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How an Australian woman ended up homeless and couch-surfing aged 73 – with no money to fall back on

Australian woman ends up homeless and couch-surfing aged 73 – with no savings to fall back on

  • An Australian woman was diagnosed with cancer and was no longer able to work 
  • Robin Dougherty resorted to couch-surfing after a lifetime of bad money habits
  • Her husband died in his 50s and she worked full-time to provide for her family
  • She was never taught how to manage money by her husband and parents 

An Australian woman, who was diagnosed with cancer at 73 and was no longer able to work, ended up couch-surfing to get by. 

Sydney woman Robin Dougherty, resorted to couch-surfing between family members, after a lifetime of bad money habits left her homeless.  

Ms Dougherty was never taught about managing money from her parents and her husband.

Her husband passed away in his 50s and she worked full-time provide for her family but never thought about putting money aside for her retirement. 

Sydney woman Robin Dougherty (pictured), resorted to couch-surfing between family members, after a lifetime of bad money habits left her homeless

Ms Dougherty, who is now living in a retirement village, is urging for people to learn from her mistakes by being more financially savvy. 

‘As soon as you start working, try and put something aside every week,’ she told the ABC. 

‘If you suddenly win the lottery, that’s fantastic, but you can’t rely on that.’

Ms Dougherty decided it wasn’t too late to learn how to manage her money by signing up for a a financial literacy class run by non-for-profit organisation Good Shepherd. 

About a third of Australians find dealing with money difficult, according to the 2018 Financial Attitudes and Behaviour Tracker published by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). 

Griffith University professor of economics Ross Guest, said bad financial decisions can lead to stress and mental issues, which affect productivity and increase sick days in the workplace. 

He is urging for financial literacy to be treated like a public health crisis, such as smoking. 

Ms Dougherty was never taught about managing money from her parents and her husband

Ms Dougherty was never taught about managing money from her parents and her husband

Sydney University professor Susan Thorp, said skills in financial literacy were strongly determined by background and home life. 

Financial counsellors, who help people in debt, and financial rights lawyers, who help take matters to court, are busier than ever.  

The Government has addressed the issue of financial literacy, by setting up Ecstra – a body to promote practical skills in finance. 

Corporate watching ASIC is currently responsible for coordinating financial literacy and runs the Moneysmart website and schools program. 

Ecstra will work in addition to the other programs and has received $55 million in funding from the Government.  

Bad financial decisions can lead to stress and mental issues, which affect productivity and increase sick days in the workplace (stock image)

Bad financial decisions can lead to stress and mental issues, which affect productivity and increase sick days in the workplace (stock image) 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk