Author Topic: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF  (Read 6524 times)

mustachepungoeshere

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Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« on: August 28, 2016, 05:47:53 PM »
http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/aussies-raiding-superannuation-millions-to-pay-for-ivf-20160825-gr0s6y.html

More and more Australians are funding IVF with superannuation with the help of a company that also facilitates using retirement savings for cosmetic surgery.

Quote
[SuperCare] boasted of helping clients access more than $65 million in the past 12 months, including $18.7 million for fertility and IVF treatment.
...
IVF pioneer Gab Kovacs​ worried that clinics advertising superannuation as a payment option could encourage people to buy something they can't afford. "I don't think it's unethical but it will put financial pressure on them in the future," he said, adding there was still no guarantee of a baby.

Ms Gutierrez said critics of people who dipped into their super for IVF didn't understand their personal circumstances and failed to consider the undesirable alternatives they faced in the pursuit of a family.

"Some people don't have the luxury of time," she said. "Some people have maxed out their credit cards, some people don't have the option of getting a loan from the bank, some people have already refinanced their mortgages."

Difficult circumstances for families who see this as their only option.

Rustycage

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2016, 07:05:33 PM »
Just my opinion.

Accessing super for IVF is a short-term solution for a financial issue, but you can't exactly access super later to pay for nappies/schooling/daycare etc.

If you can't afford to budget/save for the costs of IVF, how do you expect to budget for the ongoing costs of raising a child after IVF? If you have maxed our your CC's, can't get a bank loan and have already refinanced your mortgage, what business do you have bringing a child into your "can't get your s*** together" world?


Seems like a very irresponsible company  to be "boasting" about this.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2016, 04:23:05 AM »
You can get very lost cost and also bulk billed IVF in Aus so there's no need to get hugely in debt. Cosmetic surgery tho, wow!

2Cent

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2016, 04:42:04 AM »
Just my opinion.

Accessing super for IVF is a short-term solution for a financial issue, but you can't exactly access super later to pay for nappies/schooling/daycare etc.

If you can't afford to budget/save for the costs of IVF, how do you expect to budget for the ongoing costs of raising a child after IVF? If you have maxed our your CC's, can't get a bank loan and have already refinanced your mortgage, what business do you have bringing a child into your "can't get your s*** together" world?

Seems like a very irresponsible company to be "boasting" about this.
This is one case where saving for a few years is not a good option. Increasing the chance of complications is far worse than using retirement savings. Also, I don't know how the Australian pension system works, but I would prefer to use my locked up savings if I could instead of going into debt. If they could get them without a penalty, I would use them even if I had savings.

And hey, cosmetic surgery is an investment in yourself. :-P

marty998

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2016, 05:48:50 AM »
I think there is a penalty for accessing it early... you pay top marginal rate if you withdraw before reaching the preservation age.

Much as I agree with this comment...

Just my opinion.

Accessing super for IVF is a short-term solution for a financial issue, but you can't exactly access super later to pay for nappies/schooling/daycare etc.

If you can't afford to budget/save for the costs of IVF, how do you expect to budget for the ongoing costs of raising a child after IVF? If you have maxed our your CC's, can't get a bank loan and have already refinanced your mortgage, what business do you have bringing a child into your "can't get your s*** together" world?

... for some people, having a baby actually does inspire them to get their shit together. I have a few high school acquaintances who for all intents and purposes could not tie their shoelaces up in the morning. But after a couple of "accidents" they put on their adult pants, learned trades, got jobs and provided for their families.

They're not perfect, but some start heading in the right direction.

Mark31

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2016, 09:50:43 PM »
I find this article really disturbing.

The whole point of superannuation is to reduce the cost of the age pension, and itís only meant to be accessible early in really dire circumstances, but theyíre letting people access it for lifestyle choices?

Sure, in some cases somebody might be actually suicidal or so depressed they canít function due to not being able to have children, but most people are going to see this as easy money.

IVF is expensive, but itís not THAT expensive. I struggle to believe they canít come up with 11k in six months if itís something thatís more important to them than anything in the world. Itís just like a hair on fire emergency.

