Retirement Income

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How much should I have in my emergency fund?

<p>An emergency fund is exactly that - it’s the money that will tide you over when an emergency happens.</p> <p>This includes losing your job, having to pay for urgent home or car repairs, and to pay for medical and dental emergencies.</p> <p>Because it’s meant to be accessed quickly, you should keep your emergency funds in a liquid bank account.</p> <p><strong>How much do I need?</strong></p> <p>First you should know how much you spend in a month.</p> <p>Keep track of your expenses for three to four months.</p> <p>You should already start saving some money while you do this exercise.<br /> <br />An emergency fund should only be used to cover the necessities and not the luxuries, which means bills such as transportation, utilities, groceries and your rent or mortgage.</p> <p>You should not be using this money for holidays or shopping.</p> <p><strong>How much should I save?</strong></p> <p>Once you know your monthly expenses, start working towards saving three months’ worth.</p> <p>For example, if you need $3000 a month to cover all your bills, you should have $9000 squared away for emergencies.</p> <p>Having that amount will give you peace of mind that you can weather the storm until you get back on your feet.<br /> <br />While it’s a good start, three months’ worth of savings is not nearly enough to cover larger costs.</p> <p>For example, if you lose your job, it may take you several months to find a suitable replacement.</p> <p>Which is why you should keep going and work towards having six months’ worth of expenses set aside.<br /> <br />One financial expert, former TV host Suze Orman, even advocates setting aside eight to 12 months’ worth of expenses to feel truly secure.</p> <p><strong>How can I start saving money?</strong></p> <p>No matter how much you earn, try sticking to the 50-20-30 rule.</p> <p>This means not more than 50 percent of your income should go towards living expenses and essentials, while 20 percent should go towards savings, investments and reducing your debt.</p> <p>The final 30 percent should be used for discretionary spending, such as travel, gifts and entertainment.</p> <p>Adjust your spending accordingly using the guide.</p> <p>For example, if you’re consistently exceeding 30 percent of your pay on discretionary spending, you might need to find cheaper entertainment alternatives or cut down on nights out.</p> <p>And if you’re just starting out, you might want to save a little more aggressively in order to squirrel away that emergency cash.</p> <p><strong>Do I keep going once I complete my emergency fund?</strong></p> <p>After you’re satisfied that the amount in your fund will keep you secure for a good amount of time, you should look into saving money for other purposes, such as buying a home of your own, or your retirement.</p> <p>You may even want to explore investing for potentially higher returns.</p> <p>Be aware though that investments come with risks, so you should speak with a qualified financial consultant whom you trust before committing to any investments.</p> <p>And, of course, if you ever need to withdraw from your emergency fund, you should start building it back up again as soon as you’re able.</p> <p><em>Written by Siti Rohani. This article first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/how-much-should-i-have-my-emergency-fund?items_per_page=All">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="https://www.isubscribe.com.au/Readers-Digest-Magazine-Subscription.cfm">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Why you need to invest in yourself to retire well

<p>I have a particularly resourceful friend who lives a pretty good life, despite never having quite enough money.</p> <p>She is hardworking and popular with her wide circle of friends, neighbours and colleagues. She networks, barters and works for what she really wants.</p> <p>A former chef turned teacher, she finessed enough grant money to pay for a two-week trip to cooking school in Italy. She knows where all the good used furniture stores are, has bartered home cleaning for a two-week stay in a holiday home, and is working on an arrangement now that will get her free housing in France for several weeks this summer. Tres bien!</p> <p>I'm pretty sure my friend will do really well in retirement, though I strongly suspect she has nowhere near the $1-million plus that you would think her lifestyle would require. She has a different kind of capital: skills, smarts, and a great social network.</p> <p>"Everyone is focused on the money, but when somebody retires, they usually manage," said Larry Cohen, director of Consumer Financial Decisions, a consulting group that studies consumer behaviour. "If they don't have the money, they have human capital like skills and education, and social capital in terms of friends, neighbours or a church. All these things help."</p> <p>Cohen predicts: "The (retirement) solutions for the future are going to involve more of these other forms of capital."</p> <p>Experts are increasingly focusing on the non-financial assets that workers can bring into retirement to help them manage on fewer dollars than might be optimal.</p> <p>So what are the best non-financial forms of capital that pre-retirees can invest in now to insure a good retirement? Here are a few.</p> <p><strong>Investing knowledge</strong></p> <p>Nothing good can come of being uninformed about investing. The more you know, the more you can grow small contributions into a retirement kitty you can live off of. Break it into small bits and learn a little every month. Learning about stocks, taxes, portfolio management and the like will help you, at the very least, choose the right adviser. And it will also help you stretch your income after retirement.</p> <p><strong>Money-earning skill</strong></p> <p>The baby boom may well have psychological problems adjusting to the "withdrawal" era of their lives. It could be harder than you think to find money to see a movie or make a car payment. So develop something now that can earn money in the future. Some popular money-earning side business include TradeMe sales, handyman work, cooking, babysitting and driving.</p> <p><strong>Money-saving skills</strong></p> <p>Gardening, appliance repair, lawn mowing, scratch cooking, vacuuming ... got it? If you're the kind of person who currently pays others to do all of these things for you remember this: In retirement you'll have more time and less money.</p> <p><strong>Friends and neighbours</strong></p> <p>Can you drive each other to the airport? Share big bargain packages of toilet paper and tomatoes? Check in on each other when you haven't surfaced for a while? Does someone in the crowd make their own tomato sauce and another fix cars? Or own a beach house or a garden tiller? There's no end to the savings that a supportive collective like that can generate. And, of course, people who are connected to others enjoy life more and may be able to entertain themselves more cheaply.</p> <p><strong>Best body possible</strong></p> <p>The better shape you are in going into retirement, the less you'll spend on pain pills, back braces and more. Of course, you can't control everything that befalls you, but moving into retirement with strong bones and muscles, a good sense of balance, and cardiovascular fitness will improve your retirement fun and cut your retirement expenses.</p> <p><strong>Craftiness</strong></p> <p>Retirement can be like a second chance; the rules come off and you can do things you might not have considered while you were in your main buttoned-down job. Practice creativity now, just like my friend, and you'll be ahead of the game when your new job is making that smaller-than-you'd-hoped retirement fund last a long and happy time.</p> <p>Do you agree with this advice?</p> <p><em>Written by Linda Stern. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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How to really stretch a dollar

