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Financial stressors

Community Member


I'm betting a lot of people are probably in worse boats than me in that regard. I don't see myself earning enough to actually ever retire from working. My best bet is ensuring without fail I'm on $60k a year for an additional 23 years or 75k for 15 years, no gaps, no unemployment, no taking a lower wage, obviously no plans on affording children or dependants on that figure. I work in a horrible toxic workplace in an awful industry, that job sure as ***" isn't going to last an additional 15-23 years. It's probably going to last another 2-5 years. I don't really have that many options for alternative employment. I have enough money to give up on life and probably unalive myself in 10 years if I move to a poor country and honestly that option is so tempting.


It's been really hard to strike the balance of well let's try to make what you need to actually be able to retire in the future vs let's just work the bare minimum for bills and maybe one luxury a year.

3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome


Firstly, well done is actually thinking about your retirement which is a long way off, many dont. The only risk is that that thinking turns into worry so please be aware that the difference is huge. Thinking of moving overseas could be a reflection of worry. So lets see what your options are.


We dont know what the future entails with pensions however, there is no concrete suggestions from Govt that they will stop. Therefore aged pensions will continue. If you are in a highly physical job its unlikely you'll keep doing that to 70yo so a change of career is wise. As your industry is toxic its another reason to do after hours TAFE to achieve a more ideal profession and higher wages.


There is a gap between pensioners and self funded retirees. What you have described is SFR retirement. That means you seek several thousands of $ in equity to invest for your old age. This for some isnt an option. We are pensioners but we can (if able) earn about $15,000 annually on todays rates. The pension if zero debt is not hard to live on and if earning some extra part time is even better plus you get health care card etc. The key is to be debt free when you retire. 

The alternative of SFR means having (currently) about $600,000+ invested. The effort for some to reach that can be enormous and your return depends on interest rates. Not so long ago SFR's were screaming as interest rates were really low hence less income whereas a age pensioner wasnt affected, their income remained the same plus annual inflation adjustments meant cost of living wasnt a factor.


So, you will be able to give up working at old age pension time and any superannuation can be invested for a income supplement making life ok especially if debt free. I think your worry is a concern so better to focus on opportunities for further education and treat your future as one step at a time.


Worry is non productive, it causes ulcers. 1,2,5 and 10 year goals are realistic and wise.



I have a paid off unit, it's not worth as much as people seem to think I have financially, maybe $400k. So I can hardly downsize from a several million property like so many people assume I have. I have absolutely no super.  (like $300 yes $300) , maybe 50k in shares. Also a -$26k HECs debt, university did not pay off for me and is making things worse now. I'm 31, so I'm 39 years off being eligible for the age pension. And $50k isn't going to last 39 years if I quit today. Yep I should really have more dollar wise but a lot of things happened in the last ten years.


The numbers I came up with to achieve what you wrote for an sfr were $75k for 17 years or 60k for 23 years. My job isn't going to last 23 more years, maybe 5 if I push myself and don't have obstacles yet again. 


I'm also so pissed off people keep telling me "you bought and paid a property you can just retire from working now" . Like they believe you can magically live on $1200 a year once that's done. Maybe if I am stuck on Centrelink until i die and never get rid of the HECs debt which by then they'll be stealing it from people's estates, then sure, attainable, but that's a waste of a life.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion



When ever I get same responses from a lot of people I tend to start believing them, as it could be my views that need looking at. eg if so many people as saying "you bought and paid a property you can just retire from working now" . could there be some truth in that?  Ok, so how many people at 31yo do you think fully own a real estate property at 31yo? I can tell you, very few unless they inheritated money early in their lives. So what these people are saying (and me) is that owning a $400,000 property at 31yo is an amazing feat and your perception of forecasted fear of insufficient finances is possibly distorted. Your friends are in awe of you and thats why they respond the way they do. I would guess they are also saying the same as me "he owns a $400,000 property and he worries about money" paraphrasing and projected.


So, ok, at 40yo (1996) I was separated from my 1st wife, I had next to zero money. Briefly, I owned a 10ft 20yo caravan and moved into a caravan park. I began working 3 jobs and within 18 months was building a kit home in the country. That was 1996. In 2020 I built another home at 64yo and am now debt free but struggle mentally and physically. I'm a pensioner. I'm happy and we have enough income to be happy. So I suggest- it isnt what you earn its what you spend. In retirement you dont wont nor have the same lifestyle, you slow down and spend only when you need to.


So you believe your job will only last 5 years? What is your plan to remedy this situation?  HECS debt- "... and never get rid of the HECs debt which by then they'll be stealing it from people's estates"  do you have proof of that or is it a fear of yours?


When most people have financial issues they go to financial advisors. We are not financial advisors and I have tried to help you based on my lived experience with the errors and successes I've had with money management. My suggestion is that a financial advisor should be able to put your mind at rest and plan a HECS debt free future and financial plan.


If there is anything else I can help you with concerning mental health issues please feel free to post.