Money & Banking

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Research shows pre-retirees worry about money "almost without exception"

<p>New research from financial advisors has said that nearly every pre-retiree is concerned about whether or not they’ll have enough saved to fund the lifestyle they want.</p> <p>Concerns were also broached to financial advisors about whether the money saved will run out, despite the amount of wealth held by the retiree.</p> <p>Goldsborough Financial Services director Brenton Miegel said that pre-retirees are worried about money “almost without exception”.</p> <p>Having a “really good budget in place” can help ease your mind.</p> <p>“Know what you are going to spend and how you are going to spend it, and allow for unexpected expenses,” he said to <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/why-australians-worry-about-their-retirement-even-the-millionaires/news-story/c50f32aeaea499b90dd7e68b595bda72">news.com.au</a></em>.</p> <p>“Get good advice. Speak with a professional financial planner who will look at your situation and offer insight and suggestions without necessarily reinventing the wheel.”</p> <p>Miegel also reaffirms that you don’t need a lot of money to have a comfortable lifestyle.</p> <p>“You don’t have to have great wealth in order to have a comfortable lifestyle,” Mr Miegel said.</p> <p>“Don’t be afraid to use some of your capital to do those extra things like an overseas trip or upgrading the kitchen, without getting silly about it, because you can’t take it with you.”</p> <p>MidSec managing partner Nick Loxton said that most retirees were concerned about maintaining their lifestyle.</p> <p>“You don’t get a lot of chances at retirement and if you get it wrong the consequences are high,” he said.</p> <p>“There is so much information on strategies, investments and tax. Everyone’s different so they often wonder which bits apply to them.”</p> <p>Here are three tips that you can follow to ensure that there’s enough saved in your retirement fund.</p> <ul> <li>Have an emergency cash back-up</li> <li>Know where your income will come from for the next five years at all times</li> <li>Budget to have 10 per cent more cash flow than you expect to spend</li> </ul>

Money & Banking

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Your retirement nest egg needs to last longer than you think

<p>Although the number you’ve got in your current retirement nest egg is looking pretty solid, new research by the Actuaries Institute suggests that rapidly increasing lifespans means that age 100 should be the new target for retirees.</p> <p>Currently life expectancy tables used by many financial planners use 87 for women, but the Actuaries Institute says that people should consider “how much this will increase between now and the time someone retiring today reaches their 80s or 90s”.</p> <p>“A healthy, well-educated female entering retirement today, who had an affluent career and enjoys a good quality of housing, is just as likely to live beyond age 100 as she is to die before age 80,” it says.</p> <p>Actuary Jim Hennington, author of the research note and a member of the Actuaries Institute Retirement Incomes Working Group, says that there is an uncertainty as to how long today’s retirees would live.</p> <p>“Everyone wants to make sure their savings last,” he said to <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/heres-how-long-your-retirement-nest-egg-needs-to-last/news-story/ac98be3e3826056ad0cafbbd5f736675">news.com.au</a></em>.</p> <p>“Fifty per cent of us live longer than our life expectancy. Some live all the way to age 105 and beyond.</p> <p>“A couple of average health aged 65 and 62 need a plan that lasts until the male is 100 in order that they can be 80 per cent sure their financial plan meets their potential lifespan.”</p> <p>Planning for Prosperity adviser Bob Budreika agreed with the note.</p> <p>“When you say 100 to people they laugh and say ‘nobody in my family has reached that’,” he said.</p> <p>Ideally, you would have enough cash reserves to last you until 100, but if you don’t have this saved up, there are options available including the pension.</p> <p>“It’s not all doom and gloom,” Mr Budreika said.</p>

Money & Banking

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Why Sweden's central bank dumped Australian bonds

