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Speaker: Doing the right thing on retirement

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  • Islander, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    O! O! O!

    I have been seeking that reference for those books for nearly ten months!

    Thank you Ian!

    (Now- onward! To winning Lotto!)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Islander,

    With respect, your personal experience does not affect the broader economics of the equation.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15706 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    The fact is that our parents had an interest free government loan to buy a house costing $10,000 in 1970 while facing no loan to the government from their education. That generation is now treating ours differently even though it is not our fault.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 266 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    It is *part* of the equation ( I am not unique & my situation is not unique & until these outlier factors are taken into account you will have a *lot* of disgruntled people/taxpayers very unhappy about the whole matter. There just isnt a a continiuum of advantage. E.g. I find Andre’s assertion above as spectacularly irrelevant for me, all my family, friends, and – indeed – everybody I know.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Andre,

    The fact is that our parents had an interest free government loan to buy a house costing $10,000 in 1970 while facing no loan to the government from their education. That generation is now treating ours differently even though it is not our fault.

    You are kidding me. A house for $10,000 with an interest-free loan from the government? Phuque o dear.
    That just didnt happen.
    We DIDNT have free university education (I went to university in 1966/67 and paid quite a lot (for books, student fees, Law moots, etc. thank you.) AND there was no living allowance at all. We worked during vacations to pay for that sort of stuff.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Islander,

    The top personal tax rate was 66% when the current superannuation scheme was introduced. That is all I'm saying.

    Your situation is more exceptional than you seem to believe but in any case it is completely irrelevant to the two facts I've stated and that's all I have to say about it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15706 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    Yes. And the ground rules altered while I was paying heaps. That's all I am saying, but my comments stand.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Islander,

    We were talking about the affordability of the entire scheme, not how well or poorly any individual fared.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15706 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    The entire scheme - and its affordability - is made up of individuals.
    Each of us count. Our experiences count.
    Deny that, and we are back in some miasma of neolib perfection where individuals are irrelevant in the greater 'scheme of things.'

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Islander,

    Overall money flows into and out of the scheme are not affected by anyone's experience. That's a different thing altogether and no one is saying it's not important in itself - just not at all relevant to this particular matter.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15706 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    What individuals do & experience & how they react is totally relevant/ important to any scheme where individuals contribute - forced contributions or otherwise - and they very definitely count. I fail to see how on earth your latest comment contributes any light.

    Anyway, I'm off to bed.
    Nighty ra.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    The mass of expatriate NZers also has to be included in the wider scheme of things – which could make any plans based on the existing NZ population wildly inaccurate. It is anybody’s guess how many of the half-million-strong Kiwi diaspora will eventually return to NZ, and how many will apply for superannuation (I think at present they need to return by age 55 to qualify automatically; and anyone eligible for overseas schemes needs to apply for those first – the NZ superannuation is abated for any overseas superannuation payments).

    Demographically, raising the qualifying age is such a no-brainer that I’m surprised the process didn’t start 10 years ago. I have been working on the assumption that the qualifying age for super would be raised over 70 by the time I would be eligible, and have been attempting to save accordingly. [Though with somewhat disappointing results. NZ finance companies, ’nuff said. Decide on that basis how much you should trust my predictions :-/]

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 808 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    (Actual wording of the eligibility summary for returnees is:

    You must also have lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years since you turned 20. Five of those years must be since you turned 50

    which means that to qualify at age 65, anyone who left NZ before age 20 must return by age 55; anyone who left NZ after age 25 has to return by age 60.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 808 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    there has never been any detailed analysis of Think Big effect. One view is that if NZ had not thunk big the balance of payments problem in the late 1980s would have been devastating to the economy with out the income derived from the think big projects.

    One view? I suppose is that an attempt to give your point of view legitimacy?
    Most of whatever profit there was flowed to the private owners but ultimately recent economic thought suggests that the policies of Think Big may have had no effect on the balance of payments at all. And any present support is often along party lines.
    But that is beside the point, economics has come to dominate a lot of peoples minds. I just think when that happens its a bad sign of no collective direction so we just turn on each other.
    Theres been no deep analysis of why there were so many people born post WW2 in the US, UK, Aust, and NZ they got most of the babyboom. It wasnt just a 'bulge in the snake' there was some reason for it. In my area I tend to blame six o'clock closing, Victorian attitudes to conception and no television.
    Now I find myself sometimes wishing I hadnt been born when I look at how my contemporaries have screwed up. Raise the age for all I care my job and future prospects are dim enough already. Respect goes where the money is as if that is some indicator that of something more than animal cunning, it aint.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1149 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    To connect Sacha’s, Islander’s, and my own points, at some risk of stating the obvious:
    The mass flows of money and of people used in making overall forecasts represent a large number of individuals, with individual circumstances – which are not predictable.
    People, placed in particular situations, adapt to them, and change their attitudes, expectations, and behaviour. Which changes the situations of other people.
    Sometimes, as a result, even the mass outcome is entirely unexpected.
    Thus, when people are involved, information at all levels of generality, whether describing an individual or a population, is certainly relevant to the problem. We need the mass figures, but we also need individuals' experiences.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 808 posts Report Reply

  • mattgeeknz, in reply to Sacha,

    Government already had an asset base as well as revenue flows. Spending (including superannuation) is leveraged on that asset base as well. All working generations helped build those assets – which is a form of collective ‘saving’.

