WHEN people talk about self-funded retirees, they often think of the wealthy, Geoff Hammond says.
But more often than not, it's quite the opposite.
Mr Hammond, from the Association of Independent Retirees, says there's an "amazing" number of people who have trouble making ends meet but are unable to make the pension threshold.
"They're struggling," he says. "It's very difficult for them because their income has dropped considerably. For some, their income has dropped to such an extent that they're classed as partially funded because they've been able to get a part pension.
"We look after their interests."
The Association of Independent Retirees, South Eastern Branch, was established in the 1990s and was originally known as the Waverley branch but has since expanded. It's one of 14 metropolitan and rural branches across the state.
Mr Hammond joined the group about 14 years ago and can sum up its mission in a sentence.
"We represent the interest of people who are self-funded or partially self-funded.
"We find that the people you would class as being wealthy just don't take an interest in our organisation. In their situation, they don't have to worry so much."
Every year, the group puts through a pre-budget submission to the federal and state governments.
At present, it is lobbying on issues such as healthcare card eligibility.
The group holds monthly meetings and investment discussion groups. Speakers are regularly invited to talk about topics, from Centrelink and retirement villages to estate planning.
The South East Branch of the Association of Independent Retirees will meet at the Mount Waverley Youth Centre on Miller Crescent at 2pm on Monday, September 10. Visitors welcome. Afternoon tea provided. Details: 98077663.