<p><strong>What’s happening?</strong></p> <p>Suddenly, at the level of central banks, Australia is regarded as an investment risk.</p> <p>On Wednesday Martin Flodén, the deputy governor of Sweden’s central bank, announced that because Australia and Canada were “<a href="https://www.riksbank.se/globalassets/media/tal/engelska/floden/2019/monetary-policy-in-a-changing-world.pdf">not known for good climate work</a>”.</p> <p>As a result the bank had sold its holdings of bonds issued by the Canadian province of Alberta and by the Australian states of Queensland and Western Australia.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/301897/original/file-20191115-47128-1s2eoc3.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/301897/original/file-20191115-47128-1s2eoc3.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption"></span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.riksbank.se/globalassets/media/tal/engelska/floden/2019/monetary-policy-in-a-changing-world.pdf" class="source">Martin Flodén, deputy governor Sveriges Riksbank Central Bank of Sweden</a></span></p> <p>Central banks normally make the news when they change their “cash rate” and households pay less (or more) on their mortgages.</p> <p>But central banks such as Australia’s Reserve Bank and the European Central Bank, the People’s Bank of China and the US Federal Reserve have broader responsibilities.</p> <p>They can see climate change affecting their ability to <a href="https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/working-paper/2018/climate-change-and-the-macro-economy-a-critical-review.pdf">manage their economies</a> and deliver <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/fsr/2019/oct/box-c-financial-stability-risks-from-climate-change.html">financial stability</a>.</p> <p><strong>There’s more to central banks than rates</strong></p> <p>As an example, the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva warned last month that the necessary transition away from fossil fuels would lead to significant amounts of “<a href="https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/central-banks-tune-in-to-climate-change-20191020-p532ev">stranded assets</a>”.</p> <p>Those assets will be coal mines and oil fields that become worthless, endangering the banks that have lent to develop them. More frequent floods, storms and fires will pose risks for insurance companies. Climate change will make these and other shocks more frequent and more severe.</p> <p>In a speech in March the deputy governor of Australia’s Reserve Bank <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/speeches/2019/sp-dg-2019-03-12.html">Guy Debelle</a> said we needed to stop thinking of extreme events as cyclical.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>We need to think in terms of trend rather than cycles in the weather. Droughts have generally been regarded (at least economically) as cyclical events that recur every so often. In contrast, climate change is a trend change. The impact of a trend is ongoing, whereas a cycle is temporary.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>And he said the changes that will be imposed on us and the changes we will need might be abrupt.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>The transition path to a less carbon-intensive world is clearly quite different depending on whether it is managed as a gradual process or is abrupt. The trend changes aren’t likely to be smooth. There is likely to be volatility around the trend, with the potential for damaging outcomes from spikes above the trend.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Australia’s central bank and others are going further then just responding to the impacts of climate change. They are doing their part to moderate it.</p> <p><strong>No more watching from the sidelines</strong></p> <p>Over thirty central banks (including Australia’s), and a number of financial supervisory agencies, have created a <a href="https://www.ngfs.net/en">Network for Greening the Financial System</a>.</p> <p>Its purpose is to enhance the role of the financial system in mobilising finance to support the transitions that will be needed. The US Federal Reserve has not joined yet but is <a href="https://www.bis.org/review/r191111a.pdf">considering how to participate</a>.</p> <p>One of its credos is that central banks should <a href="https://www.bis.org/review/r191111a.pdf">lead by example</a> in their own investments.</p> <p>They hold and manage over A$17 trillion. That makes them enormously large investors and a huge influence on global markets.</p> <p>As part of their traditional focus on the liquidity, safety and returns from assets, they are taking into account climate change in deciding how to invest.</p> <p>The are increasingly putting their money into “<a href="https://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qt1909f.pdf">green bonds</a>”, which are securities whose proceeds are used to finance projects that combat climate change or the depletion of biodiversity and natural resources.</p> <p>Over A$300 billion worth of green bonds were issued in 2018, with the total stock now over A$1 trillion.</p> <p><strong>Central banks are investing, and setting standards</strong></p> <p>While large, that is still less than 1% of the stock of conventional securities. It means green bonds are less liquid and have higher buying and selling costs.</p> <p>It also means smaller central banks lack the skills to deal with them.</p> <p>These problems have been addressed by the <a href="https://www.bis.org/">Bank for International Settlements</a>, a bank owned by 60 of the central banks.</p> <p>In September it launched a <a href="https://www.bis.org/press/p190926.htm">green bond fund</a> that will pool investments from 140 (mostly central bank) clients.</p> <p>Its products will initially be denominated in US dollars but will later also be available in euros. It will be supported by an advisory committee of the world’s top central bankers.</p> <p>It is alert to the risk of “<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwashing">greenwashing</a>” and will only buy bonds that comply with the International Capital Market Association’s <a href="https://www.icmagroup.org/green-social-and-sustainability-bonds/green-bond-principles-gbp/">Green Bond Principles</a> or the Climate Bond Initiative’s <a href="https://www.climatebonds.net/standard">Climate Bond Standard</a>.</p> <p>Launching the fund in Basel, Switzerland, the bank’s head of banking Peter Zöllner said he was</p> <blockquote> <p><em>confident that, by aggregating the investment power of central banks, we can influence the behaviour of market participants and have some impact on how green investment standards develop</em></p> </blockquote> <p>It’s an important role. Traditionally focused on keeping the financial system safe, our central banks are increasingly turning to using their stewardship of the financial system to keep us, and our environment, safe.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/126766/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/john-hawkins-746285">John Hawkins</a>, Assistant professor, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/climate-change-why-swedens-central-bank-dumped-australian-bonds-126766">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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5 ways you can save money by using credit cards