Ditto with plastic surgery. Sure, there is the occasional person whose looks are so far from the norm that it can be a problem just being out and about, but if thereís a business making money from these applications theyíre not catering to just this market. If someoneís disfigured due to misfortune, this would be covered through the public system anyway.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2016, 12:18:26 AM »
Ditto with plastic surgery. Sure, there is the occasional person whose looks are so far from the norm that it can be a problem just being out and about, but if thereís a business making money from these applications theyíre not catering to just this market. If someoneís disfigured due to misfortune, this would be covered through the public system anyway.

This may not be universal but I'd typically differentiate between cosmetic surgery (to look hotter) and corrective surgery (e.g. after an accident). As the article is talking about cosmetic surgery it's likely meaning the former not the latter.

11ducks

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2016, 01:15:11 AM »
Just my opinion.

Accessing super for IVF is a short-term solution for a financial issue, but you can't exactly access super later to pay for nappies/schooling/daycare etc.

If you can't afford to budget/save for the costs of IVF, how do you expect to budget for the ongoing costs of raising a child after IVF? If you have maxed our your CC's, can't get a bank loan and have already refinanced your mortgage, what business do you have bringing a child into your "can't get your s*** together" world?


Seems like a very irresponsible company  to be "boasting" about this.

Agreed - how can you afford to have a parent off work (or pay for daycare) if
You can't save up for IVF?

Making Cookies

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2016, 08:16:24 AM »
I find this article really disturbing.

The whole point of superannuation is to reduce the cost of the age pension, and itís only meant to be accessible early in really dire circumstances, but theyíre letting people access it for lifestyle choices?

Sure, in some cases somebody might be actually suicidal or so depressed they canít function due to not being able to have children, but most people are going to see this as easy money.

IVF is expensive, but itís not THAT expensive. I struggle to believe they canít come up with 11k in six months if itís something thatís more important to them than anything in the world. Itís just like a hair on fire emergency.

Ditto with plastic surgery. Sure, there is the occasional person whose looks are so far from the norm that it can be a problem just being out and about, but if thereís a business making money from these applications theyíre not catering to just this market. If someoneís disfigured due to misfortune, this would be covered through the public system anyway.

And that child could cost big money once it is here. Daycare and diapers for example. If the IVF money if difficult to save then somebody needs to do some quick math on what it costs to raise the same child.

I've heard many people suggest having a baby no matter what a person's finances are, that God or circumstance will provide.

I have to disagree. In our younger days we were sometimes paycheck to paycheck. On the flip side, don't wait until you are 40+ yrs old either. Just get real about the money starting a family costs.

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2016, 10:25:00 AM »
I find this article really disturbing.

The whole point of superannuation is to reduce the cost of the age pension, and itís only meant to be accessible early in really dire circumstances, but theyíre letting people access it for lifestyle choices?

Sure, in some cases somebody might be actually suicidal or so depressed they canít function due to not being able to have children, but most people are going to see this as easy money.

IVF is expensive, but itís not THAT expensive. I struggle to believe they canít come up with 11k in six months if itís something thatís more important to them than anything in the world. Itís just like a hair on fire emergency.

Ditto with plastic surgery. Sure, there is the occasional person whose looks are so far from the norm that it can be a problem just being out and about, but if thereís a business making money from these applications theyíre not catering to just this market. If someoneís disfigured due to misfortune, this would be covered through the public system anyway.

And that child could cost big money once it is here. Daycare and diapers for example. If the IVF money if difficult to save then somebody needs to do some quick math on what it costs to raise the same child.

I've heard many people suggest having a baby no matter what a person's finances are, that God or circumstance will provide.

I have to disagree. In our younger days we were sometimes paycheck to paycheck. On the flip side, don't wait until you are 40+ yrs old either. Just get real about the money starting a family costs.

The longer a person waits to get knocked up, the higher the odds are that there's going to be something massively wrong with the baby. But bad luck can happen at any point. Nobody ever seems to think that autism, or Down syndrome, or breech birth, or muscular dystrophy can happen to their baby.

