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Brand Olympics: do the famous rings deliver value to host countries?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/steven-greenland-2064">Steven Greenland</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-darwin-university-1066">Charles Darwin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/robert-joseph-gill-1530152">Robert Joseph Gill</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swinburne-university-of-technology-767">Swinburne University of Technology</a></em></p> <p>The cost of hosting Paris 2024, the 33rd Olympics, is predicted to be <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/paris-lean-olympics-wont-blow-any-budgets-credit-rating-firm-sp-says-2024-03-11/">more than A$14 billion</a>.</p> <p>So what’s in it for the French?</p> <p>Will this oldest of sporting events shine for them, or as has happened with some previous Olympics, will it prove to be <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-07/what-japan-learned-from-olympic-white-elephants/100329488">a massive white elephant</a>?</p> <h2>The power of the five rings</h2> <p>The Olympic brand is <a href="https://olympics.com/ioc/news/the-olympic-brand-maintains-its-global-strength-and-recognition">massively powerful</a> and gives the host nation a global platform to strengthen their international reputation and standing.</p> <p>The Olympic brand heritage goes back 2,800 years to southern Greece, when games were held to honour the Greek god Zeus at Olympia. Starting in 776 BC, these ancient games were held every four years and continued for more than 1,000 years.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VdHHus8IgYA?wmode=transparent&amp;start=11" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">The Olympics began as part of a festival honouring Zeus in the rural Greek town of Olympia.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>The modern Olympics began in 1896 in Athens. Since then, the games have been hosted in 23 cities and 20 countries.</p> <p>Paris 2024 will welcome around 10,500 athletes from more than 200 countries <a href="https://olympics.com/en/paris-2024/sports">competing in 32 different sports</a>. Around <a href="https://www.euromonitor.com/press/press-releases/nov-2023/olympic-games-2024-set-to-boost-tourism-spending-in-paris-by-up-to-eur4-billion-euromonitor-international">4 billion people will watch on</a> around the globe.</p> <p>The Olympics’ five rings (<a href="https://discover.sportsengineplay.com/olympics/history-of-they-rings#:%7E:text=They%20first%20appeared%20in%201913,to%20accept%20its%20fertile%20rivalries.">created by Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin 110 years ago</a>) is one of the most recognised logos on the planet.</p> <p>It represents unity across the five continents (Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania).</p> <p>It is this familiarity and <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/INTR-07-2018-0324/full/html">positive Olympic brand associations</a> – which include excitement, fairness and being elite – that some argue justifies the billions spent.</p> <p>Host nations hope this Olympic sparkle rubs off on their nation’s reputation – but that’s not always the case.</p> <h2>Benefits of hosting an Olympics</h2> <p>Broadcast rights, sponsorships and advertising from organisations that want to be associated with the Olympic brand can <a href="https://olympics.com/ioc/funding">generate huge revenue streams</a>.</p> <p>The Olympic brand adds considerable value for sponsors and advertisers, and there are also benefits that France (and the world) will gain long after the event.</p> <p>Responsible marketing and attracting sponsors that complement Olympic brand values can <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0965254X.2023.2230487">promote positive, sustainable attitudes and behaviour</a>. Examples of this include promoting unity, a sense of national pride, and social and health gains from <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-sports-participation-boom-during-or-before-or-after-the-olympics-227773">increased sports participation</a>.</p> <p>The event also generates huge revenue from domestic and international tourism – 15 million spectators are anticipated for Paris 2024. Most are locals and domestic day trippers but <a href="https://www.euromonitor.com/press/press-releases/nov-2023/olympic-games-2024-set-to-boost-tourism-spending-in-paris-by-up-to-eur4-billion-euromonitor-international">around 3 million additional visitors</a> are expected in Paris during the games.</p> <p>Increased infrastructure and updated civil works as a result of the city getting ready for the Olympics provides many lifestyle benefits: a reinvigorated host city can benefit from upgraded transport, accommodation, hospitality, sports facilities and streetscapes.</p> <p>Other significant benefits relate to strengthening the host country’s geographic and cultural brand. For France, this includes reinforcing and promoting many of its registered geographic indicator products that relate mainly to wine, agricultural products and foodstuffs, as well as spirits and beers.</p> <p>Champagne is perhaps the most widely recognised geographic indicator product. It illustrates how connection to its place of origin assures consumers about regional and French cultural values and <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-in-a-name-quite-a-lot-if-its-prosecco-parmesan-or-mozzarella-209505">the products’ characteristics and quality</a>.</p> <h2>What about the pitfalls?</h2> <p>Many Olympics have failed to turn a profit, meaning countries and citizens are <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02665433.2019.1633948">left to pay off debts</a> for decades after the event (for example, Rio, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jul/06/40-year-hangover-1976-olympic-games-broke-montreal-canada">Montreal</a>, Beijing and Athens).</p> <p>Also, many cities are left with <a href="https://theconversation.com/looking-back-at-the-olympic-venues-since-1896-are-they-still-in-use-229606">purpose-built infrastructure</a> created specifically for the games but left idle afterwards, including athlete accommodation, aquatic centres and major stadiums.</p> <p>What will determine the success of Paris 2024 and justify the massive investment in hosting the event?</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_m1x5JaC37E?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Is hosting the Olympics worth the investment?</span></figcaption></figure> <p>The success of the Olympics for the host is often determined by the financial revenue it can generate. The Olympic brand plays a significant role in generating this financial support.</p> <p>However, the brand’s reputation can be tarnished by issues leading up to and during the games, which may reduce the positive impacts.</p> <p>The Olympic brand’s reputation can be affected by issues like:</p> <ul> <li> <p>high-profile athletes and national teams cheating or doping</p> </li> <li> <p>world sporting authorities placing restrictions on competitors <a href="https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1143198/restrictions-transgender-paris2024-games">based on gender and status</a></p> </li> <li> <p>incompatible sponsors jumping on the Olympic bandwagon. For example, manufacturers of harmful products whose negative brand associations could tarnish the Olympic brand, such as <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0965254X.2023.2176532">soft drink and alcohol sponsors</a></p> </li> <li> <p>negative publicity associated with unethical practices of host and participating countries <a href="https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/sports-politics-brands-volatile-mix-olympic-games/">with human rights issues</a>. This includes others using the event to publicise these</p> </li> <li> <p>politicising the event – including “<a href="https://theconversation.com/is-saudi-arabia-using-sportswashing-to-simply-hide-its-human-rights-abuses-or-is-there-a-bigger-strategy-at-play-208468">sportswashing</a>”, protests, boycotts and image protection, as seen with <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13216597.2017.1347101">China</a>, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/kidspost/2021/12/16/us-protest-olympics-is-nothing-new-politics-have-been-mixed-with-sports-decades/">the United States</a>, and <a href="https://olympics.com/ioc/news/declaration-by-the-ioc-against-the-politicisation-of-sport">Russia</a></p> </li> <li> <p>unforeseeable events – the COVID pandemic delayed the Tokyo games and <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/money-money-money-cost-tokyos-pandemic-delayed-olympics-2021-06-10/#:%7E:text=Organisers%20said%20last%20December%20that,has%20risen%20to%20%243%20billion">pushed the cost to A$18 billion</a></p> </li> <li> <p>other negative associated risks for the host city such as <a href="https://theconversation.com/will-the-paris-olympics-be-a-terrorist-target-these-three-factors-could-be-key-229110">terrorism</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/extreme-heat-is-a-killer-for-outdoor-sporting-events-lets-plan-properly-to-keep-everyone-safe-229998">heat waves</a>, and civil unrest.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Fingers crossed for France</h2> <p>With close to half the world watching Paris 2024, France’s National Olympic Committee will be anxiously hoping for positive outcomes to ensure a strong return on the A$14 billion invested. But since Sydney 2000, virtually every games host has suffered <a href="https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/economi">significant financial blowouts</a>.</p> <p>For their sake, and the Olympics’ reputation, let’s hope the Paris games sparkle - or we may be left with a very limited number of potential future hosts with very deep pockets.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228497/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/steven-greenland-2064">Steven Greenland</a>, Professor in Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/charles-darwin-university-1066">Charles Darwin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/robert-joseph-gill-1530152">Robert Joseph Gill</a>, Associate Professor in Media and Communication, Swinburne University of Technology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swinburne-university-of-technology-767">Swinburne University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Artur Widak/NurPhoto/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/brand-olympics-do-the-famous-rings-deliver-value-to-host-countries-228497">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Young Aussies hit back at Steve Price for calling them "lazy"

