“You know, at your age I was already working.” “And me, at your age I’ll still be working.”

According to the last census, 37% of Waikanae people are over 65, and thus likely to be retired, although we know of cases of people still working in their 70s.

At present, the government superannuation eligibility age is 65, but that age is certain to be increased in the next few years.  Although politicians know that an increase is going to be unpopular and announcing such an intention is a no-no, pre-election at least, it won’t surprise us if it’s made in the term of the next parliament.

According to this Australian government webpage, the pension age there now is 65 years and 6 months — and “Pension age will go up 6 months every 2 years until 1 July 2023.” So in 2023, the Australian pension age will be 67.  Similar intentions exist in the U.S. and in the U.K.

However, that’s unlikely to be the end of it.  People are living longer and the number in the 65+ age group is going to keep on rising.  Unless the pool of skilled, productive workers (and that’s a big issue in itself) increases to support them, the pension entitlement age will need to move upwards to keep the total cost in proportion.

With the ever-increasing prices of housing we feel sorry for young families trying to pay for their accommodation, be it with rent or with a massive mortgage.  Two incomes are pretty much essential these days.  Finding a surplus on top of that and normal living expenses to set aside for retirement is a struggle for most.

How they stand on this is a question to ask the parliamentary candidates.