Money & Banking

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Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan offer to pay for their security – but it comes with a catch

<p>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have offered to pay for their own security, except there is a catch to this deal.</p> <p>Provided the couple are successful in their new non-royal business endeavours, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan maintain they have every intention to reimburse taxpayers for the cost of their security during private business engagements not connected to royal events.</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/B7qgx95giNA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=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/B7qgx95giNA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by O, The Oprah Magazine (@oprahmagazine)</a> on Jan 23, 2020 at 5:43am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>The </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2020/01/22/prince-harry-meghan-markle-offer-pay-security-tony-blair-style/" target="_blank">Telegraph</a></em><span> reported the pair’s intention to pay is entirely genuine, except the amount they will reimburse will depend on how much money their new business endeavours rake in.</span></p> <p>However, it appears they may hit the jackpot on top of their already hefty bank accounts, as Netflix appears to be in the process of working with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for either a TV series or a number of documentaries on the causes nearest and dearest to their hearts.</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/B7rJhgapp1u/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=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/B7rJhgapp1u/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by 𝐌 𝐈 𝐊 𝐎 ✪ (@mikeraif)</a> on Jan 23, 2020 at 11:39am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>This news follows just weeks after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intentions to step down from their senior royal positions, and instead seek out financially independent lives.</p> <p>The couple said they would be splitting their time between the UK and Canada, after doing an 8-week test in Vancouver with their 8-month-old Archie.</p> <p>British authorities have deep grievances regarding Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s security requirements.</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/B7rIWyyAa-0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=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/B7rIWyyAa-0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Royal Family (@royal_family_baby)</a> on Jan 23, 2020 at 11:28am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Over 80,000 Canadians have signed a petition demanding that taxpayers need not be expected to fork out the security costs for the couple while they spend their time in the Great White North.</p> <p>It is believed at least six UK royal protection officers are overseeing the couple’s safety but it is speculated security will be passed on to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.</p> <p>Around-the-clock protection there could cost around $2.9 million, security sources told the<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2020/01/22/prince-harry-meghan-markle-offer-pay-security-tony-blair-style/" target="_blank">Telegraph</a></em>.</p>

Money & Banking

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Charities defend bushfire relief policy amid donation stockpiling claims

<p><span>Australia’s leading charities have defended their bushfire relief plans after it was revealed that only less than one-third of the donations have been released to fire-affected communities.</span></p> <p><span>The Red Cross, St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army have been accused of stockpiling the cash donations. </span></p> <p><span>Speaking at a press conference in Batemans Bay on Wednesday, NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said it was “gutting” to learn that millions of dollars were yet to be handed out.</span></p> <p><span>“The money is needed now, not sitting in a Red Cross bank account earning interest so they can map out their next three years and do their marketing,” said Constance.</span></p> <p><span>“We need a very real change, very quickly so that the money can get to those who need it most … people are on their knees and we can’t have a drip-feed.”</span></p> <p><span>Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the charities are betraying donators’ trust.</span></p> <p><span>“To read that organisations like Red Cross are putting some of that money aside for a future crisis or emergency is not in the spirit of what I believe Australians gave that money,” he said.</span></p> <p><span>On Thursday, Red Cross NSW director Poppy Brown said $30 million out of the $115 million raised had been <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-23/bushfire-aid-row-continues-as-red-cross-attacked-again/11892062">allocated to emergency relief grants</a>.</span></p> <p><span>Brown said the organisation had enlisted an advisory panel to help budget the remaining money for long term recovery initiatives.</span></p> <p><span>“Any interest earned on those funds will just add to the money that goes out to those communities,” she said.</span></p> <p><span>“We’re already paying out a million dollars a day, we’ll keep paying out money as it’s needed.</span></p> <p><span>“And we’ll make sure that there’s still some left to help people, those same communities, in their recovery because we know it’s going to be a long term need.”</span></p> <p><span>The charity said it had paid out 690 grants worth a total of $6.9 million to people who have lost their homes.</span></p> <p><span>Since November, the Salvation Army’s disaster appeal had collected $44 million in donations and distributed $7.6 million worth of goods and cash relief.</span></p> <p><span>St Vincent De Paul has so far raised $12.5 million and handed out $1.1 million to eligible individuals in NSW. “We’re doing as well we can,” the charity’s CEO Jack de Groot told <em><a href="https://7news.com.au/news/bushfires/red-cross-under-fire-for-withholding-two-thirds-of-bushfire-donations-c-660715">7News</a></em>. </span></p> <p><span>“It’s not perfect but the co-ordination is going fairly well.”</span></p>

Money & Banking

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Fame and fortune isn't the key to happiness