Kids with severe problems are really cute when they're little, but it's not so rosy when you're planning a funeral of a 2-month-old. It's not fun to have a 4-year-old who is still in diapers or a 16-year-old who spazzes, flails, and tries to run off because they don't have the cognitive wherewithal to not run into the street (but they do have their adult strength). It's not as much fun when you have a high schooler with a 2nd-grade grasp of reading or math, who will never be able to live independently, but who definitely has a functioning set of gonads and a desire to reproduce.

I personally think that parents should be extremely selective and conservative about how many kids they have, and should plan their families with the understanding that there's a chance their kid might need a wheelchair or dialysis. It's not unreasonable to be the awesome uncle or the "extra" adult around who babysits, mentors, and helps provide for a child financially.

cakie

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2016, 12:03:12 AM »
I don't understand the mentality at all. Before IVF people would "make do" with perfectly reasonable other options for satisfying the urge to look after children e.g. Fostering/adoption, babysitting regularly. A good example is a relative of mine (through marriage) who I consider like a bonus grandmother. She looked after me growing up, and did so with other children too. She was unable to have her own.

It is a pet peeve of mine that people around me seem to get pregnant on a whim, even if they were against the idea only a couple years before. The annoying other side to this is that when I tell people i don't want kids they assume I'll change my mind. Like I haven't thoroughly thought it through! I'm 26...

Don't get me started on one friend who told me adamantly she didn't want kids at age 30. Fast forward 3 yrs, they have gone through IVF for a baby... And promptly purchased an SUV. They live in a big city and already had a great little 5 door hatchback (2012ish model). The husband didn't push for the kid, it was all her!! I just don't understand!

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Making Cookies

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2016, 08:20:49 AM »
I suspect that some babies are "lifestyle babies". Having babies for attention and to fit into their social circle tighter.

"Me too" type folks.

mizzourah2006

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2016, 08:42:34 AM »
Just my opinion.

Accessing super for IVF is a short-term solution for a financial issue, but you can't exactly access super later to pay for nappies/schooling/daycare etc.

If you can't afford to budget/save for the costs of IVF, how do you expect to budget for the ongoing costs of raising a child after IVF? If you have maxed our your CC's, can't get a bank loan and have already refinanced your mortgage, what business do you have bringing a child into your "can't get your s*** together" world?


Seems like a very irresponsible company  to be "boasting" about this.

Agreed - how can you afford to have a parent off work (or pay for daycare) if
You can't save up for IVF?

We were really close to needing IVF and although we had the money to pay for it that really isn't close to the same thing. For what it would have cost us to do IVF we could have paid for 25 months of our current daycare (or just over 2 years). That also assumes no raises in the future, you have plenty of time on your hands, etc.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 08:45:29 AM by mizzourah2006 »

MayDay

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2016, 09:02:30 AM »
I think it is terrifying that people can raid retirement for these kinds of things.

But I also think that if you can afford 1 k a month for childcare just fine, you would take 1 to 2 years to save up for 1 IVF cycle.  And your chances of success would be dropping that whole time.  So I can see why people do it.  Whatever tiny window of fertility they have is slipping away, and many couples probably cannot wait 2-3-4-5 years to save for the 2 or 3 cycles of IVF it often takes.

Ideally, you'd have people not throwing good money after bad.  If you've already drained your savings and racked up CC debt on unsuccessful cycles, you should probably stop.  But humans aren't super great at doing that. 

Yes people used to just not have kids if they couldn't conceive on their own.  But now we have options.  People with cancer and no health insurance don't just throw their hands up and say "oh well, if I had been living 50 years ago I'd be dead, so I won't bother trying to get treatment now".




mizzourah2006

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2016, 10:48:08 AM »
I think it is terrifying that people can raid retirement for these kinds of things.