<p>Credit cards sometimes get a bad rap, and that’s mostly because they can lead you to temptation to spend beyond your means.</p> <p>Used responsibly, however, these little pieces of plastic can actually save you money as banks are constantly running promotions that offer discounts for spending.</p> <p>The key is to pay your bills in full every month so you don’t incur the astronomical interest rate, which, in Singapore, is about 25 per cent per annum.</p> <p>Check out these 5 ways that using credit cards can help save you money.</p> <p><strong>1. Dining deals</strong></p> <p>Credit cards that offer dining deals are a foodie’s best friend and the good news is, there are plenty of such cards in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>Be sure to subscribe to receive promotional emails and mailers from your banks to find out about current dining deals such as 1-for-1 offers, cashback or complimentary treats at selected eateries.</p> <p><strong>2. Discounts on hotels and flights</strong></p> <p>Keep an eye out for special flight or hotel deals from your credit card of choice.</p> <p>You can also get discounts when you book through hotel booking sites such as Agoda or Expedia.</p> <p>Some cards are specially designed for frequent travellers as you get complimentary use of airport lounges a number of times a year, and free travel insurance if you purchase your ticket using the card.</p> <p>Be aware, though, that some airlines charge a fee when you pay for your tickets online using a credit card, so do some calculations to see if it still works out cheaper.</p> <p><strong>3. Take advantage of interest-free instalment plans</strong></p> <p>If you need to buy expensive electronic or electrical goods, such as a new TV or laptop, the 0 per cent interest instalment offered by most major credit cards at most major electronic stores can come in very handy.</p> <p>It helps spread the payments out over your chosen six or 12 months without the high interest rates you would otherwise incur if you were to pay for it upfront using your credit card.</p> <p>This allows you to better manage your monthly expenses and avoid overspending.</p> <p>Credit card companies make profits on a simple fact of human nature: we buy today and worry about how to pay for it tomorrow.</p> <p><strong>4. Discounts on everyday items</strong></p> <p>Credit cards aren’t just useful for big ticket or luxury goods, they can help you save on everyday items too, such as groceries and petrol.</p> <p>In Singapore, cards from POSB, Citibank, HSBC and others can knock off up to 20 percent from your petrol spending each time you fill up the tank.</p> <p>There are many similar campaigns available in Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>And with the high cost of car ownership, every single dollar counts.</p> <p><strong>5. Collect rebates and cashback</strong></p> <p>If you’re not after dining deals and you don’t like going for holidays, you may want to keep it simple and just collect good ’ol rebates or cashback from your spending.</p> <p>In Singapore, most cashback cards require you to have a minimum spend per month, such as $500, in order to qualify for rebates.</p> <p><em>Written by Siti Rohani. This article first appeared in </em><span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/5-ways-you-can-save-money-using-credit-cards"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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Landlord charged for truly “underhand” act that cost tenants $3700

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A man has been charged after listing his ex-girlfriend’s flat to rent, pocketing the cash and heading overseas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Phillip Allman and Lucy Sharp were in a relationship for six years before ending it last December.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The pair remained friends and Sharp allowed Allman to move into her apartment temporarily after his last relationship ended.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, the 29-year-old man abused that generosity by listing Sharp’s flat as available for rental online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to Wales Online, Jolanta Goniuch responded to the advertisement on Gumtree that listed the flat at £400 ($NZD 808) and required a £400 deposit upfront.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Goniuch called Allman to arrange an inspection and was told that the flat would be available from late June.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After the phone call, she then transferred £800 ($NZD 1616) into his bank account.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another victim, Natera Morris and her partner Sean Malone, fell for the scam the next day and paid a total of £600 ($NZD 1212).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It wasn’t until later that another victim also paid £600.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In total, Allman pocketed more than £2,000 ($NZD 4040) from the tenants.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On June 10, Allman disappeared and Sharp only became aware of the con when Malone arrived on her doorstep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sharp tried to contact Allman, but was ignored. He was eventually caught by the police and sentenced to one year behind bars.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The offences for which I have to deal with you are really mean and underhand offences of dishonesty,” he said, according to </span><a href="https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/phillip-allman-newport-jailed-court-17217610"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wales Online</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They come from a man who has been committing offences of dishonesty for years and years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You were fortunate enough to have a generous friend. You abused her friendship and trust to cheat people out of money.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Allman admitted to three counts of fraud in breach of a suspended sentence and all the victims were repaid the money they sent Allman via bank transfer.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Morris and Lobina paid some funds in cash, which were unable to be recovered.</span></p>

Money & Banking

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4 credit card rules you should never break

