money & Banking

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Volkswagen halt production of the last version of Beetle model

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Volkswagen has halted production of the last version of the Beetle model at its plant in Puebla, Mexico.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The halting of production suggests that it’s the end of the road for a vehicle that has symbolised a range of things over the eight decades it’s been in production.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The car was first built in 1938 and has been a part of Germany’s darkest hours as a never-realised Nazi prestige project.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After the war, it was a symbol of Germany’s post-war economic and rising middle class prosperity.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The car continues to remain a landmark in design, and some would argue it’s as recognisable as the Coca-Cola bottle.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The car has gone through a design change over the years and in 2012, the design was made a bit sleeker from the older style of the Beetle.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Evolution of the Volkswagen Beetle, 1951-1990. <a href="https://t.co/yJjsy5Xw9z">pic.twitter.com/yJjsy5Xw9z</a></p> — Life in Moments (@historyinmoment) <a href="https://twitter.com/historyinmoment/status/1145863939026292737?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">2 July 2019</a></blockquote> <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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B01POXDhSEr/" 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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B01POXDhSEr/" target="_blank">.. you make my heart smile ✨ - 📷 &gt; @traw6c - - - - - #vw #volkswagen #girlscar #vwgirl #austria #österreich #beetle #vwbeetle #yellowcar #volkswagenbeetle #love #volkswagenlove #volkswagenösterreich #vag #vag_cars #photo #photooftheday #hochwieeinbus #lieblingsbus #bug #nature</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/m.araa98/" target="_blank"> T A M A R A 🌹</a> (@m.araa98) on Aug 6, 2019 at 11:01am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The last of the 5961 Final Edition Beetle is headed for a museum after the ceremonies signal the end of production.</span></p>

money & Banking

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4 “obscure” ways to save money according to an Aussie finance guru

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A 26-year-old entrepreneur by the name of Dominic Aarsen has been using some simple money hacks for years now and they’ve reportedly saved him $50,000.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some of these steps are “easy” and he claims they will save the average Australian $15,000 a year.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Literally cut up your credit cards</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aarsen says this is the step that surprises most people, but it’s the most effective.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Open your wallet and cut up every card except your key card. Every person I speak to sounds outraged (by the hack), but if people don’t have access to credit, they won't use it,” he said to </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/wealth/expert-reveals-11-obscure-ways-to-save-extra-cash-on-the-side/news-story/64fee5cef680f2de851ff959293c13c6"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you’re not good with money, I guarantee switching from card to cash will save you a thousand dollars in the first two months.”</span></p> <p><strong>2. The “two-minute trick”</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It doesn’t matter what you buy — whether it’s food or if you’re shopping for clothes — hold it in your hand, set the timer on your phone and wait for two minutes, and you’ll find that more than half the time you don’t actually buy it,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s a psychological trick that retrains your brain. Most of the time they’re not big purchases — usually under $10 — but lots of $10 adds up quickly.”</span></p> <p><strong>3. The “Coke bottle hack”</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This hack involves putting every spare $2 coin you find into a 600ml drink bottle which will add up to $1,000 when full.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aarsen said that collectively, Australians throw away or lose more than $350 million a year, with coins falling down the couch or accidentally thrown in the bin.</span></p> <p><strong>4. “Locking” your bank account over the weekend</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aarsen believes that you should “lock” your bank account during times you might be tempted to overspend, such as on weekends.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Most people don’t know you can call your bank and lock your account, which means you can log into your app but you can’t transfer your money,” he explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“All it takes is 30 seconds and it’s not like the money disappears, you just can’t get to it.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Aarsen is aware that his tactics are easy but extreme.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If I asked you if you wanted to save $15,000 you would say yes, absolutely, but if I said, ‘Here’s one thing that will save you $500’, you might be less inclined to do it,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But $500 here and there will actually make a massive difference, but unless it’s right in front of your face, a lot of people won’t do it.”</span></p>

money & Banking

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"Oh well”: Bill Gates' candid response on mistake that cost him $573 billion

