“We must live within our means” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced this week...
Here we are in 2016, forced to listen to our politicians telling the Australian public to “live within our means”. When I first read the headline I got excited! As a financial strategist and an accountant, I thought how refreshing for a politician (who happens to be wealthy) to start giving the public good financial advice.
But alas! Our Prime Minister means that the government must “live within its means” ... to balance the federal budget! It means the public’s demands for greater spending on health care and education will be restrained because according to the Prime Minister there was “simply not the money”.
Prime Minister: Where is your vision? Where can this country source its inspiration and drive to succeed from, if we and our young people have to listen to this kind of defeatist thinking?.
The biggest sin that could be committed by any government is to restrain its spending on education...for the young. How can we sit idly by listening to our politicians telling us this while we see the education level of this lucky country deteriorate? How can we let them do this to the young generation? These young people are our children and grandchildren. Do we want them to become less competitive as they compete against billions of people for jobs?
Wake up Australia. We are not only competing locally. We are competing globally and it will get more competitive as more and more people across the world (especially in cheap labour countries like the Philippines) log into the global mainframe. How can a young Australian compete?
Our competitive advantage must be based on something else other than “price”. Our talented, Socratic lateral thinking students must compete on a much higher level to win the new jobs of the 21st century. They have the talent. Our responsibility to our children is to provide them the education opportunities to unleash their potential.
How can we achieve this objective as a society when the government’s future plan is to cut spending on the most important expense in the federal budget? Where did we go wrong? Are our politicians out of touch with the wider community’s aspirations and dreams for our children?
No country or business would get “in financial trouble” in just one year. For our Prime Minister to announce that he would restrain spending on education, it means we have been “in trouble” for a while.
In fact in the year 2010, our country crossed a significant threshold. That was the year the first baby boomers (born from 1945 – 1963) started retiring. This means that for the past six years, most of our baby boomer generation have been clocking out of the work force and clocking in at social security offices across the country lining up asking for the sacred old age pension.
And the numbers will keep on climbing as more and more retire every week (with 84% of old age pensioners currently receiving part/full pension). In fact the last baby boomer born in 1963 will be demanding the old age pension in 2028. The government has a long way to go just to ensure the baby boomer generation get the pension. We then have to pay them for life the pension + aged care services + increasing health services. With a current life expectancy averaging 79 for a male and 82 for a female, I can’t see how the younger generation will get better access to education to compete on a global level if our government keeps doing "business as usual".
This "business as usual" involves retirees over sixty years of age enjoying unprecedented levels of tax benefits in their super fund structures. No income tax, no capital gains tax, no pension payments tax mean the government is not collecting the revenue from an increasing number of retirees to fund education for our young. Instead of reinstating fairer taxes, the Prime Minister is calling for "restraint on the education and health budget".
And what about Generation X (born 1964 to 1979)? What will happen to them as they clock out of the work force (the new age old pension will be 70 for gen X) and clock into social security’s offices starting in 2034?
STOP! This cannot happen! We cannot steal more from the young generation and the next generation yet to be born.
In my book Money Intelligence™ - Anchored in Values, I assert that the government will run out of money when my generation, Generation X will come to retire. I boldly predict that if this country doesn’t take a U-turn and change course, we will either lose our sovereignty and/or erode our democracy. Our politicians will be forced to make decisions on our behalf that will not be favourable to us.
So what to do?
I address this issue in my book and propose the following three ideas:
1. We need to let go of our Entitlement mentality and embrace the philosophy of self-determination.
2. We need to shift our money mindset from Consumerholic to Investorgetic™
3. We must increase our society’s Money Intelligence level and become self-funded.
Susan's Vision for Australia:
My vision (and I am making it my mission!) is to increase our society’s Money Intelligence (MQ) level and help people take control of their financial future. It’s not too late for the younger baby boomers and Generation X to begin now. They have at least fifteen years. So jump on the band wagon now and take control of your financial future by increasing your money intelligence level.
How to begin?
Begin Now with a new money mindset. Become an Investorgetic™ (get passionate about investing not shopping!) and plan your self-funded retirement. Be the change you want to see in the world. Help our younger generation withstand the onslaught of the 21st century's fast technological changes, offshoring of jobs and rising property prices by not becoming a burden on them in twenty years.
I call upon you to become part of the solution and join Susan's 50/30/20 MQ mission 2035 where we can achieve as a country together:
1. Full self-funded retirement for 50% of the population
2. Part self-funded retirement for 30% of the population
3. Full pension for 20% of the population (there is a portion of the population that will always need government support and as a compassionate and fair society we must allow for that and not leave the most vulnerable behind)
Begin now one person at a time, live within your means at home and become part of the solution and get off the pension. We don’t need excuses from our politicians as to why they need to restrain spending on the education of our most precious members of the community – our children.
What about the Prime Minister? What about the government? What can they do? Please go back to basics. Let's remind you that the government's job is to work for a fair society. Reinstate income tax and capital gains tax on pension funds and raise the money for our children's education. Oh and force those multinational companies and billionaires to pay their fair share of taxes please! I am sure this kind of "spending restraint" rhetoric will not be needed then.
I must be honest and tell you that I have a vested interest in this mission. I have an 8 year son, two 8 year old nieces, a 6 year old niece, a 5 year old nephew, a 17 year old nephew and a 20 year old niece. I want to see them thrive not just survive in this country. I am sure you want the same for your children, nieces and nephews. It is possible if we choose to create a fair, interconnected, compassionate society and move away from greed and tax evasion.
Begin NOW your journey towards financial liberation and get educated on how to become money intelligent. That's Susan's "2 cents" worth on money intelligence and the long term solution to the country's increasing budget deficits and her answer to "live within your means" dilemma! You can order Susan's Money Intelligence™ - Anchored in Values book SHOPIFY.