<p>According to a study from <span><a href="https://www.finder.com.au/1-6-million-australians-have-3-credit-cards">finder.com.au</a></span>, 40% of Australians own one credit card, 19% own two credit cards and 8% own three or more. Unsurprisingly, cardholders with several cards were more likely to have bigger credit card debts than those with just one credit card. The study found that those with several cards carried on average $6,500 of credit card debt – more than double the national average.</p> <p>However, credit cards are not necessarily a bad thing, says Prudential’s financial wellness advocate Tiffany Aliche. “It’s a myth that credit cards are innately bad,” she says. “Think of them instead like a tool, just like a hammer. You can pick that hammer up and build a house, or you can pick up that same hammer and destroy that same house. It depends entirely on the user.”</p> <p>So, is there a method to the credit-card madness? We ask trusty financial experts for their top credit card dos and don’ts.</p> <p><strong>1. Stick to one or two cards</strong></p> <p>It’s a common belief that to have good credit, you need credit cards. The truth is yes… and no. Financial wellness advocate Felicity Aliche recommends keeping at least one but not more than three cards. “Remember, if you have no credit history, you are a bad borrower,” she says. “It’s just like if my 16-year-old relative said, ‘Look, I’ve never been in an accident,’ yet she’s never driven a car, so therefore she’s a bad driver. Well, the same goes for credit.”</p> <p>However, that doesn’t mean you need to fill your wallet with plastic in order to have good credit, either. “Because the word ‘credit’ is in credit cards, people associate the two, but your credit score is about much more than that,” she says. “Your credit score encompasses many more aspects than cards. It’s about any time you borrow and pay back money, whether it’s a mortgage, car loan, student loan, even your utility bills.”</p> <p><strong>2. Remember the 30 per cent rule</strong></p> <p>You could be paying your monthly credit card bill on time, but if you’re continually carrying a high balance, that will bring your credit score down. “Think of 30% as your new maximum, and realise that anything above that is going to tank your score,” says Aliche. Gearing up for a big purchase, like a home or car? Then aim for 15%, she says.</p> <p><strong>3. Shop around</strong></p> <p>Interest rates may be low for those with a mortgage, but credit card interest rates haven’t moved much. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for a lower rate. Let’s say you bring your interest rate down from 20% to 15%. That means for every $100, $20 is going to interest and fees, versus $15. That’s quite an amount over a period of time. “That’s why I suggest that people regularly negotiate their rate. Pick a date every year that you spend on negotiating your fee, and you may be surprised how easy it can be to lower it,” says Aliche. Better still, try and pay off the whole amount each month so you don’t pay any interest at all.</p> <p><strong>4. Look for cash-back cards</strong></p> <p>Cashback credit cards are fairly new to Australia so it’s crucial to understand your money reward options before choosing that new piece of plastic to sit in your wallet, says <span><a href="https://mozo.com.au/credit-cards/guides/cash-back-credit-cards-unveiled/84">mozo.com.au</a></span>.</p> <p><span><a href="https://mozo.com.au/rewards-credit-cards/cashback">Cash back credit cards</a></span> work in a similar way to reward credit cards like platinum and frequent flyer cards: every time you use your card to buy something you earn reward points which you then redeem for products or flights. However, with cash back cards your points are converted into cash.</p> <p>“I’m a big believer in cash-back cards,” says Foguth. “I put everything – petrol, restaurants, you name it – on one credit card that offers cashback. Even if I get 1% cashback, that’s 1% more than if I used a $100 note in my pocket,” he says.</p> <p><em>Written by Michelle Crouch. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/12-credit-card-rules-you-should-never-break"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p>

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The sneaky shopping centre tactics designed to get you to stay

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’ve ever gotten lost in a shopping centre, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s designed that way to be confusing and to get you to spend more money.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There is a whole lot of psychology involved and fundamentally the final shopper is not high on the list of concerns,” University College London architecture professor Alan Penn said to </span><em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/tactics-shopping-centres-use-to-make-us-linger-longer-and-spend-more/news-story/fe6c44a0de8f07d6782b8fd2268495a1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One popular tactic employed by shopping centres is known as the “dog bone” and is embedded into the way that the floor plans are designed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The dog bone design for shopping malls comes from the US and is geared to a culture of car access,” Prof Penn said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The aim is to get people in and then to keep them in as long as possible wandering up and down the length of the bone between anchor stores.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another tactic is not having clocks in the shopping centre so you can’t see how much time you’ve spent in the shopping centre, but with the popularity of smartphones that have clocks on them, this doesn’t impact the shopper as much as it used to.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The food court is another tactic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“One of the only thing centres used to do to get people to stay longer was to have a food court,” said Australian retail consultant Michael Baker.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But it wasn’t too fancy, just a place to refuel so people could go around again.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The final tactic? Getting you lost on purpose. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By adding curves and making it confusing to get where you need to go, you’ll spend more money and time in the shopping centre.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Prof Penn said this made malls less “intelligible” which was the plan as, “it removes your ability to act with intention”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, due to the sharp decline of department stores in shopping centres, companies are having to reinvent the shopping centre in order to keep customers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the addition of cinemas, childcare centres and the demand from customers for more fancy food options, it’s clear what shopping centres need to do in order to keep customers happy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Food is no longer just fuel, it constitutes a shopping centre anchor in itself,” Mr Barker said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you have al fresco dining then you need a very different design to the shoebox mall. You have to face outward to the streets, so expect more open air centres.”</span></p>

Money & Banking

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“Penniless and heavily in debt”: Chinese mother sells twin babies to cover bills

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A single mother only known as Ma sold off her newborn twin boys in September last year for 65,000 yuan (NZD$ $14,363).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The sale was only discovered by local police recently as they were investigating another case.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ma, who is in her 20s and hails from Zhejiang province, claimed that she did it because she was "penniless and heavily in debt".</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ma is also claiming that her parents refused to help her as they were angry about the premarital pregnancy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The father of the twins, known as Wu has reportedly refused to be responsible for the babies, according to </span><a href="https://www.asiaone.com/china/china-mum-sells-twin-babies-12600-buys-new-phone"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Asia One</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He only resurfaced after he discovered that Ma received money for the sale of the twins and wanted his debts to be settled.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ma split the proceeds with Wu and used her share to pay off her credit card debts as well as purchase a new mobile phone.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By the time the police arrested the pair, the money had all been spent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The police have uncovered who Ma sold the twin boys to and has returned them to Ma’s parents.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Photo credit: Weibo/dskbhz</span></em></p>

Money & Banking

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Why employers should be hiring over-60s

