Monday, December 22, 2008

Coping with hard times

If you are over 65, as I am, what can you do to cope with the hard times ahead? The answer, as far as I can see, is "Not a lot".

Of course, I will try to keep my casual employment, which brings me between $100 and $500 a week. But many people of my age are irrevocably retired: there is no way in which they can go back to the office/factory on a part-time basis, as I did in 2006.

Such people, who are on low, fixed incomes — or incomes that are precipitously declining, thanks to dramatic cuts in interest rates — are among those who are to be "sacrificed" as the authorities desperately strive to revive the economy (or "reinflate the bubble").

If such elderly people are not "computer literate", they are also unable to take advantage of the significantly higher interest rates that are available to holders of "online call accounts". At the ANZ Bank, where I do most of my banking, the online call account rate is 5.15 percent on a balance of at least $2000, compared with 4.60 percent on a six-month term deposit of at least $10,000.

As I now do most of my banking on the net, I closed two low-interest-rate accounts this week and consolidated the funds from them in a single online call account.

Any extra money, however small the amount, is still worth having.


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