<p>Some 'rich' people appear extremely well off. They earn a lot of money, drive expensive cars and live in gorgeous houses. What you may not realise is that a large proportion of these people are living on credit, or relying on the astronomical incomes to continue indefinitely. Or both.</p> <p>When something goes wrong, the car goes back to the lease company. The house goes mortgagee. Their clothes are worthless, their luxuries reduced dramatically in value and all they really have left are photos and memories - and the urgent desire to go back to their old way of life.</p> <p>I have seen this happen so many times. Twice with families that have won first division Lotto. Within a handful of years they were broke again. Why? They take pride in how much they paid for things and in being able to afford whatever they like and let tomorrow worry about itself. </p> <p>The other kind of 'rich' person actually has money in the bank. They are less likely to drive sports cars or head overseas for holidays. But they own everything they have and continue to build on it.</p> <p>If something goes wrong, no-one is going to walk in and take the house. In fact, you will probably find they have a back-up plan to tide them over if need be. These people take pride in how hard they worked for their money and in how hard they made their money work for them. They are also very aware of where they want to be when tomorrow comes.</p> <p>Here are some tips to help you save.</p> <p><strong>1. Don't pay interest.</strong></p> <p>You are essentially paying (a lot) for the privilege of not waiting. If you can't afford to save up for something, you can't afford the repayments. As a bonus, your savings earn you interest. If you have no choice but to borrow, look for no interest deals, or shop around for the best rates and make paying the debt off you top priority.</p> <p>Penalty fees for late payment on bills does count as interest, as does interest on overdrafts (get rid of them) and credit cards (if you can't pay the entire balance every month reduce the credit limit to what you can pay or cut it up).</p> <p><strong>2. Investment or expense?</strong></p> <p>Whatever you are buying, consider whether it is an investment or an expense. Consider cost vs usage, quality, warranty value, running costs. Paying 20 per cent more for something that lasts twice as long is an investment. Paying more for a pretty colour is not.</p> <p>Paying $100 for a quality outfit you will wear every week is more of an investment that $30 for something you will wear twice. When considering a freezer I compared cost and running expenses with savings from bulk buying and resale value. This helped us decide what we were prepared to spend, and whether it was an investment.</p> <p>Don't assume that just because something is branded or expensive it is well made. Likewise with things that are cheap. Observe and research.</p> <p><strong>3. Shop around.</strong></p> <p>Compare prices, brands, quality. I essentially got a free bottle of milk each week by going to one local dairy instead of the other. Loose carrots are usually cheaper than bagged. Meat in bulk from the butcher and fruit from the markets cut a third off my weekly food bills. It all adds up. Assume nothing, and do the math yourself.</p> <p><strong>4. Waste not want not, as Gran always said.</strong></p> <p>Known these days as Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Do you need to buy something new? Look at buying second hand, or even better, re-purposing or fixing something you already have.</p> <p>Recovering an old lounge suite is cheaper than buying a new one, and will probably last a lot longer for being better made in the first place. Most of our furniture is second hand, or off the road side. Fixed up, no-one can ever tell - even people who used to own it.</p> <p>Trade kids clothes with friends. Make your scraps into compost and grow veges, or pinch cuttings to grow for your own garden. Replace the buttons that make your jacket look dated. Reuse wrapping and ribbons and make old greeting cards into new ones. Throw leftovers in the freezer for quick and easy meals.</p> <p>Most important and easiest of all - look after what you do have. The actual multimillionaires I know do these things, and yet most of my 'broke' friends seem embarrassed to.</p> <p><strong>5. Alternative methods of acquirement.</strong></p> <p>Ask for something (or money towards it) for birthdays and Christmas. Whether it's a fancy beauty cream, new tool, whatever. When we were kids Santa would often pop new lunchboxes and stationary for the coming year into our stockings. Santa was still cool. Vouchers (even home made ones) for outings the kids have been begging for also make great gifts or rewards, and kill two birds with one stone.</p> <p><strong>6. Buy your own house.</strong></p> <p>Accommodation takes the largest portion of your weekly income, and when it's paid to rent you get no return on that money at all. Save up as much as you can for the deposit, and choose carefully. It is the biggest investment you'll ever make, but don't expect the first house you buy to be the one you spend the rest of your life in. View it more as a stepping stone, with the long term resale uppermost in your mind.</p> <p>You can insulate, change the interior decor and landscaping, or possibly renovate to increase value. You can't change the area it's in (or local plans for that area), the local schools or environment, or where the sun rises and sets. Look harder at the area than the house, but ensure the house is solid and sunny. The costs of renting far outweigh the interest costs when the resale value is taken into account, and the long term security is priceless.</p> <p>Essentially, stop worrying about what everyone else has just bought and take the long term view on life. There are hundreds of ways to stretch a dollar, most of them without any compromise to your current lifestyle. It doesn't matter how much money you have at the moment, start to take pride in making your money work for you and it will grow.</p> <p>Anyone can do it, I know a lot of people who have.</p> <p>Do you have any money saving tips you’d like to share?</p> <p><em>Written by Marie Barclay. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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5 questions to ask before moving into a granny flat

<p>If managed correctly, a granny flat arrangement can turn into a win-win scenario for all parties. It can also turn sour fast. If you’ve toyed with the idea of entering into this sort of arrangement, it’s important to make sure you’re aware of the implications.</p> <p>Here are five questions to ask before moving into a granny flat.</p> <p><strong>1. Am I really ready to live in a granny flat?</strong></p> <p>While often in these situations you still have plenty of your own personal space, there is going to be a loss of independence to a degree. It’s important to ask yourself if you are really willing to give up this space when moving in with your family.</p> <p><strong>2. Is my family really ready to live with me?</strong></p> <p>It’s not pleasant thing to think about, but the harsh reality is there may be some parties who are not altogether pleased with the situation (even if it seems like they are on the surface). It’s always worth having a frank discussion with all the parties that are affected, and asking them if this is arrangement is indeed willing to go into. </p> <p><strong>3. Is my pension going to be affected?</strong></p> <p>Depending on the arrangement you enter into, moving into a granny flat can affect your pension entitlements. It’s important to check with the Department of Human Services<a href="https://www.humanservices.gov.au/" target="_blank"></a> and a financial professional about the ramifications of making this move, and ultimately whether or not you’re willing to live with them.</p> <p><strong>4. Have I formalised the agreement?</strong></p> <p>This may seem like adding unnecessary red tape to the arrangement (especially when you’re dealing with family), but formalising the agreement can go some way to avoiding conflicting. Getting the rights and responsibilities of each party down on paper is the best way to manage expectations and ensure no one is given the short end of the stick.</p> <p><strong>5. Do I have a backup plan?</strong></p> <p>If things do go awry you don’t want to be left high and dry. It’s important to have a backup plan up your sleeve just in case the worst does happen, and you can be sure you’re in the best position possible to recoup and ultimately recover.  </p> <p>Have you moved into a granny flat? Or perhaps you know someone who has? What do you think about the arrangement? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Retirement Income