    I'm not expecting many of those savings to be left in twenty years. When we had our first baby boomer government in 1984, a programme of selling those assets, built up over generations, began, and has continued to the present day. If things continue as they are, what can be sold will be and what can't will be used to secure debt that future generations will have to pay back. Previous generations had paid for their parent's super by tax, the baby boomers decided to pay for super and everything else by raiding the piggy bank of collective savings, and the next generation is going to have to go back to paying by high taxation again, unless we make some reasonable changes.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2010 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to andin,

    Now I find myself sometimes wishing I hadnt been born when I look at how my contemporaries have screwed up. Raise the age for all I care my job and future prospects are dim enough already. Respect goes where the money is as if that is some indicator that of something more than animal cunning, it aint.

    I would say that you need to get on with "it" - what ever it is you do - in a more positive light.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Shifting the retirment age out to 67 years is not something that I support.

    As I said before:

    What we are going through is a settling period as we move to a lower level of economic activity and lower standard of living.

    I shoudl add to this "for most of us.".

    What people do about it is up to them, people need to cut their ownlunch and not rely on the governement or put blind faith in any political party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to DexterX,

    What people do about it is up to them, people need to cut their ownlunch and not rely on the governement or put blind faith in any political party.

    So, shut up you whining c_nts and eat your nice baby boomer.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3291 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    Man I'm loving this debate !
    Poetry from Ian , some fantastic metaphors from Islander. Excellent volley exchange with Islander and Sacha and I have learn't so much. Great thinking bubbling up all over the place and so much to ponder on.
    Compared to the crap debates on Telly we are on fire!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 421 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    We need the mass figures, but we also need individuals' experiences.

    Quite. Islander's experiences aren't that unusual. The impoverished elderly exist, and they're part of the reason I don't like the term "intergenerational theft" and similar nasty connotations. I can't hate on my elders, however much they're the fiscally lucky generation, mostly by their own hands, and those of their elders.

    I don't think how things have turned out was a conscious and devious plan of an entire generation. At least half of the baby boomers were pretty left wing, liberal, forward thinking. And the right wing ones weren't all that way just because they're bastards. Many genuinely believed that their principles worked better for all of society, including those younger than them.

    At the end of the day, their crime is that they were wrong, that this path is unsustainable. Not just the purely economic path, but everything that drives it. Rather than blame, and promises of reprisals once they are out of power, the debate absolutely must include them, capture them, convince them. I know they're old, but that doesn't make them incapable of seeing reason, seeing that an unsustainable path towards economic ruin isn't really what all of their principles were for.

    Also, my own generation is not without any blame. We have certainly lived on borrowed time too. The property boom would not have spiked as much as it did if younger generations weren't buying the houses on crazy loans from banks. We weren't forced to buy property like it was running out, putting it well beyond our own children. Generation Y doesn't even talk about buying property, it's just out of the question for most of them. And my own kids, whatever generation they are (Z?) are obviously as blameless as all children are, and it's well within our power to produce a better world for them.

    Now is the time for sense to prevail and blame to be laid aside, and the underlying basic principles to reach some kind of intergenerational consensus, otherwise what's happening is only going to intensify.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8009 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to BenWilson,

    As a "boomer" myself I struggle to speak for my generation - it wasn't - isn't - that unified. My friends and I were out protesting on the streets against the rise of individualism and materialism, against the rise of the economics-is-all model. Against my parents generation and my own. I was spat on for having long hair and many of us eventually jumped ship into communes and alternative lives as an antidote to despair. There was no consensus then.

    Ben your generous attitude to older generations is well received and perhaps your pointing to "basic principles" is a very good path to explore.

    What are the basic - Human - principles that we can gather around ?

    One for me is collective rather than individual. Somewhere down the track we got sold this story that we are all free agents, individuals, sovereign entities whose task is to follow our individual destinies. Survival of the fittest, the lone cowboy, we are all heros etc etc. In the broader arc of human history it is just not true - we got to where we are by holding hands and collaborating. Individuals working together.

    In the pension debate - one view is how will we look after our elders? Together. In harsher times we threw them out to die in the cold but lets be clear these are not harsh times by any means.

    Your call for a " inter generational consensus" is a good one - one place to start - you have already Ben - is finding real respect and aroha - elder to younger, younger to elder.

    And it us that will do this, not our politicians - or at least not our current ones.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 421 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    I don't think how things have turned out was a conscious and devious plan of an entire generation.

    Same.

    The property boom would not have spiked as much as it did if younger generations weren't buying the houses on crazy loans from banks. We weren't forced to buy property like it was running out, putting it well beyond our own children.

    Totally.

    reach some kind of intergenerational consensus

    Periodically sought in our political system. Nothing unique about now other than the broader context of a massive economic collapse - and those pesky cohort demographics.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15706 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    One of the structural problems in the economy is the “investment income imbalance” I mentioned this earlier in this thread and investment in Kiwisaver which sends money offshore adds to this in the short to medium term.

    There was an excellent article in one fo the rags in 2010 which set this out - I just can't remember which one.

    The problem - the lack of growth in the economy - will begin to right itself.

    Goff promoting measures that don't take effect until the medium to long term just doesn't address the problem. It is posturing about something to be done in the future without addressing the present. It is doing nothing much.

    We are also overlooking the Chch earthquake and the damper that has had on the Canetrbury region and how that has effected the NZ Economy.

    Once the economy returns to growth - the Nat Super, Cullen fund and other bits and peices willl take care of themselves - this does not have to involve the sale of assets or tinkerng with tax or Nat Super.

    PVD - Party Vote Dexter.

    Thank you for your time and attention.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DexterX,

    will take care of themselves

    a genuine do-nothing party :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15706 posts Report Reply

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