WHO?S SPENDING THE INHERITANCE?
By NERIDA BLOK and AAP
LENNOX HEAD couple Lenore Taylor and John Watson are part of an older and livelier generation who will not go quietly into a grey and boring retirement.
A study has found that Northern Rivers retirees, like Lenore and John, are part of a good-time crowd who are the happiest in the State.
The study by ClearView Retirement Solutions found those people who retire here are the happiest in the NSW/ACT region.
The research found 40 per cent of North Coast retirees said it was wonderful to be alive, compared to only 19 per cent in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.
Lenore, 70, and John, 69, are testament to that.
"Absolutely," said Lenore. "Life here is too much fun."
Lenore and John, who moved here independently from Melbourne and Sydney respectively, said they celebrated life fully each day by beachcombing, snorkelling, swimming and gardening.
Lenore said she moved to Lennox Head in 1972 with her late husband for the natural beauty, close proximity to big city facilities and general friendliness of the people.
"I consider it a privilege to have been able to spend my retirement here," she said.
"I enjoy the simple things and I'm fortunate to live in an area where such things are abundant and free."
News of the the shiny, happy retirees comes as another new study, commissioned by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and released yesterday, found a 'me first' attitude developing.
Instead of passing their life savings on to their children, research suggested retirees were now spending it on themselves.
More than one third of Australians aged 50 to 59 expect to use up all their assets while they are alive, while 28 per cent of all men and women aged over 50 say they will.
The study found traditional bequeathing of family assets to the next generation was subsiding.
Authors Diana Olsberg and Mark Winters said a consumer culture of economic pragmatism was partly responsible for the cultural change.
"Everyone of all ages has the right to be selfish because it's good for the economy," they said.
"And so, the argument goes, what's good for the economy must be good for the individual."
Lenore Taylor however said she refused to become a member of 'the SKI Club or spend your kids inheritence'.
"We've organised ourselves so that we don't diminish the kids expectations," she said.
She believed most people would prefer to help their families before themselves.