Woe those that save and live frugally

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There is always that pull to and fro of our past. Some say, don’t look back. But with age comes an oversupply of what has been and much less of what is yet to come. I am talking of time, not substance. It’s most unlikely that at the age of seventy-seven one contemplates joining the army or seek a career in investment banking. Sure, some go climb mount Everest or take up the piano, but most contemplate things and end up rummaging around in memories. I do.

One of the good things that was ingrained still occupies my train of thoughts. It was one my parents main input. ‘Live within your means. Save for what you want and don’t waste.’  This was also reinforced by the political system back in Holland. The era of consumerism never took The Netherlands in the same way it was embraced by Australia. Buying things on credit was unheard of. Today, this very different and the credit card is also embraced. Even so, some national habits are well ingrained. I believe even eating raw herrings is as much a pastime now as it was when I lived there. Saving is still held in high esteem.

This might well be the reason that of all the countries in the world, The Netherlands now hold the enviable record of 103 quarters of uninterrupted economic growth.  While much of that growth is contributed to cutting welfare and taxes and giving corporations greater freedom, Holland still enjoys a generous welfare system. Excluding costs of education, Holland spends 24.3 % of GDP (Gross Domestic Products) and comes in fairly high on the list of welfare spending. Australia spends 18% and  this is towards the lower end of world’s foremost economies. The US is the fourth lowest on welfare spending at 14.8%.

The Dutch pension gets paid irrespective of being poor or rich. Everyone who turns 65 gets it. It is a state insurance scheme whereby every one who works or has worked in the Netherlands gets a pension when turning 65. It is roughly 2% for every year that one has worked in Holland

http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Economy/Social-welfare-spending/%3E-%25-of-GDP/Excluding-education

This is all about our experience on how saving in Australia is being punished.  Since about two months ago the government changed tack on pensions. Those with savings above a certain limit would either get the old-age pension lowered or totally taken away. We lost our pension. It seems, that in Australia it is best to whoop it up and spend, spend. Burn your money, go gambling, load up your credit card, run up debts. You will ensure you get the pension.

https://www.svb.nl/int/en/aow/wat_is_de_aow/wie_krijgt_aow/

And by the way, the Dutch pension is about 70% 0f average wage instead of 40% in Australia. So, next time you hear Turnbull or Morrison going on how Australia is some kind of social paradise. It is NOT. We are pretty stingy when it comes to social welfare.

 

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26 Responses to “Woe those that save and live frugally”

  1. lifecameos Says:

    We are currently discussing – raging- about the probably necessity to start receiving “pension” (superannuation) at a later age. It promises to become a major issue in the national elections this year. All to do with vote catching of course. They are going to have to consider what is affordable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, pensions and other welfare payments are achieved by societal efforts to work towards an income for all, especially those that have somehow fallen by the wayside and missed out.
      We do that because we care as a society for all.
      Politicians keep in power by giving to the rich and take it from the poor. The efforts of the individual being rewarded above that of society.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. leggypeggy Says:

    We’re a family of savers. I prefer it that way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      So are we, but then loosing a pension because of that?

      Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy Says:

        A like and an UGH.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        😉 We still get our part Dutch pension, about 45 Euros PM.

        Liked by 1 person

      • auntyuta Says:

        Peter and I still get our part German pension which is a little bit more per month than your Dutch pension. I find this quite generous of the Germans. And no cuts from our Australian pension either! Now, I would call this lucky. Yes, I think we’re just lucky. I dread to think of what the generations after us are going to experience.

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I think it is your entitlement, Uta. You get the German pension because one of you worked in Germany and paid tax.
        When we received the Dutch pension and Helvi a part Finnish pension, our Australian pension was adjusted accordingly, downwards of course. The Dutch or Finnish governments are not worried about other pensions. It is not means tested and are regarded as a right not a benefit.

        Like

  3. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Australia apparently is not a paradise for living. That is quite a bum deal by taking away your pension. You have lived, worked and, contributed and in return you should get your money. I am afraid that the state’s current pres. will someday try to tweak social security. The affluent in government, have no mercy on lesser beings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Australia is giving tax breaks to business but pay for this by taking away from the vulnerable and poor. The idea is that this will stimulate business. All it does is stimulate bonus payments to the top earners.
      The Salvation Army pea-soup will have to be made even leaner.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. jennypellett Says:

    Yep, here in Britain the state pension age is rising – I won’t be allowed mine until I’m 66. Interest on private pensions is virtually nil. I intend to work for as long as I can (I like what I do), while at the same time feel guilty for blocking a job that someone much younger could be doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Jenny.
      The welfare system and pensions in Australia were always subject to a ‘means test.’ Any savings or income above a certain limit and a pension would be reduced or refused.
      This government raised the bar two months ago by lowering the amount of savings held by pensioners in order to reduce and refuse the old-age pension This meant that hundreds of thousands of old-age pensioners now get a reduced or no pension.
      The excuse is that the country can’t afford it. Yet, they can afford to give generous tax breaks to corporations and the rich.
      On top of all this the Government have sent out thousands of letters claiming ‘over-payments’ whereby welfare recipients have to prove their financial position as stated in their claims.
      The onus of course should be on the Government to prove they have over-paid. Not the other way around.
      All in all, a mess that are sending some people to suicide.

      Liked by 2 people

      • auntyuta Says:

        “The onus of course should be on the Government to prove they have over-paid. Not the other way around.”
        I totally agree with this, Gerard. The people who are the real cheats probably do not commit suicide.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Why not err on the side of generosity rather than being mean and small minded, chasing after thousands about a few who might be rorting…?

        Like

  5. stuartbramhall Says:

    I think there is method in their madness. The US also discourages saving (by paying 0.5% or less on term deposits). The hope is that by penalizing people who save you will pressure them to consume – and at the moment massive consumption (of stuff you neither want nor need) is the only thing keeping the global economy going.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, income from savings is minimal. The Australian Government is now considering cutting week-end penalty rates. This is again a move to punish the lower income earners even further. As a society the poor are at breaking point as expressed by homelessness, mental illness and high rates of self-harm.
      We need to look at the Scandinavian countries instead of holding the US as an example of a well-working economy and society.
      The social democracies have proven to be far more sustainable above those of open slather economies such as Australia and the US.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. auntyuta Says:

    You say: ” . . . most contemplate things and end up rummaging around in memories. I do.”
    I like this. I like it very much! 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Christine Says:

    That’s interesting, Gerard. I hadn’t known anything of pensions in other countries. I admit I thought it was fairly generous here.

    It’s dismaying that people are punished for saving.
    And a lot of people say they can’t save.
    Compound interest!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Pensions are not large or sufficient in Australia. Many survive on ‘meals on wheels’ or generosity of children. Many children too rely on generosity of parents. Some even abuse parents and steal money brazenly.

      I am not sure about meals on wheels, I rather fancy own cooking even if just some porridge or boiled egg.
      As a last resort there is the bin outside Domino’s pizzas on Friday night.

      Like

  8. Julia Lund Says:

    The State Pension age in England is rising. It used to be 60 for women and 65 for men. In the past few years, it’s changed so that both retire at the same age, and that she is rising. I’ll be 66, and those a year older than me will be 67. It seems my children’s generation will never get to retire …

    Like

  9. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Age brings so many indignities, both in health and economy. The only advantage I can see is that it also gives you much more to remember.

    Like

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