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Daughter takes 85-year-old father’s life savings: "I never dreamt that she would do it"

<p>When Ray Thomson lost his life savings, he also lost the daughter he thought loved him the most.</p> <p>"I was led to believe she was doing everything for me. She was alright but she was doing everything for herself - with my money," he says.</p> <p>Over two years, Thomson's daughter Helen Williams robbed her father of everything he had, cleaning $320,000 out of his bank account, leaving him with just $20. </p> <p>The blind man now lives in a rest home, in a single, sparsely decorated room, a transistor radio among his meagre possessions.</p> <p>In January, Williams was sentenced to 12 months' home detention for her deceit, a crime she says was motivated by a gambling and drug addiction.</p> <p>Thomson can't talk about what his daughter did without breaking down. She was going to get half his money when he died but she couldn't wait, Thomson says - her "plain greed" got in the way.</p> <p>"I never dreamt that she would do it. I was completely taken in by it and by the time I had woken up to what happened, it was too late.</p> <p>"As far as I am concerned she's not my daughter."</p> <p>The first inkling Thomson got of there being a problem was when the council got in touch about his rates account being in arrears.  </p> <p>He remembers being taken by surprise. "I've never owed anyone in my lifetime," he says. </p> <p>When he checked with his daughter, he says she reassured him there had been a mistake, that there was nothing to worry about.</p> <p>As power of attorney, she was able to withdraw money from his account at will and while she spent it paying back her own debt, grocery bills and on a trip, her father went without. On one occasion Thomson had no hot water for six weeks as his unpaid bills mounted up.</p> <p><strong>'She cut me off'</strong></p> <p>During the time she stole from him, his daughter was a constant presence in Thomson's life. She made sure she was often the only person he would see for days.  </p> <p>"Every time she was at my place - she'd be there most times - she told everyone that I was not there. She cut me off from anyone that I knew," he says.</p> <p>Williams went to extraordinary lengths to keep her father in the dark about what she had been doing, reassuring him constantly and even intercepting the mail. </p> <p>But when the money ran out, Thomson's lawyer turned up with the news he had just $20 to his name.</p> <p>His life suddenly revealed to be in tatters, Thomson was forced to sell his house and move into a rest home. </p> <p>"I still think back on the episode and about what's happened but I will never forgive her for what she's done to me."</p> <p>He says people who prey on the elderly "should be disgusted with themselves." </p> <p>Thomson says even if family are involved in helping out, his advice to others is to be wary and ask questions if something is amiss.</p> <p>"Be cautious, be on the alert."<br /> <br /> "You don't expect those sorts of things to come from your own family."</p> <p>Have you ever encountered something like this?</p> <p><em>Written by Deena Coster. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Wife’s battle over bungled $200K life insurance: “I won, my husband lost”

<p>Cheryl Sayers was caught in an unimaginable battle when AMP incorrectly cancelled her husband Lee’s life insurance just months before he died of a terminal illness.</p> <p>The couple’s final months together were tainted by AMP’s unforgiveable failure and so Cheryl fought to hold the insurance giant accountable.</p> <p>“I didn't honestly believe that anyone could beat an insurance company,” Cheryl told <em>A Current Affair</em>.</p> <p>The Sydney mother-of-three forfeited a $78,000 non-disclosure payout to share her story, in the hope of helping other Australians who have been wronged in the same way.</p> <p>“I was not going to let them shut me up,” she said.</p> <p>“There are a lot more people out there that this has happened to."</p> <p>In 2011, AMP cancelled Lee’s life insurance policy without warning, falsely claiming he had insufficient funds to pay for it.</p> <p>According to Cheryl, her late husband had “never missed a payment” and had paid close to $80,000 in premiums.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="497" height="280" src="/media/7818791/2_497x280.jpg" alt="2 (84)"/></p> <p>If the policy had been in place, the couple would have received the $200,000 payout when Lee was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, eight months before he passed away.</p> <p>The couple had dreamed of using the money to go on a Europe river cruise but were forced to work right up until Lee’s death, while also trying to fight AMP’s incorrect policy cancellation.</p> <p>“That policy would have allowed Lee to retire, to spend quality time with his children and myself,” Cheryl said.</p> <p>“You’re at a loss. You've lost your husband and you look like you're going to lose your home and you're at a loss what to do.”</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>But Cheryl chose to represent herself and fought AMP and their high-paid lawyers.</p> <p>In 2014, her persistence paid off when the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal ruled in her favour.</p> <p>“I had won, but my husband had lost,” Cheryl said. </p> <p>AMP agreed to pay Cheryl the $200,000 payout. She estimates that she was also owed around $80,000 in interest and costs but AMP said they would only pay the funds if she signed a non-disclosure agreement. </p>

Retirement Income

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5 basic principle to follow when giving adult children money