<p>If you’ve ever dreamt of fame and fortune, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle turning their backs on the royal lifestyle might seem churlish. So too their desire to be “financially independent”.</p> <p>As a senior royal, Harry is at the height of his popularity – a popularity that marrying Markle has only amplified.</p> <p>On top of the millions he has inherited from his mother and great grandmother, he gets millions more annually, both from his cut of the “sovereign grant” paid by the British government and the allowance from his father (from the revenues of Duchy of Cornwall estate).</p> <p>Harry and Meghan aren’t exiting the family firm penniless, but if they stayed they would be looked after in luxury for the rest of their lives.</p> <p>Madness? No. Research suggests Harry and Meghan would be well and truly in their right minds to be sick of royal fame and fortune.</p> <p>Psychologists, economists and philosophers have confirmed three things. First, money can’t buy happiness. Second, we want to feel we have earned our success and popularity. Third, being looked after from the cradle to the grave has its downsides.</p> <p>In short, having everything handed to you on a platter just isn’t satisfying.</p> <p><strong>Money doesn’t buy happiness</strong></p> <p>Even though this statement is arguably a cliché, there is good <a href="https://www.payscale.com/career-news/2013/05/study-proves-money-cant-buy-happiness">evidence</a> it’s true. While money buys happiness up to a point, the positive effects of money on happiness <a href="https://psychology.unl.edu/can-money-buy-happiness">level off</a> once individuals have obtained enough wealth to live a comfortable life.</p> <p>This relationship has been observed at the country level, with multiple studies showing that, once a nation reaches a certain level of wealth, national happiness does not increase in parallel with extra wealth. This is known as the <a href="https://esrc.ukri.org/about-us/50-years-of-esrc/50-achievements/the-easterlin-paradox/">Easterlin paradox</a>. According to economist John Helliwell, a co-editor of the <a href="https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2019/changing-world-happiness/">World Happiness Report</a>, the <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8364900_The_Social_Context_of_Well-Being">social context</a> – marriage and family, ties to friends and neighbours, workplace ties, civic engagement, trustworthiness and trust – is more important than wealth.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JjLh0guxERQ"></iframe></div> <p>One reason given for why wealth doesn’t buy individuals any more happiness after a certain point is that money becomes both a reason and means to distance ourselves from others. To paraphrase Christopher Ryan, author of <a href="https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Civilized-to-Death/Christopher-Ryan/9781451659108">Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress</a>, what people tend to do with extra money is buy separation, whereas researchers “<a href="https://www.wired.com/story/why-are-rich-people-so-mean/">have concluded again and again</a> that the single most reliable predictor of happiness is feeling embedded in a community”.</p> <p>Extraordinary wealth, then, sets us against what we are programmed to do by evolution: seek out the company of others and band together in a community. Research has repeatedly shown this has a huge mental health cost.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MB5IX-np5fE"></iframe></div> <p>Importantly, too, how we earn our money affects how much we enjoy it. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29320930">Research</a> among more than 4,000 millionaires in the US, for example, showed those who were “self-made” were moderately happier than those who inherited their wealth.</p> <p>Taken together, these factors help explain why Harry and Meghan’s wealth might, psychologically speaking, be more curse than blessing.</p> <p><strong>The popularity paradox</strong></p> <p>Most of us, particularly teenagers, <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/cracking-the-popularity-code/">crave popularity</a>. According to <a href="https://yougov.co.uk/ratings/politics/popularity/royalty/all">a YouGov poll</a>, Harry is the second-most-popular member of the British royal family – pipped only by Queen Elizabeth. Some are convinced <a href="https://theconversation.com/prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-why-half-in-half-out-just-isnt-an-option-for-royals-129726">he won’t keep this popularity</a> without his royal status.</p> <p>Why would someone want to give up being liked and loved by stepping out of the limelight?</p> <p>Because <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attribution_(psychology)">psychological research</a> shows people feel less pride in their achievements if they attribute it to external reasons. In this case, that would being born as a royal for Harry, and being pretty and marrying into a royal family for Meghan. For their popularity and success to mean something, they would need some “internal attribution” – that it has something to do with their own abilities, effort and skill.</p> <p>In a world that values meritocracy, as Alain de Botton argues, we need to “own our success” — the very thing Harry and Meghan cannot do as royals.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MtSE4rglxbY"></iframe></div> <p><strong>Trapped by certainty</strong></p> <p>Most of us aspire to being financially secure for the rest of our lives. Many of us would give a lot to know what lies ahead.</p> <p>But while there is comfort in some sense of security and predictability, knowing exactly what the future holds might be a curse. This is because humans thrive also on feeling a sense of freedom and choice.</p> <p>So just as having no certainty can take its mental toll, so does feeling one’s future is totally predetermined and that you have no real control over the way your life will unfold.</p> <p>Psychologists call the motivation to regain a freedom after it has been lost <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4675534/">reactance</a> – and this might be something strong within someone, for example, who has lost freedom due to marrying into a high-profile family.</p> <p><strong>Seizing control</strong></p> <p>Do the reasons above explain why Harry and Meghan have left the royal fold? We can’t say that. Only they know their motivations.</p> <p>But what we do know is that all the research points to fortune, fame and security not necessarily leading to a good, happy life. These things can in fact be burdens, <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0139156">bringing out</a> our worst, not our best.</p> <p>That happiness comes more from community connection, merit, effort and making our own decisions is good news for the rest of us. Let’s hope it works out for Harry and Meghan too.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/130132/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jolanda-jetten-301309">Jolanda Jetten</a>, Professor, School of Psychology, ARC Laureate Fellow, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-science-backs-harry-and-meghan-turning-in-their-royal-privilege-fame-and-fortune-arent-the-keys-to-happiness-130132">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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BIG W begins massive cull of 30 stores across Australia

<p>Auburn, Chullora and Fairfield will be the first three Big W stores of a massive 30 store cull to be shut down within the coming months.</p> <p>As the retailer attempts to turn around a stunning $85 million loss at the hands of their savage competitors, Kmart and H&amp;M, 90 staff in each store will be getting the ruthless end of the stick.</p> <p>The closure process will put a $370 million dent in the company’s profit, and yet after a solid 10 months since announcing the “store review”, Big W’s owner, Woolworths Group, have yet to announce the remaining 27 branches that are yet to close.</p> <p>Big W bigwigs insist the once mighty retailer still has a future and some trimming of the store network will help “to accelerate the path to profitability”.</p> <p>The three doomed Sydney-based Big W stores will bring their shutters down for the final time on January 31.</p> <p>A Big W spokeswoman told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://over60.monday.com/boards/63889387/pulses/news.com.au" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em><span> </span>it acknowledged “closing any store isn’t easy on our teams and communities”.</p> <p>“The purpose of Big W’s store review, announced in April last year, is to build a strong, profitable and more sustainable store and distribution centre network that reflects our customers’ needs and the rapidly changing retail environment,” she said.</p> <p>The spokeswoman said staff have been offered redeployment to other stories or Woolworths supermarkets.</p> <p>Last year, Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said there was “no alternative” but to shut down a number of their stores. However, he stressed that closing the chain altogether was not on the cards.</p> <p>Despite the major shutdown impending on Big W, there are positive signs for the retailer.</p> <p>Its $85 million full-year loss in 2019 was an improvement on the $110 million loss in the previous year.</p> <p>Sales were also up 4.2 per cent last year helped by clothing, online and click and collect.</p> <p>“The closure of 16 per cent of the Big W network is unlikely to be the end of the store rationalisation profile,” the 2019 note said.</p> <p>“Big W can confirm we are on track with our turnaround,” the store’s spokeswoman said.</p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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Seniors are ditching their cars for car share apps

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">New research from car share company GoGet is seeing a trend of older people ditching their own vehicles in favour of car sharing, according to </span><a href="https://www.moneymag.com.au/seniors-opting-carshare"><span style="font-weight: 400;">MoneyMag</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to GoGet research, the number of seniors in Victoria signing up to the car share company has surged by 43 per cent last year, particularly in areas like the CBD. A total of 4,750 seniors were using a variety of vehicles, including vans, hatchbacks and convertibles.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">GoGet is seeing this trend across Australia. In NSW, there was a 32.6 per cent increase, Queensland rose by a shocking 60.5 per cent, South Australia by 33.3 per cent and ACT by 32.4 per cent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The car share company thinks that the cost of owning a private vehicle is a reason for the surge in use by seniors.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the cost of owning a private vehicle averaging $6,000 per year between registration, fuel, insurance, payments and maintenance is a marked expense.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Justin Passaportis, GoGet General Manager, says that the cost of owning a vehicle is tough to justify for some people.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Vehicles are your second most expensive asset after your home," Passaportis says. "For an asset that's unused most of the time it's an expense many are looking to shed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Increasingly, we're seeing a trend of seniors joining GoGet as they seek to cut costs without sacrificing independence.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"As people approach retirement age, budgets tighten and many look to cut back on non-essentials. With the high ongoing cost of owning a vehicle, it is often one of the first things to go."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bruce Sims, 71, of Victoria, agrees.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It was relatively new and we found it worked very, very well. We have a car about a block away from us and the cost is certainly well below owning a car," Sims says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"The primary reason we started using a car share service 12-13 years ago was because we live in the inner city and the parking is very difficult. Public transport is so good that you rarely need to use a car except for shopping or going away for the weekend.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I was finding that when we had a car I'd have to go out and start the engine in the middle of the week to make sure the battery didn't go flat."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Other car share options include Popcar, Flexicar, Car Next Door and DriveMyCar.</span></p>

