News

Never Leave Home Without This

They rather predictably state every journey begins with the first step but in truth any kind of slightly planned trip starts well before you lace up your boots.  For me it’s always conceived with a map, a trustworthy cartographic companion which contains more useful information than a thousand travel writers’ blogs. In fact, a map I might chance upon, or idly pick up, can often decide whe... Read more

Intergenerational Issues of Society

My student son aged 20 sits at the kitchen table computer at hand, headphones in ears and expects to be fed, washed and, if needed, propped up financially. His parent aged 60+ sits at a desk in his own house expecting to pay most bills, do much of the shopping and, if lucky, get the occasional thank you. In between us echoes the latest report about generational fairness. How lucky dad ... Read more

Scam Alert - Targeting the Over 50s

Age may make you wiser but it can also make you more vulnerable to the many digital traps which exist in the cyber world.  The ACCC says those aged over 65 are the most likely to fall victim to scams and the risk is rising.  Scam-related crimes have jumped 56% in the past two years and losses are estimated to be $532million through various tricks such as investment frauds and dating cons.... Read more

Life Insurance Adds Up

Benjamin Franklin, the American inventor and politician, may have lived in the 18th century, but he still has some wise words for us today. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” is a particularly pithy and palatable truth when it comes to our financial affairs where ignorance can lead to loss and even ruin. Life insurance is one of several areas where our financial capacity ... Read more

What Do You Believe When it Comes to Travel Writing?

This author travelled at their own expense…it may be the most important words at the end of any travel story which seeks to seduce our wanderlust. Beware the travel pages of many newspapers, magazines, websites which may make the world seem sunnier and more spectacular than it really is. Their tight lens closes in on the delights of food, luxury, exotic experiences and very up-market ... Read more

Are You Part of the Subscription Trap?

Subscriptions use to be used for trusty old-school products such as Reader’s Digest, gyms and motoring organisations like the NRMA. Now, it’s more likely you’ll be shelling out for a whole new raft of subscription services which didn’t exist in the good old days. But be warned, the subscription trap is still alive and well and many a profitable business is based on the well-known cons... Read more

Could a Simple Fix Save Australians from Loyalty Taxes?

A “loyalty tax” occurs when discounts are offered to new customers while longer-term customers pay more. Often this involves increasing premiums at the first and subsequent renewals. As the NSW government’s Insurance Monitor, charged with making sure insurance companies do not charge unreasonably high prices or mislead policy holders, I have had my office research the prevalence of loyalty t... Read more

What’s Changed in 50 Years after Apollo?

While there’s no shortage of commentary on the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, I think it’s appropriate a club sharing this magic number should have its say too. In the same way looking up a 50-metre ladder seems further than looking down one the same distance, so too is the difficultly of imagining a world in 2069, compared to the less daunting task of picturing life in 1969 – a... Read more

Why Boomers Determined That Drink And Drugs Are Not Just The Follies Of Youth

The headline was click bait to anyone interested in the excesses, or perhaps the quite normal behaviour, of baby boomers given their rampant history with drugs. “A 60-year-old woman was among more than 20 ageing boppers arrested for possessing ecstasy or cocaine on their way to a music festival starring Boy George at Sydney’s Ivy nightclub on the weekend,” ran the Daily Telegraph. Des... Read more

Does Your Loyalty Cost You

From July 1 there’s a major change in insurance – last year’s premium for home and contents, and for cars, must be displayed on premium renewal notices. Using my powers under NSW legislation, and after a battle lasting several years, I have required this. Seeing the writing on the wall, all insurers and major brands have implemented this charge nationally, affecting almost 10 million hou... Read more