I always read your column and generally agree with your comments, but I strongly disagree with the thrust of your article on 29 January on ‘How to Retire Comfortably’. I do not dispute your arithmetic, just the logic that a couple need only get to the very bottom rung of the assets ladder (paid-off home plus $250,000 in super), and then rely on a taxpayer-funded pension for the rest of their lives. The reasoning is inherently flawed.
I believe people should be encouraged to provide for themselves and strive to live comfortably with NO government assistance. To me, your book seems to lower the standard of human endeavour and will only result in more and more taxpayer money being spent on welfare in future. The age pension is supposed to be a safety net for those who cannot fund their own retirement — not a guarantee to be factored into retirement plans.
Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
The fact is that 80 per cent of Australians retirees receive either a full or part age pension. And let me raise your blood pressure a little higher: that figure is unlikely to reduce over the next 40 years, according to estimates from Treasury Intergenerational Report.
Having said that, I agree with you that being self-funded is the best way forward. That’s why I spend every other page of my book doing all I can to help people become financially independent. If they follow the Barefoot Steps a little earlier in life, they’ll be comfortably self-funded when retirement day comes.