Money & Banking

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"The company no longer has the right to exist": AMP sparks outrage

<p>Former AMP customers and consumer rights groups have been outraged by the wealth manager’s tactic to delay returning money that it stole in the “fees-for-no-service” scandal.</p> <p>The “fees-for-no-service” scandal included customers being charged ongoing fees by financial advisors despite not receiving a yearly review as well as charging accounts of people who have died.</p> <p>AMP is now putting the money that it stole into new accounts and then charging new fees.</p> <p>The company has been forced to refund hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and charges that it took from clients, according to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-11/banks-drag-feet-on-fees-for-no-service-response-asic-says/10889194" target="_blank">ABC</a>.</p> <p>Late last year, AMP started to alert former clients about the money that it took in fees while providing no service and opened a new super account in the clients name instead of sending the money back to the client.</p> <p>"As your account with us is closed and we can't pay super benefits directly to you, we've paid this amount into a new AMP Eligible Rollover Fund [ERF] account that was opened in your name," it told them.</p> <p>The move has been slammed as “simply unbelievable” by regulatory and corporate governance academic Andy Schmulow, who lectures at the University of Wollongong.</p> <p>"It is simply unbelievable that after the horror show of the royal commission, AMP has learned nothing, it hasn't changed, won't change and demonstrates that the company no longer has the right to exist," Dr Schmulow said in an interview to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-21/amp-fees-for-no-service-scandal-cash-repaid-in-new-accounts/11883032" target="_blank">ABC</a>.</p> <p> An independent advocacy centre for superannuation customers has also criticised AMP’s move as a shameless grab for new accounts that can be charged the new fees.</p> <p>"This is absurd — people left the fund because it was ripping them off, they're now being forced to re-join to get their money back," Xavier O'Halloran from Super Consumers Australia said.</p> <p>"To make matters worse, they are being thrown into an AMP fund which has massively underperformed comparable funds over the longer term."</p> <p>While there is no entry or exit fees in the AMP fund, there is nothing said about the fees that are charged while the account is open.</p> <p>Administration fees for the fund start at 2.36 per cent with another 0.69 per cent charged as an investment fee.</p> <p>These are far heftier than the fees charged by some of Australia's top-performing investment funds, which return in excess of 20 per cent," Mr O'Halloran said.</p> <p>"For people with low balances, this looks like a naked attempt by AMP to claw back its ill-gotten gains."</p> <p>In the letter received by former clients however, they were urged by AMP not to do anything as the payment has already been made.</p> <p>The payment was made into new accounts that the customers knew nothing about.</p> <p>Mr O'Halloran said: "People would have been much better off being reunited with the money AMP stole from them by having it put into their existing super accounts."</p> <p>AMP responded briefly to questioning from the ABC, explaining why it didn’t first contact former clients before setting up new accounts on their behalf, saying that the practice was legal.</p> <p>It declined to say just how many new accounts were set up or why information about moving the money into a new super account wasn’t included in earlier correspondence to clients.</p> <p>"Remediating customers as quickly as possible is our priority — for members without a current AMP super account, payments were made through an eligible rollover fund (ERF), which was the fastest way to return money to clients and meets the legal requirement for the money to remain within superannuation," an AMP spokesman said.</p>

Money & Banking

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How much of your budget should be spent on health and fitness

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For those with a budget, putting a price on health and fitness can be difficult. How much is too much?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Head of Fitness Australia, a not-for-profit industry association, Barrie Elvish says that you shouldn’t use money to avoid exercising all together.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"The very straightforward answer is that there is no cost to fitness, or there's as much as you want to spend," he says to </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/life/how-much-of-our-budgets-should-be-allocated-to-fitness/11769830"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ABC Life</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Cost is a consideration, only if you want to make it a consideration."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He also says that if you feel like you must pay for fitness, it could be worth what you pay. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"The cost of not being physically active, to your purse and your wellbeing, is significantly higher," he says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Others have found out a way to work out for free, without compromising on the social aspect.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bek Foley, 25, does a free weekly timed 5-kilometre fun run held at parks in her local area.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I just love the community. You see the same faces all the time, with everyone passing you and giving you a high five and cheering you on," she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It's all run by volunteers, and the fact we have that many people willing to give up their time adds to the atmosphere and keeps me coming back."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, some are willing to prioritise fitness and the cost it comes at as it is important to them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">48 year old Brisbane cyclist Rachel Edwards owns 20 bikes and spends hundreds of dollars a week pedalling after her passion for cycling.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7TxAoepGAT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7TxAoepGAT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">❗️Competition alert 2010 I won my last @uci_cycling WC title in Australia. I am thrilled to go back to Down Under in one week with a new partner that refers to that year. 😎 Any guess? The ones that are right will have the chance to win a very special goodie box! Good luck! #cycling #TeamCancellara #Cancellara #timetrial #roadcycling</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/fabian_cancellara/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Fabian Cancellara</a> (@fabian_cancellara) on Jan 14, 2020 at 9:42am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I like to compete, so my version of fitness is really also my social life," she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I'll avoid buying clothes and general stuff that honestly you often don't even need. We are so inundated with 'buy this' messages — I resist those. My retail therapy is usually bike fashion related."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Financial advisor Victoria Devine says that it’s also important to keep in mind just how much fitness is costing you.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It's really important to remember that your values are not the values of other people," she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"If fitness is what drives you, and you get excited about it, and it makes you happy, it's literally down to personal values.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Ask yourself, would you be upset if it was taken away? If the answer is yes, you can figure out how to make it work."</span></p>

Money & Banking

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Federer and Nadal go above and beyond at Aussie Open's Rally for Relief