<p>Young Aussies have hit back at Steve Price after being criticised as lazy by the broadcaster. </p> <p>Prince unleashed at younger generations on <em>The Project</em> while they were discussing the campaign for more leave initiated by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, which is pushing to increase annual leave to five weeks a year. </p> <p>The union hopes to ease burnout in employees, and Price was not impressed with the calls for extra leave. </p> <p>"We're trying to get productivity up in this country," he said.</p> <p>"So we've got people refusing to go back to the office, working from home in barely washed tracksuit tops and bottoms, three days a week. </p> <p>"And now they want five weeks holiday."</p> <p>Georgie Tunny, a millennial, hit back at the boomer by arguing that the "work culture" has changed, especially among those new to the workforce. </p> <p>"Especially for the younger generations, they see work completely differently," she said.</p> <p>Price interrupted her saying that young Aussies just did not want to "work very hard", to which Tunny replied: "There's been a death of your job as your identity or career."</p> <p>Social media users were quick to back Tunny, and took aim at Price. </p> <p>"Where's the incentive for young people to work hard when working hard won't buy you a house or even afford you basic veggies," one said. </p> <p>"You get what you pay for, and it's not worth it to work hard. There's literally no benefit to working as hard as you can," another added. </p> <p>"When you're priced out of the market, priced out of holidays and priced out of necessities, what motivation is there to care or be productive," another added. </p> <p>Others suggested that employers should "increase wages and introduce bonuses as incentives," to encourage their staff to work harder. </p> <p>"Nobody is interested in working themselves to death for scraps," one person said. </p> <p>"I don't want to work very hard for CEOs to make millions while I'm barley able to afford bread," another said. </p> <p>"Our generation is just sick of working hard to have all the higher ups take the credit and the bag. We know what we're worth," a third added. </p> <p>A recent Productivity Commission report found that Aussies born after 1990 are finding more difficult than previous generations to move up the financial ladder. </p> <p>The report also found that young Aussies are increasingly earning less than their parents did at the same age, with the global financial crisis partially to blame for the weak income growth. </p> <p><em>Images: The Project</em></p>

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Your parents’ income doesn’t determine yours – unless you’re ultra rich or extremely poor

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/catherine-de-fontenay-5631">Catherine de Fontenay</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>Australia is among the strongest global performers in terms of income mobility between the generations, according to a new <a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/research/completed/fairly-equal-mobility">Productivity Commission report</a>.</p> <p>The country’s long-term economic growth has led to each generation earning more than the last, on average.</p> <p>Our report finds 67% of the so-called <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/xennials-born-between-millennials-and-gen-x-2017-11">“Xennial”</a> generation – those born in 1976–1982, on the cusp of the Millennial/Gen X divide – earn more than their parents did at a similar age.</p> <p>This is particularly true of those born into poorer families.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="NsmB3" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: 0;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/NsmB3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>When we look at where people rank in an income distribution, the picture is a little less rosy. While children with parents at the bottom or top of the income scale are more likely to remain there, almost 15% of people with parents in the lowest income decile, remain there while just 6% move to the top.</p> <p>And those living in poverty - who often include renters, people from migrant backgrounds who don’t speak English at home and single parents - face some of the biggest barriers to improving their economic lot.</p> <p><a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/research/completed/fairly-equal-mobility">Fairly Equal? Economic mobility in Australia</a>, released on Thursday, measures intergenerational income mobility by examining the relationship between a person’s income and the eventual income of their children.</p> <h2>Measuring inequality</h2> <p>Most countries anxiously monitor income distribution and economic mobility amid concerns inequality may be increasing.</p> <p>And countries with high inequality tend to have low mobility: the rungs of the social ladder are far apart making it difficult to move up to the next level.</p> <p>If mobility is low, the consequences are serious. Low mobility is discouraging, unproductive and unstable. If young people have little chance of achieving their aspirations, their wellbeing is affected.</p> <p><a href="https://ideas.repec.org/p/cor/louvco/2023026.html">Social unrest is more likely</a>. And the abilities of young people from less affluent backgrounds are under-used. The next tech entrepreneur Steve Jobs may never be discovered, and many other opportunities are lost.</p> <p>In Australia we are used to thinking of ourselves as having inequality and mobility somewhere between Scandinavia and the US; but that comparison is not as comforting as it used to be, if inequality and mobility are worsening in the US.</p> <p>Our report considers people’s income mobility over the course of their lives, and across generations. If income mobility is low, people will struggle to recover from initial disadvantage, and those born into privilege will be financially secure.</p> <p>First we look at whether people move in the income distribution; there is a surprising amount of movement. And we look for evidence people can access opportunities throughout life, after setbacks.</p> <h2>Recovering from setbacks</h2> <p>There is not much evidence of recovery after a person experiences a severe illness or a job loss, perhaps because the causal factors are still at work.</p> <p>More encouragingly, the income of women who experience separation <a href="https://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/4815110/HILDA-User-Manual-Release-22.0.pdf">does increase</a>, eventually restoring the buying power of their household. This is in part due to well-targeted government support.</p> <p>For intergenerational mobility, we extended the dataset developed by <a href="https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jel.20211413">an analytical dataset</a> to measure the influence parents’ income had on the income their offspring were likely to earn.</p> <p>We found Australia’s intergenerational mobility is actually higher than the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/sjoe.12197">Scandinavian</a> countries, and second only to <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3662560">Switzerland</a> among comparable studies.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="5DFB9" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: 0;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/5DFB9/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>In all countries studied there was some link between parents’ income mobility and that of children, because parents pass on tastes, ambitions and abilities.</p> <p>And there was greater correlation between the incomes of mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons than with parents of the opposite gender, perhaps because of role model effects.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="BJ4hD" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: 0;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/BJ4hD/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>While Australia’s strong income mobility between generations is remarkable, it’s concerning there is less mobility among those at the very bottom and top of the income distribution scale.</p> <p>The fact children born into the poorest families were more likely to remain in the lowest deciles, while those born into the top earning families tended to remain in the top deciles, suggests privilege is often passed on.</p> <p>People who grew up in frequently poor households were <a href="https://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/3537441/HILDA-Statistical-report-2020.pdf">three time more likely</a> to be poor at age 26 to 32 than those who never experienced poverty.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="SxHBo" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: 0;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/SxHBo/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>And consistent with <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/37c2c8b7-328c-41e1-bace-87ed7a551777/australias-welfare-chapter-2-summary-18sept2019.pdf.aspx">other studies</a> we found children whose family received government payments were twice as likely to receive support as adults, compared with those whose families received no help.</p> <h2>Movement in the middle</h2> <p>Taken together, these results suggest some segmentation of opportunities. In the middle of the income distribution, there are opportunities to get ahead, and individuals’ careers are not restricted by their families’ circumstances.</p> <p>At the bottom, things are a lot more “sticky”, and finding opportunities to permanently escape poverty is more difficult. Some of this boils down where people live, peers, school quality and local job options.</p> <p>Researchers <a href="https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jel.20211413">Deutscher and Mazumder</a> (2023) have shown regional economic conditions have a big impact on mobility, and we show remoteness limits movement out of poverty.</p> <p>Overall, the mobility picture is extremely good news for most Australians.</p> <p>But this should not blind us how difficult it is to move out of poverty, especially for those in remote areas. Identifying where mobility fails to deliver allows us to focus our policy response.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/234158/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/catherine-de-fontenay-5631">Catherine de Fontenay</a>, Honorary Fellow, Department of Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/your-parents-income-doesnt-determine-yours-unless-youre-ultra-rich-or-extremely-poor-234158">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Woman cops hefty fine after "checking out surf"

<p>A woman has lashed out at her local council after she copped a fine for $136 for a five-minute stop at a popular beach to assess the surf conditions. </p> <p>Amy Sloane stopped her car at The Esplanade at NSW's Caves Beach to get a sense of the surf conditions on July 6th, and was unknowingly being watched by a parking inspector. </p> <p>Ms Sloane was shocked to receive the fine in the post a few weeks later, arguing that her actions didn't justify the fine.</p> <p>"How do I feel? P***ed off," she told <em>Yahoo News</em>. "Rangers can't fine people who don't pick up after their dogs on our beaches, but can secretly fine you without you knowing for just checking out the surf for five minutes."</p> <p>She also called the council workers "cowards", saying the area she stopped in is often used by locals and tourists to get a look at the surf, and even whale watch occasionally during migration season.</p> <p>As she continued to defend her actions, Lake Macquarie City Council clarified that the infringement stated the driver parallel parked in the opposite direction of travel, which is a  known "safety offence under Australia Road Rules".</p> <p>It is illegal in all Australian states and territories to park your car in the opposite direction of traffic on any road.</p> <p>"The fine at hand was issued for not parallel parking in the direction of travel, which is a safety offence under Australian Road Rules. The driver's vehicle crossed double white lines and was parked near a bend, facing oncoming traffic, which further heightened safety concerns," a council spokesperson said.</p> <p>After expressing her annoyance on social media, many agreed the fine was warranted, saying she had done the wrong thing, regardless of how long she was there for.</p> <p>Other locals chimed in and said "it happens all the time" despite it being a fineable offence.</p> <p>"If you think the fine is wrong, fight it. If you were parked incorrectly, wear the fine," another said.</p> <p>Sloane confirmed to <em><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/woman-fined-136-after-checking-out-surf-at-popular-beach-084002221.html?guccounter=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Yahoo News</a> </em>she will begrudgingly pay the fine.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Shutterstock </em></p>

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Optus giving away 20,000 free phones to vulnerable customers