But I also think that if you can afford 1 k a month for childcare just fine, you would take 1 to 2 years to save up for 1 IVF cycle.  And your chances of success would be dropping that whole time.  So I can see why people do it.  Whatever tiny window of fertility they have is slipping away, and many couples probably cannot wait 2-3-4-5 years to save for the 2 or 3 cycles of IVF it often takes.

Ideally, you'd have people not throwing good money after bad.  If you've already drained your savings and racked up CC debt on unsuccessful cycles, you should probably stop.  But humans aren't super great at doing that. 

Yes people used to just not have kids if they couldn't conceive on their own.  But now we have options.  People with cancer and no health insurance don't just throw their hands up and say "oh well, if I had been living 50 years ago I'd be dead, so I won't bother trying to get treatment now".

That's the scary part. It's $12-16k the first time and $8-10k for each additional try (assuming you were able to freeze enough viable eggs). It's not as if you get unlimited tries for the $16k you pay.

farmerj

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2016, 05:09:18 PM »
Quote
It is a pet peeve of mine that people around me seem to get pregnant on a whim, even if they were against the idea only a couple years before. The annoying other side to this is that when I tell people i don't want kids they assume I'll change my mind. Like I haven't thoroughly thought it through! I'm 26...

... And if you'd asked them a few years ago, I'd bet that a lot of them would say they'd thoroughly thought it through their child-free position. And I'd bet a fair number of them actually had.

Some change their minds, and I suspect others have their minds changed for them hormonally. I still remember the wife of on old co-worker who was very clear about the joys of the childfree and how she didn't want anything to do with babies; found out from mutual friends ten years later she was trying very hard to get pregnant. Facebook stalking just now suggests that the couple is still childless; don't know whether she changed her mind again or they were unsuccessful.

A warning, I suppose, that who you are now is not necessarily the same as the who you will be in the future. Something to consider when contemplating getting a MEGADETH RULES neck tattoo.

cakie

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2016, 11:03:45 PM »
I totally get where your coming from, but it's not so much that I might change my mind. Nobody really knows what their life will be like in 10 years. The thing that annoys me is the assumption that some people have that I am guaranteed to change my mind. It just seems condescending.

Even if, say, 40% of people change their minds, does that make the firm decisions of the remaining 60% automatically invalid? People still expect my sis to change her mind at 35... At what point do people stop assuming this? Menopause?

For me personally, the health risks to myself are not worth it to produce my own offspring (dodgy hormones, could leave me with long term disability).

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Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2016, 12:59:08 AM »
People still expect my sis to change her mind at 35... At what point do people stop assuming this? Menopause?

I'm currently on the transition from 'you'll change your mind' to 'so sorry you couldn't'. From what I can gather: it never ends.

faithless

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2016, 05:51:49 AM »

It is a pet peeve of mine that people around me seem to get pregnant on a whim, even if they were against the idea only a couple years before. The annoying other side to this is that when I tell people i don't want kids they assume I'll change my mind. Like I haven't thoroughly thought it through! I'm 26...

Don't get me started on one friend who told me adamantly she didn't want kids at age 30. Fast forward 3 yrs, they have gone through IVF for a baby... And promptly purchased an SUV. They live in a big city and already had a great little 5 door hatchback (2012ish model). The husband didn't push for the kid, it was all her!! I just don't understand!

So it peeves you that people change their mind and 'on a whim (a couple of years later)' they get pregnant?

I'm touchy about this because I'm really confused at the moment. I'm 31 and up until 29 I did not want kids at all. I actively dislike them themselves, their noise and mess and never wanted to spend that much time and money and be tied down. I used to get really annoyed at your second complaint - other people telling me I'd change my mind.


But in the last year or so I've found myself softening to the idea. I still logically don't want to have kids, and yet... why do I keep coming back to the idea. I feel like my mind is being changed for me and I hate it, but I can't get away from the fact that something deep within me really wants to. I thought initially that if I ignored it it would go away. But it's been like 18 months and it's just getting stronger and stronger. I've found myself pricing up houses in good school areas etc. Logically I keep rejecting the idea. I don't actually like kids(!) and they would interfere with loads of our plans including FIRE. So why oh why do I keep coming back to the idea. It's getting harder and harder to ignore.  Do I just dismiss it as hormones and wait it out? It's actually getting harder and harder to do.
It's frankly fucking terrifying.

