News

Whether you call it a 'loyalty tax' or a 'stupidity tax' - it should still be avoided!

There’s a lot to be said about a name. What we call things can have a big impact on how we deal with them. More recently there’s been a call to replace the misunderstood term ‘loyalty tax’ with the harsher and more hurtful ‘stupidity tax’. Many of us pay more for things than we need to, especially when it comes to electricity, insurances and home loans, but is this due to loyalty o... Read more

What does the older generation really owe the young? The answer may surprise you

It’s not unfair that older Australians enjoyed the benefits of free tertiary education, rising house prices and many other perks of age we were, well, just lucky. And being the beneficiaries of dumb good fortune does not make us all guilty of rampant self-interest, nor are we responsible,  if following generations are not equally well-off. It might sound like tough love but that’s the... Read more

The Suburban Person’s Everest

Every year, tens of thousands of runners around the world tackle marathons, otherwise known somewhat scornfully as “the suburban person’s Everest”. But what drives them to put their bodies to the limit to complete the 42.2km endurance test? The question is compounded by the surprising number of people who accept the challenge in older age.   For me, it had never been my ambition to... Read more

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