<p>Optus will be giving away 20,000 mobile phones to vulnerable customers ahead of the 3G network shut down. </p> <p>Following the footsteps of Telstra, who gave out <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/telstra-giving-free-phones-to-elderly-and-remote" target="_blank" rel="noopener">12,000 mobile phones</a> to their most vulnerable remote and elderly customers last month, Optus will offer thousands of free mobile phones to customers enduring financial hardship and vulnerable customers finding it difficult to replace their current phones. </p> <p>“We know that many impacted customers are actually using a 4G handset that reverts to 3G for calls, so it’s vital these customers understand the importance of upgrading their handsets when notified,” Optus’ head of new products Harvey Wright said.</p> <p>Messages have been sent to eligible customers, and the telco giant has also rolled out special deals encouraging Australian's to upgrade. </p> <p>The move to switch off 3G means that soon certain mobile devices will no longer be able to send texts, make calls, or contact triple-0 in an emergency. A few older 4G handsets will also be affected. </p> <p>Telstra will turn off their 3G network on August 31, while Optus will turn it off on September 1. </p> <p>TPG Telecom and Vodafone have already turned it off. </p> <p>Australia's mobile network operators say that the move will help boost the capacity, speed and reliability of the newer 4G and 5G networks. </p> <p>The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) have also urged customers to take action to ensure that they stay connected. </p> <p>“Whether it’s your day-to-day mobile or one you keep in the drawer for an emergency, we encourage you to check all of your devices to ensure they will be supported once Australia’s 3G networks are switched off,” AMTA chief executive Louise Hyland said. </p> <p>The AMTA suggests that concerned customers should visit their <a href="https://amta.org.au/3g-closure/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website</a> to find out if their devices will be supported. </p> <p>“It is important to note that while 3G networks are still in operation, those affected mobile devices will continue to connect to any available 3G network while in coverage, to make emergency calls to triple-0,” Hyland said.</p> <p>“However, once the 3G networks are fully closed, these phones will not be able to make emergency calls.</p> <p>“It is crucial to act now if you know you have an older mobile device and you haven’t already upgraded.”</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Can you change your mind after you buy a house?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rosemary-gibson-1544081">Rosemary Gibson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p>In the Bluey episode “<a href="https://iview.abc.net.au/show/bluey-the-sign">The Sign</a>”, the Heeler family enters a contract to sell their family home to a pair of English Sheepdogs, or as Bluey calls them, “the dogs with no eyes”.</p> <p>But towards the end of the episode, the Sheepdogs spy another house that they prefer. Unlike Bluey’s house, the new place has a pool.</p> <p>They telephone Bandit and tell him that they have changed their mind. Happily for Bluey’s family – and let’s face it, most of Australia – Bandit decides not to press ahead with the sale and the Heelers end up staying put in their family home.</p> <p>But aside from the fact that the contracting parties are all cartoon dogs – how realistic is this scenario? Is it possible to end a contract to purchase or sell a house simply because you’ve changed your mind?</p> <p>The reality is that once a contract of sale is signed, there are only limited circumstances in which buyers and sellers can bring the contract to an end.</p> <h2>What do you sign when buying or selling a house?</h2> <p>In Australia, each state and territory has its own standard form contract for the sale of land that buyers and sellers must sign.</p> <p>The terms of these contracts mirror relevant state or territory laws, meaning they differ throughout Australia. It is important for parties to obtain advice from a property lawyer with experience in a particular jurisdiction’s contract.</p> <h2>Can you change your mind after signing?</h2> <p>Once a contract has been signed, a buyer may only end it for a “change of mind” during the “cooling off period”. The cooling off period is a short period of time – usually between two and five business days – after the contract is signed.</p> <p>During this time, the buyer can end the contract, “no questions asked”. But there are usually financial consequences for terminating during the cooling off period.</p> <p>For example, in New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT, a buyer who ends the contract during the cooling off period must pay the seller 0.25% of the purchase price. For a house purchase of A$1 million, this termination penalty would be $2,500.</p> <p>But not all states and territories guarantee a cooling off period for buyers. And in such a hot property market, an individual seller may be unlikely to agree to include such a term in a contract.</p> <h2>What if something goes wrong down the track?</h2> <p>When negotiating the contract terms, the parties may agree that the sale is subject to certain conditions. Typically, these conditions are in the purchaser’s favour. If one of the conditions is not satisfied in time, then the contract can be brought to an end.</p> <p>It is up to the parties to negotiate which conditions (if any) are included in the contract, and the time by which the conditions must be satisfied. The most common conditions of sale are:</p> <ul> <li>the buyer obtains finance by a certain date (a finance clause)</li> <li>the buyer obtains satisfactory building and pest inspection reports by a certain date (a building and pest clause).</li> </ul> <p>The buyer may also want the sale to be subject to the buyer first selling an existing property.</p> <p>Once all of the conditions of sale are satisfied, the contract is said to be “unconditional”. From this time, there are no express circumstances in which either party may bring the contract to an end.</p> <p>When the Sheepdogs telephoned Bandit, the Heelers had already moved all their furniture out of the house. Clearly, the sale had already gone unconditional. There was no express basis on which the Sheepdogs could have terminated the contract.</p> <h2>Could the Heelers have sued for breach of contact?</h2> <p>A party who ends a contract without justification is liable to pay compensation to the other party.</p> <p>A house purchaser who wrongly terminates a contract would almost certainly lose their deposit. They may also be liable for additional losses the seller suffers as a result of the breach, including any deficiency in price on a resale of the property.</p> <p>But a buyer and seller may bring a contract to an end by “mutual agreement”, which seems to be what happened in Bluey. The Sheepdogs sought to end the contract and – to the relief of all Australians – the Heelers agreed.</p> <p>This is, however, unlikely to occur “in real life”, especially in today’s highly competitive property market.</p> <p>At the very least, the seller would be entitled to retain the purchaser’s deposit. There would also be the issue of who bears the costs incurred in advertising and agency fees.</p> <p>It seems Bandit followed his heart rather than the strict terms of the contract — and Australia is the better for it.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/234659/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rosemary-gibson-1544081">Rosemary Gibson</a>, Lecturer in Contract Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/can-you-change-your-mind-after-you-buy-a-house-234659">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Second marriage asset protection: What you need to know

<p>Of paramount importance for many people in a second marriage is how to protect their assets if their relationship breaks down, or in the event of their death. Although second marriages bring a level of complexity, there are a number of strategies that you can implement to ensure that your assets are protected.</p> <p>Let’s explore some of the options available to you and what you need to know to protect your assets.</p> <p><strong>Binding Financial Agreement</strong></p> <p>A Binding Financial Agreement, often referred to as a pre-nup, allows you and your spouse to put in place a legal agreement which outlines how your assets will be dealt with in the event that your relationship breaks down. Should you wish, it can also extend to the provision of financial support for either party. The intention is for each party to protect their own assets, and such agreements can be put in place prior to a marriage or during a marriage if both parties consent.</p> <p>Like any legal document, a Binding Financial Agreement needs to be well drafted to ensure that it encompasses all relevant information, and it is important that you seek the advice of a family lawyer to assist you with putting this important document in place.</p> <p><strong>Joint Assets v Individual Assets</strong></p> <p>The manner in which you hold your assets is of paramount importance. All joint assets pass to the surviving party. If you and your spouse own a property as joint proprietors upon your death this property will automatically pass to your spouse. By changing the manner in which you hold the property from joint proprietors to tenants in common allows you and your spouse to deal with your individual interest in the property in your respective Wills.</p> <p>Additionally, you need to be mindful of any bank accounts or other investments that you hold jointly with your spouse as these are not individual assets that you can make provision for and will pass to your spouse upon your death.</p> <p><strong>Your Will</strong></p> <p>It is imperative that you put a Will in place that is reflective of your current circumstances and adequately provides for both your spouse and your children from a previous relationship in the manner that you desire. For many parents in second marriages with children from a previous relationship, protecting their children’s inheritance is of paramount importance.</p> <p>Discretionary Testamentary Trusts which are created in accordance with the provisions of your Will, can make provision for your spouse during their lifetime, whilst also ensuring that most of your assets go to your children. </p> <p>If you are the sole registered proprietor of your residence in which you and your spouse reside you may make provision in your Will providing a life interest in your residence to your spouse subject to some conditions being adhered to. This will allow your spouse to reside in your residence for the duration of their life then subsequent to their death the property may then pass to your children.</p> <p>Dying without a valid Will in place deems that you died intestate, and your assets will be distributed in accordance with a government formula and may not end up with the people who you would like to receive them. Your spouse would be entitled to a share of your assets, however this may not have been your intention, or the share that they would receive may be significantly more than you would like them to receive.</p> <p>It is therefore crucial that you take the time to put a well drafted Will in place so that your assets pass to those who you would like to receive them upon your death.</p> <p><strong>Mutual Wills Agreement</strong></p> <p>A Mutual Wills Agreement is a separate document to your Will and essentially is an agreement between you and your spouse that both of you will not change your Will without the consent of the your spouse or their legal personal representative upon their death. </p> <p>This document is intended to prevent the remaining spouse from altering their Will and disinheriting step-children or making other adverse changes to their Will.</p> <p><strong>The Right People in Key Roles</strong></p> <p>The roles of executor of your Will and your attorney in respect to your Power of Attorney documents are important roles and it is paramount that you appoint trusted people to undertake these roles as essentially you are handing control of your assets to those who assume these roles.</p> <p>Your attorney is entrusted to look after your finances and provide the best care for you in the event that you become incapacitated so you need to choose wisely.</p> <p><strong>Communication is Crucial</strong></p> <p>It is important that there is transparency for you and your family. By having important conversations with your spouse and children you can openly discuss your intentions and expectations so that all parties are relevantly informed and fully understand what your wishes are and what you have put in place. </p> <p>In order to evaluate the best options for you it is important that you obtain the appropriate professional advice to determine which is the best strategy for your own individual circumstances so that the relevant documents are put in place which offer you the best asset protection possible.</p> <p><em><strong>Melisa Sloan is principal of Madison Sloan Lawyers and author of Big Moments: Expert Advice for Conquering those moments that define us. www.melisasloan.com.au</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Major banks hand over millions in refunds over unfair fees

