Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

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

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

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

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

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

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Why the benefits of a cashless society are greatly overrated

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

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Tips for eating a healthy diet on a tight budget

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

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

How price-matching puts you back in the driver’s seat

<p>With the internet, customers have never been so informed when it comes to prices on goods.</p> <p>This is where price matching comes in handy. Price matching allows customers to insist that a retailer offers the same price of an item if customers see it cheaper at another store, whether that be online or bricks-and-mortar.</p> <p>Harvey Norman’s chief operating officer John Slack-Smith has said that due to the increase in smartphones, this means customers were doing a quick search online and requesting price matches on the spot.</p> <p>“You’ll often see people in the shop talking to an employee while also on their phone looking at another business showing they can get the item elsewhere for cheaper and can they match it,” he said.</p> <p>“Customers have never been more informed about prices they are looking at, they will have researched prices across three or four retailers.</p> <p>“We are seeing that driving more customers back into traditional retail sources because they are going to chat with people to ask questions, or sometimes they just want to touch and feel the items.”</p> <p>Appliances Online’s head of customer support and content Harry Boileau says that prices are constantly fluctuating, so it’s important to keep an eye on the best price available.</p> <p>“It’s good to keep an eye out to find the best prices you can but you should also keep in mind what is included in the price,” he said.</p> <p>“It’s important to read the finer details of price matching from all retailers as most do not include delivery, installation and usually don’t apply after the purchase has been made.”</p> <p>Although something might be more expensive, it could include delivery and installation in the price.</p> <p>Some price matching tips include:</p> <ul> <li>Look online and in catalogues to see what the base price of an item is.</li> <li>Visit a store in person or online and ask for a price match if you’ve seen the item cheaper elsewhere.</li> <li>If the price of an item is cheaper within seven days of purchase, see if the retailer offers a refund of the difference.</li> </ul> <p>Do you have any price matching tips? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

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

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

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

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

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

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Bank programmer jailed after stealing $1.5 million from ATMs

<p>A bank programmer in China has been jailed after stealing $1.4 million in cash.</p> <p>The theft was due to Qin Qisheng noticing a loophole in Huaxi Bank’s system back in 2016.</p> <p>As the 43-year-old worked as a senior programmer at the bank, he came to realise that withdrawals that were completed close to midnight weren’t being recorded properly.</p> <p>After realising this, Qisheng inserted scripts into the system so he was able to “test” the issue without alerting staff.</p> <p>He then made test withdrawals of 20,000 Yuan (NZD$4324) to a dummy account for almost a year before being caught. By January 2018, he had withdrawn almost 7 million Yuan (NZD$1.5 million) without notifying anyone what he was up to.</p> <p>He was caught after depositing the funds into his own bank account, as well as investing some funds in the stock market.</p> <p>Hauxi Bank accepted the claims that Qisheng was investigating the glitch and dropped the case after he returned the funds.</p> <p>“Qin Qisheng said that the matter was complicated and involved lots of work … he believed the bank would not pay attention even if he reported it,” the <a href="https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2184883/chinese-banks-software-chief-jailed-after-finding-way-withdraw"><em>South China Morning Post</em></a> reported a bank representative as saying during the trial.</p> <p>“We think this reason for not reporting is legitimate.”</p> <p>However, even though the company dropped the charges, this was not enough to save Qisheng from 10-and-a-half years of jail time, as well as a fine of 11,000 Yuan (AUD$2378).</p> <p>“On the one hand, (the bank) said that the accused’s behaviour was in violation of the rules. On the other hand, he said that he could conduct relevant tests. This is self-contradictory,” the judge said.</p> <p>The flaw that caused Qisheng to be able to withdraw the funds has now been fixed.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