<p>This age group is loyal, experienced and the fastest growing labour market in Australia, so why aren’t more employers hiring workers in their 50s and 60s? Here’s why they should.</p> <p>There has never been a better time for jobseekers in their 60s to jump back into the workforce, with the government announcing it will chip in $10,000 to business owners who employ workers over the age of 50. The decision to expand the senior employment incentive payment scheme was announced in the May budget.</p> <p>This will see business owners receive $3000 followed by a second $3000 payment if they keep a mature worker in employment for 12 months. A further $2000 will be given to those who keep over-50s employed in the workplace for 18 months until a final payment of $2000 is provided if they employ the person for over two years.</p> <p>Heidi Holmes, managing director of jobs board for jobseekers over-45 <a rel="noopener" href="http://adage.com.au/" target="_blank">Adage.com.au</a>, says mature age workers offer a number of benefits to business owners. “Mature age workers offer a great return on investment for employers as they will reward employers with loyalty, increased productivity and also take less sick days,” she reveals. “Research has shown a mature age worker will stay with an organisation up to 2.5 times longer than a young employee.”</p> <p>Sydney-based retirement coach <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.peterblackcoaching.com/" target="_blank">Peter Black</a> agrees, adding that these workers are motivated to work because they’d like to continue learning and engaging with other people, as well as to boost their retirement savings.</p> <p><strong>A growing talent pool</strong> <br />It’s no secret that Australia’s population is ageing, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics predicting that by 2041 one in five people will be over 65 and seven per cent of the population will be over 80.</p> <p>Ms Holmes says employers can no longer afford to neglect this talent pool as the 45-plus market represents the fastest growing labour market segment in Australia. “Often employers haven’t considered the mature age workforce as a separate talent pool they need to target directly,” she explains.</p> <p>“Unconscious bias against mature age workers may also be playing a part in mature applicants being screened out of the application process. Hiring managers and recruiters need to be educated on the benefits mature age workers bring to the table in order to tackle any negative bias that may exist.”</p> <p>While illegal, age discrimination continues in Australia. The Fair Work Ombudsman welcomed a court ruling in April this year when two Thai restaurants on the Gold Coast were fined nearly $30,000 for telling a worker that he would be terminated on his 65th birthday. The worker had a good employment record at the restaurant over a number of years.</p> <p>Mr Black says age discrimination continues, as does misperceptions about the motivation of mature workers. “Younger managers and human resources professionals don’t appear to value experience. However, companies like Bunnings and the banks are recognising the value of older workers in communicating with front-line customers,” he explains.</p> <p>“Also, a declining pool of total workers due to baby boomers retiring over coming years will necessitate employers to relook mature workers to accommodate their growth needs.”</p> <p>Michael O’Neill, chief executive of consumer lobby group <a rel="noopener" href="http://nationalseniors.com.au/" target="_blank">National Seniors Australia</a>, is another industry representative who has been vocal in encouraging the government and the corporate sector to tackle community attitudes towards workers in their 50s and 60s, as well as promoting workplace flexibility.</p> <p>Currently, older job seekers are unemployed for an average of 71 weeks compared to younger workers with an average of 41 weeks. If there was just a five per cent increase in paid employment of Australians over age 55 it would add $48 billion to the economy a year, according to research by the Human Rights Commission.</p> <p><strong>More support is needed</strong><br />Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan says the government needs to do more to ensure older Australians will have the same opportunities as everyone else to access paid work. While the staggered $10,000 incentive for employers to hire a person over 50 is encouraging, it doesn’t shift the entrenched cultural attitudes and structural barriers that exclude older workers from the workforce.</p> <p>Training and development of older workers is important if people in their 50s and 60s are to have a chance of either remaining or returning to the workforce. On top of this, employers need to realise the benefits of maintaining their older workers for more years in the job.</p> <p>“This might require workplace flexibility and some retraining,” Commissioner Ryan explains. “Government has a role in supporting a more positive and productive approach to longer working lives.”</p> <p>It’s a win-win for both businesses and those looking for work. Unlike some workers in the younger generations, people over 50 place a higher value on job security and are motivated to perform to the best of their ability. This offers a great return on investment for employers, especially small businesses, who would not only benefit the most from the cash incentive but also from an employee who research shows stays in a job longer.</p>

Money & Banking

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How to make good financial decisions

<p>Making good financial decisions doesn't have to be difficult. Consider the following questions before making any financial decisions.</p> <p><strong>Can I afford it?<span> </span></strong>This should be the first question you ask when reaching for your credit card. If you have to borrow money to make the purchase, then you probably can’t afford it. Another strategy involves calculating how many hours, days or weeks at work it’ll cost to pay it off.</p> <p><strong>Is this a need, or a want?<span> </span></strong>Before making the purchase, create a mental list to see how much use you’ll get out of it and whether this is a need or simply a want.</p> <p><strong>Are there hidden or ongoing costs?<span> </span></strong>Often the spending doesn’t end with the initial purchase. For example, buying a car involves extra costs such as registration, maintenance and repairs. Be aware of how these will add to the total cost.</p> <p><strong>Will this purchase appreciate/depreciate?</strong><span> </span>New gadgets such as mobile phones often depreciate, so sometimes it’s better to wait before grabbing the latest model.</p> <p><strong>Is it good value?<span> </span></strong>While the cheapest option is tempting, it doesn’t always pay off. For example, if you spend less on a dishwasher or washing machine, you may end up paying more in regular repairs.</p> <p><strong>Will it pay itself off?<span> </span></strong>An investment property can create a rental income, which can help to pay off a loan. Consider the big picture when making decisions – sometimes you need to spend money to make money.</p> <p><em>Written by Reader's Digest Editors. </em><em>This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/How-To-Make-Good-Financial-Decisions">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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5 types of online scams to watch out for