<p>The link between money and relationships is undeniable. Money issues can break couples apart, destroy relationships between siblings and cause tension between parents and adult children.</p> <p>Parents have an important role in ensuring their children are not only financially literate but are able to make sound financial decisions and act responsibly with their money.</p> <p>There is big difference between financial literacy and financial capability. This means parents have a continuing role to guide their children past childhood so they not only understand money concepts but know how to put them into practice as they face major decisions and events in their adult life.</p> <p>However, different attitudes towards money and expectations about parental responsibilities can cause serious issues for both parents and adult children.</p> <p>To what extent should parents interfere with or criticise their children's financial decisions and behaviour? Is it reasonable for adult children to expect financial assistance from their parents at times of need? At what point should parents expect their children to be self-sufficient?</p> <p>Every parent wants to see their children succeed but there are different philosophies about how best to help children get ahead in life. Some parents feel the best way to help their children is to give them a hand through gifts of money or interest-free loans. Others think it is only by children pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps that they will learn how to be successful. These deep philosophical differences can be problematic when one parent has a different view from the other and when children have expectations of parents which are not aligned with their parents' philosophy.</p> <p>Parents give money to their children because it makes them feel as though they are being better parents. It is good to give to others, especially your own family, but there are dangers involved. Giving too much or too often can lead to financial dependency, lack of responsibility, repeated poor financial behaviour, enablement of problem behaviours such as addictions or over-spending, delayed retirement or increased financial risk for parents, and resentment from siblings if one child is seen to be receiving more assistance than the others.</p> <p>There are some basic principles which will help decide how and when to support adult children:</p> <p><strong>Decide how much you can afford to give</strong></p> <p>Every financial decision has long-term consequences. The more you give to your children, the less you will have later on to pay off your mortgage or save for retirement. Make sure you are financially secure before helping others, or financial strife will simply transfer from them to you.</p> <p><strong>Set clear expectations</strong></p> <p>Have conversations with your children about what you are prepared to help them with and to what extent. If you are providing ongoing support, set a time limit for how long this will continue. Expect your children to make a contribution rather than giving them all of what they need.</p> <p><strong>Act like a banker</strong></p> <p>If your adult children went to the bank to borrow money they would need to fully disclose their assets, debts, income and expenses so the bank could decide whether to lend or not. You need to do the same. Make sure you understand why your children are in the situation they are in and what behaviours they need to change to avoid being in the same situation again. If you expect money to be repaid, you need to know how likely it is that this will happen.</p> <p><strong>Get legal advice for large sums</strong></p> <p>It may be necessary to have written loan agreements for large sums to avoid disputes later. If your adult child has a partner, you will need to consider what might happen to a loan or gift to your child in the event that the relationship ends as it may become relationship property.</p> <p><strong>Consider your other children</strong></p> <p>Be upfront with your other children about what help you are giving and why. Sibling rivalry is natural, and children can feel deeply hurt by being treated unequally unless they understand the reasons. Equality can be achieved in the long run by making adjustments to how your estate is divided, taking into account prior assistance.</p> <p>It is good to help your adult children but in many cases, teaching them how to make better financial choices is more beneficial than handing out money.</p> <p>Do you agree with this advice?</p> <p><em>Written by Liz Koh. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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What really happens when a car salesperson goes to "talk to their manager"

<p><span>We’ve all been in a situation where we are negotiating with a salesperson, ready to close the deal, when they say they need to speak to their manager.</span></p> <p><span>A user on Q&amp;A site Quora has asked whether the salesperson is actually discussing the deal when they duck away or if it is just a sales technique.</span></p> <p><span>According to one respondent, the “talk to the manger” routine is just an overused sales trick.</span></p> <p><span>“LOL, great question! The answer is NO,” wrote consultant Daniel Pearl.</span></p> <p><span>“There is a popular technique in sales, which has been mastered by the auto sales industry, called the ‘higher authority’ close.</span></p> <p><span>“Simply put, the salesperson asks the prospect for a commitment to do business, in return for a price (or other negotiable item) which they already know they can obtain. So while there are times they truly need approval from a manager, most of the time it’s just a technique.”</span></p> <p><span>Daniel explained that the technique best used is when the salesperson says: “I would need to get approval on your request, but I hesitate to ask for such a huge concession unless you are certain there are no other obstacles to moving forward.”</span></p> <p><span>He adds, “If my manager approves this, are you prepared to move forward immediately? If not, let’s discuss any other obstacles BEFORE I go to my boss with this request, so I don’t get egg on my face by getting his approval and then having to tell him you were just curious.’”</span></p> <p><span>Software salesman Dough Wampler disagrees and says that when buyers ask for a discount above a certain threshold, approval is needed by a manager.</span></p> <p><span>“Many salespeople are given certain pricing parameters and many times the buyer is asking for above what the salesperson can give without further approval,” he wrote.</span></p> <p><span>“This is often well known and abused by savvy buyers who won’t take any offer until they get to a manager so it’s become a stale tactic to signal to the potential buyer that the sales rep has fought for the best price without actually doing so.</span></p> <p><span>“So the answer to your question is, ‘No, it’s not always real’, but not always sleazy.”</span></p> <p><span>However, product specialist for Volkswagen claimed that manager approval was always needed.</span></p> <p><span>“As a product specialist for Volkswagen I can give some real world insight to this,” wrote Elliott Moos.</span></p> <p><span>“The short answer is yes, we always go speak to a manager. Managers have the entirety of the decision-making power in the dealership when it comes to numbers and figures. Our job is to ask hypothetical questions and be the first, second, third and fourth ‘no’.</span></p> <p><span>“When buying a new car it’s important to know that the internet basically destroyed all efforts in making really, really good car deals. Today, it’s more about hundreds of dollars than thousands and even in a desperate situation a large discount off an already-discounted price is pretty rare.</span></p> <p><span>“Long story short — find the highest-volume dealer for your desired make that’s most local to you, and the odds are it’s a great deal no matter what.”</span></p> <p><span>Former mechanic Doug Scott also said the “manager talk” was real but said that salespeople do not discuss your deal in the conversation.</span></p> <p><span>“Yes they do, and with most dealerships now having offices with glass walls it is too easy to get caught not going to the manager,” he wrote.</span></p> <p><span>“That does not mean they are getting approval, it actually means the salesman goes in and tells the manager what he is planning on doing with his commission, and maybe a joke or two. They are not discussing your offer.</span></p> <p><span>“And something else to remember, you do not need to give a deposit before the salesman goes to the manager. They use that ploy to make their story of going to the manager easier to believe.”</span></p> <p><span>Quora user Kevin Burke said the manager talk was real “to some degree”.</span></p> <p><span>“Many dealers use what is called a ‘track’ system to sell vehicles,” he wrote.</span></p> <p><span>“The salesman runs back and forth between the customer and the sales manager delivering offers and counter offers, trying to close a deal.</span></p> <p><span>“In a case like that, obviously they talk. Other dealers price differently — no-negotiation stores are catching on, some do internet pricing to reduce the hassle, but no car or truck EVER leaves a dealer or is sold without the salesman submitting it to a sales manager for approval.</span></p> <p><span>“The cars belong to the dealer, not the salesman, and the manager has to make sure there is enough money in the deal.</span></p> <p><span>“Regardless, sales managers and sales people do talk, but neither of them is really working for the buyer. Everyone is paid on gross profit — so the conversation is, ‘How do we bump this deal up?’”</span></p>

