A Gen X-er has conniptions

Have I always paid my taxes?


Was I part of the first generation forced to get students loans (at 7 percent compounding interest a year, while studying, then with an extra 10 percent deducted from my pay packet)?


Did the ones before, or after, us have to pay interest on their loans?


Am I jealous?

A smidgen.

Do I protest, too much?

In my darker moments, I think of Generation X as the pay-for-everything cohort – health (private insurance means we don’t clog up the public system for a whole heap of things), tertiary education and ? (insert anything else here non-baby-boomers) and now we must slog on further to hit government-supported retirement.

I happily acknowledge I’ve had a peaceful middle-class upbringing, chances aplenty and, other than a few earthquakes, a life that moves within a fairly normal range of ups, downs, ebbs and flows.

Part of that ebb and flow has always been the beautiful, if irrational, idea that I’d retire at 65, come hell or high water, enjoy maybe 20 years wandering aimlessly around a golf course, some travel and then drop dead.

My wife, interrupting this rant, says the superannuation age hike isn’t so bad.

“I didn’t think we’d be getting any money by the time we got through,” she says.

Spoken like a rational human being.

In answer to that I’d say: there doesn’t seem to be any protection against the age going higher still.

Jeepers, if it went over 70 that would be depressing.

The “retirement age” is just a suggestion. ?You don’t actually have to retire. ?Neither do you have to be reliant on the government to pay you anything. ?Super should be means tested and it should be a safety blanket for those who are unfortunate or just too “hopeless” to have figured out that one day, when they no longer can find or do work, they are going to need money to live.


-?Sean Scanlon, RNZ