<p>Four major Australian banks are set to cough up close to $30 million in refunds to low-income customers after the Federal corporate watchdog revealed a pattern in high fees. </p> <p>A new report from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission revealed ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, as well as mid-tier Bendigo and Adelaide Bank kept at least two million low-income customers in high-fee accounts.</p> <p>Many of these low-income earners rely on Centrelink payments, and were unfairly slapped with unreasonably high fees. </p> <p>The report followed an ASIC review which focused on improving financial outcomes for First Nations customers by addressing avoidable bank fees.</p> <p>“We focused in this project on the banks who were most likely to have First Nations consumers on low incomes trapped in high-fee accounts,” ASIC commissioner Alan Kirkland said.</p> <p>ASIC said the four banks have committed to moving more than 200,000 customers into low-fee accounts, saving them about $10.7 million a year, with the financial institutions also committed to refunding over $28m in fees to these customers over the next 12 to 18 months.</p> <p>This includes $24.6 million to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and apprentices receiving ABSTUDY payments, and customers in areas with significant First Nations populations.</p> <p>“At any time ASIC, and the community, expects that the banks will treat their customers fairly,” Mr Kirkland said.</p> <p>“But that’s particularly important for people on low incomes and for people who are struggling to make ends meet, the last thing they need is to have the very little income that they have being eaten away in unnecessary bank fees.”</p> <p>Mr Kirkland added that the implications of ASIC’s latest review applied to all banks across the country.</p> <p>“We’re expecting all of them to read the report and make improvements to their practices to stop other people being trapped in high-fee accounts that they can’t afford,” Mr Kirkland said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Couple's retirement plans "ruined" after investment fail

<p>A couple from Brisbane claim their retirement has been "ruined" after an investment went wrong. </p> <p>After first visiting Coffs Harbour in 1976, Raymond and Wendy Dibb saw potential in the area, land-banking 2.7 hectares of rural acreage in the late 1980s. </p> <p>The couple bought the land in Korora for $118,000 in 1988 and sat on it for decades, waiting for the day they could make their retirement fortune by subdividing and selling it off.</p> <p>However they never got the chance, as the land was compulsorily acquired by Transport for NSW back in 2021 in order to make way for the Pacific Highway bypass.</p> <p>The $2.2 billion highway is now currently being built over the top of the block, which will be the site of a major intersection when the project opens to traffic in late 2026.</p> <p>The couple believed the land was worth a hefty $5.5 million, although Transport NSW valued it at just $1.062 million back in 2021.</p> <p>A gruelling three-year legal battle finally ended in the NSW Court of Appeal on June 28th, with the Dibbs being awarded $1.359 million in compensation, although they argued they deserved more. </p> <p>“This was a pretty significant financial transaction that’s really gone bad for us,” Raymond Dibb told the<em> </em><a title="www.smh.com.au" href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/couple-loses-property-fight-after-highway-swallows-5-5-million-dream-20240703-p5jqrx.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em>. </a>“And it’s got nothing to do with our investment choices."</p> <p>“We’re talking about landowners just minding their own business, and someone comes knocking on your door, saying, ‘We’re going to take your land’”.</p> <p>Mr Dibb slammed the entire process of the acquisition, saying that he believed an independent body should conduct compulsory acquisitions rather than the government.</p> <p>In the Land and Environment Court, Justice Nicola Pain ended up increasing the couple’s compensation to $1.42 million after it was determined the land could have produced seven residential lots with less risk and cost.</p> <p>She found they were also entitled to money to cover fees and stamp duty on a replacement block for their land bank, which the couple argued they would need to buy to delay paying capital gains tax.</p> <p>Transport for NSW argued that they should not have been granted any money for stamp duty, with Justices Kristina Stern, Anthony Payne and Jeremy Kirk agreeing.</p> <p>This was stripped from the award and they refused to revalue the block of land. The couple were also ordered to pay the government’s costs of the two-day appeal.</p> <p>Mr Dibb is considering seeking leave to appeal against the High Court’s decision. He added that the couple’s retirement plans had been ruined by Transport for NSW, which originally offered just $470,000 for the land back in 2019.</p> <p>A spokesperson for Transport for NSW said the government body “empathises with residents and landowners affected by property acquisitions” and said they always “try to minimise the need for property acquisition”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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How much do you need to know about how your spouse spends money? Maybe less than you think

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/scott-rick-1534612">Scott Rick</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-michigan-1290">University of Michigan</a></em></p> <p>Love is in the air, and wedding season is upon us.</p> <p>Like many elder millennials, I grew up watching sitcoms in the 1980s and ‘90s. Whenever those series needed a ratings boost, they would feature a wedding. Those special episodes taught me that weddings usually involve young lovebirds: think Elvin and Sondra from “The Cosby Show,” Cory and Topanga from “Boy Meets World,” or David and Darlene from “Roseanne.”</p> <p>But those were different times. People are getting married later in life than they used to: In the United States, <a href="https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/visualizations/time-series/demo/families-and-households/ms-2.pdf">the median age of newlyweds</a> has grown to 28 for women and 30 for men.</p> <p>This trend means that many Americans now enter marriage after being self-reliant for several years, including managing their own money. Will they be eager to change that once they get married? Don’t count on it. A 2017 <a href="https://bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com/content/dam/bmh/pdf/ar6vnln9-boa-bmh-millennial-report-winter-2018-final2.pdf">Bank of America survey</a> suggests that millennial married couples are around 15 percentage points more likely than their predecessors to keep their finances separate.</p> <p>This is not necessarily a good development. As a behavioral scientist <a href="https://michiganross.umich.edu/faculty-research/faculty/scott-rick">who studies money and relationships</a>, I find that joint accounts <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucad020">can bring partners closer</a>.</p> <p>There are some risks, however. Joint accounts create transparency, and intuitively, transparency feels like a good thing in relationships. But I argue that some privacy is important even for highly committed couples – <a href="https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250280077/tightwadsandspendthrifts">and money is no exception</a>.</p> <h2>The newlywed game</h2> <p>Behavioral scientists <a href="https://kelley.iu.edu/faculty-research/faculty-directory/profile.html?id=jgolson">Jenny Olson</a>, <a href="https://som.yale.edu/faculty-research/faculty-directory/deborah-small">Deb Small</a>, <a href="https://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/directory/finkel_eli.aspx">Eli Finkel</a> and I recently conducted <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/50/4/704/7077142">an experiment with engaged and newlywed couples</a>. Each of the pairs had entirely separate accounts, but they were undecided about how they wanted to manage their money moving forward.</p> <p>We randomly assigned each of the 230 couples to one of three groups. One group kept their money in separate accounts; one merged their cash into a joint account and stopped using separate accounts; and one managed their money however they liked.</p> <p>We followed couples for two years, periodically asking them to complete surveys assessing their relationship dynamics and satisfaction. Our relationship quality measure included items such as “I cannot imagine another person making me as happy as my partner does” and “Within the last three months, I shouted or yelled at my partner.”</p> <p>Among the couples who could do whatever they wanted, most kept things separate. They and the couples assigned to keep separate accounts experienced a steady decline in relationship quality over time.</p> <p>This is a fairly typical pattern. For instance, in <a href="https://academic.oup.com/sf/article-abstract/79/4/1313/2234046">a large study that tracked U.S. couples’ marital happiness for 17 years</a>, <a href="https://www.unk.edu/academics/social-work/faculty_staff/van_laningham.php">sociologist Jody Van Laningham</a> and colleagues found that “marital happiness either declines continuously or flattens after a long period of decline.”</p> <p>Declines during the first two years of marriage are particularly important. Social scientist <a href="https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/prc/faculty/hustontl">Ted Huston</a> and colleagues call those first two years <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.80.2.237">the “connubial crucible</a>.” They find that relationship dynamics that develop during that crucial period can foreshadow relationship quality for many years to come.</p> <p>Couples in our study who were prompted to take the plunge into a joint account, however, maintained their initial level of relationship satisfaction over the course of the two-year experiment.</p> <h2>Tit-for-tat</h2> <p>Our survey results suggest that, by turning “my money” and “your money” into “our money,” a joint account can help to reduce scorekeeping within a relationship. For example, we found that couples with joint accounts were more likely to agree with statements such as “When one person does something for the other, the other should not owe the giver anything.”</p> <p>Relationships usually don’t start with a scorekeeping orientation. In the 1980s and ‘90s, psychologist <a href="https://psychology.yale.edu/people/margaret-clark">Margaret Clark</a> and colleagues conducted experiments where partners had the option of keeping track of each other’s contributions to a shared task. <a href="https://clarkrelationshiplab.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Resource%20allocation%20in%20intimate%20relationships.pdf">They observed</a> that intimate relationships often begin with a “communal” orientation, where partners help one another without keeping careful track of who’s doing what.</p> <p>Eventually, however, they take on more of an “exchange” orientation – where inputs are tracked and timely reciprocity is expected. Couples that manage to stave off a tit-for-tat mindset <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610373882">tend to be happier</a>.</p> <h2>Too much of a good thing?</h2> <p>The data from our experiment with young couples clearly suggests that using only a joint account is better than using only separate accounts. However, I argue in my new book, “<a href="https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250280077/">Tightwads and Spendthrifts</a>,” that just a joint account is probably not optimal.</p> <p>When partners use only a joint account, they get an up-close-and-personal view of how the other person is spending money. This kind of transparency is <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/money-habits-successful-married-couples-avoid-2016-11">normally viewed</a> as a good thing.</p> <p>Some commentators argue that a healthy marriage should have no secrets whatsoever. For example, Willard Harley, Jr., a clinical psychologist who primarily writes for Christian audiences, argues that you should “reveal to your spouse <a href="https://www.marriagebuilders.com/the-policy-of-radical-honesty.htm">as much information about yourself as you know</a>: your thoughts, feelings, habits, likes, dislikes, personal history, daily activities, and plans for the future.”</p> <p>In addition, if your goal is to minimize optional spending, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/jcpy.1083">research suggests</a> that the transparency that comes with a joint account can be helpful. We spend less when someone is looking over our shoulder.</p> <p>Still, there are reasons to believe that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407500172005">complete transparency can be harmful for couples</a>.</p> <p>Many people have become convinced that if they could just stop buying lattes and avocado toast, they could invest that money and become rich. Unfortunately, the underlying math is highly dubious, as journalist Helaine Olen points out in <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/308568/pound-foolish-by-helaine-olen/">her book “Pound Foolish</a>.” Still, many people view small indulgences as their primary obstacle to wealth. Complete transparency around these financially inconsequential “treats” <a href="https://slate.com/business/2021/09/partner-hates-retail-therapy-money-advice.html">can lead to unnecessary arguments</a>.</p> <p>Also, spouses may have different passions that their partner does not fully understand. Expenses that seem perfectly reasonable to another hobbyist may seem outrageous <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/19/2/256/1929895">to someone without the proper context</a> – another source of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352250X21000750">avoidable disagreements</a>.</p> <h2>'Translucent,’ not transparent</h2> <p>I propose that many couples may benefit from a combination of joint and separate accounts.</p> <p>A joint account is essential for ensuring that both partners have immediate and equal access to “our money.” Ideally, all income would be direct-deposited into the joint account, which would help to blur the gap between partners’ earnings. Conspicuous income differences <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/432228">can jeopardize relationship quality</a>.</p> <p>Separate accounts attached to the joint account can allow some privacy for individual purchases and help partners maintain a sense of autonomy and individuality. Each person gets to spend some of “our money” without their partner looking over their shoulder. Spouses would have a high-level understanding of how much their partner is spending per week or per month, but avoid the occasionally irritating details.</p> <p>This kind of partial financial transparency – <a href="https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250280077/tightwadsandspendthrifts">what I call “financial translucency</a>” – could help couples strike the right balance between financial and psychological well-being.</p> <p>Of course, this approach requires a lot of trust. If the relationship is already on thin ice, complete financial transparency may be necessary. However, if the relationship is generally in the “good, but could be even better” category, I would argue that financial translucency is worth considering.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230070/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/scott-rick-1534612">Scott Rick</a>, Associate Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-michigan-1290">University of Michigan</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-much-do-you-need-to-know-about-how-your-spouse-spends-money-maybe-less-than-you-think-230070">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Been scammed? Here's how to financially recover

