'Grumpy' Old Boomer

mel-world

Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Posts
656
I should say I'm neither often Grumpy nor feel particularly old most of the time, despite fast approaching 80. I so enjoyed reading the recent Mid-Life Crisis thread that I thought another with a similar theme might offer some insights for those fast approaching retirement age.

The first thing to say is I think approaching retirement is about setting expectations and preparing for a changed lifestyle. No matter how much money we have for our latter years, it is a finite amount of money (and/or assets) - no-one really knows how long it will last and whether it will be enough for a comfortable retirement. I'm really not much interested in leaving too much for my kids; they are well equipped to look after themselves. Obviously, I'll help if I can, especially if they run into difficulties but we want to enjoy our retirement and give some to charity if and when we are able. (Such a Boomer statement, I know).

My partner and I have been lucky in that we have both enjoyed reasonably good health all our lives and have had the opportunity to work overseas for the second half of our careers - the UK, China and Singapore mainly - in the same industry. We have also worked on many short term projects all over the world meaning short periods of frantic work for a couple of weeks with maybe months of planning between events.

We have also been lucky in being able to have many years of this project work, at our own pace, after our last full-time positions. My last permanent job ended in 2008 and I finally retired last year so have been able to 'wind down' over 15 years or so. I do not know how anyone could work full time until a Friday afternoon and then face retirement from Monday morning. We have had to adjust to no work gradually so doing this instantly must be extra difficult.

A few hints, especially relating to traveling, but retirement more generally:
  • Make sure you have enough credit cards before you retire, especially if you want to accrue FF points. I missed out and now cannot get another rewards card despite the value in my Super Fund.
  • Save as many points as you can before you retire and maybe start to limit the number of FF programmes you use. Use any points wisely - its hard to get more. Nothing worse than having a few points in multiple programmes that are just wasted as they cannot be moved or consolidated. Mind you, having no points left allows you to look for better bargains rather than being 'locked' to loyalty.
  • Realise that you will not be able to travel forever - we know we might have a few more overseas trips in us, then regional Asian or Pacific holidays and finally, just around Australia (if we are lucky) so we are using our retirement funds more quickly now on the expectation that our outgoings will reduce as we get older - we have no interest in going into a home besides the one we presently live in unless we cannot continue to look after ourselves. Not to mention the price of insurance may make overseas travel uneconomical eventually.
  • Look after your health - we have been lucky but how long will that continue.
  • Enjoy as many varied experiences as you can to keep the mind active. We volunteer a couple of days a week. I'm not really very sociable but have forced myself to join a couple of groups - like the excellent University of the Third Age (U3A). There is so many things to do in most cities - sporting, artistic, nature, educational, movies etc. - just a matter of maintaining a varied lifestyle.
  • Finally, work hard to maintain friendships. Most of my friends are overseas so it is difficult to keep in touch as much as I would like but work hard at keeping in contact.
We consider ourselves very lucky - especially being able to travel as much as we have - so we hope that as many of you as possible can look back over 8 decades without (many) regrets.

Make everyday count.
 
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Make sure you have enough credit cards before you retire, especially if you want to accrue FF points. I missed out and now cannot get another rewards card despite the value in my Super Fund.

That was a mistake I made. Still kick myself - it wasn't as if I wasn't on AFF at the time ... :rolleyes:
 
… and yet I have acquired several cards over the last 15 years.
The process requires a fairly positive approach but was successful without argument or question in both cases
How did you manage that without an income? They always ask me for pay advice or a statement from my accountant.
 
Oh yes.. credit card applications - just been knocked back by one bank, despite having an entirely comfortable income and asset base. I don’t want ‘more’ credit (the applicant bank describes my current Amex and bank Visa cards as ‘liability’), I just want to leave one effen bank that has disappointed in a variety of ways for too long, and bag a few Velocity points on the way thru. That discussion continues, awaiting a call to see if it’s my 70’s demographic or something else.
 