<p>The tennis world has dug deep to raise a staggering $4.8 million for bushfire victims in a night of thrilling entertainment at the Rally for Relief which took place at Rod Laver Arena.</p> <p>The man behind the groundbreaking initiative was none other than Aussie’s own Nick Kyrgios, who was completely overcome with emotion after the total figure of $4,826,014 was revealed to him on court.</p> <p>The crowd in Melbourne was thrilled as he went head-to-head with Roger Federer in a one-set finale that was the highlight on the night.</p> <p>“I just got goosebumps when you said that number,” said Kyrgios.</p> <p>“It’s been an emotional couple of weeks. I just wanted to send a message, I just had to do it so I wrote the Tweet.</p> <p>“The whole Aussie team got behind it and I woke up the next day and it exploded, it was so emotional.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">"It's been an emotional couple of weeks," says <a href="https://twitter.com/NickKyrgios?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NickKyrgios</a>.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rally4Relief?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Rally4Relief</a> <br /><br />To contribute: <a href="https://t.co/a3qgsExZQj">https://t.co/a3qgsExZQj</a> <a href="https://t.co/RKvhFLyscU">pic.twitter.com/RKvhFLyscU</a></p> — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) <a href="https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/1217393053138288640?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 15, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>“Back home at Canberra I couldn’t even go outside (due to the smoke), it was hard and I’m just so happy that we had Roger, Rafa, Novak – some of the greats – to get behind this.”</p> <p>The one-off special event saw some of the biggest names in tennis taking part, including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, who donated their time to encourage support for charities helping deal with the bushfire crisis.</p> <p>The night was enjoyed by many, as the atmosphere was lighthearted with 12 players competing in a series of jovial matches and challenges to help raise money for the natural disaster.</p> <p>Spanish favourite Nadal also made a major announcement, revealing that he and Federer had donated a cumulative $250,000 from their own pockets after chatting earlier in the day.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">"Talking with Roger, we decided to give $250,000 together." 👏 👏 👏 👏<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rally4Relief?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Rally4Relief</a><br /><br />To contribute: <a href="https://t.co/9RPgZ7cBoB">https://t.co/9RPgZ7cBoB</a> <a href="https://t.co/ocdiw8D0if">pic.twitter.com/ocdiw8D0if</a></p> — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) <a href="https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/1217378578188447745?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 15, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>“Talking with Roger a couple of hours ago we decided to give $250,000 Australian dollars to the bushfire relief together,” he said.</p> <p>“Hopefully that can keep inspiring people to support this terrible disaster that we were going through and helps to recover all the things that we need (sic).”</p> <p>Later in the night, a Victorian firefighter had her dreams come true after she was given the chance to play with Nadal himself for an epic doubles match.</p> <p>Deb, a member of the Stuart Mill fire brigade, revealed on air that for the last few weeks she has been involved in battling fires in the crisis gripping the country.</p> <p>She admitted that it had been a very difficult time, as she witnessed neighbourhoods and wildlife being destroyed due to the fires.</p> <p>"We're there trying to make all the farmers feel safe while they go about their business."</p>

Money & Banking

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Westpac to pay one year off mortgages for fire-affected customers

<p>Westpac has announced that it will pay one year off the mortgages for customers who lost their homes this bushfire season.</p> <p>Customers who took out mortgages through the bank will have their repayments paid for up to $1,200 per month over a period of one year, acting chief executive Peter King said.</p> <p>“These initiatives are designed to provide practical, on the ground support for our customers, our people and for those who are caring for affected communities,” King said in a statement.</p> <p>“In times of such unprecedented devastation, we want customers and communities to know we’re here to help alleviate financial concerns so they can rebuild their lives, homes and businesses.”</p> <p>Customers who need to rebuild their place of residence will also be eligible for interest free home loans through the Bushfire Recovery Support Package, while businesses may access low-interest loans.</p> <p>The initiative is Westpac’s latest effort to support bushfire-affected communities. Last week, the bank announced a $1.5 million Bushfire Fund, including emergency grants of up to $2,000 for temporary accommodation, food and clothing.</p> <p>There have been 10,550 insurance claims valued at $939 million lodged with Westpac as of Friday, the bank said.</p> <p>All four major banks have announced disaster relief packages. Commonwealth Bank and NAB each established a $1 million bushfire relief fund, while ANZ pledged $500,000 to support affected home loan customers and local community services.</p> <p>Westpac estimated that the bushfire crisis will cost Australia <a href="https://indaily.com.au/news/business/2020/01/13/bushfires-to-cost-nation-5b-westpac/">$5 billion in direct losses</a> and chip the country’s economic growth by 0.2 to 0.5 per cent.</p>

Money & Banking

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Aussies warned of changes that impact their finances in 2020

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are many changes coming in the year 2020 that will impact the finances of Australians nationwide if they’re unaware of them, according to </span><a href="https://www.finder.com.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Finder</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">From rate cuts to health insurance hikes, here’s what you need to know in 2020.</span></p> <p><strong>New rock-bottom cash rate in February</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Further cash rate cuts are coming in 2020, as 66 per cent of Finder’s RBA panellists predicted another cut in February.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This means that Australia’s official cash rate would plummet to just 0.50 per cent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Record-low interest rates mean that homeowners will be able to save a significant amount of money over the life of their loan as well,” explained Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">“With over a million mortgage customers considering a switch this year, it will be interesting to see which lenders pass on the rate cuts, ” she said. </span></p> <p><strong>Open banking</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Open banking means that the Big Four banks, which are Commonwealth Bank, NAB, ANZ and Westpac, are required to provide access to customer and account data.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They are required to provide access to data for credit and debit cards, deposit accounts and transaction accounts.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This means that Australians are able to share their personal transaction data to get a better deal.</span></p> <p><strong>Health insurance price hike</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Health insurance premiums are set to rise again this year and are looking to increase by 2.92 per cent on average from April 1</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">st</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. However, this percentage is not set in stone and will vary across the funds.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Browne said that comparisons against funds should be done every year so you can stay on top of price hikes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Compare your premium every year and switch to a fund that won’t cost more. If you switch a policy with the same level of cover as your current one, you won’t need to reserve waiting periods,” Browne said. </span></p>

Money & Banking

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4 money-saving resolutions you should make this year