Retirement Income

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4 ways to manage retirement anxiety

<p>Retirement is supposed to be one of the happiest periods of your life, but that doesn’t mean the transition is easy. Retirement anxiety is a real thing, and leaves many people concerned about what life will look like when work finishes.</p> <p>While retirement anxiety is something to be wary of, it’s certainly manageable. Here are four simple ways to deal with some of the leading causes of retirement anxiety.</p> <p><strong>1. Don’t be afraid to seek financial advice</strong></p> <p>The financial markets, especially these days, can make for pretty grim viewing at times, and lead to serious concerns about being able to support your quality of life.</p> <p>As super fund <a href="https://www.equipsuper.com.au/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Equip</span></strong></a> states in the blog post, <a href="https://www.equipsuper.com.au/blog/hold-on-tight-as-the-world-keeps-spinning" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Hold on tight as the world keeps spinning</span></strong></a>, “Investment markets have bounced along a pretty bumpy course in this financial year. It’s pretty understandable, as investor uncertainty merely reflects the unpredictability of international events and mixed signals within the global economy.”</p> <p>While many people are cautious about seeking financial advice, burying your head in the sand is only going to make matters worse. A <a href="https://www.equipsuper.com.au/financial-planning/the-benefits-of-financial-planning"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">qualified financial planner</span></strong></a> will give you the tools to make the right decision, helping you create a plan that will manage your fiscal commitments and support your quality of life into the future.</p> <p><strong>2. Take time and manage the transition</strong></p> <p>When it comes time to test the waters of retirement, diving in headfirst isn’t always the best option. Sometimes it’s a good idea to dip a toe in first, especially if the thought of filling all that free time sounds daunting. Super funds like Equip offer various <a href="https://www.equipsuper.com.au/retirement/planning-your-retirement/transition-to-retirement" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">transition to retirement products</span></strong></a>, allowing you to cut your working hours and make up the difference with a pension income stream. This frees up your time so you can get a taste of retirement and ultimately decide whether you’re ready to take the plunge or have a few more years of work left in you.</p> <p><strong>3. Try to avoid pressure from your peers</strong></p> <p>Just like when you were a teenager, you shouldn’t feel as though you have to do something just because everyone else is. If you friends have flicked the switch and a pressuring you to do the same feel free to take their opinions onboard, but don’t let it influence yours. Retirement is something personal and means something different to everyone so you should only take the leap when you know you’re 100 per cent ready. </p> <p><strong>4. Embrace retirement with open arms</strong></p> <p>Ultimately, retirement is going to be different. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A willingness to embrace the challenges and rewards of retirement will bode well and go some way to ensuring this really is the most enjoyable time in your life.</p> <p>Have you experienced retirement anxiety? How did you cope?</p> <p>Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em><a href="https://www.equipsuper.com.au/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Equip</span></strong></a> manages $7 billion of investments for members working across a wide range of Australian industry sectors. This <a href="https://www.equipsuper.com.au/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">superannuation fund</span></strong></a> has been providing strong investment performance and has been a reliable provider of retirement benefits for over 80 years.</em></p> <p><em>This article is for general information only. You should seek formal financial advice on your specific circumstances.</em></p> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><a href="/finance/retirement-income/2016/11/australian-cities-need-to-become-more-retirement-friendly/"><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Australian cities need to become more retirement-friendly</strong></span></em></a></p> <p><a href="/finance/retirement-income/2016/11/senior-financial-literacy-is-not-up-to-scratch/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em>Senior financial literacy is not up to scratch</em></strong></span></a></p> <p><a href="/finance/retirement-income/2016/11/aussies-want-to-know-where-their-super-is-actually-going/"><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Aussies want to know where their super is actually going</strong></span></em></a></p>