The 50+ financial checklist

<p>Hitting the half-century mark can be a significant milestone for many of us. It often sees the advent of a new stage of life, where the nest may be emptying, the mortgage may be shrinking, and thoughts of newfound recreational time and retirement may be stirring the imagination.</p> <p>It is also an age at which some key financial planning decisions take on more significance, so that unwanted consequences can be avoided.</p> <p>Damon Smith, wealth adviser from Macquarie Wealth Management, stresses the importance of getting organised once you reach your 50s.</p> <p>“Longevity risk is a major issue for clients in their 50s. It’s the risk that you live longer than your money can last. I find many clients in their 50s have been concentrating on putting kids through school or paying off their home. Of course these are important goals, but once you get to 50 it is also a critical time to turn your attention to your superannuation.”</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">The “big ticket” question</strong><span> </span></p> <p>The number one question for anyone’s retirement is “how much is enough”? To break this down, you need a clear picture of:</p> <ul> <li>what age you want to retire</li> <li>what sort of income you want in retirement to support your desired lifestyle</li> <li>what other major spending intentions you have once retired (travel, boat, motorhome)</li> <li>how much retirement capital you will need to fund it all.</li> </ul> <p>If you can’t answer these questions definitively by the time you are in your 50s, then you really need to act right away.</p> <p>“The answer to the question, ‘Do I have enough for retirement?’ is different for every client,” explains Smith. “[It is] based on not only how much they have saved, but also what they intend to spend. Even if you feel unprepared for retirement, there’s still time, but acting quickly is essential.”</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Will you retire gradually or suddenly?</strong><span> </span></p> <p>While many of us look forward to leaving work behind permanently, there are some who will prefer to continue part-time work for financial, social, or mental health reasons. Fortunately, it may well be possible to access your super and qualify for the age pension while earning income. However, understanding the rules, age limits, and exemptions is critical to making the most of your situation.</p> <p>If you want to continue part-time work, a financial adviser can help you analyse your position, and structure your finances to maximise your outcomes and entitlements.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Will you downsize your home?</strong><span> </span></p> <p>A large family home often becomes less practical and less affordable once you close in on retirement. Because of this, many are attracted to the idea of selling up to move into something more manageable, or even into a retirement village.</p> <p>While this is a perfectly reasonable and practical step to take, you need to be careful about how it may affect your taxation, social security, and investment situation. Getting some savvy advice on this now may save a lot of stress later.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Helping your kids get established</strong><span> </span></p> <p>The upheavals in home affordability and employment opportunities in recent years have seen an increased emphasis in parents helping their adult children to financially establish an independent life. This can add a new dimension to your retirement plan, as you wrestle with questions such as:</p> <ul> <li>what are the ramifications of giving your kids a loan or a cash handout to help them with a home deposit?</li> <li>what are the pros and cons of being a guarantor for their mortgage?</li> <li>is buying a property jointly with them a good idea and what are the risks?</li> </ul> <p>Smith emphasises the importance of factoring in such issues into your own planning:</p> <p>“Many clients want to give their kids a financial helping hand, but don’t always know the impact it can have on their own situation. It’s fine to give your offspring the help they need, but you need to be careful that you don’t put your own future security at risk. Using a financial adviser can help you weigh up the pros and cons and make balanced decisions.”</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Passing things on to the next generation</strong><span> </span></p> <p>Hitting your 50s can often give you a keener sense of your own mortality. In turn, this may provoke thoughts of how your estate will be passed on to your beneficiaries.</p> <p>As you delve into this issue, it can quickly reveal a whole range of issues that need attention where prompt action is required. For example:</p> <ul> <li>who will make legal and medical decisions for you and your spouse if either or both of you one day become unable to make them for yourself?</li> <li>is a will alone enough to ensure that what you pass on will actually get to the beneficiaries you intend?</li> <li>do you have legal vehicles, such as testamentary trusts, set up to ensure your estate is not squandered after you have gone?</li> <li>who will your superannuation benefits be paid to, given that they are generally not covered by your will?</li> </ul> <p>As Smith counsels: “A well-thought out estate plan is not just about making sure your assets are directed where you want them to go, but also about managing some major tax impacts and taking full advantage of the opportunities for planning.”</p> <p>Have you thought about these questions? Let us know in the comments.</p> <p><em>Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/the-50-plus-financial-checklist.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