<p>Could this be the year you get your finances in order? A savings plan doesn’t need to be overwhelming, try these seven tips that Patty Cathey, financial advisor at Smart Retirement Plan uses with her clients to keep them on track.</p> <p><strong>1. Track your spending</strong></p> <p>Some financial mishaps happen simply because we aren’t paying close enough attention to our spending habits. Once you have taken an inventory of your finances, watch your spending for unnecessary expenses. “Take out the magnifying glass and take notice of the details in your financial picture,” Cathey advises. “Comb through your credit card statements to see if there’s any unnecessary spending or charges. Are you paying for a gym membership or cable channels you don’t use? Is there a charge you didn’t make that could be fraud? Paying attention to the little things can make a big difference in your finances.”</p> <p><strong>2. Start small</strong></p> <p>When the New Year rolls around, the temptation is to make extreme financial resolutions all at once. But don’t get so caught up in your resolutions that you set yourself up for failure. Cathey advises her clients to make small changes to their spending, since they are more maintainable over time. “Taking a baby step in cutting your spending can start you on the path to even bigger savings,” Cathey encourages. “For example, instead of cutting out your morning coffee completely, cut out one cup per week in January. Same thing goes for bringing a lunch to work: try packing a lunch one day. You may find it’s easier than you realise.” By February you may be skipping two lattés and bringing your lunch twice a week.</p> <p><strong>3. Wait before you swipe</strong></p> <p>Make a new habit of waiting before you spend on an unplanned purchase. Did you spot a piece of house decor at Target during a nappy run? Take time to think about the purchase before you swipe your credit card. “Apply the 48-hour rule by giving yourself a mandatory waiting period before making a big purchase,” Cathey says. “Many times, you’ll forget about the item you so desperately wanted when you’re in the store. If you still want or think you need it after 48 hours, talk over the purchase with a spouse or loved one.”</p> <p><strong>4. Pay yourself first</strong></p> <p>Even if you mean well, life can get in the way of prioritising saving for emergencies or getting ready for your retirement. David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire, encourages individuals with big financial goals to start by making their savings automatic each time they get paid. “Adding a small amount to your savings is pain free and pays off in the long run” he says. Then, utilise online banking tools to efficiently distribute money into different accounts including: retirement, emergency and mortgage payments, credit card, and other recurring bills.</p> <p><em>Source: <a href="https://www.rd.com/advice/saving-money/financial-resolutions/">RD.com</a></em></p> <p><em>Written by Mary Sauer. This article first appeared in </em><span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/7-money-saving-resolutions-you-should-make-this-new-yea"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p>

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"Just perfect": Family affected by bushfires surprised by $1 million lotto win

<p>A Queensland mans whose family property was destroyed in bushfire has won $1 million in a lottery win that will allow the family to rebuild.</p> <p>The winner wishes to remain anonymous but lives in Redland, south of Brisbane. His family owned a property in northern New South Wales that was devastated by the bushfires.</p> <p>Lauren Cooney from The Lott notified him of the win and said that the man was overcome with emotion.</p> <p>"He told me his family had just lost their home in the bushfires," she said to the<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-09/bushfire-destroyed-home-then-owner-wins-lottery/11855640?pfmredir=sm&amp;sf227733330=1&amp;fbclid=IwAR3a-7QY21rcqyk7Yq3RD8TzmVCd_cMWIR0dgofE9z6woiYBz8k2dNQ0cB4" target="_blank">ABC</a></em>.</p> <p>"The home wasn't insured, so this prize meant that they would be able to rebuild which initially, they thought they wouldn't be able to," she said.</p> <p>The man said to Cooney that the family had returned to the property, which was “very sentimental and special to them”.</p> <p>"They were going through the site looking for any special family mementoes that they could salvage, but all they could find was some teacups,” Cooney explained.</p> <p>However, this win has turned things around. As the man was the only division one winning entry to the draw, he is able to claim the whole $1 million prize.</p> <p>He said that the circumstances were “just perfect”.</p> <p>"He said he couldn't have imagined more impeccable timing which meant that he could use his prize to rebuild their family home," Ms Cooney said.</p>

Money & Banking

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Andrew Twiggy and Nicola Forest pledge incredible $70 million to bushfire crisis

<p>Billionaire Australian businessman Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and his wife Nicole will be parting ways with $70 million as a bushfire recovery package. </p> <p>The Western Australian mining magnate will be spending $50 million on a “national blueprint” for fire and disaster to develop new approaches to fight the serious threat of bushfires. </p> <p>“We know that this is a matter of national resilience,” Mr Forrest told reporters in Perth. </p> <p>“This goes to a holistic assessment of where the nation is at and what we need to do to improve resilience.”</p> <p>Forrest will further provide an additional $10 million through the couple’s Minderoo Foundation to build a “volunteer army” which will be deployed through different regions that have been devastated by bushfires. </p> <p>They will also contribute a further $10 million for communities that are working in collaboration with the Australian Red Cross, the Salvation Army and other agencies on the forefront. </p> <p>The foundation has also established a Fire Fund and the Forrests say they will match every dollar donated with two dollars.</p> <p>“We are here representing a family and from our family to your families, your fire-affected families, the wildlife, the children who are devastated, the parents who have lost farms and properties and homes and dreams, we are here with our family to help support your family,” he said.</p> <p>Mr Forrest said they are “so proud to be Australians” and to see everyone rallying together “during this cataclysmic time”.</p> <p>The businessman hopes to raise $500 million through a global campaign to establish a long-term bushfire research project.</p> <p>“We are stepping up, as we did for the Black Saturday bushfires, to go out to the communities in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, find out what you need, what your families need, what your communities need and to help you, not rebuild to perhaps what you had, but to plan for what could be – what may be even better,” he said.</p> <p>“I would just like to say, on behalf of all of the Minderoo Foundation and all West Australians, that we weep along with Australia, along with you and, as a family and as a foundation, we would like to step up and help you. Thank you.”</p> <p>The federal government has committed at least $2 billion towards the bushfire recovery and further established a new national agency to co-ordinate efforts on the ground. </p> <p>This will be run by former Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin. </p> <p>The NSW and Victorian governments have set up similar agencies at a state level.</p> <p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “tremendous generosity” has been expressed by many people all over the nation, from billionaires “down to boys and girls raising money in their local schools”.</p> <p>“Can I start by acknowledging the tremendous generosity of so many Australians, whether it is James Packer or Anthony Pratt, or Andrew Forrest, or whoever it happens to be,” he told reporters in Canberra. </p> <p>“The generosity of that response, I think, has been simply extraordinary.</p> <p>“It’s important that we work hard to best channel and co-ordinate that support that is coming through into the areas of greatest need.”</p> <p>Mr Colvin said they had spoken to Mr Forrest.</p> <p>“Very generous what he’s put together,” he said today.</p> <p>“He’s done this before. Last thing I’m gonna do is step in the way of that. I will make sure it’s best utilised.”</p> <p>Mr Forrest is seventh on Forbes’ ‘Australia’s 50 Richest People’ list with a net worth of $US8.8 billion ($A12.8 billion).</p>

Money & Banking

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Gina Rinehart hits back at Celeste Barber’s criticism over bushfires