Retirement Income

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How to save money right now

<p>"Saving more money" is top of the list of many people's resolutions – but it very rarely works.</p> <p>There are a number of reasons for this.</p> <p>The first is that most people are very vague about what they want to save. "More" does not mean anything – and so no money is ever saved. Other people do a little better when they set a goal such as wanting to save $100 a month. But they often are unsuccessful, too.</p> <p>Wonder why? It is because most of them draw up a budget, or have a vague idea in their heads of spending less, and decide they will save what is left over at the end of the month. This almost never works. Even with a good budget, if you have money in your bank account, it is so easy to spend it.</p> <p>The key to saving money is to know at each payday how much you can afford to save and to transfer that money to a savings account immediately. Do not touch it, do not sit on it for a while, do not think about treating yourself this month. Transfer it straight away, or better yet set up an automatic payment for the same day money comes into your account.</p> <p>It should be sent to an account that you cannot touch easily. Banks will allow you to have an account that you cannot access from your online banking login, so you will have to go into the branch if you want money. Some people even set up savings accounts that require more than one signature to access, so if they want to tap in, they have to convince the other person that it is a good idea. You could also have a bank account with a different bank so you do not see the saved amount sitting there temptingly every time you log in to check the balance of your everyday transaction account.</p> <p>In many cases, a basic savings account can be run with very few, or no fees.</p> <p>Whatever it takes to reduce the temptation to raid your savings account, do it. It is too common for people to tell themselves they will "borrow" money from their savings accounts to pay for something – but then it is rarely paid back.</p> <p>Each time you are paid, divide up the amount that you know is your surplus in the budget and put it into your savings accounts. You might have one for a holiday, one for a house deposit, and so on. Have as many bank accounts as you need to, to help you get your head around where the money is going. It might help to give the accounts your goals as names.</p> <p>Make sure you you get your partner and anyone else you share money with on board with your plans. Having that moral support will make you much more likely to reach your goals – and if they know what you are working towards, and are helping too, they are much less likely to derail your plans.</p> <p>Whatever you are saving for, it is important that you set up an emergency fund. Lots of experts say this should be equal to six months' income but that can be too difficult a target for a lot of people. Aim for three months. This money should cover you if disaster strikes, such as if you lose your job, your car dramatically breaks down or you need to take some time off work due to sickness – and you are not insured.</p> <p>Once you start saving, you will probably be pleasantly surprised at how quickly it can add up. If you start saving $20 a week in an account giving you 2 per cent interest, you will h ave almost $5000 in five years. Save $35 a week and you will get to $8662.</p> <p>Tim Barnett, from the National Building Financial Capability Charitable Trust, says it is worth making sure you have  the right type of account.</p> <p>"Compare the accounts on offer from your bank and choose carefully. One of the least appealing accounts we have come across is a well-known bank's  Earner Account, which pays a tiny 0.1 per cent interest as long as you have an average $5000 average monthly balance. </p> <p>"A $5000 balance would earn you $5 per year  - hardly an incentive to save. They also have a Simple Saver account, also offering 0.1 per cent interest calling this account 'competitive'.  The Online Bonus Saver offers up to 2.1 per cent per annum – 21 times the Simple Saver – but the interest evaporates if you make a withdrawal during the month, or fail to make a deposit."</p> <p><strong>Reward yourself</strong></p> <p>If you are on track for a longer-term goal, give yourself regular rewards. When you get to $1000 saved, for example, go out for dinner.</p> <p><strong>The other side of the ledger</strong></p> <p>Saving requires more money coming in than is going out.</p> <p>If you have trimmed all your spending to the point where you cannot cut any further, you might need to consider how you can boost the income side of the balance sheet.</p> <p>Is there any way you could work towards a payrise at work? Could you take on some extra work in your spare time to make some money – even things such as babysitting at the weekend can provide a little extra for your savings account. Or consider a sideline business you could run from home in your spare time – there are a lot of opportunities available, including everything from Tupperware to cleaning products and these can be quite lucrative if you are a confident networker.</p> <p>Upskilling or getting more qualifications is a good investment if it boosts your earning power over your lifetime.</p> <p><strong>Lifelong skills</strong></p> <p>Tonya Russell says she has been a good saver most of her life – apart from a stint in Dubai, where she spent her money travelling.</p> <p>Each payday, an automatic payment takes money from her transactional bank account to a savings account. "I have an account for household stuff and the rest is spare. I take money monthly for saving but I save more than that because I simply don't spend as much as I earn," she says. "But I also never say 'I can't afford' things. I wonder how I can afford it and look for ways to make that happen."</p> <p>She says she has been careful not to take out hire-purchase agreements or pay interest on things other than her mortgage. As well as being careful about her spending, asking herself where she will put things before she buys them, and not buying coffee during the day any more, she has worked to bring in more money as well as limiting what is going out, through setting up her own business as a yoga teacher and selling products that fit in with that, such as essential oils and supplements. "I have worked to create income streams rather than solely relying on wages."</p> <p>Do you think you’ll try these tips?</p> <p><em>Written by Susan Edmunds. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Why it’s time to start being strategic when you shop

<p>The supermarket industry has spent decades and fortunes on refining the psychology of their stores to encourage shoppers to spend more.</p> <p>Those tricks can include cunning store layouts, subtle labelling devices and even maintaining the optimum temperature to shop in (see illustration).</p> <p>But an afternoon spent shopping around and a week spent chatting with industry insiders shows there are ways for shoppers to defeat the best ploys of the supermarkets, and use the big stores' strengths to advantage.</p> <p>Our shop indicated that there were significant savings to be had by taking part of your weekly shop away from the supermarkets a large portion of the fruit, veggie and meat purchases while continuing to rely on them for the tins, jars and "hard" supplies with a long shelf-life.</p> <p>That's because the supermarkets' margins on goods such as tins of beans, peaches and bags of rice are much thinner than on fresh fruit, veggies and meat, so shoppers spending up on the perishables are effectively subsidising the sale of the hard stuff.</p> <p>And while there are savings to be had on perishables by doing part of the grocery shop elsewhere, it isn't really possible to find lower prices on hard supplies outside the supermarkets.</p> <p>The case for shopping elsewhere for fruit and veggies appeared compelling when we did our comparison shopping on Thursday afternoon, but the "specials" on the supermarkets' meat we encountered showed that the careful supermarket shopper with a big freezer could make considerable savings by bulk-buying on special.</p> <p>The special on the skinless chicken breasts at the Foodtown we visited even beat the Mad Butcher's price.</p> <p>Our comparison shop also found there is a clear cost to convenience, and brand.</p> <p>That 2-litre bottle of Anchor blue top milk costs nearly a third more at the service station we visited than at Pak n' Save, and there was an even bigger difference between the cheaper service station brand cost and the cheapest milk at the big yellow store. The difference between the costliest 2-litre blue top and the cheapest was $2, or 66%.</p> <p>But it also found that simple assumptions were not entirely true such as that smaller supermarkets, which are far more convenient than the big stores to pop into for top-up buys of things like milk and bread, are necessarily more expensive for all items, or that just because two supermarkets have the same name over the door they will charge the same.</p> <p>Given the barrage of cunning ploys the supermarkets use to get shoppers to spend more than they need, a self-defence strategy with no less care is needed.</p> <p>Jackie Gower from the Simple Savings thrift club says the first tip is to organise, and that means making a weekly menu plan and shopping to a list. That will make shopping trips more focused, faster and reduce the number of impulse buys.</p> <p>Select your store, or stores. The big supermarkets are convenient, and there's no way to beat them for staples (unless budget-chain Aldi finally decided to make the leap across the Tasman), but for the price-conscious shopper, spreading your spend between stores means more trips in search of the best deals.</p> <p>Gower also recommends bulk buying, where possible. When there's a staple you often use, snapping it up when it's on special can be sensible. Pak n' Save had five tins of Oak baked beans for $5 when we visited. If that's a brand you don't mind, loading up is sensible.</p> <p>A chest freezer is needed for loading up on milk and bread when there are specials, or meat, which is one of those items that has such a high margin for the supermarkets that the "special" price cuts can be huge. Once the specials are taken into account the price of skinless chicken breasts varied at the supermarkets alone between $21.99 and $11.99 per kg. Academic studies indicate that bulk-buying can lead to bulk-eating, which won't disappoint supermarket owners.</p> <p>To take advantage of the best price specials, it is handy to know what items generally cost. That can mean keeping a simple price book for the things you most commonly buy.</p> <p>Gower said some Simple Savings club members took the trouble to ask people in the meat and bakery departments of supermarkets when they tended to mark down certain items. They then time their shopping trips to catch them.</p> <p>For those who truly want to save, and have an adventurous streak and a huge freezer or friends to club together with, there's the option of contacting a wholesale butcher and buying a whole butchered cow or pig, or as is increasingly the trend, start growing fruit and vegetables in the garden.</p> <p><strong>Tricks of the trade</strong></p> <p>The stores have many tricks to woo the dollars from out of our pockets, but here are a few of the most ingenious.</p> <p><strong>Eye-level:</strong> Pricier, higher-margin articles are often put at eye level, while the budget ranges tend to be near the top of shelving units, or at your feet.</p> <p><strong>Product spacing:</strong> Milk in the back corner of the supermarket is put there to get you to walk further. Store owners want customers to have to walk the length of the store, past lots of tempting displays, to get to it.</p> <p><strong>Greens first:</strong> Fresh produce like fruit, veg and meat carry some of the stores' highest margins. That's why they are put at the start of your shop, so you don't fill up the trolley with lower-margin items before you get to it. If the placing was done with shoppers in mind, said one former supermarket-chain executive, the soft stuff like fruit would come after the hard stuff like tins so you could put it on top.</p> <p><strong>Mid-aisle placement:</strong> Placing some of the most commonly bought goods in the middle of aisles is designed to make it difficult to nip in and out of an aisle without passing a large number of other items.</p> <p><strong>End-aisle displays:</strong> Suppliers whose products are in end of aisle displays allow the store owner to have a greater margin than usual. There's only one reason for that: these displays work, and often they offer products shoppers don't need.</p> <p><strong>Labelling:</strong> People are easily manipulated by labels. Tell shoppers there is a "limit" of six cans of soup per shopper and they will buy more. Similarly, selling something at "3 for $3" will result in more sales than pricing the same items separately.</p> <p>What are your thoughts?</p> <p><em>Written by Rob Stock. First appeared on <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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5 questions guaranteed to save you money

