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How Amazon became the best of the best

<p>Any company whose brand becomes a common noun (without the capital letter, called an eponym) has made a big impact. Generations have cleaned the house with a hoover, blown their noses with a Kleenex, stored hot drinks in a thermos and xeroxed a document. Most of us google rather than search.</p> <p>Although not exactly the same thing, the goal of many new companies is to become ‘the Amazon of’ something. In wealth management and superannuation, many new entrants describe their strategy as aiming to become ‘the Amazon of financial services’.</p> <p>Well, good luck with that, because not only is Amazon a unique company, it may well want to become the Amazon of financial services itself. FinancialAdvisorIQ (part of the Financial Times group) recently published an article about digital financial advice (FA) called ‘Betterment Yearns to be Amazon of FAs. Does Amazon?’ including this statement:</p> <p>“Amazon entering wealth management would cause a major disruption to the advice industry, pushing down prices and driving up demand for far faster delivery of financial services.”</p> <p>And now Amazon is coming to Australia, and it will change retailing and other sectors such as property and shopping malls forever. Investors should consider whether other companies held in an investment portfolio can measure up to these challenges in a digital, fast-moving world.</p> <p><strong>CEO Jeff Bezos’s annual letter to shareholders</strong><br />Amazon has disrupted many industries, and destroyed companies such as Borders Bookstores, but in its 20 years, it has had negligible impact on financial services.</p> <p>Warren Buffett produces an annual letter to his shareholders which is widely quoted, but it’s less well-known that Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos does the same. It’s a completely different style. Buffett focuses on his returns and investments, and it’s clear that making money is the main game. In his 2017 letter, Bezos does not mention ‘profit’ once, while ‘customer’ receives 19 hits.</p> <p>There are a few highlights in Bezos’s letter that everyone can learn from, although the vast majority of large companies do not have the internal structures and processes to make them work. Bezos wants his company to always operate as if it’s Day 1, as Day 2 is a step to an excruciating, painful decline followed by death. Day 1 vitality requires obsessive customer focus.</p> <p>He identifies four rules for making high quality decisions that apply to managing a company, and they may be useful for investing or even making the most of a relationship. The rules are:</p> <p><strong>High velocity decision making</strong><br />Large organisations struggle to decide quickly because they fear failure. Speed matters, and where a decision is reversible, it should use a lightweight process. It doesn’t matter much if it’s wrong.</p> <p><strong>Don’t wait for certainty</strong><br />Most companies overestimate the cost of being wrong, whereas being slow will be expensive.</p> <p>“Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you’re probably being slow. Plus, either way, you need to be good at quickly recognising and correcting bad decisions.”</p> <p><strong>Disagree and commit</strong><br />It’s often difficult to achieve consensus, as nobody can know with certainty the outcome of a new initiative. He says ‘disagree and commit’ saves a lot of time:</p> <p>“I disagree and commit all the time … (My staff) had a completely different opinion and wanted to go ahead. I wrote back right away with “I disagree and commit and hope it becomes the most watched thing we’ve ever made.” Consider how much slower this decision cycle would have been if the team had actually had to convince me rather than simply get my commitment.”</p> <p><strong>Recognise misalignment</strong><br />Misalignment between teams and objectives must be identified early and addressed, or the problem will lead to exhaustion.</p> <p>“Whoever has more stamina carries the decision. I’ve seen many examples of sincere misalignment at Amazon over the years. When we decided to invite third party sellers to compete directly against us on our own product detail pages – that was a big one. Many smart, well-intentioned Amazonians were simply not at all aligned with the direction. The big decision set up hundreds of smaller decisions, many of which needed to be escalated to the senior team. “You’ve worn me down” is an awful decision-making process. It’s slow and de-energising. Go for quick escalation instead – it’s better.”</p> <p><strong>Does it work?</strong><br />Many analysts have criticised Bezos over the years for investing in the business rather than creating more profits and dividends. When $10,000 invested in 1997 now has a value of about five million dollars, it’s hard to criticise success and the way Amazon is challenging other businesses the world over. Are investments in your portfolio ready for the Amazon challenge?</p> <p>Do you use Amazon? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Written by Graham Hand. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/superannuation/four-rules-amazon-uses-to-build-its-dominance.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Aussies go into meltdown over confusing road rules quiz

