money & Banking

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Tiger Lily living in a London squat: "I've never received any money from dad's estate"

<p>The daughter of late INXS front man Michael Hutchence should be living the high life.</p> <p>However, the reality of Tiger Lily Hutchence's living situation is quite different than what can be assumed, and according to a close friend of the former INXS singer revealed, the 22-year-old is living in a “squat.”</p> <p>The estate of Michael is estimated to be worth millions of dollars, considering his band sold over 60 million records internationally.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/ByVpDiUhfjk/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/ByVpDiUhfjk/" target="_blank">A post shared by India rose (@ponatoralove)</a> on Jun 5, 2019 at 11:28am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Director and long-time friend of INXS, Richard Loweinstein, told the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/tiger-hutchencegeldof-living-in-a-squat-as-she-waits-for-inheritance-from-michael-hutchences-estate/news-story/59edb69ff527df0e64b42bce75991b07" target="_blank">Herald Sun</a> the shocking truth about Michael's daughter.</p> <p>“I met up with Tiger for dinner in London. We went to her flat to watch the documentary and it was like a little squat,” he explained.</p> <p>“I said, ‘Where's the money from your dad's estate?’ and she said, ‘I've never received anything from anyone. I had a meeting once with an accountant that was so bad I didn't want to do it again’.”</p> <p>The 22-year-old was expected to claim her inheritance when she turned 21.</p> <p>Lowenstein directed a new documentary about the late INXS member where part of his research involved meeting the only daughter of the musician, who appears to live a reclusive life in England.</p> <p>The director said he showed Tiger an edit of the new programme which she gave her blessing for.</p> <p>“She loved it. She was very emotionally moved by watching it. In fact, she said I don't think I ever want to see that again,” he told <a rel="noopener" href="https://honey.nine.com.au/latest/tiger-lily-michael-hutchence/0d1f6fc7-0ca1-44fd-8386-259351e5dbcf" target="_blank"><em>A Current Affair</em></a>.</p> <p>Michael was tragically found dead in a hotel room in Double Bay, Sydney on November 22, 1997. Later, his death was ruled as a suicide by hanging.</p> <p>Three years later, Tiger’s life was hit with another tragedy – the death of her mother Paula Yates, who died of a heroin overdoes on September 17, 2000.</p> <p>In a world without both her parents, a young Tiger was left an orphan before she was formally adopted by British musician Bob Geldof, who had been married to Paula before she left him for Michael in February 1995.</p> <p>She lived with Bob as a young girl, years later revealing she wasn’t aware Bob wasn’t her father during her childhood.</p> <p>She was raised alongside her three half-siblings whose mother was also Paula – Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches and Pixie.</p>

money & Banking

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How New Zealand's 'well-being' budget impacts you

<p>New Zealand’s first “<a href="https://www.budget.govt.nz/budget/2019/wellbeing/index.htm">well-being budget</a>” has landed, prioritising well-being over economic growth. So how is it different to any budgets that we have seen in the past?</p> <p>The government has moved away from GDP as a sole indicator of our nation’s prosperity. It justified this move because GDP is a good measure of economic growth but doesn’t provide us with any information about the quality of the economic activity or the well-being of people.</p> <p>GDP doesn’t tell us whether people are struggling to meet basic needs or if everyone has access to health care and education. Neither does it give insight into whether people have social connections, feel safe, are happy and feel proud to live in New Zealand.</p> <p><strong>A nation’s well-being</strong></p> <p>In order to quantify these social concerns, the New Zealand government has decided to take a more holistic approach to measuring how well we are doing as a nation. It developed the Living Standards Framework (<a href="https://treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/nz-economy/living-standards">LSF</a>) as a practical set of meaningful well-being indicators to guide policy advice. Overall, there are 12 domains that describe and capture how New Zealanders experience well-being.</p> <p>These domains are:</p> <ul> <li>Civic engagement and governance</li> <li>Cultural identity</li> <li>Environment</li> <li>Health</li> <li>Housing</li> <li>Income and consumption</li> <li>Jobs and earnings</li> <li>Knowledge and skills</li> <li>Time use</li> <li>Safety and security</li> <li>Social connections</li> <li>Subjective wellbeing</li> </ul> <p>At a first glance, the government is doing something different. But given the close link between well-being and economic growth, it might simply be called budget 2019. Without a well functioning economy, we don’t have the resources to spend on well-being. And, if you look at the key dimensions of the LSF – health, housing, income, environment, employment, education and safety – you’d be right to think that they are the same focus areas we’ve seen in previous budgets.</p> <p>So, does the budget earn the government’s well-being title? To answer this question, we have to check if spending matches up with the domains of the LSF. This is not straight forward, as some of the domains have intangible components. For example, while it is relatively easy to see if funds are allocated to some of the domains, it is less straightforward to determine the impact of the domains of civic engagement, cultural identity, time use, social connections and subjective well-being.</p> <p><strong>Investment in mental health</strong></p> <p>In December last year, finance minister Grant Robertson announced<span> </span><a href="https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/wellbeing-new-zealanders-heart-budget-priorities">five main spending areas</a>: creating a low-emission economy, supporting social and economic opportunities, lifting Māori and Pacific incomes and opportunities, reducing child poverty and supporting mental health. These priorities are not substantially different from priorities of previous budgets, but they cover the key LSF domains.</p> <p>Let’s now take a close look at the actual budget figures.<span> </span><a href="https://www.budget.govt.nz/budget/2019/wellbeing/index.htm">Mental health</a><span> </span>is getting NZ$1.9 billion over five years – its biggest investment to date with NZ$200m going into new mental health and addiction facilities.</p> <p><a href="https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/390898/budget-2019-for-maori-whanau-ora-to-receive-80m-over-four-years">Whānau Ora</a>, a programme that puts Māori families in control of the services they need, gets an NZ$80m injection over four years. There is NZ$1.7b going towards<span> </span><a href="https://www.budget.govt.nz/budget/2019/wellbeing/investing-nz/investing-in-health-of-our-hospitals.htm">fixing hospitals</a><span> </span>and child welfare is receiving funds, as promised, with NZ$1.1b is going to the<span> </span><a href="https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/politics/new-intervention-service-decreasetamariki-uplifted-whanau">child welfare agency Oranga Tamariki</a>. An additional NZ$200m will be spent on improving the welfare system and NZ$320m will go towards tackling family and sexual violence.</p> <p>Housing First also gets a boost with NZ$197m from within the mental health budget. This should help tackle homelessness but it is not enough to address the housing shortage in our main cities.</p> <p><strong>Conservative spending on security, education</strong></p> <p>Safety and security receive a relatively conservative injection, with corrections receiving NZ$183m and justice NZ$71m. There is also NZ$98m being spent on trying to<span> </span><a href="https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/05/budget-2019-98-million-for-m-ori-focused-prison-initiative.html">break the cycle of Māori re-offending and imprisonment</a>.</p> <p>There will be NZ$1.2b going into<span> </span><a href="https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/budget-2019/390897/budget-2019-education-portfolio-govt-scraps-donations-for-some-schools">new schools and classrooms</a><span> </span>over the next ten years, with a further NZ$95m towards increasing the number of teachers. But looking at the current and<span> </span><a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/113082026/megastrike-teachers-fear-budget-betrayal">ongoing teacher strikes</a>, this doesn’t appear to be enough to meet the demands and expectations of teachers.</p> <p><span>There is little in the budget targeting income and employment other than a NZ$530m package to </span><a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/budget/113093347/budget-nz-2019-benefits-will-follow-wage-growth-in-historic-change">index main benefits to wage growth</a><span> from April 2020. This means that benefit payments will rise in line with wages, not inflation.</span></p> <p>There is a surprisingly large<span> </span><a href="https://www.budget.govt.nz/budget/2019/wellbeing/transforming-economy/investing-in-rail.htm">NZ$1b injection into Kiwirail</a><span> </span>to revitalise rail networks. The benefits of this in terms of well-being are not yet clear.</p> <p>The government delivered on most of its pre-budget promises and covers a variety of its specified well-being measures. But is it a well-being budget? Yes, but the real difference to other budgets remains to be seen in terms of whether the associated social development initiatives will actually raise the living standards of all New Zealanders.</p> <p>Well-being happens at the front line in people’s homes and workplaces. Time (and next year’s numbers for the Living Standards Framework domains) will tell if the money allocated translates into a real improvement to people’s perceived sense of well-being. Only then will it have justified its new title.</p> <p><em>Written by Christoph Schumacher. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/new-zealands-well-being-budget-how-it-hopes-to-improve-peoples-lives-118052">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

money & Banking

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5 money mistakes that are costing you thousands