<p><em><strong>Vanessa Stoykov is a financial educator that believes anybody can start making their money work for them if they unlearn their habits around money. Her website, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://vanessastoykov.com/" target="_blank">VanessaStoykov.com</a></span> has tips and tools to help you get ahead financially.</strong></em></p> <p>Sometimes asking yourself the right questions is all you need to do to improve things in your life. And if you don’t know what to ask, you can’t get a result. After working in financial services for more than 24 years, and being exposed to some of the best professional investors from around the world, I have realised these five simple questions can save you thousands of dollars that can help you save for a better future.</p> <p><strong>1. Is this the best deal I can get?</strong></p> <p>It sounds basic, but we often don’t ask the question. The first suspects are your health insurance, utilities, and super fund. It’s important to find out what fees you are paying, and ask the question. For example, I realised that I was paying for maternity cover on my health care long after that horse had bolted! Nobody ever stopped to ask me did I still need it, and I never asked the question. When I did, I saved myself over $100 per month - that’s $1200 a year saved for asking the question of could I get a better deal.  Same with your utility company - ask if they can contract you will it be cheaper, or if you pay direct debit can you get a discount, or any other promotion or plan they have that can save on your utility bills. This can put major dollars back in your bank account, rather than theirs.</p> <p><strong>2. How much can I invest in myself?</strong></p> <p>For years I have worked on the adage to pay myself first. Which can be hard when you have a whole bunch of things to pay for. Usually we pay whatever we need to, and whatever we have left is what we live on. This is ineffective because we are putting ourselves LAST - and to get ahead, you need to put yourself first. Some have a rule of 10 per cent of their earnings they put away BEFORE anything else gets paid. They key is to ask yourself - what are you worth and how can you invest in yourself more? Then open an account like an ING savings maximiser that’s hard to touch and get it deducted the day your pay goes in! In a few months you won’t even notice its gone, and you have a tidy nest egg building up, and that feels good.</p> <p><strong>3. Do I really need this now?</strong></p> <p>I know, usually we believe we do, but it’s a great question to ask yourself when out and about shopping. Especially if you intend to put this item on your credit card. If you don’t have the cash to pay for it, and it’s not a burning, critical, must have item, really question whether you need it. Because putting things on credit is just increasing the burden on you to keep working just to pay it back. Start thinking of how to make what you have last longer, or go further, and cut back on what you are spending on day to day.</p> <p><strong>4. Can I get this cheaper buying online or in bulk?</strong></p> <p>Too often we pay up for items because we do need them now - a bit of planning and research can often save your thousands. Google is the first port of call, and with online selling sites, and cheap bulk discount places like Aldi or Costco, thinking ahead, and shopping around can save you a lot. Even buying in bulk and storing it can really work to get down your day to day shopping bills.</p> <p><strong>5. What do I really want for my life?</strong></p> <p>Sound like a big question, but if you don’t have a goal, then all the questions in the world won’t motivate you. By spending some time thinking about what you really want your life to be like, not just next week or month, but next year, 5 years and 10 years, you can start making some strategic decisions about life. If you want to be a traveler, can you lower your overheads and save more, so you can go away regularly? If you want to save for a house, how can you figure out ways to live cheaply now, or can you move to where it’s more affordable? Thinking long term can save you thousands of dollars making bad short-term decisions that don’t serve you and the life you really want. This will be more fun that you think!</p> <p>Do you agree with these tips?</p>

Retirement Income

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PINs will soon become obsolete