<p>A tricky road rule quiz has had Australian drivers debating, even after the answer has been revealed.</p> <p>The scenario-based question, posted by Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) on its Facebook page on Wednesday, led to a heated row as drivers could not agree on the correct answer. </p> <p>The page’s administrator went ahead to step in and ask everyone in the comments section to keep the discussion "civil".</p> <p>The post included a picture of four cars in an intersection, three of which were travelling through a green light. The red car was in the middle of the intersection while the pink car was behind the solid line and just about to pass through the traffic light, followed by the blue car at the back. All three cars indicated that they were going to change lanes from the left to the right.</p> <p>The question that the RACQ posed was: "Which vehicle, or vehicles, are performing an illegal manoeuvre?</p> <p>a. Red and Pink</p> <p>b. Red</p> <p>c. Pink</p> <p>d. Blue"</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fracqofficial%2Fphotos%2Fa.185021091535422%2F2053817167989129%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="671" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>One of the commenters suggested the red and pink cars, as the former was changing lanes in an intersection and the latter was crossing an unbroken line.</p> <p>Another suggested that while the pink car was clearly breaking the rule, the red car’s decision to change lanes on an intersection was not exactly safe.</p> <p>One argued that all three cars were in the wrong, as he claimed that changing lanes within 30 metres of an intersection was illegal.</p> <p>The RACQ revealed that only the pink car was making an illegal move. </p> <p>"The image shows a vehicle crossing a continuous line separating the lanes, which is illegal," it explained.</p> <p>"With the red car, while we don't advise people cross lanes at an intersection, it is not illegal to do so."</p> <p>When a commenter challenged the RACQ on the legality of changing lanes mid-intersection after passing through a solid line, the motoring organisation referred to the state laws.</p> <p>"In Queensland, line markings aren’t carried through an intersection (apart from turn lines)," the RACQ responded. "There isn't anything in the road rules that says you can't change lines in an intersection, but we would advise against it."</p> <p>A commenter complained about how different road rules are across Australia. </p> <p>"One thing becomes clear … I see a lack of uniformity via separate state laws," he said.</p> <p>"We are one small (in terms of population) nation … Why the hell can't we have national uniform laws, that generate no confusion and are easily stated in one rule book."</p> <p>What do you think of this confusing road rules question above? Share your thoughts in the comments.</p>

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The little known road rule that angers motorists

<p>Motorists have slammed a state government video that encourages motorcyclists to scoot between cars legally, saying it would do nothing to change unsafe behaviours on the road.</p> <p>On Friday, the NSW Road Safety re-uploaded a video on Facebook explaining the road rule on lane filtering or lane splitting, which is where motorcyclists move alongside vehicles. The video was first shared in 2014 when the rule was first introduced in the state.</p> <p>The video explains circumstances where lane filtering would be legal.</p> <p>Motorbike riders should be travelling at less than 30km/h through slow-moving or stationary vehicles, and look out for pedestrians and bikers. Motorcyclists should only split when it’s safe to do so, and avoid filtering through heavy vehicles and buses.</p> <p>Only fully licensed motorcyclists are allowed to lane filter.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnswroadsafety%2Fvideos%2F1238839952933959%2F&amp;show_text=1&amp;width=560" width="560" height="451" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>Motorcyclists who are caught lane filtering at a speed above 30km/h will be charged with heavy fines and three demerit points.</p> <p>Road users have slammed the rule, claiming it has never been followed properly.</p> <p>“Shouldn’t be allowed period... It opens up a can of worms and people abuse this. Plenty of riders filter at 70+km,” one commented.</p> <p>“Have almost had quite a few accidents since this rule came in,” another chimed in. “I’m all for it if done legally. Pity most don’t.”</p> <p>Earlier this month, a motorcyclist died in Melbourne after a crash with a B-double truck that the police said was likely caused by lane splitting.  </p> <p>Motorcyclists also voiced their concern over ignorance of the rule, which could make lane filtering even less safe.</p> <p>“I prefer not to. Can't trust drivers behind the wheel,” one rider wrote. “Too much are entitled and don’t know this (lane splitting) is legal. They get aggressive when you do this, thinking you’re being selfish.</p> <p>“Rather you are creating space. And letting traffic flow. Maybe it should be included in the general knowledge section of the road user guide for all drivers.”</p> <p>Late last year, a dash cam captured a car which appeared to have intentionally swerved at a lane-splitting motorbike rider on Majura Parkway in the ACT. Motorcyclists have been allowed to move through slow or stopped traffic since 2015 in the territory.</p> <p>Lane filtering is also legal in Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.</p> <p>What do you think of the lane splitting rule? Share your thoughts in the comments.</p>