Lyssa

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2016, 09:10:14 AM »
I think IVF is one of just a few good reasons to go into (reasonable) debt for.

Time is of the essence and a friend of mine just got confronted with the diagnosis of a severely diminished ovarian reserve at 37. She had the funds for IVF available. If she had not, I would have told her to get a loan. 'Saving up' would have further reduced her chances. A healthy child's financial needs slowly increase over time. But one might need IVF right now for it to work.

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2016, 09:10:47 AM »
I suspect that some babies are "lifestyle babies". Having babies for attention and to fit into their social circle tighter.

"Me too" type folks.

That is a horrible thing to post.   I have never seen this.  Just because it is shown on TV does not make it true!

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2016, 02:19:06 PM »
I suspect that some babies are "lifestyle babies". Having babies for attention and to fit into their social circle tighter.

"Me too" type folks.

That is a horrible thing to post.   I have never seen this.  Just because it is shown on TV does not make it true!

You apparently have never spent any time with low income people. It is common here for a certain small group of girls to seek pregnancies in high school. It isn't about race, just being young, poor and short sighted and it was suggested to me - starved for attention from their own families, so they have a baby that will love them forever... Much like a puppy purchase - without thinking alot about babies growing up and puppies not staying puppies.

This isn't exactly like carrying a toy dog around in a purse aka Hollywood. This is a whole different situation.

I have also seen a few people who seemed to have babies b/c they wanted the attention and fussing over the Mom that comes with having a baby.

I can't change people's choices. Life goes on.

StockBeard

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2016, 02:36:57 PM »
Having gone through IVF with my wife for our two kids I find some of the comments in this thread very disturbing. That people compare having kids with a "lifestyle choice" is extremely weird to me. We're not talking about cars, or even pets, here, people, but by far the main reason 2 people chose to live together, and the way life works. Adoption is not an option for everyone, or in every country, by the way. It is extremely tough to adopt a kid in some parts of the world. Also, not everyone's made for it. Again, this is not a car, but a very important choice that could end up breaking a couple very badly. It's perfectly understandable to me that people would try everything they can to make it happen.

Furthermore, the cost of IVF is an order of magnitude higher than the costs of diapers, child care and raising kids in general. It's not covered by health insurance for the most part, takes months, sometimes years, with unguaranteed results.  Telling people "wow, you can't afford an IVF but you think you'll be able to afford child care" seems just completely ignorant to me. We spent more on IVF in 18 months than we've spent on our kids in total for the past 5 years. As a matter of fact, the only time in my life that my wealth hasn't increased was when we had to pay for IVF. That time of my life is visible to me every time I look at my retirement target and graphs.

As others have mentioned, time doesn't play in your favor with these things either. It's not a thing you can save for, as the longer you wait, the smaller your chances get.

Making Cookies

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2016, 02:46:34 PM »
For the people thinking this through and knowing why they are making the choices they are - more power too them.

I wish the world had more people like you.

Christof

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2016, 03:51:15 PM »
Just adopt...

When we were in the situation trying to adopt it was made very clear to us that adoption is rare. In our county that meant one adoption in the previous decade. In Germany you can only adopt in the county that you are loving in.

livestyle choice...

That is disturbing to me, as well. I perfectly understand if someone does not want to have kids. It's a choice you have these days, and rightly so. But please don't turn biological and evolutionary by 180 degree. The lifestyle choice is not having a kid. The default is to have a kid, not vice versa.

saving...

We could afford to pay for our treatments. Not everyone can. IVF is not like you one day decide to have kids, hand a doctor over some serious money and have a kid soon after. We wanted a kid in 2004. Our son was born 2013, after many treatments and several misscarriages (they don't mention that initially) and experimental treatments that are only available in two cities in Germany and illegal in the US.

Expensive kids...