This misconception surrounding wealth just won’t die

<p>Many of us have preconceived ideas about what it means to be wealthy. Whether you drive a nice car, live in a house that has as many rooms as it does bathrooms, everyone has a vision of what wealth means to them.</p> <p>However, there seems to be one idea that just won’t die out: the idea that income equals wealth.</p> <p>Sarah Stanley Fallaw, director of research for the Affluent Market Institute, has interviewed 600 millionaires in America.</p> <p>“It continues to be the assumption of those who increase consumption as their income increases that they are the same,” she explained in her book <em>The Next Millionaire Next Door: Enduring Strategies for Building Wealth</em>.</p> <p>“Believing this myth gives the false perception that those who appear to be rich (neighbours driving luxury cars or friends in $US200-plus jeans) are wealthy when in fact it only means they spent more than real millionaires on these purchases.”</p> <p>It seems like many people are getting their wires crossed when it comes to understanding income and wealth.</p> <p>Wealth refers to the net worth of a household, which is all of the household’s assets minus all of its liabilities.</p> <p>Income is what is reported on your tax return.</p> <p>A self-made millionaire, Chris Reining, <span><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au/self-made-millionaire-early-retirement-defines-rich-2018-7">previously told <em>Business Insider</em></a></span> that people are more attracted to spending like a rich person.</p> <p>“When people say they want to be rich, what they’re saying is they want to spend like a rich person. They’re focusing on earning a big pay cheque.</p> <p>“But that’s not the definition of being rich,” Reining said. “The definition of being rich is having assets generating income that exceed your standard of living.”</p> <p>Did you know what the difference between wealth and income was? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

“It gave people fodder”: The impact of Jamie Oliver's fall from grace

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Within the past few years, Jamie Oliver has faced some of the biggest challenges of his career.</p> <p>Since his first appearance on <em>The Naked Chef</em> in 1999, the celebrity chef had gone on to achieve success through numerous hit television shows, cookbooks, charities and health campaigns. However, the 43-year-old is now dealing with a troubled business empire and a series of controversies that has reportedly turned fans away.</p> <p>Public relations expert Catriona Pollard said Oliver’s downfall was caused by blunders such as overexposure, actions that do not match his personal brand, and failure to address public criticisms.</p> <p>Oliver’s image as a healthy everyday cook does not hold up with his actions, Pollard told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/other-industries/expert-reveals-where-it-all-went-wrong-for-celebrity-chef-jamie-oliver/news-story/34ba7db90c12c01fbe704f820f432591"><em>news.com.au</em></a>.</p> <p>Oliver was well-known for his easy, budget-friendly recipes, as shown in the television show <em>Jamie’s Money Saving Meals</em>. However, his eateries are priced on a premium.</p> <p>Last year, Oliver said the chain had “run out of cash” and closed 12 of the restaurants in Britain.</p> <p>“You can buy one of his books for $20, or watch his TV show for free,” said Pollard. “But a lot of his restaurants sold expensive meals … which didn’t really stack up for people.”</p> <p>Pollard said linking his name to the restaurants was a mistake, as their failures would be connected to his personal reputation.</p> <p>Oliver is also a proud advocate of healthy foods and sustainability as the UN Environment’s environmental champion. The public was quick to accuse Oliver of hypocrisy after the chef signed a £5 million (NZ$9.5 million) deal with petrol giant Shell, which is one of the top 10 greenhouse gas-producing companies in the world.</p> <p>“Jamie Oliver has a very distinct personal brand linked to very distinctive values,” said Pollard.</p> <p>“He’s so outspoken when it comes to things like healthy eating and the environmental impacts of climate change, which is great, but … the deal with Shell was seen as negatively straying from that very distinct brand.</p> <p>“It gave people fodder and they started to change their opinions of him. That backlash was caused because people thought he wasn’t behaving the way they thought he should.”</p> <p>On Monday, the chef was also revealed to have been an informal advisor to McDonald’s for years, despite having dubbed their burgers as “not fit for human consumption” in 2011.</p> <p>Pollard also noted Oliver’s media gaffes as one of the reasons the public is turning away from the Brit. While Oliver said nothing on the Shell deal, he revealed the royal family’s rejection to his offer to cater for Prince Harry’s wedding.</p> <p>“He absolutely should have kept quiet at a time when people were already questioning his reputation — it was not a very sensible thing to do, to say he was snubbed by one of the most watched marriages in recent history,” she said.</p> <p>“It made people think [the royals] didn’t want to be associated with him, which was a misstep.”</p> <p>Pollard said it is not too late for Oliver to address these problems. “He’s absolutely not down and out — but he needs to think twice before saying something in future … and look back at what made him great in the first place, and make sure he stays aligned to those values people were attracted to.”</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