<p><span>Discussing money with our loved ones is awkward at best – and intimidating and nerve-wracking at worst. While budgeting is by no means a sexy topic of conversation, it’s a necessary endeavour to achieving your goals and creating the life you want.</span><br /><span> </span><br /><span>Unfortunately, there are plenty of financial decisions that cost us dearly – just think about what you could do with an extra $2,500 to $5,000 in your pocket. It’s not typically one big ticket item that breaks a budget, but rather, “death by a thousand cuts” as the saying goes. The bright side is that your simple mistakes often have simple solutions.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Using credit instead of cash</strong></p> <p><span>Having room on a credit card isn’t always a good thing: research shows that people spend up to 18 per cent more when using credit cards instead of cash. If you have the ability to buy “that extra something,” your impulse spending risk goes up; if you have a points or cash-back credit card, you’re even more likely to spend to get the extra points.</span><br /><span> </span><br /><span>The solution: Leave your card credit card at home and withdraw cash for shopping – especially for groceries.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Making only minimum payments on your credit card</strong></p> <p><span>Making minimum-only payments is a financial No Man’s Land. Case in point, if you have a credit card with a balance of $5,000 and an interest rate of 19.9%, you’re required to pay two per cent as a minimum payment on a declining balance – think $100 on the first month, $99 on the second month, and so on. At that rate, it will take you about 65 years – and more than $22,000 in interest! – to pay off your credit card. If you take that same scenario and upgrade to a fixed payment of $125 per month, you’ll be debt-free in just over five years (assuming you’re not reusing the card). Of course, you’ll still pay $3,274 in interest, but your future-self will thank you for the saved time and money.</span><br /><span> </span><br /><span>The solution: Do your best to put your credit products away. If you absolutely must use credit, be sure to make higher than minimum payments.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Purchasing a brand new car</strong></p> <p><span>That new car smell is inviting, but the costs associated with it can sour your purchase. Plus, your car depreciates in value the moment you drive it off the lot – statistics range from a 10 to 20 per cent drop within the first year.</span><br /><span> </span><br /><span>The solution: If you’re in need of a vehicle, consider buying a reliable used vehicle. You’ll save on the value and your monthly payments will likely be lower.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Ignoring low-interest credit products</strong></p> <p><span>Some interest rates on various credit products can be anywhere between 25 to 40 per cent, and payday loan interest rates, when annualised, can be over 400 per cent.</span><br /><span> </span><br /><span>The solution: If you can, consolidate your debt into a product with lower interest rates.</span></p> <p><strong>5. Having expensive hobbies</strong></p> <p><span>There’s nothing wrong with a round of golf or a dance class for couples, but it’s important to consider the whole cost of your recreational activities. Factors like registration fees, equipment and transportation tend to add up quickly.</span><br /><span> </span><br /><span>The solution: Consider activities that are in line with your budget and look for ways to save some money. For instance, if you love golf, try buying used equipment.</span></p> <p><em>Written by Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy. This article first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/15-money-mistakes-are-costing-you-thousands">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p>

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How to spot an investment scam

<p>Last year, Australians and New Zealanders lost a reported $31.3m and $10m respectively to scams, with investment scams promising fast profits at low or no risk. Many of the people targeted by cunning scammers were wealthy individuals who consider themselves savvy investors, and yet they still fell victim. One person is said to have lost more than $1 million to an investment scam before he finally reported the crime to the police.</p> <p>Scams are successful because the people running them know just what tricks to use to build a sense of trust in their unsuspecting victims. This cunningness means even seasoned investors should not be complacent.</p> <p>There’s no shame in making a mistake. NZ’s Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) offers this advice: “If you have been victim to a scam, don’t be too hard on yourself. Scammers are experts at what they do and rely on people’s busy lives to distract them from the intent of their emails.” Scammers present a slick, professional appearance and often come with a raft of ‘documentation’ – quality websites and flyers, ‘reviews’ and a ‘history’ of successes. But there are ways you can spot an investment scammer. Look for these telltale signs.</p> <p><strong>They like to cold call</strong></p> <p>The vast majority of investment scams begin with a cold-call offer over the phone. Reputable financial services won’t initiate contact this way. While your bank may occasionally call you, it will always do so for a specific reason, and generally in response to your own attempts to contact them. According to Michael Baumann, General Manager, Everyday Banking and Payments, at the Commonwealth Bank, a bank will never call a customer out of the blue and seek confirmation of secure information. “We will never contact customers asking for their credit card number, card PIN, [online banking] password or code,” he says. “If customers opt to receive marketing material from their bank, we will send general information about a product or service, and invite them to read more on our website, visit a branch or get in touch with us. We won’t ask them to send us money or confidential personal information.”</p> <p>If you are contacted over the phone by someone purporting to work for a major bank, financial services firm or even a telecommunications company, and you’re not sure whether or not it’s a scam, call back through the company’s main switchboard (not the number the caller gave you) to check that the person works for that company in the capacity they have alleged. Alternatively, a quick Google search of the company name or phone number and the word ‘scam’ can often bring up details about the latest scam doing the rounds.</p> <p><strong>You are targeted online</strong></p> <p>The internet provides scammers with a very sophisticated avenue for doing ‘business’. Using Facebook ads offering access to ‘unique opportunities’, ‘mate’s tips’ in online forums and even offers in unsolicited emails, scammers trick online users into thinking they are the one initiating contact, when in fact you are taking a very clever bait.</p> <p>Remember, when you conduct any online research into companies you may wish to invest in, or look for financial advisers, be careful what links you open. Don’t fall for the unsolicited marketing that may clutter your screen with pop-up ads and offers – it could be a scammer.</p> <p><strong>“You can’t lose. Don’t delay.”</strong></p> <p>Any reputable investment adviser will tell you that you can lose. While some options are safer than others, nothing is guaranteed. A reliable adviser will recommend you spread your risk across several types of investment, whereas scammers will often encourage you to focus on just one, or declare that their portfolio is ‘risk-free’.</p> <p>Investment scammers push their ‘products’ by building a sense of urgency and exclusivity. Look out for claims of ‘limited opportunity’. This approach is particularly true of investments promoted at ‘wealth creation’ seminars, where investors are urged to sign on the dotted line right there and then. This removes any chance of seeking independent advice or time to consider whether the investment is worth the valuation given, or if the charges are reasonable. Some investment scams have actual items of worth as part of the scam, but ask you to pay in more than you would receive as your part of the company’s assets if the scheme was wound up. Never commit to any investment without obtaining independent legal or financial advice first.</p> <p><strong>They won’t stop</strong></p> <p>Reputable firms take no for an answer. They may follow up an initial contact from you with one or two offers, but a request to stop contact will be honoured. Scammers will sometimes take a hard ‘no’ reply, but just as often a ‘more senior’ staff member will come back to you with more information as to why you should invest with them.</p> <p><strong>What can you do? </strong></p> <p>In NZ if you receive a scam by text message, simply forward it to 7726 SPAM, and officers at the Department of Internal Affairs will investigate. In AU you can also report scams to ACCC’s Scamwatch at www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam.</p> <p>Baumann says, “Customers should always check that the person they are talking to is who they say they are. Ask them for their credentials, ABN or the number of the Australian Financial Services Licence they operate under.”</p> <p>If at any point the conversation seems uncomfortable, feel free to say no. Scammers will often create a sense of urgency. They may try to test your better judgement by claiming that something needs your immediate attention.</p> <p>“Education is key,” says Baumann. “Read up on what to look out for, so you don’t fall for it. Scamwatch is a good source of information. The CommBank website also has tips and advice for customers on how to stay safe online at www.commbank.com. au/personal/support/security.html.”</p> <p>You should also check details of companies you are considering investing in by checking the NZ Companies Register at www.companies-register.companiesoffice.govt.nz, ASIC’s ABN look-up online service at www.abr.business.gov.au, and make sure they are not on this list: www.moneysmart.gov.au/scams/companies-you-should-not-deal-with/.</p> <p>Then check to confirm that the company is registered and allowed to offer financial services at www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/warnings-and-alerts/unregistered-businesses/.</p> <p>Greet all unsolicited investment suggestions with an enormous amount of scepticism. The old adage ‘if something seems too good to be true, it probably is’ definitely applies when it comes to investing.</p> <p><em>Written by Donyale Harrison. This article first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/investment-scam-alert">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p>