<p>Many people feel shame and embarrassment after realising they have been scammed. But you shouldn’t. You did nothing wrong; you are the victim of a crime. </p> <p>Not only are such feelings bad for your mental wellbeing, but they also often stop people reporting the scam or taking action to avoid further losses. </p> <p>Remember too that you’re not alone: victims reported more than 601,000 scams to the ACCC in 2023, together losing a staggering $2.74 billion. People of all ages, professions, and backgrounds have been affected. </p> <p>As hard as it may be, try to leave emotion aside and approach this like any other money matter – logically and methodically. Doing so will help you act faster and more decisively, which is crucial to your financial recovery. </p> <p>The following checklist will help you through this process:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Step 1 – Try to recoup your stolen money</strong></li> </ul> <p>Report the scam immediately. Contact your bank or card provider to stop the transaction being processed. Notify the company or marketplace where it occurred – they may have options to reverse the payment or for you to claim compensation for fraud. </p> <p>Also inform the ACCC’s Scamwatch and police if relevant, which may aid in tracking down the scammer and will help them alert the wider public on what to look out for. </p> <p>Unfortunately, the money is likely gone for good, but prompt action may just help you get some or all of it back. </p> <ul> <li><strong>Step 2 – Secure your accounts from further thefts</strong></li> </ul> <p>Once scammers have found a way to steal money, they often go back to try for more. Don’t let them! </p> <p>Freeze or cancel affected debit and credit cards, accounts etc. Change and strengthen all your passwords. Set up two-factor authentication if you haven’t already. Remove any suspicious applications on electronic devices. </p> <p>Double check the registrations of any business, adviser or tradesperson before engaging their services. Regularly check your superannuation, investments etc. to monitor for any inconsistencies.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Step 3 – Safeguard your cash flow</strong></li> </ul> <p>Don’t multiplying your losses by racking up new debts to cover the stolen money. That means limiting the use of credit cards, payday lenders and Buy Now, Pay Later schemes. Consider paying with cash instead to help you stick to a budget.</p> <p>If you have lost everything, register with Centrelink for income support. You may also be able to apply for hardship provisions with your bank, phone and energy providers and other essential services.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Step 4 – Get reputable advice</strong></li> </ul> <p>Legal advice may be able to get you out of bogus contracts, like loans or phone plans, and help you in the event your personal information has been stolen (which can be used in various ways to steal money). If you can’t afford a lawyer, there are free alternatives such as Legal Aid or Community Legal Centres. Specialist services such as the Women’s Legal Service may offer support where partner coercion or domestic abuse is involved.</p> <p>Accounting and financial advice may also help you navigate assistance options and longer term recovery efforts.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Step 5 – Rebuild your finances</strong></li> </ul> <p>Your ability to rebuild your finances after a scam will depend on a range of factors, including how much was lost plus your age and circumstances.</p> <p>You could seek to increase your earnings and/or cut your spending by tweaking your household budget, delaying retirement, or temporarily taking a second job to boost your income. </p> <p>Another option is to make your remaining finances work harder than before, such as adjusting your investment strategies (e.g. changing your risk weightings or selling assets) including within your superannuation or accessing equity in your home.</p> <p>If you’re a self-funded retiree, you may now qualify for a part or full pension if your scam losses push your total assets below the means test threshold.</p> <p>Ultimately, the most important things when dealing with the fallout from a scam is to look after yourself and protect what you have left.</p> <p>Scammers have already taken off with your dollars. Don’t let them steal your sense too!</p> <p><em><strong>Helen Baker is a licensed Australian financial adviser and author of On Your Own Two Feet: The Essential Guide to Financial Independence for all Women. Helen is among the 1% of financial planners who hold a master’s degree in the field. Proceeds from book sales are donated to charities supporting disadvantaged women and children. Find out more at <a href="http://www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au/">www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au</a></strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>Disclaimer: The information in this article is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal financial or product advice. Any opinions or views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent those of people, institutions or organisations the owner may be associated with in a professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated. Helen Baker is an authorised representative of BPW Partners Pty Ltd AFSL 548754.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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What you need to know about protecting your children’s inheritance

<p>For many people, ensuring that their children’s inheritance is protected is of paramount importance to them. There are a number of strategies that you can put in place to achieve this objective, you just need to determine which one bests suits you and your family’s circumstances.</p> <p><strong>Put a Will in place</strong></p> <p>By putting a Will in place, you get to decide who your assets go to, allowing you to make provision in your Will for them to pass to your children upon your death. If you do not have a Will in place then it is up to the government where your assets get paid and this may mean that your assets do not pass to your children, or do not pass to them in the manner that you desire. Play it safe and ensure things go the way you want them by taking the time to put a Will in place.</p> <p><strong>Testamentary trust </strong></p> <p>Let me introduce you to Testamentary Trusts.  These amazing vehicles allow you to transfer your wealth to your children in the most asset protective and tax effective way possible. With an increasing number of marriages crumbling and divorce rates soaring, the last thing you want is your hard earned wealth passing to your child’s estranged partner in the event of one of your child’s marriage breakdown. By making provision in your Will leaving your children’s inheritance in a Testamentary Trust it protects their inheritance from any divorce or family law risks if your child’s relationship breaks down.</p> <p>Additionally, you may have a child who works in a high-risk occupation – a doctor, financial advisor or perhaps carrying on the role of a director. Alternatively, your child may be an entrepreneur, taking risks in their own business operations.  </p> <p>If something adverse happened to your child whilst they were undertaking these roles and they were sued, they could be personally liable for them for any actions brought upon them by the aggrieved party.</p> <p>Creditors and other associated parties could only seek recourse to moneys owed by your child from them in their own personal capacity. If your child had received their inheritance in their own name, and hence the assets were now individual assets, the creditors and other associated parties would have recourse in recovering funds owed to them by your child.</p> <p>However, if your child’s inheritance was paid to a Testamentary Trust for their benefit at the time of your death then these assets would be held on trust for them and are not personal assets, hence the creditors and other associated parties would not have recourse in respect to these assets.</p> <p><strong>Blended marriages</strong></p> <p>If you have children from a previous marriage, it’s imperative that you obtain the appropriate legal advice  in respect to how to protect your assets for your children. There are a number of options that you can put in place including a Binding Financial Agreement and a Mutual Wills Agreement. </p> <p>There are also strategies that you can put in place which ensure that your assets pass to your children upon your death. Options are also available where you may wish for your partner to receive some benefit of some of your assets during your lifetime with all assets passing to your children upon your partner’s death.</p> <p><strong>Choose the right executor </strong></p> <p>If you have young children, it will be your executor who looks after your children’s inheritance until your children reach the age that you have stipulated in your Will that you would like them to receive your assets.</p> <p>It is therefore imperative that you have the best person possible to undertake this role as you are effectively giving them the keys to everything that you own and control. That’s big. You need to appoint someone that you trust implicitly to undertake this role. You need to appoint your most trusted ally. </p> <p>Your executor also needs to be financial savvy or receptive to obtaining the appropriate financial advice to enable them to look after and grow your children’s inheritance.</p> <p>It is important that you seek the appropriate advice so that you can put the best strategies in place that protect your children’s inheritance in the best manner possible. There are a number of ways that you can protect your children’s inheritance, you just need to find the best one that works for you and your children.</p> <p><strong><em>Melisa Sloan, author of Big Moments, expert advice for conquering those moments that define us, is a lawyer, industry leader, author and board director who loves helping people put in place beautiful legacies. For more information visit www.melisasloan.com.au</em></strong></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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10 ways to make those stage 3 tax cuts count

