As a home owner, you have options to sell the home, borrow money against it, or rent it out to pay for your residential aged care fees. But what if you are a retiree who doesn’t own your own home and needs to have a part-time job just to be able to afford rent? This is far from ideal, but the number of seniors in Adelaide & Australia facing this financial fear of losing accommodation continues to increase.
Since there is little or no legal protection at all for elderly tenants who are living in boarding and lodging accommodation, seniors who rent are afraid of being homeless and getting evicted anytime their landlord wish to. In fact, according to a recent research, bullying of senior tenants is prevalent nowadays. Landlords and management feel entitled to be above their tenants and thus, seniors are frequently afraid to voice out their concerns or ask for repairs. Doing so will make them at risk of getting evicted or receiving rent increase.
This is a national concern since the number of seniors living in rental accommodation is growing. Aside from not being given proper aged care, these seniors are living in fear of not having a shelter in case they run out of funds and can’t work anymore. A research facilitated by the University of Western Australia’s Law School strongly suggests that state laws governing family accommodation should be amended as soon as possible. The research also gave recommendations to increase awareness and educate older people about their choices on accommodation.
The fear of not being able to pay rent is not the only problem arising when seniors or the aged are staying in a rental accommodation. They also fear that they can be evicted at any time because of lack of rules that protect them. Thus, a way of securing tenure should also be adapted in upcoming laws.
Consider this scenario: A senior couple, who are renting accommodation have to work part-time to supplement their age pension to be able to afford the rent. Aged 72 and 76 respectively, the couple is in a position where they should be enjoying their retirement and not worrying about their rent. They could have had an affordable housing supplied by the government, but they have been told that they are not earning enough to qualify. They sought another option through state housing, but they were also declined because they are apparently earning ‘too much.’ This has left the couple with very limited options and thus, they succumb to renting accommodation – even in extreme old age.
This is not new. There are many Australians who are in the same situation as this couple. And with the rise of baby boomers ready to retire soon, we should be prepared to create a community wherein seniors have the chance to have a dignified and secure retirement.
This is also why, no matter what age you are, you need to start preparing for your future years now. It is never too early to plan your finances and get advice regarding your financial options. If you want to a comfortable retirement, you need help to get it right. For expert aged care advice & retirement planning in Adelaide, you can call us at 1 300 422 232.