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Why reducing unemployment should have been a focus for NZ's well-being budget

<p>In its much awaited first<span> </span><a href="https://www.budget.govt.nz/budget/2019/wellbeing/index.htm">well-being budget</a>, New Zealand’s coalition government missed a major trick in not making unemployment one of their central well-being priorities.</p> <p>As of March 2019, New Zealand’s unemployment rate was at 4.4% (not seasonally adjusted). The figure is slightly below the OECD average of 5.2%, and 12 OECD countries have lower rates.</p> <p><a href="https://treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2019-05/befu19.pdf">Treasury forecast</a><span> </span>the rate to decline moderately to 4% this year and then to rise to 4.3% by 2023. While some might trumpet this as success, it is not good by New Zealand’s historical standards.</p> <p>Between 1956 and 1981, our unemployment was never above 2% and often below 1%. In the mid-1980s, the then 4% rate was considered unacceptably high and offered as a rationale for<span> </span><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09538250120102750">the economic reforms of the time</a>.</p> <p><strong>Low unemployment is central to well-being</strong></p> <p><a href="http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/47487/1/World%20happiness%20report%28lsero%29.pdf">Considerable</a><span> </span><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1475-4932.2007.00415">amounts</a><span> </span>of<span> </span><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1468-0335.00111">research</a><span> </span>conclusively shows that when people become unemployed, their well-being, measured by their self-assessed life satisfaction, falls sharply. Should they remain without a job, the unemployed do not adapt to this new and traumatising experience. Their well-being remains low until they are re-employed.</p> <p>The research suggests that the main impact of unemployment on well-being is not through people’s lower income. Rather it likely hits people through the loss of social status, loss of life structure and purpose, and lack of a positive social context.</p> <p>In addition to being a direct cause of low well-being, unemployment is also strongly connected to other 2019 well-being budget priorities. Parental unemployment is a major cause of<span> </span><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332879595_Child_Poverty_in_New_Zealand">child poverty</a>, which is one of five budget priorities. Unemployment is also likely to contribute to<span> </span><a href="https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S0001879109000037?token=F1CE3A7FAF3734BAC523AFE393C014E454B6D40020E05535CE29073467268AE2D31FA67BDF83382A859742E78834A598">mental health problems</a><span> </span>and<span> </span><a href="https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S027795361530068X?token=65A8A824DF87339014265A2E7D27503221B3EDF7602E319EEEE5084FCF9A049DBB998792CFD33DDE8AF9082D706D2FB0">alcohol and drug problems</a>, another priority. A third budget priority is reducing income and employment gaps for Māori and Pacific people. Given these two groups are over-represented among the unemployed, lower overall unemployment would also contribute to achieving that priority.</p> <p><strong>Do nothing approach to unemployment</strong></p> <p><a href="https://treasury.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2019-05/befu19.pdf">Treasury’s budget assessment</a><span> </span>of the unemployment rate at which the economy is stable (strictly speaking their estimate of the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment, or the NAIRU) is 4.25%.</p> <p>Following discussions with Treasury about the range of possible estimates around the 4.25% number, officials indicated they had no direct sense of its softness. But they did suggest that estimating the rate using different statistical models delivered quite different results. They didn’t state the size of these differences.</p> <p>The Treasury criteria for choosing a specific statistical model behind the budget’s stable unemployment rate was not discussed in budget documents. A cynic might suggest that proximity of the estimated stable rate to the actual current rate of unemployment – which generates a do-nothing policy conclusion – might have been on decision-makers’ minds when selecting the “best” model.</p> <p>Some indication of how different statistical models can generate quite different stable unemployment rates comes from<span> </span><a href="https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research-and-publications/analytical-notes/2018/an2018-04">recent work</a><span> </span>at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The bank takes two approaches to estimating the stable unemployment rate – the results can differ at times by more than 2%. Consequently, it is difficult to take the precise 4.25% unemployment estimate, used to justify the do-nothing approach, seriously as a hard policy constraint.</p> <p>The well-being budget did contain<span> </span><a href="https://budget.govt.nz/budget/2019/wellbeing/maori-pasifika/index.htm">some new but minor unemployment initiatives</a>. But they really amount to fiddling around the micro edges of a macro unemployment problem.</p> <p><strong>Lower unemployment is achievable</strong></p> <p>Even in today’s globalised trading economies, much lower unemployment rates than New Zealand’s current 4.4% are achievable. For example, the best OECD performer is currently the Czech Republic, with an unemployment rate of 2.1%. Japan is next at 2.4% and Iceland is at 2.7%.</p> <p>The questioning of the very notion of a stable unemployment rate, and the suggestion that macro policies can have significant impacts on unemployment, is also attracting<span> </span><a href="https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdf/10.1257/jep.32.1.97">serious intellectual consideration internationally</a>. Top US economist Lawrence Summers recently<span> </span><a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-18/summers-warns-biggest-economies-not-prepared-for-next-downturn">remarked</a>:</p> <p><em>[T]he issue that’s preoccupied monetary policy for the generation before the financial crisis – the avoidance of inflation – is no longer the top issue.</em></p> <p>Rather, for Summers, that top issue was “getting to full employment”.</p> <p>The government has missed an opportunity to use macroeconomic tools to test whether we can have a society which once again has low rates of unemployment, as we used to between 1938 and the early 1980s when they were between zero and 2%.</p> <p>From the<span> </span><a href="https://nzhistory.govt.nz/social-security-act-passed">1938 Social Security Act</a><span> </span>on we have had a welfare system designed to work best when high numbers of New Zealanders are in work. Despite all the changes to the working age welfare system since the 1970s, it still functions best when the unemployment rate is considerably lower than what we have settled for today.</p> <p>Full employment and low rates of unemployment were what<span> </span><a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&amp;objectid=10425616">economist Wolfgang Rosenberg</a><span> </span>described in the late 1970s as the fulcrum of our social welfare system. Perhaps much lower unemployment should once again be the fulcrum of what we might now call our social well-being system. To place it in such a position of prominence would be to inaugurate policies considerably more transformational than this coalition government has thus far delivered.</p> <p><em>Written by Simon Chapple. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-reducing-unemployment-should-have-been-a-focus-for-nzs-well-being-budget-118061">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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Your bank account has been hacked — what do you do next?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bank account hacking is becoming more commonplace and dangerous due to the sophistication of cyber criminals.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cyber security specialist John Catibog spoke to </span><a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/moneysaverhq/your-bank-account-just-got-hacked-what-do-you-do-now/news-story/93663f294c3718bc9c118126f8b02d56"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Daily Telegraph</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> about the reason hackers are more prevalent. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the founder of cyber insurance firm Indagard, Catibog explained that almost 250 Australian businesses report data breaches every quarter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But I’d estimate more consumer incidents go unreported,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If your bank account has been breached by an intruder and has been drained, it’s important to notify the bank immediately.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Catibog also suggests enabling the extra layer of protection that banks offer to keep your money safe, which is known as two-factor authentication.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Changing your passwords for emails and other accounts in case they’ve been compromised as well is a good idea.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Your new passwords should be long and difficult, but memorable with a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“For example, a password like ‘March 11 is a public holiday’ is nearly un-hackable, and ‘Password123’ will take just nine days,” Catibog said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Review all your financial statements and watch for unauthorised transactions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Remain calm, because resolving the matter will take time.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Norton cyber security territory manager Mark Gorrie says that if a bank account breach impacts your credit card, you should request a new card and new number.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Change the passwords of your other accounts,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you have the same or similar password on other platforms and accounts, change each one immediately.”</span></p> <p><strong>Hacker aftermath checklist</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Notify your bank immediately</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Block further transactions</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Run a malware scan</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Freshen up your passwords</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Review all financial statements</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Enable two-factor authentication</span></li> </ul>