<p>Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart has slammed comedian Celeste Barber who has raised $47 million in less than a week for the bushfire appeal, saying she’s more concerned about the “true cause” of the fires.</p> <p>Earlier in the week, Barber criticised billionaires, as she asked why they aren’t donating to help the Australian bushfire crisis.</p> <p>She directly tweeted at Rinehart, who has a net worth of close to $14 billion, writing: “If you’re in Hawaii on a family holiday I’m going to flip a f***ing table”.</p> <p>But a spokesman for the billionaire has issued a statement saying the wealthy mining magnate prefers to donate privately.</p> <p>The statement says the billionaire does not want to “rush” to blame climate change for the devastation.</p> <p>“(Mrs Rinehart) is most concerned that the true causes of this sad devastation are tackled, rather than missed in the rush to blame climate change,” the spokesman said in a statement revealed by the<span> </span><em>Daily Mail.</em></p> <p>“In particular, restrictions on building dams are lifted, the dangerous restrictions on allowing adequate fire breaks and restrictions on land clearing, which regulations have helped to cause life and stock losses, property damage, and damage to livelihoods and much suffering.”</p> <p>Rinehart has apparently contributed to a collection for firefighting at an event which took place at her home, where 150 guests were present on Tuesday night.</p> <p>Barber on the other hand, has raised over $47 million in less than a week through her fundraising campaign.</p> <p>But the comedian raised the question as to whether billionaires around the world were doing their part.</p> <p>“Remember when Notre Dame burnt down – very sad, don’t get me wrong, RIP Notre Dame, historic building,” she said on Instagram earlier in the week.</p> <p>“And something like billions of dollars were raised, by I think like a handful of people. Where are those people now?</p> <p>“Because I tell you what, every day people are donating $10 here, $10 there, that’s what’s getting us to now $40 million.”</p> <p>She also said the money, which was originally intended for the NSW RFS, would be distributed to various different organisations and families of those killed in the fires.</p> <p><em>OverSixty, its parent company and its owners are donating a total of $200,000 to the Vinnie’s Bushfire Appeal. We have also pledged an additional $100,000 of product to help all those affected by the bushfire crisis. We would love you to support too! Head to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-nsw/vinnies-nsw-bushfire-appeal-nsw" target="_blank">Vinnie's website</a> to donate.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Turia Pitt inspires emotional movement in wake of new bushfire crisis

<p><span>Turia Pitt has penned an inspiring and heartbreaking post on social media which has resulted in an incredible movement in the wake of the bushfire crisis.</span></p> <p><span>The athlete and motivational speaker took to Instagram on Monday to speak about her own distress and desperation due to the harrowing bushfires that has plagued Australia.</span></p> <p><span>Turia’s own home in the New South Wales south coast region is located in a spot heavily impacted by the fires. The effect on Pitt and her husband Michael Hoskin and their two-year-old son Hakavai has been devastating.</span></p> <p><span>The 32-year-old wrote: "I watched, my mouth agape, as two angry plumes from the fires north and south of us joined together over Mollymook Beach. And then, the power went out."</span></p> <p><span>She further explained the grave concern she felt as she witnessed the toll of the bushfire and detailing the experience of seeing and feeling her home become “an apocalyptic quiet”. detailed the "It's been a tough few weeks for me emotionally. I've had to focus on not letting my emotions and own experiences get the better of me."</span></p> <p><span>"I'm exhausted. I feel like I've done 10 marathons. And we can't relax because it's only the start of summer, and it's not over yet. So just like in a marathon, I've realised I have to pace myself."</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/B69tZHSA2Ek/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=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/B69tZHSA2Ek/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Turia (@turiapitt)</a> on Jan 5, 2020 at 8:07pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>Turia alluded to her own terrifying experience in in 2011, where she was trapped in a Western Australia bushfire while running an ultra marathon -she endured burns to 65 per cent of her body as a result.</span></p> <p><span>"I've had recurring nightmares about running through flames with my son in my arms," she added of the current situation.</span></p> <p><span>"It's been difficult to sleep, eat or think and all I've really wanted to do is tap out, put my head in the sand and pretend that nothing is going on."</span></p> <p><span>Her words seemed to have an impact though, and Turia has decided to take matters into her own hands to begin an inspiring movement. .</span><br /><span></span></p> <p><span>"Once these fires are finally 'over', it won't be over for many of the local businesses in fire-ravaged towns," she explained.</span></p> <p><span>"A lot of these places (like my home in Mollymook, and Mallacoota, Kangaroo Island, Eden etc) rely on the tourist dollar for their very survival."</span></p> <p><span>Pitt mentioned the hashtag: #GoWithEmptyEskies movement, kickstarted by Tegan Webber who is encouraging people to travel to fire ravaged towns to buy their products in bulk, as well as the Buy From the Bush campaign which has encouraged people to buy from drought-affected farmers since October.</span></p> <p><span>Turia said: "So this is what I'm doing. I've created @spendwiththem, a place to feature businesses in fire-affected towns. So, if you want to buy something (now, or in the future), check out @spendwiththem and buy something from one of these places.</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/B69jz3VgHPb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=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/B69jz3VgHPb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Turia (@turiapitt)</a> on Jan 5, 2020 at 6:43pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>"This is a way to put money directly in the pockets of the people and communities who need it the most, and need it NOW."</span></p> <p><span>"Help them rebuild. Make them feel heard. Spend with them."</span></p> <p><span>She also sent an invitation to businesses who have been affected to contact her to be featured - telling them to visit the page, <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/spendwiththem/?hl=en" target="_blank">Spend With Them.</a></span></p> <p><span>Using her influence for good, it seems the country has reacted with elation over Turia’s emotional post.</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-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6_rAkQADWm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6_rAkQADWm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Hey guys! Grace and I are completely amazed by all of you! Thank you for supporting the businesses we’ve featured on @spendwiththem so far! We’ve been totally overwhelmed by your thousands of messages of support. So, if you’ve sent us a DM requesting we feature your business and we haven’t yet responded, please email us at spendwiththem@turiapitt.com with product pics and instructions on what people can buy online or over the phone. We’re struggling to keep track of DMs right now, so email will be best! Please know that as much as we want to support all businesses in fire-affected towns, we can’t yet encourage visitation to these areas. So, online and phone ordering options are all we can promote for now. When it is safe to do so, we’ll absolutely find a way to encourage road trips to your towns! Big love to you all - you absolute legends! ❤️❤️❤️</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/turiapitt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Turia</a> (@turiapitt) on Jan 6, 2020 at 2:25pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>Her new Instagram page has since shot up in the ranks and received 108,000 followers.</span></p> <div class="c-message__content c-message__content--feature_sonic_inputs" data-qa="message_content"> <div class="c-message__message_blocks c-message__message_blocks--rich_text"> <div class="p-block_kit_renderer p-block_kit_renderer--absorb_margin" data-qa="block-kit-renderer"> <div class="p-block_kit_renderer__block_wrapper p-block_kit_renderer__block_wrapper--first"> <div class="p-rich_text_block"> <div class="p-rich_text_section"><em>OverSixty, its parent company and its owners are donating a total of $200,000 to the Vinnie’s Bushfire Appeal. We have also pledged an additional $100,000 of product to help all those affected by the bushfire crisis. We would love you to support too! Head to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-nsw/vinnies-nsw-bushfire-appeal-nsw" target="_blank">Vinnie's website to donate!</a></em></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="c-message_actions__container c-message__actions" aria-label="Message actions"></div>

