Today’s release of a discussion paper by the Productivity Commission again demonstrates the piecemeal way that policy relating to retirement is being debated. The paper, which suggests that retirees could improve their quality of life if they sold their homes to fund retirement rather than rely on the age pension, fails to look at the raft of issues that older people have to consider, according to COTA NSW CEO Ian Day.
“There are good reasons why people don’t sell their homes once they retire,” says Mr Day. “Older people feel connected to their communities and may want to remain there. If they had the option of selling a large home in their community to move to a smaller home located in their community you’d see more retirees moving. But this option rarely exists. We need to see better, more creative planning for communities that are constructed to suit the needs of all people, of all ages. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of this on the horizon in NSW at the moment.”
Mr Day also noted that all COTAs have been calling for an independent review of retirement income for some time. “Calling on older home owners to downsize represents a quick fix for policy makers who want a simple solution to the current lack of housing at the State Government level. Likewise, it represents and a quick fix for policy makers who want a simple solution to the complex issue of how we fund retirement now and in the future for those at the Federal Government level.”
“All Australians – whatever their age – need to see more substantive policies developed to respond to both issues.”
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