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The Queen's side hustle that earns her $14 million

<p>The Queen has earned millions of pounds from horse racing over the past 31 years, it has been calculated.</p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/queen-wins-nearly-8m-racing-prize-money-31-years-688661" target="_blank">myracing.com</a>, the 93-year-old’s lucrative pastime has earned her £7,768,448 – or approximately NZ$15 million – in prize money since 1988.</p> <p>As a racehorse owner, the Queen has netted 534 wins in 3,205 runs, with an average of nine wins per year. Her highest-earning horse so far is Carlton House, who brought in £772,815.</p> <p>Matthew Newman, myracing.com’s racing expert, said the monarch has a real passion for horse racing. </p> <p>“She does it for fun, 100 per cent,” he said.</p> <p>“Her genuine love of the horses is not in question – one look at her face when her horse begins a run or gets to challenge will tell you all you need to know.”</p> <p>The Queen’s racing adviser John Warren said she “would have made a wonderful trainer” if she was not the reigning British monarch. </p> <p>“She has such an affinity with horses and is so perceptive,” he told <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/3225888/The-Queen-and-her-racehorses.html" target="_blank"><em>The Telegraph</em></a> in a 2008 interview.</p> <p>Warren also said the Queen does not mull over losses in the field. </p> <p>“Her Majesty lets fate take its course and accepts what happens. When it comes to horses, she always looks forward and never dwells on the past. She is never melancholy.”</p> <p>This side activity added to the royal’s personal wealth, which <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/denizcam/2016/04/18/as-queen-elizabeth-ii-turns-90-a-look-into-her-fortune-and-multi-billion-dollar-lifestyle/#5a3fc1962418" target="_blank">Forbes</a></em> estimated to be at US$530 million or $814 million in New Zealand dollars.</p> <p>The Queen also <a href="https://money.cnn.com/2018/05/09/pf/where-queens-money-comes-from-uk-royal-wedding/index.html">gains her income</a> from the government’s Sovereign Grant, the Duchy of Lancaster estate, and her personal assets and investments such as the Sandringham Estate in England’s east.</p>

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Jamie Oliver's restaurant chain collapses leaving 1,000 people jobless

<p>Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has been “deeply saddened” after his British restaurant chain collapsed into administration, leaving more than 1,000 people out of work.</p> <p>The Jamie’s Italian Limited firm – which includes 23 Jamie’s Italian restaurants and 15 Barbecoa outlets – confirmed that it had gone into administration and appointed financial firm KPMG to oversee the process.</p> <p>“I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade,” the 43-year-old said in a statement.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years. Jamie Oliver</p> — Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) <a href="https://twitter.com/jamieoliver/status/1130796738292408320?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.</p> <p>“I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it’s been a real pleasure serving you.”</p> <p>Oliver opened his first Jamie’s Italian in 2008, and expanded the business across the UK in the following years.</p> <p>“We launched Jamie’s Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the UK high street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best in class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service. And we did exactly that.”</p> <p>His restaurant chain had been in trouble for <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-22/jamie-oliver-restaurant-chain-collapses-uk/11136594">at least two years</a>, despite the celebrity chef’s fame with his cookbooks, TV shows and public health initiatives. Last year, it closed 12 of its 37 branches in Britain, while five of its Australian arms were sold off and another put into administration.</p> <p>Oliver said he had spent <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/food/2018/aug/30/jamie-oliver-spent-13m-to-save-italian-chain-hours-before-bankruptcy">£13 million of his own money</a> to save the business from bankruptcy. </p> <p>“We had simply run out of cash,” he said in an interview with the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ft.com/jamieoliver" target="_blank"><em>Financial Times</em></a> in October.</p> <p>“I think that the senior management we had in place were trying to manage what they would call the perfect storm: rents, rates, the high street declining, food costs, Brexit, increase in the minimum wage. There was a lot going on.”</p>

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Royal babies don’t come cheap: The crazy cost of Harry and Meghan's newborn Archie

<p>He is less than a week old, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex seemed to have already spent quite a bit in preparation for their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.  </p> <p>This large tab is estimated to  be a staggering $1.7 million, as reported by <a rel="noopener" href="https://honey.nine.com.au/2019/05/09/14/06/cost-of-prince-harry-meghan-markle-baby" target="_blank">9Honey.</a></p> <p>It may not come as a surprise to any of us who have been parents that welcoming a tiny tot into the world can come at a ridiculously hefty fee, and the world’s favourite new royal parents seem to know all about that as well.</p> <p>Here is a quick breakdown of all the costs of baby Archie so far.</p> <p><strong>Meghan’s designer maternity wardrobe</strong></p> <p>The Duchess of Sussex has had a very busy year-and-a-half as a full-time royal member. In that time, she has amassed a large collection of designer items to match a princess-like lifestyle – or duchess in Meghan’s case.</p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.lovethesales.com/editorial/meghan-markle-maternity-style" target="_blank">Love the Sales,</a> the glowing new mother’s maternity wardrobe had an estimated price tag of AUD$717,000.</p> <p>It’s not hard to believe though, considering we see the 37-year-old royal member donning the most expensive brands including Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Dior and Victoria Beckham.</p> <p>The Duchess has shown she’s not just into designer items though, as she is often seen in budget-friendly items from fast fashion chain H&amp;M when attending public events.</p> <p><strong>Extravagant baby shower</strong></p> <p>The former actress and Hollywood starlet has not forgotten where she came from even though she’s jumped across the pond to live with her prince. Duchess Meghan had a celebrity-clad baby shower in New York City in March. The tradition cost a staggering AUD$573,000, as reported by <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/02/inside-meghan-markles-manhattan-baby-shower?verso=true" target="_blank">Vanity Fair</a>.</p> <p>The guest list did match the hefty price tag though, with A-listers like Amal Clooney, Serena Williams and a number of other celebs gracing the event with their presence.</p> <p><strong>Luxury babymoon</strong></p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8795175/meghan-markle-prince-harry-babymoon/" target="_blank">The Sun’s</a> royal reporter Emily Andrews, both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared a few romantic nights away from the hustle and bustle of royal life and jumped on the “babymoon” bandwagon before they welcomed baby Archie into the world.</p> <p>Reports confirmed the couple chose a luxurious countryside-looking palace at Heckfield Place – a five-star hotel in Hampshire, UK.</p> <p>The intimate holiday filled with romantic walks, cosy fire-lit dinners and luxury pampering doesn’t come cheap though, as a three-night stay costs roughly AUD$60,000.</p> <p><strong>Baby nursery renovation</strong></p> <p>At the end of 2018, the royal family announced Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan would be moving from their comfortable apartment in Kensington Palace in London to Frogmore Cottage on the grounds of the Windsor Estate.</p> <p>Royal insiders confirmed the couple spent a whopping $93,000 on renovating just the nursery for baby Archie.</p> <p>Whatever the cost though, it all seems to be worth it to the glowing first-time royal parents who have said their newest arrival is “to die for.”</p> <p>“It’s magic. It’s pretty amazing. I have the two best guys in the world, so I’m really happy,” Meghan said about her tiny tot.</p> <p>“He has the sweetest temperament,” she went on to say. “He’s really calm.”</p> <p>Harry then cheekily added: “I don’t know where he gets that from!”</p> <p>Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was welcomed to the world on May 6th, 2019.</p>

