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Happy New Years

Australians turning 65 next year who keep in good health can look forward to at least 25 new years for men and 29 new years for women. These are the calculations made by FinDem from the latest actuarial tables allowing for upper quartile survival periods and mortality improvement. In 1900 these survival periods were 16 years for men and 17 years for women.

New Year resolutions of 65 year olds are bound to have something to do with financial survival as well as health. Key questions to focus on are how long will the money last and how long can pension and health payments at current levels be expected by government. The following are a few pointers:

*To have a self funded income at the current average taxable income level for age 65+ taxpayers ($33,500 men, $27,500 women) requires an invested assets now of $666,000 for a 25 year income stream of $33,500pa for men and $612,000 for a 29 year income stream of $27,500pa for women

* Current ratio of under-65 taxpayers to over-65 population is 3.9 to 1. In 25 years time the ratio will only be 2.2 to 1.

* To maintain equilibrium of taxes at current levels, annual pension and health expenditure would need to fall from $15,800 per person over age 65 to $9,000.

* Extra invested assets to cover this shortfall are $135,000 for men and $150,000 for women.

* A strategy for those without this extra level of assets is to modify lifestyle to 20% to 25% less expenditure. Alternatively, work 5 to 7 years more full time past age 65.

Posted Tuesday, 31 December 2002

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