Money & Banking

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4 mindful shopping tips that can save you money and make you happier

<p><span>‘Mindfulness’ is a big buzzword these days. Referring to the practice of consciously observing your body and breath without judgment, mindfulness has gained ground in our culture as a coping mechanism; a way to deal with our feelings. Part of the appeal of mindfulness is that it’s a technique that can be applied to just about any aspect of life. You’ve no doubt heard of mindful eating, and perhaps even mindful moving. Now, mindful shopping is gaining ground in response to our seemingly innate tendency towards impulsive (and compulsive!) shopping.</span></p> <p><span>It has always been easier to spend money than to earn it, but it turns out there’s an even bigger problem now that we don’t tend to see or touch real cash. Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos of University College London, has shown in his research that the brain experiences more discomfort spending cash money as opposed to digital money. In other words, it’s easier to spend recklessly in an economy dominated by credit card transactions.</span></p> <p><span>These mindless shopping habits can have serious repercussions on our daily lives, including buyer’s remorse, skewed financial priorities and increased levels of anxiety and unhappiness. Ultimately, it can lead to unnecessary debt, put a strain on relationships and even contribute to hoarding tendencies.</span></p> <p><span>Mindful shopping addresses the emotions at the root of reckless spending, and can serve as a means of regaining control of your bank account balance – and your emotional wellbeing.</span></p> <p><span>Here are four tips to help you regain control of your impulses.</span></p> <p><strong><span>1. Find other ways to treat yourself</span></strong></p> <p><span>We all need a pick-me-up now and again, and for many of us, the quickest fix for a miserable day is to treat yourself to something new. Unfortunately, the pleasure of an impulse purchase is fleeting, while the effect on your bank account lingers. Consider other ways to administer emotional first-aid when needed, whether it’s going for a walk with a close friend or hitting up the library to check out the latest from your favourite author.</span></p> <p><strong><span>2. Make a mindful shopping list</span></strong></p> <p><span>A mindful shopping list is one that serves to separate your daily expenses into ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ on an emotional level. A ‘need’ fulfils an essential, practical purpose which may or may not be pleasurable, like buying groceries so that you can feed yourself and your family. A ‘want’, on the other hand, is largely driven by the pleasure sensation of owning or experiencing a product, whether it’s acquiring another Louis Vuitton bag or an autographed cricket ball.</span></p> <p><strong><span>3. Be cynical of ‘sales’</span></strong></p> <p>It’s one thing to stock up on discounted products that you need on a regular basis, but it’s quite another thing to leave a store with a bag full of ‘bargains’ you never intended to buy in the first place. Be mindful that buying anything on sale is still spending – not saving.</p> <p><strong>4. Don’t substitute retail therapy for real therapy</strong></p> <p><span>Sometimes mindful shopping strategies aren’t enough to curb a serious shopping addiction. If you continue to find yourself obsessed with social status, unable to manage anxiety, and depend entirely on shopping for a sense of fulfilment, you could likely benefit from professional counselling. Chances are, there are underlying emotional issues at play that only real therapy can address.</span></p> <p><em>Source: <a href="https://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/money/mindful-shopping/">readersdigest.ca</a></em></p> <p><em>Written by Deepak Kashyap. This article first appeared in </em><span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/9-mindful-shopping-tips-that-can-save-you-money-and-make-you-happier"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p>

Money & Banking

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Shane Warne puts Baggy Green up for auction to raise bushfire funds

<p>Shane Warne has put his famous Baggy Green cap up for grabs in a tremendous gesture to help raise funds for the Bushfire Appeal.</p> <p>The Aussie cricket legend announced the generous decision during day four of the third Test between Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>“The bushfires have been absolutely horrific, they’ve touched all of us in a way,” Warne told<span> </span><em>Fox Cricket</em>.</p> <p>“To see the total devastation, lives have been lost, families have been lost, over 500 million wildlife has died. The stories are horrific.</p> <p>“We always wore this the first session of a bowling day every time and I’ve had that baggy green cap my whole career and I’ve decided to put it up for auction.”</p> <p>As soon as it went online, former England skipper Michael Vaughan placed an offer of $25,000 but that sum was surpassed in an instant.</p> <p>The bids kept increasing for the piece of Australian cricket memorabilia as within the first 90 minutes the amount had reached the six-figure mark. As of Tuesday morning, the highest bid was a whopping $315,000.</p> <p>The auction is set to run for a week with the figure expected to climb even further and potentially reach Sir Donald Bradman’s baggy green which fetched $425,000 in 2003.</p> <p><strong>Shane Warne Baggy Green updates</strong></p> <p>9 pm (AEDT): $311,000</p> <p>6:30pm: $302,500</p> <p>5pm: $275,500</p> <p>4:30pm: $100,000</p> <p>4pm: $20,000</p> <p>3:30pm: $6,100</p> <p>3:06pm: Bidding opens</p> <p>If you want to bid on Warney’s famous baggy green, you can do so<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.pickles.com.au/general/item/-/details/Shane-Warne-s-Baggy-Green---Autographed-Certificate-of-Authenticity-Included-/1090013024" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>OverSixty, its parent company and its owners are donating a total of $200,000 to the Vinnie’s Bushfire Appeal. We have also pledged an additional $100,000 of product to help all those affected by the bushfire crisis. We would love you to support too! Head to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-nsw/vinnies-nsw-bushfire-appeal-nsw" target="_blank">Vinnie's website</a> to donate!</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Ash Barty's astonishing bushfire pledge

<p>Many of Australia’s sporting heroes have pledged to donate to the Australian bushfire appeal over the past week, including Nick Kyrgios, Chris Lynn and Peter Siddle.</p> <p>But it was French Open champion Ash Barty that offered the most hefty donation of all.</p> <p>Barty will donate her entire prize money from next week’s Brisbane International to the Red Cross Fire Appeal. Which means she will ultimately be working for free.</p> <p>Barty will donate AU$360,000 if she ends up winning the tournament which takes place before the highly-anticipated Australian Open.</p> <p>Her competition is Maria Sharapova and world No. 3 Naomi Osaka, who took home the prize at last year’s Australian Open.</p> <p>Speaking in Brisbane on Sunday, Barty said she wanted to donate to the families who have been left with nothing after the bushfires.</p> <p>“Wildlife has been lost but it has also affected lives and homes so I have been sitting down and thinking with my team and family on ways we can help,” said Barty.</p> <p>“There have been really great initiatives from cricketers, tennis players, golfers, soccer players all over the country trying to help out.</p> <p>“We have come to the decision any of my prize money here in Brisbane will be donated to the (Australian) Red Cross to go towards the families and homes affected.”</p> <p>The selfless gesture comes right after Barty contributed $30,000 late last year to the RSPCA to help wildlife affected by the national disaster.</p> <p>“The first time I saw of it was flying home from the Fed Cup final (in November) from Perth back to the east coast,” said Barty.</p> <p>“We could see the smoke haze and some of the fires from the plane, so that really hit home with me.”</p>