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It’s the luxuries that give it away: To fight corruption, follow the goods

<p>There is disquiet about the French owners of the luxury brands Luis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy and Gucci giving a whopping €300 million to the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral. Such largesse, critics say, could be better used for humanitarian causes.</p> <p>This is more than a rhetorical point. It is almost certain that some of the profits made by all sellers of luxury goods come from criminals who have siphoned off government funds. Rather than being spent on health, education and other social welfare programs, the money has been spent on luxury goods.</p> <p>Luxury goods are used to facilitate corrupt transactions and launder dirty money. Using data for 32 high-income and emerging economies, we have found a strong correlation between luxury item expenditure and societal corruption.</p> <p>Our findings confirm previous research, such as luxury car sales being substantially higher in OECD countries with higher perceived corruption levels.</p> <p>We are not saying that luxury brands are doing anything criminal. Nonetheless they could make a great gift to the world by pitching in to build the institutional architecture needed to combat corruption.</p> <p><strong>Corrupt figures</strong></p> <p>Anecdotal evidence of the connection between corruption and luxury items is easy to find.</p> <p>Right now, Malaysia’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, is on trial over the looting of billions of dollars from government accounts. Police raided his multiple homes and collected 280 boxes of luxury items estimated to be worth more than US$270 million. This included 12,000 pieces of jewellery worth up to US$220 million, 423 watches worth US$19.3 million and 567 handbags worth more than US$10 million.</p> <p>Last year, Brazilian customs officials found luxury watches worth an estimated US$15 million in the bags of the entourage of Teodorin Obiang, vice-president of Equatorial Guinea. The son of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, president since 1979, he was convicted of corruption by a French court in 2017.</p> <p>Swiss authorities seized his fleet of luxury cars, including a Koenigsegg One:1 (one of just seven built, worth US$2 million) in 2016. The same year Dutch authorities seized his US$120 million super-yacht at the request of a Swiss court.</p> <p>Equatorial Guinea, meanwhile, ranks 141 out of 189 nations on the UN’s Human Development Index.</p> <p>The list goes on and on. When the Viktor Yanukovych was deposed as Ukrainian president in 2014, for example, his palatial home revealed wealth far in excess of his official income. So too did the home of his attorney-general, Viktor Pshonka, which included a nest of Fabergé eggs.</p> <p><strong>Calculating the correlation</strong></p> <p>Our analysis covers all countries for which annual data on luxury spending per capita are obtainable, from 2004 to 2014. The sample includes the major emerging economies (Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa) and major high-income countries (US, Japan and Germany). Collectively the 32 sample countries represent about 85% of the world’s GDP.</p> <p>We have cross-referenced these data with two corruption measures: the World Bank’s Control of Corruption Index, and Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.</p> <p>Our calculations make allowances for variables such as relative wealth and spending by tourists. Greater spending on luxury goods is to be expected in richer nations and in international travel hubs such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai. We have also controlled for factors such as inequality, with demand for luxury goods increasing as the income gap widens.</p> <p>Our results suggest stronger anti-corruption controls reduce luxury spending. More press freedom and information transparency help too, presumably because this increases the chance of corruption being exposed.</p> <p><strong>Conspicuous consumption</strong></p> <p>In countries where paying bribes to government officials to secure government contracts or operating licences is common practice, luxury goods are often used instead of direct monetary payments. Such “gifts” do not leave a transaction trail so are less likely to result in legal action against corrupt officials.</p> <p>Another explanation for the link between corruption and luxury spending is that corrupt individuals send signals about their “services” by demonstrating a lavish lifestyle beyond their official source of income. It is a form of conspicuous consumption – buying something not for its intrinsic utility but as a signal to others.</p> <p>Transparency International notes in its 2017 report Tainted Treasures: Money Laundering Risks in Luxury Markets: “For individuals engaged in corruption schemes, the luxury sector is significantly attractive as a vehicle to launder illicit funds. Luxury goods, super yachts and stately homes located at upmarket addresses can also bestow credibility on the corrupt, providing a sheen of legitimacy to people who benefit from stolen wealth.”</p> <p><strong>Cleaning up the luxury market</strong></p> <p>We agree with Transparency International that laws, policies and practices to combat this connection are underdeveloped.</p> <p>Anti-corruption policies need to include monitoring luxury markets and developing regulations that increase transparency in luxury gifting.</p> <p>The merits of doing so are demonstrated by anti-corruption efforts in China. In 2012 the Chinese government initiated plans to track corruption by looking at luxury goods ownership. As a result, consumption of luxury goods fell from US$93.48 billion in 2011 to US$73.1 billion in 2014.</p> <p>There needs to be established global policies. The countries that host the largest luxury markets – China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and Britain – must also do more to ensure sellers of luxury goods follow due diligence and reporting requirements.</p> <p>In Britain, for example, Transparency International reports that auction houses (such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s) filed just 15 of the total 381,882 suspicious transaction reports made to law enforcement authorities in one year.</p> <p>In Antwerp, the largest diamond exchange in the world, suspicious transaction reports by precious stones dealers were totally lacking.</p> <p>Luxury goods dealers have too little motivation to ensure those buying their trinkets and toys are not using money gained corruptly.</p> <p>If the contribution of France’s luxury empires to rebuild one of Christendom’s most famous churches sparks a conversation about the problems of the luxury goods market and what can be done to to fight corruption, that will be a positive.</p> <p>More than one French icon is on the line.</p> <p><em>Written by Reza Tajaddini and Hassan F. Gholipour. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/its-the-luxuries-that-give-it-away-to-fight-corruption-follow-the-goods-113553">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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Tips for obtaining finance for over 50s

