Grumpy, old and holding on

Bruce Brammall, The West Australian, 1 July, 2019



Listen here, you greedy old codgers. Whaddya mean you can’t sell your home?

If you really wanted to get into that fancy “Manor of Missing Memories” just down the road, you’d find a way. Please. Save me your sob stories.

I’ll betcha plenty of first home buyers would love to take your home off your hands.

The real problem is you’re holding out for property prices that haven’t been seen in your parts for nearly five years, aren’t you? All the while, denying a poor inner-city Millennial renter – barely affording their smashed avocado breakys and surviving on a 4G phone – their Australian right to rip your house off you for a bargain, to take their first step onto the property pedestal.

You. Selfish. Geriatric. Fogeys.


Hey, you’ve earned the right. You’ve built the nation and raised your families, paid your taxes and, largely, delivered better politicians than recent idiot generations, including mine. (Largely, I said. I still blame you for Kevin Rudd.)

So, if you can’t sell your home right now to get into that ripper retirement village next to the golf course with all your mates (those still breathing), then that’s your call, your right.

But it is going to cause a few problems. Some of them financial. What are you going to do, while hanging out for the next property boom, then for a few more mates to fall off the perch at “The Manor”?

If income is a problem, then spritely octo-generians might consider purchasing a Hire-A-Granny franchise (opening in Western Australia soon).

As part of the Hire-A-Granny licensing arrangements, franchisees will get their “own turf”, exclusive rights to a particular region or suburb. They have training to bring you up to speed if you’re lacking some genuine old and grey skills. You can do the equivalent of Certificate III courses in subjects including “Acting Hard of Hearing”, “Being Crotchety”, “Driving at Walking Speed” and “Making Disgusting Noises at the Dinner Table”.

And the best part? It’s okay if you take a nanna nap on the customer’s recliner at any time, even in the middle of a job.

Hire-A-Granny will train you to insist on cash only – none of this ApplePay rubbish – so you can hide the income from Centrelink and spend it on services you need.

(Kidding. But I might speak to someone about a franchising opportunity here.)

It’s a tough decision. Stay home, or move into a retirement village? That’s for those who have a choice. Many don’t – the decision is often made for them by medical realities, or their concerned kids.

Let’s assume it’s your choice. Firstly, you need to figure out what’s really important to you.

For many, staying in your own home for as long as possible, even if  your health isn’t what it used to be.

Options to stay home are growing. Support packages which will allow you to stay in your home are getting comparatively cheaper, or technology is delivering better options.

In-home services, from low-level to high-level care, are offered by a range of providers, not all of whom have a strong profit motive.

So many more options to take away some of life’s chores are available through reasonably affordable home delivery, including supermarkets.

If you’re on your own, or your partner pressed the “till-death-do-us-part” button earlier than you’d hoped, you can get “live-in companionship”. Reputable organisations can find you someone compatible to live with you, to share the costs of running your home and to potentially assist each other with daily life, if you own your own home.

Another option is to spend the kids’ inheritance.

Depending on how nasty your kids have been to you, this outcome can be best achieved by using reverse mortgages to live the life of Riley, allowing you to blow most of the equity in your home on cruises down the Danube, or on The Ghan if you want to stay domestic.

Reverse mortgages aren’t, actually, as terrible as they used to be, though people are still largely wary of them. Codes of conduct have cleaned them up.

They do provide you with the ability to release the equity in your largest asset and spend it down gently.

But if you’re holding out for the next property wave, stay healthy.

Bruce Brammall is the author of Mortgages Made Easy and is both a financial advisor and mortgage broker. E:

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