In this post let’s discuss an important cultural issue in Australia. The dignity of the age pension and the courage it takes to ask for a helping hand.
The measure of a society is how it supports its senior citizens, and this is an idea that’s been known for thousands of years.
Consider the riddle that was posed to the Greek hero Oedipus in the ancient story:
What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?
Oedipus solved this puzzle, and it’s his response which is worth reflecting upon today.
Oedipus recognized that morning, noon and evening were metaphors for our life and that it was man who crawls as a baby, stands on two feet as an adult and has a walking stick in old age.
This metaphor holds meaning all these years later because it still reflects our common understanding of what it means to age gracefully. It’s natural and expected to have a ‘third leg in the evening’.
In today’s world, the third leg for most older Australians is the Age Pension and its role in providing a dignified and comfortable retirement for Australians.
The pension is something that most older Australians utilize. In fact, 65% of elderly Australians receive at least a partial Age Pension. Yet there are still people who are uneasy about applying for their Age Pension. Despite its widespread use, there are many elderly people who never make their age pension application.
There are many possible reasons why some people don’t submit an Age Pension application. Be it misunderstanding their eligibility, fear of interacting with Centrelink or inaction because it’s all too difficult. The most pernicious reason, may well also be a cultural fear of asking for help.
Australian Pensioners, come from many different backgrounds – some have been working their entire lives paying taxes to help past and future generations. Other people never focused on their careers and building wealth because they were busy raising children.
Everyone is different but surely we can provide required help to Australian seniors who have stood on two legs from adolescence to their mid 60’s.
The age pension is there for senior Australians. Every Australian that’s eligible should take part in the Age Pension and feel proud about doing so. It takes courage to ask for help. But it’s well worth it.
Are you looking for a helping hand to get your Age Pension?