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