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As more and more people continue to shop online, it’s easier to get scammed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With tech-savvy people getting caught out and the hackers getting more sophisticated in their scamming, it can be hard to know what to look out for.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We've had clients who have been scammed lots of money, and they're sophisticated, smart, hard-working people. But in that vulnerable moment, they fell for it," says technology trainer Lisa Du to </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/life/how-to-spot-an-online-scam/11422230"><span style="font-weight: 400;">the ABC</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are countless scams out there on the internet, but here are five of the most common scam types.</span></p> <ol> <li>Classified advertisement scams: <span style="font-weight: 400;">These are found on sites such as Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. Fake receipts are sent, or fake transactions are used to obtain a product without payment. Others use these platforms to accept money for an item that they never plan on delivering. </span></li> <li>Fake online stores: <span style="font-weight: 400;">People pay for items that they never received.</span></li> <li>Pyramid schemes:<span style="font-weight: 400;"> These scams rely on you paying a fee to participate and finding others to “invest” in the opportunity you’re providing. These scams often fall over once people can’t find others to participate.</span></li> <li>Investment or gambling scams: <span style="font-weight: 400;">These scams promise guaranteed profits thanks to systems or special software.</span></li> <li>Dating or romance scams:<span style="font-weight: 400;"> People are posing on dating websites or social media networks, work on their scams for a long time and build “online relationships” before requesting money.</span></li> </ol> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s not easy to tell if you’re being conned. Lisa Du, despite being a technology trainer, has fallen for a scam herself.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"At first, I was so excited. I replied and they gave me their email address," she says. "Then I thought about it, and wondered why they couldn't keep communicating through text message."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There were other red flags, including that the woman wasn’t easily contactable and offered to pick up the phone without inspecting it first.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Normally what [scammers] do is send you a fake screenshot with confirmation about making a payment, or they'll send you a fake receipt," she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"If you're time-poor, or if you're not looking carefully, it looks very much like a real receipt. Then they use a courier, and you've given them that item for free."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In order to stay safe, Lisa recommends using your common sense and meeting up with people in person.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"If you are going to buy a phone from Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace, try and meet the seller in person, and try to do it in a public place," she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It might be outside a bank, outside a petrol station, somewhere with cameras. And don't transfer the money to an unknown person."</span></p>

Money & Banking

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5 ways to escape the credit card debt trap

<p>Feeling the pinch towards the end of the year and want to get ahead on your finances and debt? Here are some suggestions.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Start a piggy bank</strong> Go old-school! Save up for purchases instead of buying on impulse.</li> <li><strong>Only use one credit card.</strong> The more cards you have, the more you’ll be tempted to carry a larger balance and take on unwanted debt.</li> <li><strong>Pay the highest interest rate first.</strong> If possible, pay off your credit card bills and card balance in full each month. Or pay as much as you can afford above the mandatory payments on the highest interest rate card first. Set up a direct debit for minimum payments to avoid late fees or transfer your balance to a new 0% interest credit card for a limited time.</li> <li><strong>Spend less than you earn.</strong> Cut back on unnecessary expenses and use what you already have before buying new things. Create a self-imposed ‘spending freeze’ for a few months. Take your credit card out of your wallet and only use physical cash for a month.</li> <li><strong>Don’t spend ‘imaginary money’. </strong>Avoid spending any money you haven’t yet earned and lower your credit card limit to help avoid temptation. Financial experts suggest keeping records, making a budget and sticking to it. If you have more than one card, close off each credit card as you pay it off.</li> </ol> <p><em>Written by Readers Digest Editors. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/5-Ways-to-Escape-the-Credit-Card-Debt-Trap">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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5 times to never use your credit card for payment

