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A book for all Baby Boomers
I recommend the following book ...
The Rest of Your Life
How to Make it as Good as You Want
... to all Baby Boomers. It will be a real asset for all those who are planning responsibly for the future. Compiled by Paul McKeon for people in their 40s, 50s & 60s who want to really enjoy the second half of their lives.
Please access the link below to order your E-book copy.
I recently published my second book called “Once I was a Teenager”. It’s about how life was in the 50s and 60s in Australia.
It’s a nostalgic book about how life was then. Such as our mother’s pithy sayings...”no nice man will marry you if (you eat with your mouth open)”, or “wait ‘til your father get’s home”, or “wear a clean pair of knickers when you go out. What if you are in a car accident!”
We are offspring of parents of WW2, and we have their values which puzzle our offspring.
This is a really funny book with a foreword by Little Pattie (who remembers that Aussie 60s teen singing sensation, who is still performing today?)
Often our children don’t ask how life was for us. Well, you will chuckle and reminisce with this book. Guaranteed. Little Pattie loves it. I give proceeds to an orphan charity, but would love to be in contact with you guys.
You can contact me at email@example.com.
New health book just for over 50s
Research shows that Health and Finances are two of the biggest issues for people who are planning or experiencing retirement.
While there are hundreds of books about health on the market, there are very few that focus on the health issues that affect the lives of older people.
A new book titled “How to stay Healthy, Active and Sharp in Retirement” is designed to correct this omission.
It’s written by 15 leading health experts and it covers all the major physical and mental issues that people over 50 need to manage
Here’s a list of the subjects covered
11. Living beyond expectations ( Petrea King. Quest For Life Foundation )
12. Relationships and Sex (Sandra Kimball . Relationship Counsellor & author)
13. Keeping your immune system healthy (Prof. Fabienne Mackay Monash University)
14. How to reduce your risk of getting dementia (Dr. Simone Reppermund -UNSW Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing)
15. Dental health (Prof Peter Barnard.)
16. Your attitude keeps you young (or makes you old) (Paul McKeon)
This is not a book about sickness. The overriding message is that it’s possible to delay the ageing process and enjoy a better quality of life in our later years. It’s full of positive suggestions about how we can be happier and healthier if we follow the expert advice offered in the book.
The book is only available on line. You can find out more or buy a copy by clicking on this link
For comment or more information, please contact the Editor Paul McKeon on 02 6652 7581
Award winning author Diana Todd-Banks has a program for those interested in self employment. Please go to the Notice Board page to read her full email and ideas.
"Just a thought: on your BONZA site would it be feasible to create a section for those who are wanting to work (with their skills)? Then promote that section to the outside world. If any of that interests you and you need help let me know, I'll help you.
Cheers and keep up the great work."
Award Winning Best Selling Author
Life Change Coach * Web TV Host * Speaker
cell: (61) 407 187 008
Media Release- 17/6/2014
Is the 70 retirement really about Boomers?
The labor government decided that retirement would be 67 in 2023 because of the numbers of Boomers that would require government assistance by then in the key areas of health, aged care and pensions. I had no argument with that decision at the time as only a small percentage of Boomers will have enough superannuation to be able to be self-sustainable so working them for longer will add some personal wealth to their financial portfolio and offset some government costs.
As a student of the Intergenerational reports of 2002, 2007 and 2010 I understand the intent behind that decision. Then came the LNP version this year of retirement at 70 by 2035 and once again I thought I understood why but on further examination I am 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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If you can read this, you have a strange mind, too. Only 55 people out of 100 can.
I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
This is a TEST ----------------Good Luck!!!
We can all use some brain exercise!!
How old are your eyes?
The Eye Test
Can you find the B's
(there are 2 B's) DON'T skip
Once you've found the B's
Find the 1
Once you found the 1............…;.
Find the 6
Once you've found the 6…;
Find the N (it's hard!!)
Once you've found the N…;
Find the Q..
Welcome to BONZA!!