6 surprising ways you are wasting money

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

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

The Queen's staff go on strike: Outraged over "inferior" pension payments

<p>Some of the Queen’s staff have gone on a strike over a pension dispute.</p> <p>Staff who work for Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), a charity managed on behalf of the Queen, gathered to picket outside the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace on Tuesday, in a row over their pensions package.</p> <p>The GMB union’s regional organiser Michael Ainsley said workers are furious after HRP commissioned expensive cakes for a royal campaign while pensions for the staff are getting replaced by an “inferior” model.</p> <p>Discussions between the union and the charity reached a stalemate as the GMB said HRP’s offer for the affected 120 employees was “not good enough”.</p> <p>However, the row continued following HRP’s cake campaign.</p> <p>“Our members’ disappointment turned to fury however when they were made aware that HRP had commissioned several elaborate and very expensive cakes from Choccywoccydoodah, to launch a new campaign,” said Ainsley.</p> <p>“The crass insensitivity shown by HRP in squandering money in this way while telling employees that their pensions are unsustainable is incredible. Perhaps HRP consider it better to ‘let them eat cake’ in their retirement instead of them being able to buy groceries or pay rent and utilities bills.”</p> <p>Staff voted to support strike action, with 91 per cent in favour after a turnout of 88 per cent.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 333.49609375px;" src="/media/7823005/gettyimages-1078742616.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/cb5c65712d0a46aca0313ae167d79f05" /></p> <p>HRP’s chief executive John Barnes said the Tuesday strike would not impact the running of the sites.</p> <p>“The strike follows a negotiation with the trade unions in January, where we improved upon our already generous offer to scheme members,” said Barnes.</p> <p>“We have already offered substantial compensation and transition arrangements to the 11 per cent of our staff who are affected.</p> <p>“We believe our last offer to be a generous one, and while we respect the rights of trade union members to take industrial action, we will not be changing our decision to close the Defined Benefit scheme.”</p> <p>The pension scheme, which includes an employer’s contribution of 33 per cent, is set to be closed and replaced by April.</p> <p>“[The scheme] is financially unsustainable, and closing it will enable us to increase employer contributions to pensions for everyone by two per cent – an offer that is fundamentally fairer to our entire workforce,” said Barnes.</p> <p>Three more strike actions have been planned for February 6, 16 and 21. </p> <p>“GMB remains committed to achieving a negotiated settlement but HRP need to get real with what they’re offering our members,” said Ainsley.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