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bill Gates shared at an event hosted by a venture capital firm the single biggest mistake that cost Microsoft a shocking $573 billion.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He revealed that the greatest lapse in judgement from Microsoft was that they allowed Google to develop the Android OS instead of it being developed by Microsoft.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The greatest mistake ever is the whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is, [meaning] Android is the standard non-Apple phone form platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win,” he said in a conversation with Eventbrite cofounder Julia Hartz, reported TechCrunch.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Microsoft quickly jumped on the bandwagon and developed Windows-powered phone in 2010, but they struggled to compete with Apple and Android and were phased out in 2017.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The failure was contributed to attracting and retaining apps on the platform.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It really is winner take all,” he said. “If you’re there with half as many apps or 90% as many apps, you’re on your way to complete doom. There’s room for exactly one non-Apple operating system, and what’s that worth? $A573 billion,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He reflected on how big Microsoft would’ve been if they had developed Android first.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We are a leading company. If we got that one right, we would be ‘the’ company. But oh well,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He also said he’s come a long way from the man he used to be, which is the man who “didn’t believe in weekends”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Once I got into my 30s, I could hardly even imagine how I had done that,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Now I take lots of vacation - my 20-year-old self is so disgusted with my current self.”</span></p>

money & Banking

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Honesty is the best policy? Research reveals when people are most likely to return a lost wallet

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to classic economic theory, if you find a wallet on the street and find money in the wallet, your self interest in keeping the cash is likely to override the more honest behaviour of returning the wallet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, new research in 40 countries has found that people are more honest than they think, at least when it comes to returning money to strangers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A study of 17,000 “lost” wallets in 355 cities revealed that people are more likely to return a wallet if it had money in it than when it was empty.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The study also found that if there was more money in the wallet, the more likely people were to return the wallet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The study was published in the journal </span><a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/science.aau8712"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Science</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">said that a team of people handed in wallets that they claimed to find on the street in front of major institutions, such as banks or post offices.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The wallets contained no money, or the equivalent of US$13.45 in local currency, a grocery list and three identical business cards in the local language which made it possible to return the wallet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 38 out of 40 countries, people were more likely to return the money if it has money in it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"This is something we didn't expect," said behavioural economist Alain Cohn of the University of Michigan to the </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-06-21/people-are-more-likely-to-return-a-wallet-if-it-has-money-in-it/11227766"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ABC.</span></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dr Cohn said that there were two factors to explain the findings.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"One is altruism — where you care about the other person even though they are a stranger."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The second finding is that people didn’t like to view themselves as dishonest.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"They said the more money in the wallet, the more they would feel like a thief if they didn't return it," he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"The larger the amount of money, the more worried you are about your self-image — the more difficult it is to convince yourself that you're still a good person."</span></p>

money & Banking

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Why Kmart’s beloved $55 chair has been taken off shelves

<p>It sent shoppers into a frenzy at the start of the year after a number of lifestyle blogs featured the coveted item.</p> <p>But according to a Kmart store manager, the $55 Timber Occasional Chair has since been taken off the shelves in New Zealand due to a “potential quality issue” and would no longer be sold in-store or online.</p> <p>The item is also not available to buy in Australia, with the web page message reading, “This product is no longer available, but rest assured, there are plenty more items to love.”</p> <p>Speaking to <a rel="noopener" href="https://10daily.com.au/lifestyle/homes/a190718otacn/kmart-has-pulled-the-widely-popular-chair-from-sale-20190719" target="_blank"><em>10daily</em></a>, a spokesperson from Kmart confirmed the news saying it had been withdrawn “due to a potential safety issue” but didn’t go into detail as to what the problem could be.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BsZBw9PFf2c/" 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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BsZBw9PFf2c/" target="_blank">I know I said I only wanted the bamboo plant stand (which I picked up yesterday 🙌) buuuuttttt then @kmartaus went and released this beauty for just $49 🙊😍 I managed to get one at my local which Ill share soon. . . #thediydecorator #kmartaus #kmartstyle #kmartnewfinds #kmartbargains #kmartmums #kmartmumsaustralia #kmarthome #homedecor #homewares #homedecorating #interior #interiordecor #homedecorator #interiorinfluencer #homeinfluencer #perthinfluencer #lifestyleinfluencer #australianinfluencer #interiordecorator #interiorandhome #interiorlover #kmartaddict #kmartaddictsunite #kmartaustralia #kmartdecor #kmartliving #kmartlove</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/thediydecorator/" target="_blank"> Zoe Gilpin Interior Decorator</a> (@thediydecorator) on Jan 8, 2019 at 2:54pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“At Kmart we are committed to the quality and safety of all of our products and can confirm the timber occasional chair has been withdrawn due to a potential quality issue,” they said.</p> <p>“We ask customers with any concerns, to please contact the Kmart customer service team on 1800 124 125.”</p> <p>The chair quickly gained traction after multiple bloggers featured it on their social media pages. Made of acacia wood and a faux rattan back and base, the chair came as a flat pack with the parts locked together by screws and Allen keys.</p> <p>The spokesperson for the company told <em>10daily</em>, “Additional stock of the much loved timber occasional chair will arrive in stores as part of our August Living campaign in the coming weeks.”</p>