<p>If you are over 50 and want to borrow money for a mortgage or other major purchase, you might expect that lenders will want you to jump through more hoops than younger borrowers. While lenders will not discriminate based purely on age, it is true that there are certain qualification criteria that may naturally be increasingly more difficult to satisfy as you get older.</p> <p>So, what is it that lenders will be looking for and what can you do to improve your chances? Here are a few pointers that may help.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">The loan term is a critical factor</strong></p> <p>The most obvious factor that any lender must take into account is how long a potential borrower will remain working to earn an income. For borrowers over 50, a lender will naturally be asking themselves “how long will this person continue to be in the workforce?”</p> <p>If a borrower is aged 55, requires a loan term of 30 years, and is using employment income to service the loan repayments, then the simple math tells us that the borrower will need to work until age 85. In assessing such a loan request, a lender will need to consider the borrower's realistic working life.</p> <p>This may depend, among other things, on the type of work they do. For example, someone in a sedentary professional occupation, such as an accountant, may reasonably be expected to be able to work longer in life than someone doing manual labour.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">What if the term is too long?</strong></p> <p>If a lender considers that the loan term you require is unrealistic in relation to your projected working life, all is not necessarily lost. The lender may consider an alternative “exit strategy” for your loan, such as paying out the balance down the track using other assets that could be liquidated at that time. This could include items such as:</p> <ul> <li>Superannuation</li> <li>Savings</li> <li>Investment properties</li> <li>Shares</li> </ul> <p>By fully disclosing such assets, you will give the lender the opportunity to consider their value in assessing the loan application.<br /><br /><strong class="bigger-text">Improve your chances</strong></p> <p>Apart from loan term considerations, there are a variety of other issues that will impact your chance of a successful application.</p> <p>It’s always beneficial if you are able to contribute a substantial deposit toward the home or the item you are purchasing. Having significant equity in assets may also boost your chances.</p> <p>A healthy repayment record for servicing existing or previous loans is also a big tick for lenders. It may be worth accessing your credit report to make sure there are no inaccuracies on your record.</p> <p>Keeping your finances in shape by following a budget, demonstrating a regular savings pattern, and prioritising the repayment of high interest debts are all sound habits that will help build a picture for the lender that you are a responsible borrower.</p> <p>Your super assets and the retirement income that will generate is another important factor. That being said, be aware that lenders will also consider what will happen to your estate if you are to pass away. While your intentions may be to service a loan out of a private superannuation pension, some lenders will not want to get tangled up in estate negotiations if your assets are passed on via inheritance to other parties.</p> <p><em>* This information is provided as a general guide and is not to be reproduced or relied upon — all lenders will assess loan applications based on their own specific lending policy.</em></p> <p><em>Have you been able to secure finance after age 50? Tell us about your experience.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/tips-for-obtaining-finance-for-over-50s.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a>.</em></p>

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Cashing out for happiness: Why you should outsource "negative" household chores

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to a Harvard professor, outsourcing “negative” experiences, such as laundry or mowing the lawn can result in more happiness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ashley Whillans, who researches time-money trade-offs says that more people would be happier if they spent more of their money to “buy themselves out of negative experiences”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She spoke to the </span><a href="https://hbr.org/ideacast/2019/01/use-your-money-to-buy-happier-time"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast podcast</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and explained the idea in more detail.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We really like to flip Benjamin Franklin’s adage on its head and say, ‘Well, if time is money, maybe also we can think that money can buy a happier time’,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Any way that we spend money in a way that might save us time — such as also buying ourselves into positive experiences — has reliable and positive effects on the happiness that we get from our days, our weeks, our months and our lives.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Whillans has said that we need “retraining” in order to be comfortable with strangers helping them out.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I find in my studies that people feel really guilty about outsourcing even though they’re giving up money to have more time that they’ve earned … People feel guilty about burdening other people with their tasks.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whilst it might be tempting to outsource every chore you dislike, it can end up with negative consequences. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whillans noticed that people who outsource too much “experienced the lowest levels of happiness, in part probably because … they feel like their life must be so out of control if they can’t even do one load of laundry on the weekend”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">People on the lowest incomes also benefit more from time saving purchases.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whillans explained:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What we think is going on there is that people who are materially constrained also tend to be time-poor,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They might be working multiple jobs, they might be a single parent. They might have to commute really far away because the only place that they could live is somewhere that’s quite far away from where they work.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Do you outsource your chores? Let us know in the comments.</span></p>

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7 things you should do ASAP if your wallet is lost or stolen

<p>Some of the steps you need to take once you realise your wallet has been lost or stolen include:</p> <p><strong>1. Call the police</strong></p> <p>If you suspect your wallet was stolen, call the cops. Even though the police might not be able to track down your wallet, putting in a report will cover you in other ways. If a thief does try committing identity fraud, you’ll have to prove that you aren’t responsible for the costs. “Someone is going to lose here, and it’s either the credit card company, the bank or you,” says Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com. “If you say you’re a victim, you need to prove it.” That police report could be the proof you need to show you’re telling the truth about false charges.</p> <p><strong>2. Close your debit and credit cards</strong></p> <p>Any lost credit or debit accounts should be closed as soon as possible. Start with debit, which can be even more devastating than having a credit card stolen. “The money is coming right out of your bank account, whereas credit is a credit card company’s money,” Siciliano says.</p> <p><strong>3. Keep an eye on your accounts</strong></p> <p>Thieves can’t buy with a card once you’ve closed the account, but that doesn’t mean you should be lax about double-checking your spending – a routine you should make habit even if you don’t think you’ve been a victim of fraud. “Closely monitor before and after you lose your wallet,” Siciliano says. Depending on what your bank or credit card offers, you could get an email, text message or app notification alerting you of account activity. If not – or in addition, just to be safe – go through your statements regularly to make sure everything is accurate, he says. Some thieves sell cards based on area code, meaning the credit card company will think charges seem normal and won’t issue a warning, though you’ll recognise the extra costs, Levin says.</p> <p><strong>4. Change automatic payments</strong></p> <p>Once you close your cards and receive a new account number, update any bills you paid automatically with your old cards. “Make sure you don’t miss payments or get any surcharges,” Siciliano says. Keep a list of your automatic payments and what cards you use for them so you don’t forget, he recommends.</p> <p><strong>5. Call your local transport authority</strong></p> <p>With information about your home address, full name and birth date, a driver’s license can make it easier for a thief to steal your identity. “A driver’s license can be a very important piece of information in the authentication process,” says Adam Levin, chairman and founder of identity protection service IDT911 and author of Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves. Call your nearest department of motor vehicles for a new license, and have them flag your old card for suspicious activity, he adds.</p> <p><strong>6.Ask for help</strong></p> <p>Institutions you already have a relationship with, such as insurance agencies, financial services and even the HR department at work, can take on some of the burden when you’re dealing with identity theft. “This is really the hidden benefit people don’t realise they have,” Levin says. “They’re more than happy to make it easy to contact them if you have a problem.” They can do the work for you or with you, which could be a comfort when you’re overwhelmed with stressful calls.</p> <p><strong>7. Be prepared for the worst</strong></p> <p>Being proactive will make the loss less shattering if you do lose your wallet. First of all, take out any cards you don’t use every day, like store cards or medical cards. Leave a backup credit card at home so that if you do need to close your accounts after a theft, you won’t be stuck using cash until your new cards come, Levin says. Now take a copy of all the cards and documents in your wallet and put them in a safe at home, or save them to your computer or cloud, Siciliano says. You’ll have every phone and account number on hand to report missing cards, which will keep you from forgetting to close any. You could also create a spreadsheet with the same information, he says. “It hurts a lot less when you can see the physical copy of those cards and don’t have to remember what you had in your wallet,” Siciliano says.</p> <p><em>Written by Marissa Laliberte. </em><em>This article first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/7-things-you-should-do-asap-if-your-wallet-lost-or-stolen">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN87V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Why the benefits of a cashless society are greatly overrated

