HARD ROAD: Gayle Black is a case study on how   older people are  finding it tougher each year to survive.
HARD ROAD: Gayle Black is a case study on how older people are finding it tougher each year to survive. Mike Richards GLA061118JOBS

Elderly, unemployed and running low on super funds

BOYNE Island resident Gayle Black has been unemployed for 14 years, but not by choice.

At 64 the ex-clerical worker suffers from osteoarthritis and is not yet eligible for the age pension.

Ms Black said her survival on the lesser Newstart allowance resulted in a "compromised” lifestyle.

"I'm not afraid to buy op-shop clothes and I buy food that is marked down ... I've learned to live very frugally,” Ms Black said.

"I moved here 14 years ago and I was doing a lot of job seeking.

"Not a lot of jobs for people with my skills, or outdated skills.

"Also, my health doesn't allow me to work full time any more.”

She stopped looking for work nine years ago and now receives the Newstart allowance in exchange for 30 hours of fortnightly volunteering.

Ms Black said she considered herself lucky to own her own house and not pay rent, but was quickly eating through her savings.

"I don't know how long my super has to last me,” she said.

According to a recent statement from the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees chief executive Eva Scheerlinck, retirees need a 12 per cent super to "retire with dignity”.

Ms Black said she recently had to discontinue her medical fund because she could no longer afford it.

She said she wanted to leave the area.

"I feel that there's not enough medical services (here) for somebody with my problems.”

"It has made it too difficult for me to stay.”

Ms Black said she could not leave yet as she had to care for her 87-year-old father.



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