The $9 cleaning hack people are going crazy for

<p>This $5 cleaning hack is bound to help you out when you’re tackling your household chores.</p> <p>A Facebook group called Mums Who Clean have discovered a fast and easy hack to getting dirt out of lounges, tiles and bad odour out of shoes.</p> <p>A member of the group shared her story, where she used Polident to clean her lounge. Polident, which retails for around $9, is a denture cleaner that has very impressive cleaning properties.</p> <p>After mixing warm water and three tablets of the denture cleaner, she got to work cleaning her lounge. Once she let the solution sit on the lounge for five minutes, she scrubbed the sofa “hard” with a dishwashing brush and using a towel to absorb the dirty water.</p> <p>“It has come out great,” she wrote</p> <p>“Our sofa is about five or six years old and this is the first time we’ve cleaned it.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7822985/polident.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/89cd2689432b41e8a882a888fa24a64b" /></p> <p>After seeing the post, another group member decided to clean her bathroom tiles with it.</p> <p>“I used the Polident whitening ones tablets, put two in a spray bottle with water,” she shared.</p> <p>“The whole bathroom floor took me with 40min with toothbrush. Sure a grout brush would of quicker.”</p> <p>She was very impressed with her results!</p> <p>Another group member has used the product to remove the smell from stinky shoes.</p> <p>“My shoes were already yellow so I had nothing to lose,” she wrote. “But after I left them to soak in Polident over night and now they are like new!”</p> <p>However, this group member had to use six tablets instead of the two or three like the others had.</p> <p>Many group members have been enjoying the fact that the product is not toxic and they no longer have to breathe in the chemicals while cleaning. Biome warned <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/aussies-are-going-nuts-for-this-5-cleaning-hack/news-story/50a6c50c797c4973d1eef0a6d65873e0" target="_blank">news.com.au </a>that the product itself isn’t completely toxin free.</p> <p>“It’s not completely toxin free, but its main ingredients are bicarb soda and citric acid — which is a take on the old fashioned cleaner of bicarb and vinegar.</p> <p>“Brands like White King and Exit Mould will smack you in the face with their chemical fumes, but oxygen bleach is different.</p> <p>“For an even cheaper option and a 100 per cent toxin free alternative, I’d recommend mixing bicarb soda with white vinegar.”</p> <p>Did you know about this Polident cleaing hack? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Helping your adult kids to be financially savvy

<p>It is human nature for parents to want to provide for their children but at some point, the “help” you may be giving them could actually be more of a hindrance to them gaining their own financial independence. Cash handouts to pay for mobile phone costs, car servicing, and health insurance may be insulating your adult children from the realities of financial life — stunting their financial literacy and growth.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Your financial future is at stake</strong></p> <p>The flip side of the nest not being empty is that your retirement lifestyle could be at risk. If you are 50 or older, now is the time to be setting yourself up for the future and making the most of every discretionary dollar for the development of your nest egg. If you are operating the “bank of mum and dad” for your kids instead of building your retirement, it could mean you need to work longer or compromise your retired lifestyle.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Helping them become financially savvy</strong></p> <p>So, what can you do to help your kids get a grip on their situation and gain financial responsibility? The short answer to this question is “plenty”!</p> <p>You can give your children the financial wherewithal to build their financial maturity and growth, through positive encouragement and tangible education on the financial life skills they will need. This doesn’t mean you should suddenly “cut them off”, but it does mean you need to begin a serious discussion with them about the costs of maintaining their lifestyle and determine a timeline for passing over responsibility to them.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Budgeting is the foundation</strong></p> <p>The harsh realities of needing to budget income and spend judiciously cannot be avoided if your children are to stand on their own two feet. If you have been putting food on the table and a roof over their head, chances are their income has been directed toward spending on their own entertainment and enjoyment. Giving them an understanding of budgeting is critical for them to gain a broader view of what it takes to survive and prosper financially.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are plenty of budgeting tools available online or through banks, which you can encourage them to use and help them to complete. This will give them an understanding of the scope and scale of spending required to live independently, as well as an appreciation of the differences between essential living expenses (such as food, utilities, communication, transport, and rent) and discretionary spending (such as eating out, entertainment, gaming, and hobbies).</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Developing responsible habits</strong></p> <p>An extension of the budgeting process is to educate them on the vital importance of saving regularly from their income. Start with a simple rule of saving a set percentage of everything they earn. This can then be developed into goal-oriented saving for various objectives they consider important and worth sacrificing for.</p> <p>If you do want to provide some form of financial support, rather than giving random handouts toward immediate needs, perhaps you can offer to match their savings dollar for dollar in support of something worthwhile, such as a home deposit, rental bond, or a business venture. This gives real incentive to form solid saving habits that will benefit them throughout their life.</p> <p>Educating on credit is also essential. With the accessibility of credit cards and financing offers on major purchases, it is easy for them to quickly rack up personal debts that can demoralise them and distort their financial priorities. Analysing a month’s spending may point out where their income is being squandered or wasted, and will help you identify how they can save and achieve major purchases through their own income, rather than by resorting to credit.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Creating wealth slowly</strong></p> <p>In a society that is focused on instant gratification, easy credit, and an expectation of getting what you want right away, your children may view the concept of creating financial independence as something that can only happen through outrageous luck or taking huge risks for quick gain. Therefore, one of the most vital lessons you can pass on is the value and importance of creating wealth slowly.</p> <p>Real financial independence is not the result of a lottery win or riding the back of an investment boom — rather it is the result of forming sound investment practices such as:</p> <ul> <li>Allocating a certain proportion of your regular savings toward longterm wealth creation plans</li> <li>Utilising available tools that accelerate wealth, such as superannuation tax incentives</li> <li>Diversifying investments beyond bank term deposits and into a variety of asset classes that relate to your investment time horizons</li> <li>Planning for contingencies (such as sudden loss of income or emergency expenses) by establishing an emergency savings plan and personal insurance protection plans</li> <li>Seeking the advice of a financial adviser to coordinate all of the above, and to develop a lifelong plan and strategy for wealth creation.</li> </ul> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Start the conversation now</strong></p> <p>Delaying the steps outlined here may result in an ongoing cycle of dependence that will only become harder to break if it isn’t addressed. Begin the conversation with your children now, and ease them toward financial responsibility with some positive encouragement and agreed goals on budgeting, spending, debt management, saving, and investing.</p> <p>What ideas have you found useful for encouraging adult kids to take on financial independence? Share your thoughts below.</p> <p><em>Written by Bridges. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/helping-your-adult-kids-to-be-financially-savvy.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