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It's HUGE! Roger Federer's wife's "upgraded" engagement ring stole the limelight at Wimbledon

<p>Mirka Federer was there supporting her husband Roger Federer as he played against Novak Djokovic in an intense five-hour game in the men’s finals on Sunday.</p> <p>Although Roger didn’t end up going home with another grand slam title under his belt, many fans were distracted by Mirka’s impressive engagement ring, which has reportedly been upgraded from her original ring.</p> <p>The stunning piece of jewellery is believed to be a one-of-a-kind design from a Brazilian jeweller H. Stern, according to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.harpersbazaar.com.au/bazaar-bride/mirka-federer-engagement-ring-16875" target="_blank"><em>Harper’s Bazaa</em><em>r</em></a>.</p> <p>The emerald-cut diamond ring is encircled by a snake-like band which is covered in several smaller diamonds in a white-gold or platinum setting.</p> <p>The current style is definitely an upgrade on Mirka's original ring, which was a smaller emerald-cut diamond.</p> <p>The mother-of-four attracted attention by taking her children along to see their dad play in the men’s finals.</p> <p>The couple’s nine-year-old twin daughters, Myla and Charlene are the oldest, while their four-year-old twin sons Leo and Lenny were also there to watch dad and cheer him on.</p> <p>The intense match between Roger and Novak Djokovic went on for a staggering five hours, and BBC commentator Andrew Castle switched the conversation to Mirka’s ring, according to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/9505912/mirka-federer-ring-andrew-castle-wimbledon-tennis/" target="_blank"><em>The Sun</em></a>.</p> <p>He said: "Doesn’t look like costume jewellery, does it, on the finger?”</p> <p>Tennis fans were quick to blast him as Castle had made remarks previously as to how much the men’s finalists earn.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the ring as well as the lovely Federer children in the crowd cheering on their dad, Roger.</p>

money & Banking

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The 3 important factors for happiness

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a href="https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2019/#read"><span style="font-weight: 400;">2019</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">World Happiness Report (WHR)</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is out and the results are in: There are three important factors that help you find happiness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These factors are relationships, money and health.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dr Michael Mosley has learned to obtain these the hard way. He shared his thoughts with the </span><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/money-does-make-you-happy-but-only-to-a-point-20190624-p520q5.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sydney Morning Herald</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Lots of factors make you happy,” Mosley told the 1300 audience members at the </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Happiness and Its Causes</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> conference. "But the three most important things... are relationships, money and health.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to the WHR, money matters for happiness, but only to a specific point.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“How much do you think you need to be relatively happy? The minimum? Turns out to be $50,000. The maximum, the point at which you get satiated where actually having more money won’t make you more happy? That turns out to be $90,000... beyond that point you don’t get a lot happier,” Mosley explained. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Another measure of happiness is when you feel you’ve 'made it'. That turns out to be much higher... about $140,000... to have bragging rights.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As he made his way through his life, Mosley discovered that money alone didn’t make him happy. He quickly met his wife at medical school and realised she filled a void in his life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She filled an enormous emotional void in my life,” he said. Needing close and emotionally fulfilling relationships was something he didn’t realise he needed until he met her.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That was something I didn’t know until I met Clare.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The WHR has quantified the impact that relationships have on people that asked a simple question of 1.4 million people in 150 different countries.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you were in trouble, do you have relatives or friends that can help you, whether you need them or not?”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is the greatest single predictor of whether or not someone reports they are happy or not,” Mosley said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He finished the talk by giving his guide to a healthy life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My guide to a happy life? Prioritise your relationships, eat a Mediterranean-style diet, fast sometimes – it’s surprisingly enjoyable, keep a waist less than half your height... try and do something that gets your heart rate up three times a week, meditate most mornings... and be grateful for people that make you happy.”</span></p>

