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Topic: Worried about not being able to financially take care of my parents

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    18 August 2020
    Hi guys,

    Lately, with my dad nearing retirement, I've been developing constant anxiety about whether I will be able to financially take care of my parents whilst dealing with my own mental health issues.

    Both my parents were immigrants and came over to Australia with little to no money. We are not a rich family. Right now, my dad is 62 and works a really labour intensive job travelling to many different locations a day (around 25+); he is trying his hardest to work until he can reach 66-67 so that he can qualify for age pension benefits and won’t need to worry that much about finances. However, given that it is a really labour intensive job this is unlikely. At most, I believe my dad can only work for 1-2 years more. My mum has always been a stay at home mum of 3 and is currently a stay at home caretaker of my sister's infant (childcare is too expensive to be an option). I currently work as a casual employee but with COVID it is difficult to get shifts.

    So, when my dad cannot physically work anymore and has to retire but doesn’t qualify for age pension benefits, it will be me and my older sister who will likely be taking care of the finances from then on. This thought has stressed me out and is one of the main thoughts that are triggering my mental health issues.

    In terms of my health, I've been suffering from mental health issues for a while and it has affected me and my ability to do a lot of things. This year my mental health was debilitating; my mind would not stop overthinking about my finances and responsibilities. It was so bad I started having random panic attacks, even at home when there was no trigger.

    I know Super is a thing, but at the current moment, my dad only has around $27,000 in his super. Arguably, this is not enough to keep afloat for a few years until he can qualify for his age pension benefits. I’ve been really worried about what’s going to happen so I decided to halt my goals, deferred my studies (in law) to find a stable job and save as much as I can before this happens. 

    However, my anxiety has made it difficult for me to commit to full-time jobs so, after deferring, I’ve been searching for a part-time job at an environment that is calm and won’t have any events or situations that can trigger me. However, this is also difficult given the current employment situation in Australia.

    Any advice or reassurances about our government benefits would be welcomed
  2. OrganizedNotReally
    OrganizedNotReally avatar
    17 posts
    18 August 2020 in reply to Dove20

    You will be ok. Australia has a good safety net, so your parents will be ok.

    Even if your father is not able to work (and you don't know that), you still need to pursue your studies, as if you finish law you will be in a better position to support them.

    Families as close as yours do ok together! I am sure your anxiety is making you see the problem as much worse than it is.

    Stay positive (or at least try)! there is definitely benevolent organisations and government support available if your family ever needs it.

    Look after yourself too!

  3. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    13475 posts
    19 August 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Hello Dove, and a warm welcome.

    We understand your concern and appreciate OrganizedNotReally reply and if you could google this 'https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/how to contact', maybe of some assistance to you.

    As your dad is 62 years old and unable to work all he has to do is get a letter from his doctor saying that because of his age and his condition he is unable to work anymore then he and your mum should be able to get a fortnightly payment.

    The money he has will not interfere and you can also google this 'www.servicesaustralia.gov.au › individuals › topics › assets'.

    Best wishes.


  4. Dove20
    Dove20 avatar
    27 posts
    19 August 2020

    Thank you both for your reply... It has been really tough on my mentally thinking about these things and the changes that will be bound to happen in the future; it has become really difficult to look after myself. I feel so much pressure... to just keep going. I want to relax and have time off but I know that I should be working to find money or trying to find a way to be productive.. but when I'm doing those things my mental health gets exasperated and wants a break... Does anyone else feel this way? The guilt of doing nothing/relaxing when their family members are working themselves to the bone?

  5. dadsgripe
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    dadsgripe avatar
    16 posts
    26 August 2020 in reply to Dove20

    Howdy Dove.

    These are some heavy thoughts you are dealing with. Know this, you are wonderful to feel the responsibility of this so heavily. Seriously, it’s heartwarming to read

    Rest assured that there are avenues available to your parents. Try not to worry too much, and as Geoff said, consider going back to uni, it will be better for you in the long run and I’m sure your parents want that for you.

    good luck, Brando

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