How to change your mindset about money

<p>We’ve all heard money sayings like “money can’t buy you happiness.” Some of us even use these sayings regularly, but have you ever stopped to think about how true these statements really are? In fact, it may be that believing in these myths about money is holding us back from achieving financial freedom.</p> <p>“Everything we know about money has been learned from others, but this advice could actually be bad advice,” says Benjamin J Harvey, co-founder of training company,<span> </span><span>Authentic Education</span>.</p> <p>With this in mind, it makes good sense to revaluate our attitudes to personal finances to prevent limiting beliefs from stopping us becoming wealthy. Here we show you how.</p> <p><strong><span class="bigger-text">What’s our wealth imprint?</span></strong></p> <p>We start developing our views about wealth and money from a really young age. “Psychologists say our beliefs about money are set as early as age six,” says Harvey.</p> <p>He says our overall view about money is called our ‘wealth imprint.’ We get our wealth imprint from friends, the media, our parents and by developing our own views and this imprint has an unconscious impact on our relationship with money.</p> <p>“We may see our parents argue about money and decide that money is bad, or hear our friends complain about greedy rich people and decide we never want to be rich,” says Harvey. Although we may not know we’re even doing it, we could be accepting these ideas as being true.</p> <p><strong><span class="bigger-text">Why our wealth imprint is so important</span></strong></p> <p>According to Harvey, our wealth imprint often reinforces those money myths that prevent us from achieving financial freedom. As Harvey explains, it’s not that these money myths are completely untrue, but that they represent an unbalanced and limiting opinion about money.</p> <p>“If you look at the popular money and happiness myth, it’s certainly true that money can’t buy happiness, but at the same time if you are always broke, you will probably experience unhappiness, “ he says.</p> <p>“Similarly if you believe the money myth, ‘It’s selfish to want a lot of money’, then you’re less likely to attract as much wealth as someone who has a more empowering belief such as, ‘The more money I have, the more good I can do for society and the world’,” says Harvey.</p> <p>Therefore, by having a one-sided view about these statements, it often means we are trapped in a negative pattern of belief that may well become true for us.</p> <p><strong><span class="bigger-text">Another common money myth</span></strong></p> <p>One of the biggest money myths is, “I’m too old to build wealth now.” This belief is entirely untrue, says Harvey. “Your earning capacity isn’t limited by your age.</p> <p>“There are many well-known examples of older people obtaining a level of financial success that allows them to expand their wealth.” One well-known example is Colonel Harland David Sanders, the founder of the fast food chain KFC. Colonel Sanders didn’t start the KFC business until he was 62 years old and he sold it in 1964 at the age of 73, for $2 million (roughly the equivalent of 16 million today).</p> <p><strong><span class="bigger-text">One way we can overcome our limiting beliefs</span></strong></p> <p>The human mind is very adaptable and it’s quite possible for us to change our limiting beliefs about money. Harvey says a simple, but powerful, way to change a limiting belief is to:</p> <ol> <li>First identify the limiting belief</li> <li>Identify a more empowering belief</li> <li>Reinforce this new belief by writing it down and reading it to yourself every morning and night</li> </ol> <p><em><strong>What strategies have you found helpful to change how you think about money?</strong></em></p> <p><em>Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/how-to-change-your-mindset-about-money.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Unruly tourist’s Bunnings hat for sale in hilarious ad