<div class="postIntro">Credit cards might be convenient and reliable, but here are some scenarios where swiping or entering your digits could be dangerous.</div> <p><strong>1. When a website address does not begin with "HTTPS"</strong></p> <p>If you don’t see these five letters in the address bar of the website you are trying to make a payment on, it means the site is not secure.</p> <p>“HTTPS is a protocol for secure communication over a computer network which is widely used on the Internet,” explains Robert McKee, lawyer and certified international privacy professional.</p> <p>“Its main motivation is authentication of the visited website and protection of the privacy and integrity of the exchanged data.”</p> <p>When the URL begins with “HTTPS”, the site is secure, and you are safe to use a credit card.</p> <p>If the site does not include an “s” in this beginning part of the URL, opt out of the online purchase, and try using a third-party payment system like PayPal instead.</p> <p>These sites act as another barrier between an organization and your credit information. If all else fails, try paying in person.</p> <p><strong>2. When you're responding to an email</strong></p> <p>It is actually better to provide your credit card to someone over the phone (only when you have initiated the call—more on that later) or even via text message than it is to respond with your credit card number in an email.</p> <p>“There is a technique called ‘phishing’ or ‘spear phishing’, and it involves emails that are designed to extract your credit card number for an unauthorized purchase,” warns Stephen Lesavich, PhD, JD, attorney, credit card expert, and best-selling author.</p> <p>Before clicking on any link, look for phishing clues like spelling mistakes, strange use of English, and logos that look off.</p> <p>Another technique is to hover over a link while not clicking on it and see if you can recognize the URL.</p> <p>Look for the same site outside your email and compare them.</p> <p>If there is anything suspicious, do not make the purchase or make it from another site.</p> <p>They’re smart, they’re sneaky, and they want your personal information.</p> <p><strong>3. When charity fundraisers approach you on the street</strong></p> <p>Quite often, and mostly in big cities, you’ll see charity fundraisers walking the streets in an attempt to collect donations in the form of money for a variety of causes – the environment, child welfare, and pet care, to name just a few.</p> <p>They might only ask to take your name down so they can contact you at a later date, but if they ask you for your credit card, beware.</p> <p>“These causes are known to target people’s emotions to get them to donate,” warns Lesavich.</p> <p>“Although legitimate in some cases, they could instead be scams to charge your credit card and get your credit card information.”</p> <p>If you want to contribute to these causes, a safer bet is to visit their website, check that it’s secure and then make a donation from there.</p> <p><strong>4. When speaking to anyone over the phone</strong></p> <p>Try to avoid giving your credit card information over the phone for the simple reason that you don’t know where it will go once you hang up.</p> <p>You also don’t know who’s listening in on the call – whether it’s people around you, someone else on the line, or even the person on the other end of the phone who’s taking down your digits.</p> <p>“One of the most common examples of card information being given over the phone is through delivery food purchases,” says Jeremy Brant, VP of Information Technology for .<br />Bank.</p> <p>“In situations like these, or other instances where a vendor is asking for card information over the phone, order the service online or pay cash in person.”</p> <p>With delivery food, should the location not have its own website (or the website is not secure), third-party smartphone apps can fill in the gap.</p> <p><strong>5. When an online merchant has no reviews</strong></p> <p>If you’re considering buying from a merchant on any type of marketplace – from eBay to Etsy – look them up online. If you Google them and there’s only one listing for the merchant, with no online reviews, no past experiences from other customers, and no social media accounts, you should think twice about handing over your card.</p> <p>This is true for online merchants, of course, but real-world merchants as well. “The Internet has given consumers a much more effective way to gauge the reputation of the companies we do business with, so use it,” suggests Adam Jusko, founder and CEO of a card comparison and news site.</p> <p>Along these same lines, look for contact information on the websites you buy from, including address and phone number if you’re unfamiliar with the merchant.</p> <p>“Cross reference the address and phone numbers by looking them up in a search engine to see if they match the merchant.”</p> <p><em>Written by Jenn Sinrich. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/10-times-never-ever-use-your-credit-card-payment">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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5 ways to save on your electricity bill

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the weather starts to warm up a little bit, it can be tempting to get the air flowing in the house after months of stuffy winter weather.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, it’s important to remember that using electricity comes at a cost. If you’re dreading opening your next electricity bill, here are five tips that you can use to cut back costs.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Use energy efficient lighting</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Light bulbs contribute more than you think to your power bill, especially if you have old incandescent or halogen light bulbs. This is because it takes more watts of electricity to power them. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Switching to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light emitting diodes (LEDs) can save you money as they use less electricity to run and can last longer.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Wash clothes with cold water</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It takes electricity to heat up water in your washing machine and it can be a real energy suck. Try sticking to the cold wash setting for day to day laundry if possible.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Make sure that you take advantage of any eco-settings that are available on your washing machine as well as setting the machine to the correct load size in order to save on power.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Switch off appliances at the wall</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Switching off appliances at the wall might sound a bit cheap, but when you consider how many devices are plugged into power without being used all the time, this trick can save you money on your next electricity bill.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Standby appliances, such as microwaves, televisions and even phone chargers cost a typical household over $100 a year in wasted electricity.  </span></p> <p><strong>4. Check appliance settings</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While we’re on the topic of appliances, make sure that the settings of certain appliances are adjusted to what you need them to be. It’s as simple as making sure the television isn’t too bright and the fridge isn't too cold.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It can also mean taking advantage of eco-settings that are available on dishwashers, clothes dryers, washing machines and air conditioners (if you have these appliances). </span></p> <p><strong>5. Compare energy providers</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’ve been with the same energy provider for years, but the prices keep increasing when you’re doing all you can to reduce your bill, maybe a change of provider is in order.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You can save around by shopping for a better deal, as energy companies are always changing their products and prices.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Just because you got a good deal upon signing up doesn’t mean that the energy company requires that it stays that way.</span></p>

Money & Banking

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13 things you should know about negotiating

