Photo: Seniors Forum – Julie Schafer, Ted O’Brien MP, Margaret Donaldson, Carol Cashman.
Fairfax Seniors Forum, facilitated by Ted O’Brien MP’s office, was hosted at Living Choice Twin Waters village on Monday 6th August. Following the 2016 Inaugural Seniors Forum in Buderim, which identified aged care & health, cost of living and the economy as primary concerns for many seniors, this year’s forum continued its focus on cost of living issues. Over 100 guests attended, comprised of seniors residing in Fairfax and members of Fairfax Seniors Advisory Committee. Ted O’Brien MP welcomed guests and introduced the first speaker Margaret Donaldson.
Margaret shared her expertise about My Aged Care and how to ensure you get the most out of your home care package. She outlined some of the lesser known services you can request in your home that can potentially save you money and ran through a practical checklist for saving with My Aged Care in your own home. (A copy of the checklist can be obtained by clicking here). Margaret highlighted the need to ensure your home care provider supplies transport services, because not all of them do, and it frequently becomes a much-needed service if accessing medical facilities in Nambour or Kawana. While Comlink does offer transport service for medical appointments, the three days’ notice they require is not always practical.
Julie Schafer, financial advisor from ES&A Financial Services, was the second speaker and shared her expertise on retirement. Julie expressed that she sees divergent approaches to managing the cost of living in retirement, ranging from the “Live for Now” and spend too much approach, to the “Tight Purse Strings” and spend too little. She commented that while we may be living longer, we still don’t live forever so it is prudent to balance mindful spending with comfortable living. Retirement comes with many unknown variables such as how healthy you will be and factors in the economy. With so many factors beyond our control a good financial plan focuses on what you can control such as; diversification, fees, and taxes. On a lighter note Julie rounded out her session with this tip.
3 ingredients to good retirement:
- Good marriage or someone to love…….even a pet!
- Find a purpose
- Have something to look forward to small or large
Ted opened question time and the audience made the most of Margaret and Julie’s knowledge. The biggest take away from the discussion being the need for cohesive clear retirement information, a one stop shop perhaps that gives consumers information on My Aged Care, Financial Planning and Aged Care Providers.
A BIG thank you from Living Choice and Ted O’Brien MP’s office to the many village residents that volunteered their time assisting to host the forum. Morning tea was cheerfully served by Thelma Richardson, Dorothy Blythe, Jean Hoy and Ruth Green. Thanks to Ian Lawson for smoothly managing the audio-visual requirements and assisting with logistics in general, Ian Green for driving the bus that shuttled people to the forum and Frank Richardson for driving the buggy.
Seniors Forum - Ted O’Brien MP & forum guests.