Money & Banking

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New study shows men feel stressed if female partners earn more than 40 percent of household income

<p>The best marriages are probably based on teamwork. But it seems individual contributions do matter – specifically, who earns how much of the household income.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0146167219883611">My research</a> shows that in, heterosexual couples, men are happier when both partners contribute financially – but much prefer to be the main breadwinners.</p> <p>With stress levels high when they are sole breadwinners, men appear to be more relaxed when their wives or partners earn anything up to 40% of the household income.</p> <p>But their distress levels increase sharply as their spouse’s wages rise beyond that point. And they find it most stressful when they are entirely economically dependent on their partners.</p> <p>The findings are based on an <a href="https://psidonline.isr.umich.edu/">analysis</a> of over 6,000 married or cohabiting heterosexual couples over a period of 15 years. Levels of distress are calculated based on feeling sad, nervous, restless, hopeless, worthless, or that day to day life is an effort.</p> <p>Men who are the only earners are relatively unhappy but they were not as stressed as men whose partners are the principal earners. Neither of the extreme scenarios is good for male mental health.</p> <p>The exception is men who knowingly partner with a high-earning woman. These men do not appear to suffer from higher psychological distress when their partners earn more. People do not pick their partners at random, so if the woman was the higher earner before marriage, then the potential income gap was already clear to the man – perhaps even a reason to partner with them.</p> <p><strong>Balance of power</strong></p> <p>There are a variety of reasons which may explain why husbands who are “outearned” by their partners may suffer from psychological distress.</p> <p>When one person in a couple earns a much greater proportion of the joint income, it may create a relationship imbalance. For example, if the relationship deteriorates significantly, the possibility of divorce or separation can make the lower earner feel more vulnerable, financially speaking. These effects are larger among cohabiting couples, possibly due to the <a href="https://ifstudies.org/blog/less-stable-less-important-cohabiting-families-comparative-disadvantage-across-the-globe">higher probability of break up</a>.</p> <p>Even if breaking up is not on the cards, money that comes into the household predominantly through one partner also affects the balance of power. This is important if partners have a different view on what is best for their family, how much to save, what to spend their money on, and various plans and big decisions.</p> <p><strong>Traditional gender identity norms</strong></p> <p>Another theory involves the historic effect of social, psychological and cultural norms when it comes to gender roles. The social construct of a male breadwinner has been highly durable in the past.</p> <p>For generations, in many cultures, there has been an expectation that men will be the primary income provider in the family, and masculinity is highly linked to <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/1389781?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents">fulfilling this expectation</a>. Faced with a change in this outcome by being outearned by their partners, means men are likely to experience high levels of psychological distress.</p> <p>But the reality is that things are changing. In places like the US, the percentage of wives outearning their husbands <a href="https://muse.jhu.edu/article/630326/pdf">is growing</a>. In 1980, only 13% of married women earned about as much or more than their husbands. In 2000, that figure almost doubled to 25%, and in 2017 it was 31%. This trend is likely to continue into the future and similar patterns <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1136176">have been observed</a> in other countries.</p> <p><strong>The stress of being a sole bread winner</strong></p> <p>On average, men in my study said they experienced the lowest levels of psychological distress when their partners earned no more than 40 percent of household income.</p> <p>But for men, being the sole breadwinner may also come at a psychological price. For even if social gender norms support this situation, being the only income earner in a household comes with a lot of responsibility and pressure and so may result in significant anxiety and distress.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/302676/original/file-20191120-524-40h5dt.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /> <span class="caption">How perceived stress levels vary.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Joanna Syrda</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p>And while the emerging profile of a female breadwinner and its possible consequences has been <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225702056_The_Female_Breadwinner_Phenomenological_Experience_and_Gendered_Identity_in_WorkFamily_Spaces">widely researched</a>, very little attention has been devoted to the psychological hurdles faced by male primary breadwinners.</p> <p>This lack of research is perhaps symptomatic of the strength of the male bread-winning tradition. Health and wellbeing research is typically devoted to new phenomena, rather than widely accepted norms in society.</p> <p><a href="https://academic.oup.com/qje/article/130/2/571/2330321">Gender identity norms</a> clearly still induce a widely held aversion to a situation where the wife earns more than her husband. And as the number of women outearning their male partners grows, the traditional social norm of the male breadwinner may begin to adjust.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/126620/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joanna-syrda-386410">Joanna Syrda</a>, Lecturer in Business Economics, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bath-1325">University of Bath</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/men-feel-stressed-if-their-female-partners-earn-more-than-40-of-household-income-new-research-126620">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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The 5 items that could bring you under ATO crackdown

<p><span>The Australian Taxation Office has launched a new crackdown on Australians with a specific group of “lifestyle assets”.</span></p> <p><span>More than 30 insurance companies have been asked to hand over information on Australian taxpayers who own items such as yachts, fine art, thoroughbred horses, private planes and luxury vehicles.</span></p> <p><span>The investigation will see the ATO receive financial information on 350,000 taxpayers since mid-2015 as part of the agency’s <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/Data-matching-protocols/">data-matching protocols</a>.</span></p> <p><span>“If a taxpayer is reporting a taxable income of $70,000 to us but we know they own a $3 million yacht then this is likely to raise some red flags,” ATO deputy commissioner Deborah Jenkins said on Wednesday.</span></p> <p><span>She said the crackdown is aimed at ensuring that Australians are paying their share of tax for the community.</span></p> <p><span>“Regardless of your level of wealth, we all need to pay the correct amount of tax,” Jenkins said.</span></p> <p><span>“Doing things like being untruthful about your income or failing to declare capital gains is effectively stealing from the community.</span></p> <p><span>“This is money the community is missing out on to pay for infrastructure and services we all rely on like schools, hospitals, and roads.”</span></p> <p><span>Those who were found to claim GST credits incorrectly will be asked to make full repayment along with any applicable interest and penalties.</span></p> <p><span>Self-managed super funds and undeclared capital gains on the disposal of certain assets will also be examined.</span></p> <p><span>People who suspect they have failed to comply with their tax or superannuation obligations will be given reduced penalties and interest charges if they turn themselves in.</span></p> <p><span>Insurers have been ordered to provide information on assets at or above the below thresholds:</span></p> <ul> <li>Marine vessels: $100,000</li> <li>Motor vehicles: $65,000</li> <li>Thoroughbred horses: $65,000</li> <li>Fine art: $100,000 per item</li> <li>Aircraft: $150,000</li> </ul>

Money & Banking