<p>Follow these tips to get the most out of yourself and your bottom line.</p> <p><strong>1. Learn to improvise</strong></p> <div id="page1" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Pay close attention to what your negotiating partner is expressing and be willing to step outside your comfort zone.</p> <p><strong>2. If someone offers a good deal</strong></p> <p>If someone offers a good deal, be sure it’s worth the risk to ask for more.</p> <p>As Harvard Business School professor Michael Wheeler writes in 2013’s The Art of Negotiation, “When someone hands you a tasty piece of cake, with rich frosting to boot, think twice about asking for sprinkles on top.”</p> <p><strong>3. Jot down what you want beforehand</strong></p> <div id="page3" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Written plans help you focus on achieving your goals, instead of getting flustered, says Marty Latz, founder of the training and consulting firm Latz Negotiation Institute.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating"><strong>4. Know your triggers</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating"> <div id="page4" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Gail Levitt, a facilitator at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto, says understanding what affects you emotionally makes it easier to avoid taking things personally and concentrate instead on solving the conflict.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating"><strong>5. Be a copycat</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating"> <div id="page5" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>A 2007 study of the effects of mimicry on negotiation found that ten out of 15 buyers who subtly copied their partners’ mannerisms during the process achieved a deal. Only two out of 16 buyers who didn’t mirror succeeded.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating"><strong>6. When negotiating for money</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating"> <div id="page6" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>When selling your car or asking for a raise, for example – ask for a range, not a fixed number. This approach may make it harder for your partner to counter with a lower sum.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating"><strong>7. Small talk goes a long way</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating"> <p>Researchers from Stanford, Columbia and Northwestern universities followed people participating in email-based negotiations.</p> <p>One group went straight to business; members of the second began by telling their partners about themselves.</p> <p>Chatty negotiators reached an agreement 59 per cent of the time, while business-centred participants succeeded only 39 per cent of the time.</p> <p><strong>8. Demonstrate potential</strong></p> <p>You need to demonstrate potential rather than listing accomplishments.</p> <p>A 2012 US study measured how participants felt about a hypothetical job candidate.</p> <p>Respondents felt a person who lacked experience but had potential would be more successful than one with experience but fewer prospects for improvement.</p> <p><strong>9. Beware the gender disparity</strong></p> <div id="page9" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>According to Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, authors of Women Don’t Ask, 20 percent of women admit they don’t negotiate at all – and those who do negotiate ask for 30 percent less than men on average.</p> <p><strong>10. Don't fall prey to "negotiation myopia"</strong></p> <div id="page10" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>“Negotiation myopia” is a strategic mistake in which one party fails to see a solution that’s mutually beneficial. Look for a resolution with which both sides can be happy.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating"><strong>11. Update your boss regularly</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating"> <p>Update your boss regularly on your accomplishments.</p> <p>If you save them all for one session, you’re in danger of coming across as needy.</p> <p><strong>12. Have a fallback position</strong></p> <p>“If you’ve got a great Plan B, you’ll have a more powerful negotiation,” Latz says.</p> <p>“The easier it is to walk, the more likely you are to achieve your goals.”</p> <p><strong>13. Be soft on the person and hard on the problem</strong></p> <div id="page13" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Levitt says, “Ask yourself, ‘What do I want the other party to say or do at the end of the conversation?’ If the answer is, ‘Change into somebody else,’ that’s not an appropriate outcome.”</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Lara Zarum. This article first appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/13-things-you-should-know-about-negotiating" target="_blank">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> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Money & Banking

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4 money mistakes that are costing you thousands

<p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p><strong>1. Making only minimum payments on your credit card</strong></p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The solution:</span> <span>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>2. Buying coffee-to-go everyday</strong></p> <p>A daily cup of coffee on your way to work can cost you $10-$50 per week. Multiply this by 52 weeks in a year and that cost shoots up to $520-$2,600. And remember: that figure doesn’t even include the coffees you may purchase during your lunch breaks or on weekends.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The solution</span>: Purchase a travel mug, make your coffee at home and consider fancying up that cup of joe by adding vanilla or cinnamon. If you absolutely must have that store-bought coffee, buy yourself a coffee card and stick to an allowance of $25 per month.</p> <p><strong>3. Disregarding a weekly meal plan</strong></p> <p>We’ve all been there: you’re at the supermarket with your grocery list in hand and think to yourself, “Wait, do I already have this item in my pantry?” You purchase the product anyway, and lo and behold, it was sitting in your kitchen the entire time.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The solution</span>: Create a weekly or bi-weekly meal plan after checking your freezer, pantry and fridge for items you might already have. Apps will also allow you to shop the flyers, compare prices and price match. And of course, only buy what’s on your list.</p> <p><strong>4. Shopping without thinking</strong></p> <p>Impulse spending can wreak havoc on both your budget and your emotions – those “good vibes” from your purchase very quickly turn to feelings of guilt and shame.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The solution</span>: Figure out what triggers you using the TEMPO acronym – T: time; E: environment; M: mood; P: place; O: occasion – and find alternatives to spending money. In the meantime, consider leaving your credit and debit cards at home when you’re out and give yourself a guilt-free allowance.</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by </em><em>Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy</em><em>. This article first appeared in <a href="https://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> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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>

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