<p>After recreational cannabis use became legal in Canada last October, research shows the number of<span> </span><a href="https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2019/02/26/legalising-cannabis-reduced-the-use-of-cash-in-canada/">bank notes in circulation</a><span> </span>fell sharply. Before, marijuana buyers used cash to keep their transactions anonymous. After, there was a massive switch to the convenience of cashless payments.</p> <p>It’s a prime example of what makes a cashless society so attractive to law makers and enforcers wanting to put the squeeze on the “black economy” that can’t be tracked or taxed.</p> <p>But not everyone clinging to cash has illicit motivations.</p> <p>This month Philadelphia became the first major US city requiring all merchants to accept cash. This week the state of New Jersey followed suit. Other US cities and states are considering the same.</p> <p>The chief concern is that cashless payment systems discriminate<span> </span><a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/philadelphia-is-first-u-s-city-to-ban-cashless-stores-11551967201?mod=hp_lead_pos5">against the “unbanked”</a><span> </span>– those without a bank account – making life harder for those already on the margins. “It’s really a fairness issue,” said the<span> </span><a href="https://www.phillyvoice.com/philadelphia-ban-cashless-stores-first-us-city/">councillor who sponsored the ban</a>. “Equal access is what we’re trying to get.”</p> <p>So as nations make plans to become cashless societies, and automated teller machines start to go the way of telephone booths, it’s timely to consider the pros and cons of cashless payments. We need ensure our enthusiastic<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/australia-may-be-closer-to-being-a-cashless-society-but-it-wont-happen-by-2020-75258">march to the future</a><span> </span>does not trample over people or leave them behind.</p> <p><strong>Counting the unbanked</strong></p> <p>A<span> </span><a href="https://economicinclusion.gov/">national survey</a><span> </span>by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation shows about 8.4 million US households – or 6.5% of all households – were unbanked in 2017. Philadelphia’s new law is primarily to protect such people.</p> <p>Taking effect on July 1, the law requires most stores to accept cash, and forbids them charging a surcharge for paying with cash. New York, Washington and Chicago are among the cities investigating similar measures.</p> <p>In Britain a<span> </span><a href="https://www.accesstocash.org.uk/media/1087/final-report-final-web.pdf">review of cash accessibility</a><span> </span>headed by former chief financial ombudsman Natalie Ceeney has urged financial regulators to stop the country “<a href="https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/33482/access-to-cash-system-on-verge-of-collapse-warns-report?utm_medium=newsflash&amp;utm_source=2019-3-6&amp;member=103992">sleepwalking</a>” into a cashless society. Its report, published this month, recommends a national guarantee that consumers will be able to access and use cash for as long as they need it.</p> <p>About 17% of the British population – over 8 million adults – would struggle to cope in a cashless society, the report says: “While most of society recognises the benefits of digital payments, our research shows the technology doesn’t yet work for everyone.”</p> <p>The tip of the iceberg is the decline in bank branches and ATMs. Two-thirds of bank branches have closed<span> </span><a href="https://www.ft.com/content/1947ac8e-e8d2-11e8-a34c-663b3f553b35">in the past three decades</a>, and the rate of closure in accelerating. Cashpoints are disappearing at<span> </span><a href="https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/33386/the-numbers-dont-add-up-universal-provision-of-access-to-cash-called-into-question?utm_medium=dailynewsletter&amp;utm_source=2019-2-15&amp;member=6040">a rate of nearly 500 a month</a>.</p> <p><strong>Learning from Sweden</strong></p> <p>But this is simply the most obvious symptom, according to the Ceeney report, with evidence from other countries demonstrating the issue of merchants accepting cash is more important.</p> <p>“Sweden, the most cashless society in the world, outlines the dangers of sleepwalking into a cashless society: millions of people could potentially be left out of the economy,” it says, “and face increased risks of isolation, exploitation, debt and rising costs.”</p> <p>About 85% of transactions in Sweden are now digital. Half the nation’s retailers expect to stop accepting cash before 2025.</p> <p>The nation is now counting the societal costs.</p> <p>The Riksbank, Sweden’s Central Bank, is asking all banks to keep providing and accepting cash while government works out how best to protect those<span> </span><a href="https://www.riksbank.se/en-gb/statistics/payments-notes-and-coins/payment-patterns/">who most rely on cash</a><span> </span>– such as those aged 65 or more, those living in rural areas, those with disabilities and recent immigrants.</p> <p>An estimated 1 million Swedes are not comfortable with using a computer or smart phone to do their banking. Immigrants often do not have a bank account or credit history to get a payment card.</p> <p><strong>Considering consequences</strong></p> <p>“If cash disappears that would be a big change, with major implications for society and the economy,” Mats Dillen, the head of the Swedish Parliament Committee studying the issue,<span> </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/21/business/sweden-cashless-society.html">has said</a>. “We need to pause and think about whether this is good or bad and not just sit back and let it happen.”</p> <p>The New York City Council member pushing the bill to ban cashless-only stores, Ritchie Torres, agrees. He is particularly concerned about the issues of class and ethnic discrimination.</p> <p>“I started coming across coffee shops and cafés that were exclusively cashless and I thought: but what if I was a low-income New Yorker who has no access to a card?”<span> </span><a href="http://www.grubstreet.com/amp/2018/11/new-bill-would-make-cash-free-businesses-restaurants-illegal.html">Ritchie Torres has explained</a>. “I thought about it more and realised that even if a policy seems neutral in theory it can be racially exclusionary in practice.</p> <p>"In some ways making a payment card a requirement for consumption is analogous to making identification a requirement for voting. The effect is the same: it disempowers communities of colour.”</p> <p>These are timely reminders that we should never assume that technological change is value-free, or necessarily an improvement. All revolutions have their hidden costs. We need to ensure those costs are shared equitably, and that no one is accidentally disadvantaged by them.</p> <p><em>Written by Steve Worthington. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/depending-on-who-you-are-the-benefits-of-a-cashless-society-are-greatly-overrated-113268">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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Tips for eating a healthy diet on a tight budget

<p>When you’re on a tight budget, the idea of coming up with tasty, healthy meals on a regular basis can sometimes seem beyond us! We easily fall prey to slick grocery marketing, and when it comes to fitting meal preparation into our day, it’s easy to fall into a rut, succumbing to quick fix fast foods again and again.</p> <p>The good news is, you can be thrifty and healthy – with a little organisation and creativity, you can enjoy first class meals on a smart saver’s budget.</p> <p>Here’s a selection of tips to help with your creative cuisine challenge:</p> <ul> <li>A golden rule is don’t shop when you’re hungry, as you’re more likely to buy things you don’t need. Shop with a list rather than buying on the spur of the moment.</li> <li>Buy fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season, and only enough for a week or so, as they go off quickly.</li> <li>Buy generic, no name and home brands where possible, especially for items where you’re not fussed about having the absolute best quality.</li> <li>Add some canned kidney beans, chick peas, lentils or other legumes to mince dishes or stews to make the meal go further. Canned beans are cheap, handy and healthy – a great addition to salads and other meals.</li> <li>Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper. It’s a great idea to buy non-perishable items in bulk (canned foods, dried beans and grains etc.), and you can freeze perishable items such as meat and bread in smaller portions to use as needed.</li> <li>When cooking a big meal, make extra to freeze or use later in the week for lunches or quick suppers. Double recipes, then freeze half.</li> <li>Use less expensive cuts of meat for casseroles that you slow cook; add extra vegetables and beans to make the meal go further.</li> <li>Look at purchasing perishables like meat and sushi at the end of the day when there are often clearances of stock close to use by dates.</li> <li>Check supermarket catalogues for specials and identify any products that you need before you go shopping.</li> <li>Buy block cheese and grate it yourself.</li> <li>Preserve when it’s cheap. Depending on your storage capacity, bottling, drying and freezing fresh fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to cash in on seasonal foods that are lower in cost but higher in taste and nutrition.</li> <li>Brown rice is a great addition to leftover meat and veggies. Although brown rice is slightly more costly than white, the nutritional payoff is well worth it.</li> <li>Pasta, likewise, is quick and easy to prepare, and can be paired with veggies, meat or a fresh salad. Have fun adding your own dash of inspiration (mushrooms, spices and herbs.) Choose wholemeal pasta when you can.</li> <li>Always keep spices, herbs and sauces handy – they can brighten up simple dishes.</li> <li>Bake your own goodies – that way you can make sure everything that goes into them is more nutritious. Plus, they are generally cheaper and tastier than store bought varieties.</li> <li>Soups can’t be beaten for nutrition and convenience, especially since you can use inexpensive soup mixes as your base. At the end of the week, make soup out of all your leftover veggies instead of throwing them out, and freeze anything you won’t eat in a few days. You can find great ideas on the internet by searching for recipes containing whatever you have in the fridge. Again, be creative, adding your own herbs and spices.</li> </ul>