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Why money can’t “buy” housework

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A new study by Lancaster University has revealed that the way in which couples manage their money tells a story of “two marriages”, according to </span><a href="https://phys.org/news/2019-06-money-housework.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Phys</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The research shows that the management of household finances and control of financial decisions are linked to the time spent by women and men doing household chores and routine housework.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The study analysed data from more than 6,000 heterosexual couples aged 20 to 59. This is the first study to examine how the organisation of household finances intervenes between couples getting their money and housework done at home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Housework provides a window into the 'checks and balances' of power and gender in couple relationships," said Dr. Hu, author of the study.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Men get away with not doing housework through both channels," explains Dr. Hu. "It puts women in a very compromising position as they are left to do the lion's share of housework."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Our research provides further evidence to show that despite women's participation in education and the labour market, this still has not yet translated into gender equality in housework at home," said Dr. Hu.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"If men still monopolise the management of household finances and financial decisions, then things are unlikely to change," said Dr. Hu. "It's therefore important for everyone to be able to access their own earnings.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Educating and employing more women and settling the gender pay gap with gender equality flowing neatly into place at home as a result is certainly not the story this analysis is revealing."</span></p>

money & Banking

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What consumers need to know about Facebook’s new cryptocurrency

<p>Cryptocurrencies have become a global phenomenon in the past few years. Now Facebook is launching it’s own cryptocurrency, in association with Visa, MasterCard, Uber and others. The stated aim of<span> </span><a href="https://libra.org/en-US/">Libra</a><span> </span>is to “enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people”.</p> <p>The announcement has sparked fears that Libra could be<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/facebooks-libra-plan-talk-of-the-demise-of-central-banks-is-greatly-exaggerated-119165">a threat to traditional banks</a>, warnings to be<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/libra-four-reasons-to-be-extremely-cautious-about-facebooks-new-currency-119123">cautious</a>, and<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/facebook-claims-libra-offers-economic-empowerment-to-billions-an-economist-is-skeptical-118982">sceptical commentary</a><span> </span>of claims that it will help developing countries.</p> <p>But let’s go back to the basics and look at what Libra is, how it compares to other cryptocurrencies and whether you should be concerned about using it when it eventually arrives.</p> <p><strong>What is a cryptocurrency?</strong></p> <p>Currency is a system of money that is commonly used in exchange for goods and services and, as a result, holds value. Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are secured using cryptography.</p> <p>The more popular recent cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology which uses a cryptographic structure that is difficult to change. One of the key properties of this structure is a distributed ledger that keeps account of financial transactions, which anyone can access.</p> <p><strong>What is Libra?</strong></p> <p>Libra is a new currency that is being proposed by Facebook. It’s considered a cryptocurrency because cryptography will be used to help protect the value of the currency from tampering – such as double spending – and to protect the payment process.</p> <p>Libra has the potential to become successful because of the backing from the<span> </span><a href="https://libra.org/en-US/association-council-principles/#overview">Libra Association</a>, which is made up of large international corporations such as Facebook, Uber and Vodafone. MasterCard and Visa have also thrown their hats in the ring, but no traditional banks are on the list.</p> <p><strong>What’s different about Libra compared with other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin?</strong></p> <p>Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are quite egalitarian in nature. That’s because there is no single authority that verifies transactions between parties, so anyone could potentially do it.</p> <p>To authorise a Bitcoin transaction you would have to prove that you have done the work, known as a “<a href="https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Proof_of_work">proof of work</a>”. For Bitcoin, the proof of work is to solve a mathematical puzzle. People who successfully solve the puzzle (proving they have done some work), can add transactions to the blockchain distributed ledger and are rewarded with Bitcoins. The process is known as mining.