savings in doing so)
Development of the University of the Third Age (Keeping our minds active by offering lifestyle or life changing courses)
Break Centrelink up - Retirement Offices, Families, Disabled, Youthlink , Maturelink (elderly should not be on Centrelink queues)
Skills for the Bush project called BUSH SKILLS (A database of jobs available to those travelling Australia as Grey Nomads so they can do training of new skills in regional and isolated areas)
A Mature Age Policy for every workplace (So employers can offer incentives for Boomers to stay until retirement day as valued staff members)
A referendum to decide whether voluntary euthanasia should be part of Australian life (Over 70% have voted yes for this on our surveys)
Subsidised dental care for all Boomers (Our bad teeth are wrecking our health)
Government superannuation contributions for parents over 50 who are carers (Parents will not have enough super at retirement age)
Planning for our future social and economic participation through the Boomerang Hub concept. (Local clubs actively enlisting Boomers in Boomer interest as participants or volunteers to keep them active and engaged)
Newstart payments for grandparents to care for their grandchildren. (Parents can then work rather than have extended parent leave and les childcare money is being paid )
All Over 60's to go on an organised volunteer program ( e.g. mentoring in the community) for the dole if they are not working (There are few worthwhile jobs for those searching after 60 much less up to 70)
There is no doubt that Boomers have had a wonderfully full life through the efforts of previous governments in developing health clinics when we were mere babies and then the subsequent development of high schools to cope with our numbers.
Finally being offered free tertiary education that allowed us to become the most educated generation in history was something special.
Thousands have indicated to us at Boomer expos, on-line, Centrelink and job search offices, face to face and at Boomer presentations over a seventeen year period that they are grateful with the opportunities that were offered in the past by employers and the liberated society we demanded that opened up the world tous in the arts and humanities and allowed us freedom of thought and action.
Many still have no qualms about re-inventing themselves through more training and skill enhancement because they have no fear of failure in education due to our background.
This positive attitude also allows many to seek out technology training so they can compete with younger generations in IT knowledge and usage although many who choose to leave school early in their youth now have some adversity to technology but they are not the majority as most struggle with technology.
The majority of older Boomers (over 60s) are semi-retired or underemployed and are not on the dole. They exist from day to day on life savings, some cash jobs assisting family or friends and the dole.
They are the ones who are concerned about the future with 20 to 30 years of retirement and how they will survive it socially and economically.
They are caring for grandchildren but are still asked to job search if they are on the dole and they cannot afford to keep fit or eat well so health deteriorates through dental, obesity and anxiety problems.
This is why the suggestions for community hubs, childcare for welfare and training opportunities are so relevant.
They struggle with the demands of Job Services or the modern employer for current certificates and work experience and only a small percentage actually go to Job Services.
So a Maturelink office for all over 50s is mandatory then they can access mature age information, research and interaction with fellow Boomers and continue with the ‘my generation’ feel.
The younger generations only raise their anxiety levels and their negativity about being too old for serious commitment to job search and training because they compare themselves to those generations instead of accepting who and what they are.
As they become more aware of their mortality and their health declines then voluntary euthanasia becomes more relevant. There is a need for debate on this issue and a possible referendum (perhaps coupled with the upcoming indigenous vote). We want to die with dignity and not be a burden on society.Former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie is now and advocate for voluntary euthanasia and is quoted on the BONZA web site.
There are few jobs for over 60s so a more realistic approach is an organised government volunteer program that allows for the age group to be accessed by the community to do worthwhile projects and receive the dole if they need it. Look for alternatives ways to support the community for Boomers. (eg- In schools or assisting migrants).
This should be compulsory so we are not sitting on the job search cycle which is a waste of time and resources.
Families should be encouraged to look after their parents when they age because government will not be able to care for so many so let’s offer incentives to allow granny flats to be built as an example.
The family focus can be extended to caring payments or Newstart for grandparents to look after their grandchildren.
The maternity/paternity leave provided by government and private sectors would be significantly reduced if grandparents were paid for their time caring for their grandchildren.
It would also provide them with worthwhile work rather than be involved in an often futile job search.
By encouraging grandparents to perform this role, it would also reduce child care payments provided by government. These savings could be diverted into funding superannuation for the caring grandparents.
Employer Mature Age Policies are essential to encourage workers to stay until retirement because Boomers are leaving secure work in droves and would stay if they were treated differently and felt valued.
We are the generation that is causing all the concern by governments, employers and society over economic and social participation.
We are the ones who do not have enough superannuation to assist us financially as we age.
Allow us some voice as a group and hope for the future by seriously considering some of our recommendations in addressing those concerns.
Look for government policy that addresses the concerns raised here as issues arise over an ageing Australia.
Focus on us as a group so our concerns for our generation can be met.
Forget 70 as a retirement age- alternatives needed.
Current efforts to assist Boomers need refining and focusing
Over 60s have little chance of finding work so allow alternatives
Encourage social and economic participation through mentoring in community or caring for grandchildren
Boomers are too well educated to allow their skills not to be harnessed
Employers need a Boomer (mature age) policy
Local clubs to become Boomer hubs
Allow us to die with dignity through voluntary euthanasia
There are three stages of ageing- over 50, over 60 and over 70 with different needs for each group.
Authors of BONZA REPORT
B. Ed, Dip. Teaching, Dip. Professional Counselling, Cert. IV Community Services, Cert. IV Training and Assessment
Grey Army CEO Australia 1997
Grey Skills NZ Founder 1998-2001
BONZA Web Site Editor 2001-2018
Centrelink Personal Adviser 2002-2007
Maturelink Consultant Centrelink 2006-2007
Employment Adviser 2007- 2014
Mature Age Expo Organiser 2004-2007
Re-Invent Your Career Key Speaker 2009-2010
Author- Boomers Moving Forward (2018) and The Life of an Average Baby Boomer ( 2017)
PMG/Telecom Administrator/Manager 1968 – 1994
Director Bushgold Pty Ltd 1994 - present
BONZA Consultant 2001- present
Executive Officer Junior Rugby League 2004 -2006
State Government Ministerial Officer/Adviser 2006-2011
Red Hill Community Sports Club Inc. (Boomerang Hub) 2011-2018
Who are Baby Boomers?
Founded in 2001 BONZA is all about Baby Boomers who are aged 54 to 72 (born between 1946 - 1964) with over 5.5 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 $22 000 and we have an average of $60 000 superannuation now.
Aim for around 300 000 in super at least but you will not need a million to live a good life just an independent one. Good luck to those who have been able to accrue more.
The Y generation will have hundreds of thousands of dollars on retirement if they work all their lives because they have the time to plan. Hope that makes sense.
There are many pieces to the Boomer jigsaw puzzle and 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 2018 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.
There are many opportunities now to market your own products on Amazon or week-end markets. Time to do something you always wanted to do.
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 the house 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 some low strength aspirin each 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 although if you hunt around on the web you will find good prices in Australia now.
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 so long 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.
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.( and they did)
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 (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."
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......
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 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 2017 and have a BONZA LIFE!
( NB: BONZA is also an Aussie slang term for great or fabulous)