"We wake up each day with problems and it is how we face those problems that makes our life". The Meaning of Life by Viktor Frankl
National Thank a Cop Day- 19th Sept 2018
We celebrate certain days each year to recognise the outstanding work of special people in the community or identified diseases that cause so much suffering to our health as a reminder to us all and to raise awareness about them.
A group that really needs our support more than ever is the police force. Our police are the thin blue line dealing with the worst members of our society and the most traumatic scenes imaginable as they go about their daily duties in upholding the laws of our land and protecting our way of life, sometimes even to the detriment of their health through Post Traumatic Stress or even in losing their lives whilst on duty.
We owe them so much yet seldom show our feelings towards them in a positive way for varied reasons so we (BONZA) are naming Wed 19th September this year as the first THANK A COP DAY.
It is hoped that government representatives will support this initiative and the media so it can become a reality.
A blue and white chequered ribbon to be worn on the day would be appropriate but I call on all members of the community to show your appreciation in some way.
Cop is an endearing term to the community and is in no way meant to be derogatory but says it as it is in language the general public relate to and is not meant to offend in any way.
Please join BONZA (Baby Boomers) in celebrating this event this year and then every year on that date so they really understand just how much all of us think of them as outstanding public servants and how we could not live in such a wonderful country without their work and efforts to protect us all.
What can you do? Let your local community groups know, local schools, local media..just make people aware..it will evolve if we believe it worthy..it is not about BONZA but more the community at large..90% of us love the cops and what they do so we need to let them know in my opinion..hope you agree..no budget needed just a belief and I believe we can do it.
On the day.... shake their hand, kiss them on the cheek (if you ask and they agree), a flower..say 'Thank you for what you do'....don't tell them to 'go after real criminals' when you get a fine for breaking a law :) ... give them a free coffee or a pie if you have a business..invite them to a school assembly....deliver a bunch of flowers to your local cop shop or a cake you baked..make them feel good and offer the respect we have for them in a warm manner...organise your town or suburb... what a wonderful country we live in because of their efforts....don't forget that every day...Ed
People are asking what can they do on the day....1. thank a cop on the day- handshake or hug if they are ok with it 2. send flowers to your local cop shop 3. free coffee if they enter your shop or a pie or...whatever to eat.. or send a pizza. 4. if you're a group or organisation then thank them publicly with a media release. 5. just make them feel special and appreciated for the great job they do to keep this country safe
Have had support from Police Assoc in Victoria Wayne Gatt, Australian Federal Police Assoc CEO Mark Burgess..Tasmanian Premier's office and Fairfax media....NRL...Mayor of Gold Coast Tom Tate....thank you.
BONZA VIEW- September 2018
More Boomer Travel- Ayers Rock
Just a 2.5-hour plane journey from Brisbane and we banked over a massive red rock projecting out of the flat red landscape reaching further than the Eiffel tower into the sky. What a timeless land this beautiful country of ours is and what beautiful scenery it always produces.
How lucky are we to have such a remarkable world renown symbol of our fabulous outback in Ayers Rock at Uluru Resort. The colours are amazing with the bleached grass blending in with red soil, green leaves on white gums and clear blue sky.
The red centre resort is run like a well-oiled machine with the indigenous management making sure the local mob have work and are well trained. They are all friendly and proud of what they have produced which is a world class facility for tourist who flock there from all points of the globe to see the big red rock, the accompanying Olgas a few kilometres away and a 3-hour drive to Kings Canyon being the highlights.
The resort offers a town centre, coffee shops, supermarket, fuel, pool, courtesy bus, pub, helicopter rides, camel farm, entertainment and great walks with the highlights being the 12km walk around the rock with the accompanying spiritual feeling that a landscape and people millions of years old bring you and smaller walks into and around the Olgas.
We stayed 2 days but realistically should have been 4 days but it is definitely a must for your bucket list.
Retirement at 70 is not going to happen as the Australian government changes their policy.