I’ve found at least some will accept pension if you are self funding though mine is from a super fund (Australian Super) , they probably wouldn’t accept your SMSF.
Currently in discussion with a bank about a new ccard - thr argument to date has been lack of income. When I pointed out the current minimum annual drawdown of a SMSF holding is 5% per annum - and that wud mean $80K tax-free to a self-funded retiree over 65 with a nominal $1.6 mio in super - I was told I'll get a call back.. That was Mon, tho at least hv had an email acknowledging my 'complaint'.
 
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Currently in discussion with a bank about a new ccard - thr argument to date has been lack of income. When I pointed out the current minimum annual drawdown of a SMSF holding is 5% per annum - and that wud mean $80K tax-free to a self-funded retiree over 65 with a nominal $1.6 mio in super - I was told I'll get a call back.. That was Mon, tho at least hv had an email acknowledging my 'complaint'.
Seems to be a common problem once your retired. The banks happy to accept your investments , open bank accounts with them etc. But aren't to keen to approve new CCs to retirees who are debt free, pay off their CCs on time, have super income streams etc. I had a discussion with one of the big banks to the effect that given the knockback on CC approval after jumping through hoops for them with evidence/documentation, I vowed never to bank with them again. I did lodge a complaint with them, no reply from them in the documented time frame; lodged another complaint and finally received some lame response. Still application not approved
 
Seems to be a common problem once your retired. The banks happy to accept your investments , open bank accounts with them etc. But aren't to keen to approve new CCs to retirees who are debt free, pay off their CCs on time, have super income streams etc. I had a discussion with one of the big banks to the effect that given the knockback on CC approval after jumping through hoops for them with evidence/documentation, I vowed never to bank with them again. I did lodge a complaint with them, no reply from them in the documented time frame; lodged another complaint and finally received some lame response. Still application not approved

Thanks, I now know what to expect then...
 
In reply to post #4..
Of course I have income (I like to eat).. some personal income and a smsf pension.
Iirc … When applying , I referred them to the Accountant for the S fund.
I don't ask these folks..I tell them what I want and when I want it…. ( to be fair we are not zactly broke..perhaps that makes the difference)
 
Grumpy but not yet retired. Following with interest.

My plan for retirement is to play golf 3-4 days/week and take turns with the wife looking after daughter while the other goes to stay in our house in Thailand for 4-6 weeks at a time.

We are both struggling with health so not sure for how long we'd be able to travel on regular basis.
 
Yep the whole CC things is a joke. My working career was in banks and finance and credit cards were handed out to pretty much any one with a pulse. I’m now recently retired, have an unencumbered property on the Sunshine Coast, super, savings and investments yet can’t get a new CC In my name. However I still have an ABN and was recently approved for an AMEX Qantas business card that came with 150,000 points and absolutely no documentation required.
 
Yep the whole CC things is a joke. My working career was in banks and finance and credit cards were handed out to pretty much any one with a pulse. I’m now recently retired, have an unencumbered property on the Sunshine Coast, super, savings and investments yet can’t get a new CC In my name. However I still have an ABN and was recently approved for an AMEX Qantas business card that came with 150,000 points and absolutely no documentation required.
How does that work?
Presumably you were applying for a business card
Did they want annual turnover, etc
Curious
 
Having really retired 18 months ago with no debt with house and investment property plus reasonable SMSF I was turned down for the second time for a Coles mastercard. No reason given.
 
Seems like a pattern here - also retired, own high end unit, no debt, substantial SMSF - got turned down for a credit limit increase on ANZ Travel Adventurer card (from $26,000 to $40,000 ) - e-mail said to check my credit rating with credit bureaux - which I did - all Excellent rating. (I wanted the increase to pay for a cruise in USD) - so I just transferred sufficient funds to the card to cover the transaction. (BTW the original card was approved while I was retired - go figure !!!). I considered applying for a card with a different bank but couldn't be bothered. (ANZ is not my main bank).
 