<p>You’re already used to living without these extra dollars. So, you won’t miss them by continuing to do so. Consider the various options available and which best suits your circumstances, then devise a plan of action to put that money to work.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Check tax brackets</strong></li> </ol> <p>Not only are some income tax rates falling, but the thresholds for others are increasing - potentially pushing you into a lower tax bracket.</p> <p>For example, Alice currently earns $130,000 and this tips her into marginal tax rate of 37 per cent. </p> <p>The Stage 3 changes will increase the 37 per cent tax threshold to $135,001. As such, Alice drops to a lower tax bracket. Not only this, her new tax bracket will have its marginal tax rate reduced from 32.5 per cent to 30 per cent. It’s a double win for Alice!</p> <p>This shouldn’t change your money habits but is still good to know.</p> <ol start="2"> <li><strong>Update your plan</strong></li> </ol> <p>Check <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/about-ato/new-legislation/in-detail/individuals/individual-income-tax-rates-and-threshold-changes">what your new tax rate will be</a> to calculate your new take-home pay (or simply look at your first full pay cycle in the new financial year).</p> <p>Plot your new income into your household spending and investment plan. Now you know what you have to play with.</p> <ol start="3"> <li><strong>Check your pay</strong></li> </ol> <p>Most employers use digital payroll systems which automatically update tax rates. But not all do. And even then, mistakes can happen.</p> <p>From July, double check that your pay is adjusted correctly. </p> <p>If you notice a mistake, speak up – not only will you and your colleagues benefit, but you could save your employer from costly penalties for an innocent mistake.</p> <ol start="4"> <li><strong>Monitor expenses</strong></li> </ol> <p>Don’t let ballooning expenses wipe out any tax cut gains. </p> <p>Avoid pre-spending those gains too. The additional income is spaced out over each pay; it’s not a lump sum you can blow on a spending spree.</p> <ol start="5"> <li><strong>Automatic redirects</strong></li> </ol> <p>Consider setting up an automated redirect of the difference in your pay as soon as it hits your account. </p> <p>The money could be diverted into a high-interest savings account or used to top up your emergency fund.</p> <ol start="6"> <li><strong>Super contributions</strong></li> </ol> <p>Tax cut cash can be used in combination with super contribution rules to supercharge retirement earnings.</p> <p>Low income earners may be eligible for <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals-and-families/super-for-individuals-and-families/super/growing-and-keeping-track-of-your-super/how-to-save-more-in-your-super/government-super-contributions/super-co-contribution">government co-contributions</a> while <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals-and-families/super-for-individuals-and-families/super/growing-and-keeping-track-of-your-super/how-to-save-more-in-your-super/spouse-super-contributions">spouse contributions</a> can offer further tax benefits.</p> <p>This may be particularly useful for anyone <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals-and-families/super-for-individuals-and-families/super/growing-and-keeping-track-of-your-super/caps-limits-and-tax-on-super-contributions/concessional-contributions-cap#ato-Carryforwardunusedcontributioncapamounts">trying to catch-up</a> after time out of the workforce (e.g., raising kids or caring for relatives) or repaying <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/about-ato/research-and-statistics/in-detail/super-statistics/early-release/covid-19-early-release-of-super">early withdrawals during COVID</a>. </p> <ol start="7"> <li><strong>Pay down debt</strong></li> </ol> <p>Every extra dollar spent paying off debt will save on future interest and clear it faster. </p> <p>Prioritise higher interest debts (like credit cards). Consider consolidating multiple debts into one with a lower rate (e.g., your mortgage) to reduce total interest and simplify repayments.</p> <ol start="8"> <li><strong>Invest in yourself</strong></li> </ol> <p>The old saying goes “you’ve got to spend money to make money”. Nowhere are the returns typically better than from self improvement.</p> <p>That could be undertaking new qualifications or additional training, enabling you to secure pay rises or transition to a higher-paying industry.</p> <p>Or it may be investing in your health and wellbeing, to reduce medical expenses, improve job prospects and productivity, and enhance your decision-making abilities (including about money matters).</p> <ol start="9"> <li><strong>Lodge returns promptly</strong></li> </ol> <p>This applies to every tax year: the sooner you lodge your tax return, the sooner you access your tax refund.</p> <p>Even if you’re facing a tax bill, getting it done sooner means less interest accruing and no late payment penalties.</p> <ol start="10"> <li><strong>Revisit strategies</strong></li> </ol> <p>While making changes to incorporate these tax cuts, take the opportunity to re-evaluate your overall finances. </p> <p>Revisit investment strategies to ensure they are delivering optimal returns. Check superannuation thresholds and performance. Scrutinise total tax liabilities (for instance, lower tax rates may mean you won’t qualify for the same level of tax deductions). Make updates where necessary.</p> <p>Keeping on top of your finances will mean better bang for your buck now while streamlining your affairs in future years.</p> <p><em><strong>Helen Baker is a licensed Australian financial adviser and author of On Your Own Two Feet: The Essential Guide to Financial Independence for all Women. Helen is among the 1% of financial planners who hold a master’s degree in the field. Proceeds from book sales are donated to charities supporting disadvantaged women and children. Find out more at <a href="http://www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au/">www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au</a></strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>Disclaimer: The information in this article is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal financial or product advice. Any opinions or views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent those of people, institutions or organisations the owner may be associated with in a professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated. Helen Baker is an authorised representative of BPW Partners Pty Ltd AFSL 548754.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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Aussies working in "priority occupations" eligible for cash increase

<p>Thousands of hard-working Aussies who work in certain areas are now eligible for new training and support payments of up to $10,000.</p> <p>The initiative comes to support Australians working in sectors with a high demand for skilled workers, and a commitment to clean energy.</p> <p>From July 1st, thousands of apprentices working in what the government deems as “priority occupations” are eligible for the $5,000 Australian Apprenticeship Training Support Payment. </p> <p>If those priority occupations also offer exposure and experience in “clean energy”, apprentices are instead eligible for the more lucrative New Energy Apprenticeship Support Payment of up to $10,000.</p> <p>The list of "priority occupations" is extensive and includes aged care workers, arborists, bakers, beauty therapists and many more. </p> <p>According to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR), the jobs are characterised by a strong current demand for skilled workers, and a strong demand expected in the future.</p> <p>The clean energy jobs also include many different professions, with agricultural and agritech technicians, automotive electricians, regular electricians, gas fitters, glaziers, joiners, plumbers and welders all included.</p> <p>The full list of priority jobs can be found on the <a href="https://www.dewr.gov.au/skills-support-individuals/resources/appendix-australian-apprenticeship-priority-list-1-january-2024" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">Department of Employment and Workplace Relations website.</a></p> <p>For the Australian Apprenticeship Training Support Payment, the $5000 payment comes in four instalments over two years, while the New Energy Apprentice Support Payment is paid out over the course of the apprenticeship — up to $5000 for part-time apprentices and up to $10,000 for full-time apprentices.</p> <p>It is hoped the payments will incentivise apprentices to remain on the career pathway.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

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Michael Jackson's staggering debt revealed

<p>Michael Jackson was reportedly drowning in massive debt at the time of his death in 2009. </p> <p>According to newly released court documents, the late King of Pop owed more than $500 million ($747.05 million AUD) to more than 65 creditors just before he passed.</p> <p>Jackson had “more than half a dozen lawsuits pending worldwide” and more than “65 creditors’ claims were filed in the estate spawning additional lawsuits, of which several resulted in litigation,” the documents state. </p> <p>According to the documents, that were filed in a Los Angeles court on June 21st, the executors of Jackson's will were able to “renegotiate and restructure financing arrangements,” including a lucrative deal with Sony over rights he had to music publishing for several artists, at “substantially reduced interest rates” to avoid further losses and rectify the debts.</p> <p>The $750 million ($1.120 billion AUD) agreement allowed Sony to acquire Sony/ATV, which held the rights to almost 3 million famous songs from artists including John Lennon and Paul McCartney, David Bowie and Taylor Swift.</p> <p>Despite settling the major agreement with the record label, the Jackson estate still reportedly owes a significant amount of money as “there remain challenging business, tax and legal issues that the executers and their counsel continue to deal with.”</p> <p>The filing reportedly also notes a pending final decision on a victory in a 2021 court battle with the IRS.</p> <p>Jackson’s three children, Prince, 27, Paris, 26, and Bigi Jackson, 22 — who are the beneficiaries of his estate — have been blocked from receiving money from their trust until the IRS dispute has been settled.</p> <p>A spokesperson for the estate clarified, “The estate has a very cooperative relationship with Michael’s children and whenever they need anything, the estate works with them to ensure that they are very well taken care of, just as Michael would have wanted.”</p> <p>The <em>Los Angeles Times</em> previously reported that Michael accrued so much debt largely in part because of his excessive spending habits, which were aired during his 2003 interview with Martin Bashir that laid bare his extravagant spending. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Mousse/ABACA/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

