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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

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

Are You Aware of the Upcoming Life Insurance Changes?

If there’s one important area we can be guilty of overlooking, even avoiding, more than our superannuation and that’s life insurance.  And when that life cover is included within your super it’s easy to naively assume both the payouts will be sufficient and premiums good value. With luck and judgement that might be the case but the costs of life cover are going up, we are all getting ... Read more

July 1 Superannuation Changes That Could Cost You Dearly

Would you open and read a letter if it could save you or your loved ones in the event of a serious accident or worse? I like to think I’d bother, even if it came from my super fund, but most don’t agree as figures around a massive alert being sent out about changes to life insurance have shown. Australian Super sent out notifications to 220,000 members affected by the July 1 changes w... Read more

Don't Blame the Baby Boomers for Getting on With Life

Just before the Budget, the authoritative but little-known Parliamentary Budget Office issued some illuminating and non-partisan research into the costs of our ageing population. And while these reports are manna from heaven for pundits, policy wonks and think tanks to put their own spin on there’s also plenty of food for thought for us lesser mortals i.e. those they are talking about. ... Read more