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Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s billion-dollar royal baby

<p>Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s wedding in May brought in an enormous $223 million (£120m) for the UK economy.</p> <p>And now, with their first-born child on the way, that number is expected to increase exponentially.</p> <p>Baby Sussex is predicted to generate billions, as people flock to purchase fashion, nursery and infant items, according to the Centre for Retail Research.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 309.3333333333333px; height: 500px;" src="/media/7824252/meghan.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/67e155d214904959ac10f029efd308da" /></p> <p>It’s estimated that within the first two years, Baby Sussex will bring in close to $2.3 billion (£1.25b) for the British economy.</p> <p>“Meghan is known to have a keen sense of style and she will want to follow a distinctive line in baby products, shawls, baskets, infant clothes and even what toys are being used by her child,” Professor Bamfield from the research centre told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/2019022670212/meghan-markle-royal-baby-economy-boost/" target="_blank"><em>Hello!</em></a> magazine.</p> <p>“As the child gets older, what he or she wears will be adopted by many other parents, photographed thousands of times and shared with others across the world,” Prof Bramfield said.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7824248/12.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/6e2e54f331e9465ab30aceaf380ed947" /></p> <p>According to research, the impact can last for up to 20 years with the most amount of funds being accumulated in the child’s first seven years.   </p> <p>Souvenirs are expected to kick start the influx of spending, with experts estimating that the memorabilia will generate $111 million (£60m).</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 428.97727272727275px;" src="/media/7824249/george.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/54babdacd3cb4071b677970cfbc12036" /></p> <p>Looking back at the birth of previous royal children, Prince Louis’ birth last year brought in $162 million (£87m), but that figure is nothing compared to Prince George, who in 2013 raked in a whopping $460 million (£247m) during his first nine weeks.</p> <p>Princess Charlotte, despite being only three years old, has proven to be a style icon in her own right. The little royal has a higher influence on fashion than her older brother – who also happens to be the heir-to-the-throne according to <a rel="noopener" href="https://brandfinance.com/" target="_blank"><em>Brand Finance</em></a>.</p> <p>In total, Charlotte has helped accumulate $5.2 billion (£3b) for the retail sector while George is believed to have an approximate influence of $4.2 billion (£2.4b).</p> <p>Are you surprised after reading these insane numbers? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Kate or Meghan: Who is the wealthiest duchess in the royal family?

<p><span> </span>It’s easy to think the Duchess of Sussex would be wealthier than the Duchess of Cambridge considering her long resume in a successful acting career.</p> <p>Before she tied the knot with Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan made millions playing the role of Rachel Zane on the US TV drama <em>Suits</em>, that was popular in Australia. Upon joining the royal family, she left her beloved role.</p> <p>In the past, the Duchess of Sussex could be seen sporting designer gear from top to bottom and her long spanning career earned her a net worth of US$7 million.</p> <p>However, it turns out Kate Middleton may have more independent wealth than Duchess Meghan with a whopping $9 million in a personal fortune.</p> <p>Even though the Duchess of Cambridge has never had a full-time job, the majority of her wealth comes from her parents’ mail order party business which is worth a whopping $54 million. A sum of wealth is also contributed by her paternal grandfather which was set up before he died.</p> <p><span>Wealth-X estimates the royal Duchess has amassed a net worth of $9 million, $2 million more than Duchess Meghan.</span></p> <p>Carole and Michael Middleton, the parents of Duchess Kate, were wealthy before they started their successful party business, as Kate – along with her siblings Pippa and James – were sent to expensive private schools that cost tens of thousands of pounds each year.</p> <p>The royal’s parents have also invested in property throughout the Bucklebury area of Berkshire in the UK, and own stakes in racehorses that earn them even more money – money that will one day go on to be received by the Duchess and her siblings.</p> <p>Both the Duchess’ expenses are all paid for by the palace – from housing, to clothing, travel and other various expenses – and it is reported the Cambridge family rack up a bill that's estimated to be around $5 million a year.</p> <p>Prince William’s wealth is also pretty hefty with a staggering $19 million following an inheritance after his his mother, Princess Diana, passed away.</p> <p>Although the Duchess of Cambridge has never had a full-time job, she did work for her parents' business taking photos for party paraphernalia and editing catalogues in her youth. She was also an assistant accessories buyer for a clothing chain Jigsaw.</p> <p>Although it is difficult to pinpoint how much money each Duchess has earned throughout their years before marrying into the royal family, it is safe to assume both would be set for life without their titles. </p>

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6 surprising ways you are wasting money

<p class="p1">You wouldn’t let a leaky bathroom tap keep dripping water, right?<br /><br />So why would you let these money-wasting habits go on without plugging the leak?<br /><br />Check out these 6 common expenses that may be costing you more money than you realise.</p> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>1. Using an old mobile phone plan</strong></div> <div class="field-item even"> <p>You may not have upgraded your phone in a few years because it works just fine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a look at your phone plan to make sure that it still suits your needs.</p> <p>Every time your contract ends, you should be shopping around for better deals.</p> <p>Your phone plan should come with a certain amount of free data and call minutes, but if you keep busting your limit every month and paying extra, then it’s not the most cost-effective plan for you.</p> <p>Speak to your service provider to check your average monthly usage and change to a plan that works for you.</p> <p>For example, you may use more data than call minutes so look for a plan that provides more data.</p> <p>With several companies vying for business, you should be able to find a plan that will suit your budget and your needs better. </p> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>2. Using an old broadband plan</strong></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <p>The same goes with broadband plans for your home surfing.</p> <p>If you’re on an old contract, you could be paying more for a slower speed, so always check that you’ve got the best deal once your contract ends.</p> <p>You can even approach your current provider to ask for better deals in order to retain you as a customer.</p> <p>Some providers offer cheaper packages if you bundle your broadband and mobile phone services together so do some research to see if that works for you.</p> <p><strong>3. Paying credit card annual fees</strong></p> <p>Banks will often charge you annual fees if you want to keep using their credit cards but you can easily get this waived simply by calling in and requesting a fee waiver.</p> <p>If the bank refuses to waive the fees, this might be a good opportunity to cancel the card and look for a new one with a different bank.</p> <p>New credit cards often come with promotional gifts that you can enjoy such as rebates or free luggage.</p> <p>Just remember to cancel this card too if the bank doesn’t waive the fees.</p> <p><strong>4. Paying for services you don't use</strong></p> <p>The biggest culprit is arguably the gym.</p> <p>Many people sign up at the start of the year when their resolve to get healthy is at its strongest.</p> <p>Then March comes along and all that resolve disappears, along with the fees that you’ve paid.</p> <p>Do an audit of all the monthly membership fees you’re paying for and be honest to yourself about what you really need and what you’re not fully utilising.</p> <p>For example, you may really use Spotify every day but you’re not home long enough to enjoy your cable TV services.</p> <p><strong>5. Buying food you don't eat</strong></p> <p>Roughly one-third of all the food produced in the world, or 1.3 billion tonnes, get lost or wasted annually.</p> <p>We’re guilty of wasting food when we buy more than we consume, either by buying big portions that can’t finish, or going overboard with groceries that end up going bad and getting thrown away.</p> <p>So, it’s a good habit to buy only what you need and then using up everything you’ve bought.</p> <p><strong>6. Buying a cup of expensive coffee daily</strong></p> <p>Sure, you need your caffeine in the morning just to function.</p> <p>However, instead of forking over $5 daily at the latest hipster cafe, you might want to cut down to just two or three coffee runs a week, and make a cup in the office pantry the rest of the time.</p> <p>That savings of just $10 a week can add up to over $500 a year!</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Siti Rohani. This article first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/6-surprising-ways-you-are-wasting-money">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN87V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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