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What are financial years – and why are they different from calendar years?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michaela-rankin-1544784">Michaela Rankin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p>Yesterday was July 1, the first day of the new financial year in Australia.</p> <p>Also called fiscal years, financial years are often abbreviated in print. The one that’s just begun in Australia – July 1 2024 to June 30 2025 – will typically be denoted by FY24/25 or FY25.</p> <p>As the name suggests, financial years are used for financial reporting, tax and budgeting purposes. Whether you are preparing an individual tax return or financial statements for a business, it is important to understand the difference between financial and calendar years.</p> <p>Both have 365 days. But the calendar year, based on the <a href="https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/gregorian-calendar.html">Gregorian calendar</a>, runs from New Years’ Day on January 1 through to December 31.</p> <p>Australian financial years on the other hand run from July 1 of one year to June 30 the next.</p> <p>But this July to June financial year <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20200430054150/https:/www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/228.html">does not apply</a> in all countries. Many align their financial year with the calendar year, but others have further variations still.</p> <p>So why are they different, and what does that mean for businesses operating across borders?</p> <h2>Different around the world</h2> <p>In contrast to our own, the United Kingdom’s financial year starts on April 6 each year and runs to April 5 the next.</p> <p>The English and Irish New Year traditionally fell on March 25, when taxes and other accounts were due. But in the 18th century, the British empire switched from the Roman Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, and had to <a href="https://www.bowesbrooks.co.uk/why-does-the-tax-year-start-on-6th-april/">adjust the start date</a> to avoid losing tax revenue.</p> <p>India’s fiscal year runs from April 1 until March 31, for a <a href="https://www.idfcfirstbank.com/finfirst-blogs/finance/reasons-why-the-financial-year-starts-from-april">number of reasons</a>. Historically a country that was heavily focused on agriculture, this timeframe aligned with the crop cycle and allowed the government to develop financial plans for the sector.</p> <p>The British empire also influenced the April reporting schedule in India, as prior to independence many financial policies were based on the British system.</p> <h2>Government budgets play a role</h2> <p>In the United States, fiscal years once ran from July 1 to June 30, like Australia’s do now. But in 1974 this was <a href="https://www.federaltimes.com/management/budget/2022/09/20/why-the-us-federal-fiscal-year-2023-starts-in-october/">changed</a> to instead span October 1 to September 30, giving Congress more time to agree on a budget each year.</p> <p>In the US, however, companies can also <a href="https://www.business.com/articles/how-to-decide-on-fiscal-year/">choose their own</a> fiscal years. Some choose a calendar year, but others elect dates that better align with their business cycle.</p> <p>Walmart’s, for example, ends on January 31 each year to reflect its typically strong financial performance over the holiday period at the end of the year.</p> <p>In Australia, the financial year matches government reporting cycles.</p> <p>Unlike the northern hemisphere, our parliamentarians typically take holidays over summer in December and January, which makes meeting over November and December to approve government budgets difficult.</p> <p>The federal budget is issued in May for the following financial year, giving parliament time to consider it before the new fiscal year begins.</p> <h2>Comparing (and taxing) performance</h2> <p>Regardless of the time period over which a financial year operates, its primary purpose is to provide a standardised time frame for financial reporting.</p> <p>Financial years allow income and expenses to be tracked and compared over the same timeframe each year. This allows investors to compare business performance across consistent periods. They are also used to determine the collection of personal income tax.</p> <p>Our government uses this information to calculate the amount of tax it will collect through the Australian Taxation Office each year.</p> <p>Businesses with operations spanning multiple countries may have to contend with fiscal years that do not align. Where this is the case, they may need to choose one financial year for the whole company, typically that used by the parent company.</p> <p>Keeping track of the financial year is helpful for individuals, in knowing when tax returns need to be prepared (and when to expect end-of-financial-year sales).</p> <p>It is also important for businesses to consider the financial year in making budgeting, business and tax planning decisions. <!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233655/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michaela-rankin-1544784"><em>Michaela Rankin</em></a><em>, Professor and Head, Department of Accounting, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-are-financial-years-and-why-are-they-different-from-calendar-years-233655">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Cheaper mortgages, tamed inflation and even higher home prices: how 29 forecasters see Australia’s economic recovery in 2024-25

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>Australia’s top economic forecasters expect the Reserve Bank to start cutting interest rates by March next year, taking 0.35 points of its cash rate by June.</p> <p>If passed on in full, the cut would take $125 off the monthly cost of servicing a $600,000 variable-rate mortgage, with more to come.</p> <p>The panel of 29 forecasters assembled by The Conversation expects a further cut of 0.3 points by the end of 2025. This would take the cash rate down from the current 4.35% to 3.75% and produce a total cut in monthly payments on a $600,000 mortgage of $335.</p> <p>The forecasts were produced <em>after</em> last week’s news of a higher than expected <a href="https://theconversation.com/australias-inflation-rate-jumps-to-4-putting-an-rba-rate-rise-back-on-the-agenda-233331">monthly consumers price index</a>.</p> <p>Several of those surveyed revised up their predictions for interest rates in the year ahead, while continuing to predict cuts by mid next year.</p> <p>Only two expect higher rates by mid next year. Only four expect no change.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="6eIe8" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/6eIe8/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Now in its sixth year, The Conversation survey draws on the expertise of leading forecasters in 22 Australian universities, think tanks and financial institutions – among them economic modellers, former Treasury and Reserve Bank officials and a former member of the Reserve Bank board.</p> <p>Eight of the 29 expect the first cut to come this year, by either November or December.</p> <p>One of them is Luci Ellis, who was until recently assistant governor (economic) at the Reserve Bank and is now at Westpac. She and her team are forecasting three interest rate cuts by the middle of next year, taking the cash rate from 4.35% to 3.6%.</p> <h2>Reserve Bank a ‘reluctant hiker’</h2> <p>Ellis says inflation isn’t falling fast enough for the bank to be confident of being able to cut before November. But after that, even if inflation isn’t completely back within the bank’s target band but is merely moving towards it, a “forward-looking” board would want to start easing interest rates.</p> <p>Another forecaster, Su-Lin Ong of RBC Capital Markets, says in her view the bank should hike at its next board meeting in August after the release of figures likely to show inflation is still too high. But she says the bank is a “reluctant hiker” and keen to keep unemployment low.</p> <p>Although several panellists expect the Reserve Bank to hike rates in the months ahead, almost all expect rates to be lower in a year’s time than they are today.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="2xF3M" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/2xF3M/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The panel expects inflation to be back within the Reserve Bank’s 2-3% target band by June next year, and to be close to it (3.3%) by the end of this year.</p> <p>Twelve of the panel expect inflation to climb further when the official figures are released at the end of this month, but none expect it to climb further beyond that. And all expect inflation to be lower by the end of the financial year than it is today.</p> <p>One, Percy Allan, a former head of the NSW Treasury, cautions that the tax cuts and other government support measures due to start this month run the risk of boosting spending and falling progress on inflation.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="LGJa7" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/LGJa7/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The panel expects wages growth to fall from 4% to 3.5% over the year ahead, contributing to downward pressure on inflation, but to remain higher than prices growth, producing gains in so-called <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/realincome.asp">real wages</a>.</p> <p>It expects wages growth to moderate further, to 3.2%, in 2025-26.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="iV7mZ" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/iV7mZ/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Consumer spending is expected to remain unusually weak, growing by only 1.7% in real terms over the next 12 months, up from 1.3% in the latest national accounts.</p> <p>Mala Raghavan, from the University of Tasmania, said even though inflation was falling, previous price rises meant the prices of essentials remained high. AMP chief economist Shane Oliver expected the boost from the <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/tax-cuts">Stage 3 tax cuts</a> to be offset by the depressing effect of a weaker labour market.</p> <h2>Unemployment to climb modestly</h2> <p>The panel expects Australia’s unemployment rate to climb steadily from its present historically low 4% to 4.4%.</p> <p>Moodys Analytics economist Harry Murphy Cruise said although the increase wasn’t big, the effect on pay packets would be bigger. Employers were shaving hours and easing back on hiring rather than letting go of workers.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="SM8PI" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/SM8PI/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Panellists expect China’s economic growth to slip from 5.3% to 5% and US growth to slip from 2.9% to 2.4%.</p> <p>Australia’s economic growth is expected to climb from the present very low 1.1% to 1.3% by the end of this year and to 2% by the end of next year. Although none of the panel are forecasting a recession, most of those who offered an opinion said if there was a recession, it would start this year when the economy was weak.</p> <p>Some said we might later discover that we have been in a recession if the very weak economic growth of 0.1% recorded in the March quarter is revised and turns negative when updated figures are released in September.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="3I49o" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/3I49o/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Home prices are expected to continue to climb notwithstanding economic weakness. Sydney prices are expected to increase a further 5% in the year ahead after climbing 7.4% in the year to May. Melbourne prices are expected to rise a further 2.8% after climbing 1.8% in the year to May.</p> <p>Percy Allan said Sydney had fewer homes available than Melbourne, and Victoria’s decisions to extend land tax and boost rights for tenants had upset landlords, many of whom were offloading their holdings.</p> <h2>Home prices to climb further</h2> <p>Julie Toth, chief economist at property information firm PEXA, said rapid population growth was colliding with an ongoing decline in household size since COVID. At the same time, fewer new homes were being commissioned and long delays and high construction costs were also keeping supply tight.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="JzLaY" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/JzLaY/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The panel expects non-mining business investment to continue to climb in the year ahead, by 5.2%, down from 6.9%.</p> <p>It expects the Australian share market to climb by a further 5.6%</p> <p><strong>Read the answers on <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3350/2024-25_The_Conversation_AU_Forecasting_Survey.pdf">PDF</a>, download as <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3351/2024-25_The_Conversation_AU_forecasting_survey.xlsx?1719478737">XLS</a></strong></p> <hr /> <h2>The Conversation’s Economic Panel</h2> <p><em>Click on economist to see full profile.</em></p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-1066" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/1066/93fb29ba32e178ec2dcda111f014a50cf7ea1f49/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe><!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233244/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, Visiting Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/cheaper-mortgages-tamed-inflation-and-even-higher-home-prices-how-29-forecasters-see-australias-economic-recovery-in-2024-25-233244">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Aussie teen becomes instant millionaire in NBA draft