<p>We’re unlocking our mobile phones with our thumbprints and getting through border control with eye scans, and it seems our credit cards might be the next big thing swapping traditional security methods for biometric technology.</p> <p>Credit card giant Visa has announced it is currently working on the introduction of thumbprint, voice, retina and even heartbeat data as the newest way to authorise transactions.</p> <p>“Australians are not only tech-hungry but they’re very savvy in terms of how to use that technology,” Rob Walls, head of product at Visa Australia, told <a href="http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/banking/visa-paves-way-for-biometric-payments/news-story/852e3a603334f2735d90f421da78cd34" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">news.com.au</span></strong></a>.</p> <p>“We see the penetration of smartphones, internet banking and paywave — Australia leads the way in paywave adoption. You’re starting to see new devices and payments experiences coming into the market. Australians are increasingly using Siri as part of their engagement, ordering a pizza for example.”</p> <p>The proposed changes come after a YouGov poll commissioned by Visa found that 56 per cent of respondents would be happy to use biometric data to make a payment. 45 per cent said the technology appealed to them as being more secure, and 40 per cent liked the idea of no longer having to remember a PIN or password.</p> <p>“Industry research suggests eight out of 10 people are using the same PIN across the majority of their payment cards,” Walls revealed. “In 2020, the average consumer will have more than 200 passwords they have to remember.”</p> <p>Unfortunately, Walls believes this will only heighten the risk of card details being stolen. “To remove that risk, we can push that authentication to something that’s more natural and unique to the consumer, such as a retina scan, a thumbprint or heartbeat. There will be no more fumbling for your wallet, pushing in a 16-digit card number.”</p> <p>Are you for or against the new idea? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.</p>

Retirement Income

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Elton John's shock snub in mother's will

<p>Sir Elton John’s shock snub in his mother’s will has been revealed, with reports suggesting the musician’s mother left a chunk of her fortune to her former personal assistant who is believed to have sparked the feud between the two.</p> <p><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>The Sun reports</strong></em></span></a> the 70-year-old superstar was left with two ceramic urns in the will of Sheila Farebrother, while her former PA Bob Halley received £534,000 ($950,312).</p> <p>The 92-year-old passed away in December after seemingly healing a nine-year rift with John, and notably also snubber the singer’s sons and husband in the will.</p> <p>Sir Elton John reportedly knew nothing about the bequest.</p> <p>“It’s a surprise to me. I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>told reporters</strong></em></span></a> from his West Sussex Home.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>source told The Sun</strong></em></span></a>: “Sir Elton is worth £300 million ($534 million), but it’s not the money that matters.</p> <p>“It very much looks like Sheila was determined to make one final point to her son in her will.”</p> <p>In 2015 she said of their row: “He told me I thought more of Bob Halley than I did of my own son. I said to him, ‘And you think more of that f***ing thing you married than your own mother’.”</p> <p>What are your thoguhts?</p>

Retirement Income

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Oprah reveals chores she doesn't know how to do

<p>Yes, she might be one of the world’s wealthiest women and can pay people to do the most tedious tasks for her, but does that excuse Oprah Winfrey for not knowing how to do even the most basic chores?</p> <p>Whilst promoting her upcoming moving <em>A Wrinkle in Time</em>, Oprah sat down with <a href="http://www.eonline.com/news/916466/watch-oprah-winfrey-hilariously-reveal-that-she-doesn-t-pump-her-own-gas-i-wouldn-t-know-what-to-do">E! News</a>, along with her co-stars Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, and confessed some of the everyday chores the star doesn’t know how to do.</p> <p>When the actresses were asked if they still fill up their own cars at the petrol station, Oprah confessed, “I don’t. I gotta just say, I wouldn’t know what to do.”</p> <p>As Reese and Mindy giggled, Oprah shared another insight into her life, showing how out of touch she is with the average person.</p> <p>“I actually took someone to the airport recently and I said, ‘Make sure you have your ticket,’ and they were like, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘They don’t have tickets anymore?’”</p> <p>The former talk show queen’s petrol station revelation comes just days after she made an appearance on <em>Jimmy Kimmel Live!</em> and admitted she doesn’t answer her own phone at home either.</p> <p>“I actually have security,” Oprah told Jimmy.</p> <p>“Somebody does answer the phone and they’ll say, ‘Mr Kimmel is on line two.’”</p> <p><img width="499" height="380" src="/media/7815781/oprah-embed-image_499x380.jpg" alt="Oprah Embed Image"/></p> <p>And then there’s Oprah’s first bank visit since 1988! During a chat with friend Ellen DeGeneres on her TV show last year, Oprah revealed that she’d only recently been to the bank in the first time in almost 20 years.</p> <p>“What did you go to the bank for?” Ellen asked.</p> <p>“To deposit a million dollars,” Oprah admitted.</p> <p>“I just wanted to go there just to do it. I stood in line, just to do it. It felt fantastic,” she added, laughing, before remembering, “Actually, it was $2 million!”</p> <p>With Forbes estimating Oprah’s worth at $3.5 billion, $2 million sounds like it would have been small change for the star!</p> <p>What do you think about Oprah’s candid confessions about regular chores she doesn’t know how to do? Tell us in the comments below.</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p>

Retirement Income

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5 sneaky ways financial planners deceive seniors

<p>There are some unscrupulous financial planners out there who could be giving you bad advice. Here are a few tricks to look out for.</p> <p><strong>1. Starting with an easy topic</strong></p> <p>Most people are able to understand relatively simple financial issues, like paying back a credit card. However, once it moves up to complex things like superannuation investments, it’s not so simple. Dodgy planners could give you good advice on something simple to build your trust, before giving you bad advice on a complicated issue that you are less likely to understand. Always ask questions, even if they’ve given you good advice before.</p> <p><strong>2. Displaying lots of qualifications</strong></p> <p>Research shows that we are inherently more likely to trust someone – and their advice – when we believe them to be more qualified. Financial planners could display lots of certificates or notices of qualification in front of their client, so they are more inclined to trust them. Even if the qualifications are real, their advice could still be bad. Don’t be overwhelmed by the paper.</p> <p><strong>3. Promoting illegal investment schemes</strong></p> <p>As unbelievable as it sounds, unfortunately some financial planners have been known to advise people to invest in illegal schemes. This can result in losing all your money and even potentially being investigated for your involvement in such a scheme. Ask to see all of the information about a suggested scheme and, if you still feel unsure, do some of your own research.</p> <p><strong>4. Playing for both teams</strong></p> <p>A financial planner should be an independent party working only for you, not for the investments or institutions they recommend. A number of planners have been caught and convicted of offering advice that benefited them through kickbacks or payments from banks and brokerage firms. Insist that your planner takes you through all of their professional connections, discloses any obligations and explains where their fees come from.</p> <p><strong>5. Charging money for nothing</strong></p> <p>This might be the simplest one of all, but some operators will charge you fees and simply not do anything. You need to make sure you know exactly how much you are paying and what you are getting for that. Don’t be afraid to ask for regular updates or statements to see where your money is going.</p> <p>Have you ever had an issue with a financial planner?</p>

Retirement Income