<p>It’s only been a few days since the young foul-mouthed tourists who wreaked havoc in New Zealand made headlines for telling locals he was “going to punch your brains out” and now, in true internet fashion, the iconic Bunnings hat he was donning is being “auctioned” in an ad.</p> <p>A Kiwi woman took to the world wide web on Wednesday evening to list a size 12 Bunnings hat for sale, with the price starting at $NZ1.</p> <p>The woman’s hilarious product description included how she came across the hat, which she claims was found near Takapuna Beach – the location where the rowdy tourists were filmed igniting a feud with locals, according to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&amp;objectid=12191671" target="_blank"><em>New Zealand Herald</em></a>.</p> <p><span>The seller also takes no responsibility for what comes out of the wearer's mouth, as she claims the hat may incite foul language.</span></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/BsnAdp3F-PD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" 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/BsnAdp3F-PD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Bunnings Hat (@bloodybunningshat)</a> on Jan 14, 2019 at 1:12am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Bunnings hat. Used condition. Found near Takapuna Beach discarded. Although this is a very attractive and stylish hat, I cannot be responsible for any obscenities that may flow from your mouth or rude hand gestures while wearing the hat,” the seller wrote.</p> <p>It has been reported that the tourists caused chaos throughout Auckland and Hamilton restaurants as they claimed to have found ants and hair in their food, before demanding a refund.</p> <p>The hat seller chose to take it another step further after 26-year-old Tina Marie Cash admitted to shoplifting at a Caltex station in Albany.</p> <p>“User beware. Not recommended for children even under adult supervision. This hat has no ants or hair in it. Could be useful if you decide to go travelling to see our beautiful country, perhaps see the Hobbits?</p> <p>“One size fits all. There are no sunglasses or rope with this purchase. Similar to one shown.”</p> <p>Currently the bid is at NZ$101 with 23 bids in total.</p> <p>Those who came across the witty ad decided to get involved by asking a few safety questions about the hat.</p> <p>“If I wear this hat will it give me anger issues?” asked one person, to which the seller replied: “I cannot guarantee that you will not have outbursts while wearing this hat. May be the hat that has issues or the wearer of the hat.”</p> <p>The seller says all proceeds made from the item will be donated to Auckland’s Mercy Hospice. </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Make your retirement funds go the distance