I can't believe we are such an exception... We reduced our expenses by one third after having a kid. Priorities change. There is less time to waste money. And with the exception of day care in some countries kids are not really expensive when they are small.

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2016, 10:33:56 PM »
Although I can see why desperate people want to use whatever means possible to go through IVF, I hope they understand that if they are withdrawing 100k out of their super they are paying 30% tax + whatever fee this company is charging them so they will only end up with 50-60% of the money they withdraw.


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rae

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2016, 06:21:16 AM »
Having gone through IVF with my wife for our two kids I find some of the comments in this thread very disturbing. That people compare having kids with a "lifestyle choice" is extremely weird to me. We're not talking about cars, or even pets, here, people, but by far the main reason 2 people chose to live together, and the way life works. Adoption is not an option for everyone, or in every country, by the way. It is extremely tough to adopt a kid in some parts of the world. Also, not everyone's made for it. Again, this is not a car, but a very important choice that could end up breaking a couple very badly. It's perfectly understandable to me that people would try everything they can to make it happen.

Furthermore, the cost of IVF is an order of magnitude higher than the costs of diapers, child care and raising kids in general. It's not covered by health insurance for the most part, takes months, sometimes years, with unguaranteed results.  Telling people "wow, you can't afford an IVF but you think you'll be able to afford child care" seems just completely ignorant to me. We spent more on IVF in 18 months than we've spent on our kids in total for the past 5 years. As a matter of fact, the only time in my life that my wealth hasn't increased was when we had to pay for IVF. That time of my life is visible to me every time I look at my retirement target and graphs.

As others have mentioned, time doesn't play in your favor with these things either. It's not a thing you can save for, as the longer you wait, the smaller your chances get.

+1

Statistically, we're staying in school longer, getting married later, and it's taking longer to find jobs and settle into our careers, so I can see how more and more couples have to go through fertility treatments. DH and I were in our mid 30s by the time we were financially able to take care of children. We tried to get pregnant for a couple of years, and did not think it would be a problem. We were saving for retirement, but not for fertility treatments. We were fortunate in the end that it didn't cost us too much because of government funding, but were facing the reality that we might have to spend $20k on a flip of the coin. And how many times would we flip a coin? The cost may have come from retirement savings. I'm not sure if would have taken out a loan, but we never had to make that decision.

nnls

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2016, 05:30:12 PM »

shelivesthedream

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2016, 06:43:12 AM »
This is a sad article, and it's been interesting to read the comments here. I used to not want children and now I think I'm changing my mind. I'm 25 and have been thinking about when to have children, and ultimately the answer I have come up with is "there's no time like the present". It seems like there's no perfect time to have children, when you've got all your life ducks in a row and you're suddenly "ready". I think there is such a thing as being "not ready" (financially or emotionally), but there's no great difference between being adequately ready and being completely ready.

Certainly in the UK, average maternal age for a first child is still rising. I'm not saying that's automatically a bad thing, but I have read so many articles and comments from people trying to get pregnant in their mid-thirties and struggling and saying that they didn't realise it would be so hard. It's something we should talk to people about when they're young and planning their life and career. Of course it happens for all sorts of reasons you can't control (maybe you've had an unstable career, maybe you met your partner late...) but I wonder how many people just let time run away with them thinking that "later" will be better and then suddenly realise that it might be too late.

I'm unclear on how superannuation works in Australia and how much of a retirement it's supposed to cover, but as others have said - realising you need IVF and then spending two years saving up for it might drastically reduce your chances. If you've got your financial ducks in a row enough to have significant retirement savings, is it so bad to use some to pay for IVF now and then spend two years paying back into your retirement pot? It might work out better for them than a loan. However, for people in this situation it's completely nuts:

Quote
"Some people don't have the luxury of time," she said. "Some people have maxed out their credit cards, some people don't have the option of getting a loan from the bank, some people have already refinanced their mortgages."

