While I don't generally like to do social commentary, and it's been a bit hard to keep my mouth shut over the last few months on the election, all Self Funded Retirees must be hoping for the Australian Economy to get a kick start.
While generally I think Julia Gillard and her team did implement some good policies over their time ( and I think she will be remembered in a favorable way after the dust settles probably more so than Rudd will be ) in what could only be described as a difficult parliament period, and as I watch all the electoral debates over the last few weeks, and more especially commentaries last night from both sides, the one thing the Labor Party members kept on doing was putting their head in the sand as they often do and blamed their defeat on disunity.
Me I think it was more their failure to kick start the economy, unfortunately handbags, shoes and tattoos do not an economy make! Australians have been saving like never before and it seems like everyone has been hording for the day something may occur either good or bad. People need to have confidence in the Government of the day to open their wallets and spend!
For Self Funded Retirees we need higher interest rates in order to make some money and while both sides of Government seem happy with low interest rates look at Countries like Japan where the interest rates are lower than ours and have been for a decade, unfortunately this doesn't stimulate investment, it doesn't stimulate building, it doesn't stimulate spending all the things that are needed to keep the wheels turning. Neither side of Government seems to want to help Self Funded Retirees in any specific fashion, and I did have a laugh the other night when Rudd said that Labor help everyone rich or poor, but unfortunately this simply isn't true as everything is means tested and when interest rates are low even the Self Funded Retiree simply shuts up shop and stops spending especially when the deeming rates are higher than the actual rates - why because the dollars being earned on investments is too low to generate enough money to support living.
Of course there is a catch 22 here as well, because those of us who have invested in real estate over the years and accumulated property wealth can't sell because no one is buying anything, so the ability to downsize your property to upsize your retirement is difficult, the ability to plan and the ability to enjoy retirement as fully as it could be is compromised.
I think lots of people have been waiting for this day before letting go, and of course the steam will eventually be let out of the bag and if the new Government can stimulate the economy so building, property and the share markets regain confidence, monies begin to flow again and not just on the trivial items like handbags, shoes and tattoos, then we will all benefit.