</p> <p>The good thing about this is that it reduces fraud. Since anyone can potentially mine Bitcoins, it’s harder to collude as you wouldn’t know who the next person to mine a coin would be. And it’s simple to verify that the person is authorised because anyone can check that the puzzle has been solved correctly.</p> <p>Based on the<span> </span><a href="https://mashable.com/article/facebook-libra-deep-dive/">initial descriptions of the currency</a>, it sounds like the difference with Libra is that it will verify transactions using a consensus system known as “<a href="https://blockgeeks.com/guides/proof-of-work-vs-proof-of-stake/">proof of stake</a>”, or a variation of this method. Under this system, transactions would be authorised by a group of people who have a stake or ownership in the currency.</p> <p>This makes it easier to predict who the next person to authorise a transaction might be (since there are a relatively small number of authorising group members), and then collude to launder funds without other group members knowing.</p> <p>It<span> </span><a href="https://www.theblockcrypto.com/2019/06/18/how-to-become-a-founding-member-of-the-libra-association/">appears</a><span> </span>the criteria to become a founding member of the Libra Association is to contribute a minimum of US$10 million entrance fee, have a large amount of money in the bank and be able to influence a large number of people.</p> <p><strong>What are banks and regulators worried about?</strong></p> <p>Cryptocurrencies affect governments and tax systems since they have little to no transaction costs when money is transferred across borders. So while the low transaction costs would be good for everyday users, the advent of a new cryptocurrency with a potentially very large user base has governments and traditional banks very concerned.</p> <p>While Libra is open source – meaning the source code is available for all to view, use and modify – it’s the members of the association who will be overseeing the currency. Libra could herald a shift away from traditional government taxes and banking fees to a new international monetary system controlled by corporate entities like Facebook and Uber. That’s a concern because of the lack of oversight from regulatory bodies.</p> <p><strong>What should everyday people expect from Libra?</strong></p> <p>The backing of software giants means it’s likely that the user interface for Libra coins would be smooth and simple to use.</p> <p>Low transaction costs would benefit users and the Libra Association promises to control the value of the currency so that it does not fluctuate as much as other cryptocurrencies. It’s unclear how they plan to do this. But value stability would be a great advantage in times of uncertainty.</p> <p><strong>What are the risks?</strong></p> <p>The everyday consumer probably wouldn’t know the difference between the “proof of work” and the “proof of stake” mechanisms. But since Facebook has a large database of users that are known to use Libra, it may be able to link Libra transactions to individuals. This could be a privacy concern. (Bitcoin transactions are anonymous because account numbers used in Bitcoin transactions are not linked to an individual’s identity.)</p> <p>Recent cybersecurity<span> </span><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/australians-private-details-exposed-in-attack-on-westpac-s-payid-20190603-p51u2u.html">breaches</a><span> </span>have contributed to a growing awareness of the vulnerabilities of IT systems. As with all software, the Libra implementation and management could be vulnerable to attack, which in turn could mean users could lose their money. But that is a risk that all cryptocurrency users face, whether they are aware of it or not.</p> <p><strong>What steps could consumers take to protect themselves?</strong></p> <p>No matter what cryptocurrency you choose to use, your funds are still accessible through the same interfaces: a web page or a mobile app. And the way you control access to your personal funds is by authenticating with a password.</p> <p>Make sure you keep your password safe by making sure it is complicated and hard to guess. Look for applications that allow you to use two-factor authentication and make sure it’s turned on.</p> <p>Libra is yet to prove its claims of making financial transactions safe and convenient. Only time will tell if its uptake will become widespread following its expected launch next year.</p> <p><em>Written by Ernest Foo. Republished with permission of <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/the-lowdown-on-libra-what-consumers-need-to-know-about-facebooks-new-cryptocurrency-119391" target="_blank">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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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>

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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>

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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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