<p>Johnny Furphy, 19, has made it to the NBA, after being selected by the Indiana Pacers with the 35th pick in the draft. </p> <p>The Aussie teen joins the world's top basketball league after just one year of studying at the University of Kansas. </p> <p>Furphy was initially selected by the San Antonio Spurs, but was then on-traded to the Pacers who had pick number 36. </p> <p>The teen received an exclusive invite to the green room for the first round of the draft, but wasn't selected until the second round. </p> <p>According to <em>Fox Sports,</em> Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle told  Furphy that the franchise is “really excited” to have drafted him, and believe that he is a “great fit” for their team. </p> <p>“At the end of the day, it’s about wherever the best fit is, and I think Indiana is the spot,” Furphy said. </p> <p>Prior to the draft, the teen paid tribute to his fellow Australian basketballers with a custom-made suit for the big occasion. </p> <p>“I will be wearing a suit with all the Australia NBA players, who have played in the NBA and my name will be highlighted,” he told <em>7NEWS</em>. </p> <p>According to the publication, the young teen is set to be a millionaire with last year's 35th getting a partially guaranteed $US8 million ($A12m) deal over four years, with similar numbers for those selected either side. </p> <p>Growing up, Furphy also played Australian Rules in the Yarra Junior Football League for Fitzroy Juniors. </p> <p>He said that his footy history helped him throughout his NBA career. </p> <p>“I played until I was about 16. Playing that sport definitely helped my basketball being able to absorb contact,” he said.</p> <p>The teen has a promising career ahead, with Australian basketball legend Andrew Gaze also supporting him. </p> <p>“(He is) a guy that hasn’t come out of nowhere, but it’s been a meteoric rise for someone now considered a first-round draft pick,” he told <em>7NEWS</em>.</p> <p><em>Image: Matthew Lynch/CSM/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p>

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Woman's fake parking fines divides internet

<p>Finding a parking ticket on your windscreen is the last thing you'd want to see after a day out - but last month dozens of drivers were greeted with fake fines made by one woman who wanted to spread "a little kindness". </p> <p>Melbourne woman Karina went viral for her odd marketing tactic, where she put handmade fake fines onto cars, public phones and lamp posts across the city's southeast, in a bid to promote her photography business. </p> <p>The "infringement" note read: "Notice to owners: We saw you pull into this car park and I wanted to tell you that you look absolutely beautiful today, your smile could light up a whole room...</p> <p>"Just to make your day a little more special than you already are, I want to give you $30 towards my beach prints from my travels."</p> <p>When asked why she did it, Karina told <em>Yahoo News</em>: "I decided to do it to make people's day by spreading a little kindness. It was a reminder that life is too short."</p> <p>"They're going to think it's a fine but little do they know that it's actually some money towards a print for our store."</p> <p>While there were a few that praised her "hustle" mentality, saying that they "love this idea" and thought it was "cute", others were less pleased. </p> <p>"No this would make me have a panic attack," one wrote. </p> <p>"I thought this was wholesome until I realised ya'll are just trying to sell stuff," another added. </p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

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What are family trusts?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jamie-thwin-1542004">Jamie Thwin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brett-david-freudenberg-226795">Brett David Freudenberg</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melissa-belle-isle-1541984">Melissa Belle Isle</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p>Many of us associate trust funds with their depictions in popular culture – tools used by the mega-rich to distribute enormous family incomes among “trust-fund babies”.</p> <p>Recently, they even went viral as the centrepiece of a <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@girl_on_couch/video/7363742421588512043?lang=en">TikTok audio</a> by user @girl_on_couch, who was famously “looking for a man in finance. With a trust fund. 6'5. Blue eyes.”</p> <p>But trusts – which allow assets to be managed by one party for the benefit of others – are more widespread than many people realise.</p> <p>And they’re not just for the super wealthy. In 2020-21, <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2024-01/p2024-489823-teis.pdf">more than a tenth</a> of all Australians who lodged a tax return reported trust income.</p> <p>Among the most common types of trust in Australia are family trusts, which are often designed to hold family assets or manage a family business. But their popularity has seen them regularly <a href="https://www.afr.com/policy/tax-and-super/treasury-eyes-tax-on-60b-in-family-trusts-20240131-p5f1fr">in the sights</a> of government and the tax office.</p> <p>So what exactly are family trusts, and why are they so controversial?</p> <h2>First, what’s a trust?</h2> <p>A trust is a legal arrangement where a person nominated as a “trustee” manages assets for the benefit of another person or particular group of people. It isn’t a separate legal entity, but rather a kind of legal relationship.</p> <p>A trust imposes what’s called an “equitable obligation” on its trustee to hold and manage trust assets according to specific conditions. These are set out in a “trust deed” for the explicit benefit of others, known as the trust’s “beneficiaries”.</p> <p>The trustee acts as the legally appointed administrator of trust assets. But the beneficiaries still have what’s called “equitable interest” under the arrangement – certain rights to benefit from those assets.</p> <p>Trustees can be individuals or companies. And many trusts include an “appointor” who has ultimate control. This appointor can appoint or remove the trustee at any time, and in many cases must consent to any changes in the trust deed.</p> <h2>What’s a family trust, and why do people use them?</h2> <p>In Australia, a family trust is a type of “discretionary trust”. Unlike a “fixed trust”, this means the trustee can make decisions about how assets and income are allocated among beneficiaries.</p> <p>Family trusts are typically set up by a family member for the benefit of the family as a whole. A family trust deed can nominate multiple beneficiaries. These could include not only parents, children, grandchildren and other family members, but also other trusts and even companies.</p> <p>Family trusts are often used to take advantage of their tax implications. This is because between years, trustees can vary the distribution of income among beneficiaries.</p> <p>Any undistributed income left in the trust is taxed at the top marginal tax rate of 45%. But if distributed to beneficiaries with lower personal marginal tax rates, it is instead taxed at those rates, which can lower the total tax paid.</p> <p>This explanation oversimplifies the picture, and there are a range of important caveats.</p> <p>For example, if a beneficiary is non-resident of Australia for tax purposes, the trustee will be liable to pay tax on their behalf. And distributing trust income to beneficiaries aged under 18 can attract penalty taxes at the top marginal rate.</p> <h2>Why are they controversial?</h2> <p>Family trusts have attracted scrutiny from regulators and the public for a range of reasons – perhaps chief among them, this broad ability to lower taxation by splitting income.</p> <p>The private nature of many trusts means there is often minimal public reporting, so it can be difficult to determine who in society is benefiting from trust income, and how. There are also concerns that they can be structured inappropriately to hide income.</p> <p>Trusts can also help safeguard a family’s wealth by shielding a family’s assets from the liabilities of individual members. The beneficiaries of a discretionary trust generally have no legal entitlement to its assets.</p> <p>This means that if the beneficiary goes bankrupt or gets divorced, the trust’s assets may often be protected from any claims.</p> <p>In 2019, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released the findings of an <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/about-ato/research-and-statistics/in-detail/general-research/current-issues-with-trusts-and-the-tax-system">independent review</a> into trusts and the tax system. Some key areas of concern include:</p> <ul> <li>income tax shuffles (individuals exploiting differences in income definitions between trust law and tax law to dodge higher marginal tax rates)</li> <li>using convoluted structures like circular trusts (two trusts that are beneficiaries of each other) to obscure trust income and who the ultimate beneficiaries are, and</li> <li>trusts failing to lodge tax returns.</li> </ul> <p>The use of trusts as a business structure in Australia may yet require further review.</p> <p>This should not only seek to examine the legislation underpinning trusts, but also improve education for accountants to better understand trust and tax law.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232601/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jamie-thwin-1542004">Jamie Thwin</a>, PhD Student (Tax Law), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brett-david-freudenberg-226795">Brett David Freudenberg</a>, Professor of Taxation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melissa-belle-isle-1541984">Melissa Belle Isle</a>, Lecturer Taxation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-are-family-trusts-232601">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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