I think people overestimate the power of medical science and particularly fertility science to overcome the basic facts of biology. We can't live forever just because we want to. Some people are fertile, some people are not so fertile, some are not fertile at all. Some of that is down to age, some down to other stuff that maybe we don't understand. As we have all acknowledged so many times on this forum, life is not fair. If you don't plan for and save up for your retirement, you are going to spend a lot of years eating cat food and I have no obligation to bail you out. If you were starving, I would absolutely buy you some cat food - but nothing beyond that. I do not believe that you have some kind of divine human right to have children. IVF is offered in the UK on the NHS if you meet certain criteria, and despite generally being an absolute bleeding heart socialist, that does not seem reasonable to me. Having children or not having children is a choice either way, not a right. It is fundamentally determined by biology which we do not control. Yes, it would suck if you were poor and desperately wanted children and couldn't have them and couldn't afford IVF. Lots of things suck in life. That doesn't mean you have a right to have someone change all of them magically.

faithless

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2016, 03:33:47 PM »
There was an article today about people also using super for obesity surgery.


That doesn't seem like that bad an idea I guess - if there was a good chance you weren't going to be alive or mobile enough to enjoy your retirement through ill health/disease caused by obesity, then spending your retirement savings on surgery which could fix that doesn't seem like a bad idea. I'd rather be poor but relatively healthy than having a decent retirement plan but not being fit enough to enjoy it. (I'm assuming that they've tried and failed with diet and exercise alone,  which would be better/cheaper)

Northern gal

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2016, 11:04:38 PM »
I will go against the grain here and say that, during the last federal election, the Turnbull government has made very clear what their plan for superannuation is: raid it through retrospective taxes etc

Therefore I say: raid it before they can

mizzourah2006

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Re: Aussies raiding superannuation millions to pay for IVF
« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2016, 07:29:58 PM »
Having gone through IVF with my wife for our two kids I find some of the comments in this thread very disturbing. That people compare having kids with a "lifestyle choice" is extremely weird to me. We're not talking about cars, or even pets, here, people, but by far the main reason 2 people chose to live together, and the way life works. Adoption is not an option for everyone, or in every country, by the way. It is extremely tough to adopt a kid in some parts of the world. Also, not everyone's made for it. Again, this is not a car, but a very important choice that could end up breaking a couple very badly. It's perfectly understandable to me that people would try everything they can to make it happen.

Furthermore, the cost of IVF is an order of magnitude higher than the costs of diapers, child care and raising kids in general. It's not covered by health insurance for the most part, takes months, sometimes years, with unguaranteed results.  Telling people "wow, you can't afford an IVF but you think you'll be able to afford child care" seems just completely ignorant to me. We spent more on IVF in 18 months than we've spent on our kids in total for the past 5 years. As a matter of fact, the only time in my life that my wealth hasn't increased was when we had to pay for IVF. That time of my life is visible to me every time I look at my retirement target and graphs.

As others have mentioned, time doesn't play in your favor with these things either. It's not a thing you can save for, as the longer you wait, the smaller your chances get.

+1

Statistically, we're staying in school longer, getting married later, and it's taking longer to find jobs and settle into our careers, so I can see how more and more couples have to go through fertility treatments. DH and I were in our mid 30s by the time we were financially able to take care of children. We tried to get pregnant for a couple of years, and did not think it would be a problem. We were saving for retirement, but not for fertility treatments. We were fortunate in the end that it didn't cost us too much because of government funding, but were facing the reality that we might have to spend $20k on a flip of the coin. And how many times would we flip a coin? The cost may have come from retirement savings. I'm not sure if would have taken out a loan, but we never had to make that decision.

Yup, my wife and I were a month away from IVF. Nobody knew what was wrong. Our fertility doctor tested her killer T cell count and found that it was abnormally high. They actually suggested a lipid infusion that costed $500 per infusion as something that might help the IVF. We missed the first IVF schedule, but I told her because of it's half-life it still may be beneficial. We ended up getting pregnant naturally after the infusion. We had been trying for over 3 years and had done 4 IUIs.she wasn't that old either, we started trying at 26. It's insane how expensive it is and our state didn't cover any of it.