<p>You only get one shot at going into retirement, so it is essential that you go in with your eyes wide open. That means being aware of where your income may be coming from, how to plan for living and recreational expenses, and making decisions that are balanced and have an eye on the long term.</p> <p>The earlier you start preparing, the more options you will have, so here are some top tips to get the ball rolling.</p> <p><strong>Where do you stand now?</strong><br />Even if you haven’t been especially concerned about financial planning throughout your working life, it is important to do so as you enter retirement, where you are no longer able to rely on earned income.</p> <p>The first part of the planning process is to get a clear understanding of where you currently stand financially. What assets do you have and what are they worth? This includes your home, your savings and investments accounts, your superannuation, and your possessions.</p> <p><strong>Key dates to be aware of</strong><br />The next step is to establish the key milestones as you transition to retirement. The first milestone is your “preservation age” — the age at which you can access your super. Provided you have retired from the workforce, the minimum preservation age is 55 years if you were born before July 1960. This age increases on a sliding scale up to age 60 for those born after June 1964.</p> <p>The second milestone is the age at which you are eligible for the age pension. For those born before July 1952, this will be 65. For those younger than that, it can be as high as age 67, depending on your date of birth. Eligibility also depends on the income and assets tests.</p> <p><strong>Plan around your lifestyle decisions</strong><br />Once you know when your super and pension income will kick in, you can start to plan your finances around the lifestyle activities you want to engage in during the potentially long years of retirement ahead. For example, you may want to:</p> <ul> <li>Travel in the earlier stages of retirement, before settling down</li> <li>Make some renovations around the home in the earlier years, so you don’t have to worry about them later</li> <li>Make major recreational purchases, such as a boat or motorhome</li> <li>Downsize your home or move to a retirement village down the track</li> </ul> <p>Ideally, all of these major lifestyle decisions should be projected early, so that you can allocate funds for them, decide where those funds should be drawn from, and ensure that you have enough left to generate an ongoing income.</p> <p><strong>Assess your income options</strong><br />Get a clear picture of where your retirement income may come from. This could include:</p> <ul> <li>Income from super</li> <li>Investments outside super</li> <li>Part-time employment</li> <li>The age pension</li> <li>Home equity release or selling the family home</li> </ul> <p>In assessing these income sources, you need to consider whether one may impact another. For example, selling the family home or working part-time may impact your age pension.</p> <p><strong>Take full advantage of entitlements</strong><br />While the age pension on its own may not be enough to fund the lifestyle you want to enjoy, it can certainly be a handy supplement to your ongoing living income. Apart from the pension itself, there may also be other benefits, such as travel concessions, cheaper medicines, and reduced council and water rates, which can translate into a significant amount of savings every year.</p> <p>Structuring your investments to maximise entitlements is therefore a critical issue and some professional financial advice can make a big difference in that regard.</p> <p><strong>Is work an option?</strong><br />Not everyone is particularly keen on making a sudden shift from full-time work to full-time leisure, so if you are still interested in continuing to work part-time, it can help you delay drawing down on your super and other assets.</p> <p>There are incentives within the social security system to encourage this, so seek advice to see how it may be a good option for you financially.</p> <p><strong>Budgeting is essential</strong><br />There may be a temptation to splurge a little when you first receive a large lump sum from your super, but make sure you project your living expenses properly before taking the plunge.</p> <p>More than ever, a simple budget is essential to ensure you don’t outlive your income in retirement, so ask for advice and get things in writing to make it as tangible as possible.</p> <p>Don’t forget to include emergency funds in your budget to take care of any surprises or spikes in expenses, such as unexpected illness, a house move, or a family crisis.</p> <p><strong>Get advice early</strong> <br />As you can see from the factors mentioned here, there are many interconnected elements to planning income and expenses for retirement: speak to a financial planner to help put the puzzle together, structure a diversified investment strategy, maximise entitlements, and map out your lifestyle and living expense needs.</p> <p>What are your biggest concerns about getting through retirement without financial worry? Share your thoughts below.</p> <p><em>Written by Bridges. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/make-your-retirement-funds-go-the-distance.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></span>.</em></p>

Money & Banking