Just a reminder that BONZA is advocating for all Boomers. The BONZA REPORT was sent to all governments- local, state and federal- and SCO-MO has viewed us on LINKEDIN so I can only hope that we influenced Federal thinking with this recent article on the 70 retirement issue- Ed
Is a 70 retirement really about Boomers?
A 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 of retirement at 70 maybe by 2035 and once again I thought I understood why but on further examination I am not so sure now.
All the current Boomers will be over 70 by 2035 as the youngest of them are 54 this year (and the older ones 72) so this decision is more for the X generationers (38 to 53) and even the Y‘s (23 to 37) 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 won’t be the burden Boomers 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 9.5% now) that will be needed for us to sustain our old age by that time and therefore we can leave retirement at 67.
When is it a good time to stop working?
We all have to accept that we have a used-by date for ending our working lives but when is it really the right time to stop.
Since my first job as a 12 year old, excitingly delivering fliers to letter boxes in anticipation for a remuneration per 1000 delivered, to my current position as part time cleaner, I have worked in over 40 different roles.
I have experienced the hard sweaty hand blistering work as a factory worker and labourer to the monotony of security work (walking around a dark factory at 3 am is challenging) and sales (trying to sell something people don’t really need).
The pleasure and awesomeness of educating young people as a teacher and education consultant (I still have emails and people who were taught by me and offer their thanks) to the rewards of managing and training volunteers (wonderful people who are a pleasure to be with) who give the greatest gift of all....their time for free.
I have driven myself to be as fit as possible whilst I was training to be a policeman (dropped out of the academy when my wife needed help with our newly born son) and become unhealthy and overweight as a company manager and director (rewarding exercise though both financially and mentally in setting up my own company and franchising it).
I worked reluctantly with public servants in the federal government (the lack of autonomy, the monotonous work and not being able to use your initiative kills your work ethic) and resigned from Centrelink after being disciplined for being too entrepreneurial (threatened with the sack for being too independent and attracting too many mature age unemployed through the door with a program I had developed….it’s a long story so read my book) to the rewarding Community Services where organizations do the work around us assisting people with issues that the government find too hard to deal with themselves.
I have worked in the dangerous liquor trades industry (because once people have too much to drink then they cannot be reasoned with and can become quite aggressive and violent) from glass boy to bar manager (America’s Cup was a highlight...so much joy that day) and experienced the awe and wonder of being kilometres underground (another world....so glad when you surface each day) as a contract miner.
During all these roles I have experienced the best and worst of managers but learnt from each experience so that when my time came to work in that role, I made sue that I was not a micro manager and that my staff were listened to when they offered suggestions, encouraged to study and better themselves, supported when the need arose whether personal or work related and that they felt part of a team at all times.
I have a strong work ethic and always enjoyed the people in different industries even if the work was not rewarding enough for me.
In recent times I have kept working as a part time cleaner to keep fit and have some income that was my fun money (coffee, takeaways and the odd meal at a restaurant). That has worked very well and my superannuation has actually grown in that time as I leave it alone and the 11% interest is enough to pay bills when combined with a part pension.
But tomorrow I have made the decision that I am going to work for the last time and it is for one reason only…. I have had enough.
Why now you ask? My friends and siblings are growing older and ageing comes in 3 phases. The over 50 phase and the realisation that you are mortal and the world introduces ageism to you through workplace discrimination and societal attitudes to seniors to the over 60 phase when you set your targets for ending work on your terms to the final over 70s phase when people around you start to die off from the effects of a lifetime working and living.
It is time for me to do other things all the time and not worry about what my boss will say or whether I can or can’t get the time off to do other things.
I have given myself, my family and this country over 50 years in working in different industries and enjoyed most of it and even though I will press on with editing www.bonza.com.au for baby boomers and will seek volunteer work as well, it’s time to say enough to the workplace because through good financial planning and a comfortable and rewarding lifestyle, I can.
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 2018 and have a BONZA LIFE!
( NB: BONZA is also an Aussie slang term for great or fabulous)