How does that work?
Presumably you were applying for a business card
Did they want annual turnover, etc
Curious
I did the same for AMEX QF Biz card (just prior to the intro of the QBR CC), $25k limit easy as. AMEX normally wants the individual personally liable unlike WBC who wanted 3yrs turnover to issue the card in the name of the business (fair enough).

Why AMEX is more flexible is a bit of a mystery to me but not complaining. I also think their process for increasing the credit limit is automatic review. Unlike the hoops and jumps Latitude made me go through to unsuccessfully increase my 28° MC from $10K…..
 
One way to acquire a card is to borrow money.
It suited our needs to borrow a few bucks a while back as lending rates were so low.
We were both given normal credit cards as part of the deal and also offered premium (point earning) cards if we wanted.
ot.. but the bank is Wpac and we have found them a breath of fresh and honest air , highly recommended…..(so far)
 
Those are sage words, @mel-world. Others contemplating or embarking on retirement should heed all 6 of your points. As several posters have done, though, I will just jump on the one about getting set with CCs before ceasing paid employment. As a self-funded retiree I had a failed CC application a few months ago and stewed about it for some time afterwards until I grasped how common it is for perfectly credit-worthy retirees to be rejected. Having progressively submitted enough personal financial info to facilitate ID fraud I was well out of my comfort zone with the application process but persisted with it. Absolutely galling then to be knocked back with no explanation but an invitation to apply again ‘if your circumstances change’.

Banks are really missing a trick here in weighting the evaluation so heavily in favour of salaried employees and against cashed up retirees. An employee could resign, be sacked or become incapacitated at any point and lose their means of servicing accumulated debt. I on the other hand, with a Commonwealth defined benefit pension delivering a CPI-indexed income for life, don’t fit the bank’s calculus of credit-worthiness. I wonder if AFF members have come across CC providers that are noticeably less rigid in their attitude to retired applicants whose income is from super pensions and investments: I’ve just seen post #17 by @tgh (thank you).
 
One way to acquire a card is to borrow money.

That's an inventive idea. Might try it.

As mentioned above, I think one reason we cannot get a new CC once retired is because we have too good a credit rating. We will pay on-time so don't earn the bank enough money. Why should they offer us a card, especially one with reward points attached, if we don't earn them a decent return. There is no loyalty involved anymore with so much CC churning.
 
Those are sage words, @mel-world. Others contemplating or embarking on retirement should heed all 6 of your points. As several posters have done, though, I will just jump on the one about getting set with CCs before ceasing paid employment. As a self-funded retiree I had a failed CC application a few months ago and stewed about it for some time afterwards until I grasped how common it is for perfectly credit-worthy retirees to be rejected. Having progressively submitted enough personal financial info to facilitate ID fraud I was well out of my comfort zone with the application process but persisted with it. Absolutely galling then to be knocked back with no explanation but an invitation to apply again ‘if your circumstances change’.

Banks are really missing a trick here in weighting the evaluation so heavily in favour of salaried employees and against cashed up retirees. An employee could resign, be sacked or become incapacitated at any point and lose their means of servicing accumulated debt. I on the other hand, with a Commonwealth defined benefit pension delivering a CPI-indexed income for life, don’t fit the bank’s calculus of credit-worthiness. I wonder if AFF members have come across CC providers that are noticeably less rigid in their attitude to retired applicants whose income is from super pensions and investments: I’ve just seen post #17 by @tgh (thank you).
Like you, I have a Commonwealth defined benefit pension for life. I’ve successfully applied for ANZ Black Visa (twice), Qantas Premier (twice) and St George Signature Visa. Edit: Also a David Jones Amex.

The only card I’ve been declined is an ING Visa because of their requirement to be in receipt of PAYE payslips. I thought my pension which is subject to PAYE deductions would satisfy this but apparently not.
 
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