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Prince Philip surrenders his driver’s licence following dangerous car crash

<p>After being involved in a car crash last month, Prince Philip has voluntarily surrendered his driver's licence.</p> <p>The Duke of Edinburgh caused an uproar after he was spotted behind the wheel shortly after the collision in last month without a seatbelt.</p> <p>The 97-year-old gave his licence up on Saturday according to Buckingham Palace.</p> <p>The crash left two women hospitalised after the Prince’s Land Rover collided with their vehicle on January 17.</p> <p>But despite issuing an apology to those affected, only 48 hours after the incident, the royal was pictured driving without a seatbelt.</p> <p>“After careful consideration, the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence,” a statement from Buckingham Palace read.</p> <p>Philip pulled out onto a busy road, causing his car to flip over and crash into a Kia, which was carrying a 9-month-old child, his mother and another passenger.</p> <p>While the royal made it out unharmed, passenger Emma Fairweather wasn’t so lucky, as she broke her wrist and demanded for the Duke to be charged for negligent driving.</p> <p>According to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/" target="_blank"><em>Sunday Mirror</em></a>, the Duke wished Ms Fairweather a “speedy recovery” and that he “failed to see the car coming” in a letter that was written to her on January 21.</p> <p>He faulted the bright sunlight for obscuring his vision, saying that he was “very contrite about the consequences”.</p> <p>Authorities revealed that they spoke to the Prince and gave him “suitable words of advice” and if necessary, “any appropriate action” would be taken.</p> <p>Norfolk Police released a statement on Saturday regarding the incident, saying that the matter “has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for their consideration”.</p> <p>Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman said the royal could be charged with a hefty penalty for negligence. </p> <p>But according to another lawyer, he could avoid prosecution all together if he surrenders his right to drive. </p> <p>Despite handing over his licence, Prince Philip will still be allowed to drive around the grounds of the palace and other royal estates. </p>

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Fury over new 20km/h speed limit on popular Aussie tourist road: "What a joke"

<p>A new speed limit has been applied on Victoria’s popular Great Ocean Road, cutting the maximum allowed speed from 80km/h to just 20km/h.</p> <p>The go-slow rule will be in place near the famous tourist spot the Twelve Apostles for all of this month in anticipation of extra visitors during the Chinese New Year festival season, which ends on February 19.</p> <p>The 20km/h limit applies to sections of the Great Ocean Road in both directions of the Twelve Apostles' visitor centre in order to reduce road incidents.</p> <p>There is also a speed limit of 60km/h at Memorial Arch, a popular spot for picture-taking.</p> <p>“No one wants to go on a holiday and end up in hospital or have a family member end up dead,” police road safety manager Senior Sergeant Chris Asenjo told the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/great-ocean-road-speed-limits-to-drop-as-visitors-flood-in/news-story/e433c74533da08eb63d0e1b9538327a0" target="_blank"><em>Herald Sun</em></a>.</p> <p>“If you come off a regional road at high speed there are good chances you are going to suffer some sort of trauma.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7823469/road2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/0baa953d803b45d192ebd8bc67448d7c" /></p> <p>More than 100 warning signs in Mandarin have also been installed to remind motorists to drive on the correct side of the road. Mandarin-speaking rangers would also patrol the region, said Parks Victoria area chief ranger Michael Smith.</p> <p>“People visiting during the remainder of summer should allow extra time for their trip and observe the changed traffic conditions,” Smith said.</p> <p>Last year, more than 128,000 people visited the Twelve Apostles over the 15-day holiday period.</p> <p>Some motorists complained about the go-slow rule, suggesting that an increased speed limit might be more appropriate. </p> <p>"What a joke," a user commented on Facebook, while another wrote, "20km/h would make my car stall in first gear."</p> <p>What do you think of the reduced speed limit at the popular tourist spot? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. </p>

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Don’t travel until you know these laws

<p>When travelling people love to feel free and they are capable of everything – except when you’re overseas, it’s important to remember there are just some things you can’t do.</p> <p><strong>Don’t feed the pigeons in Venice</strong></p> <p>Throwing birdseed in Venice’s Piazza San Marco is largely prohibited, and the consequences of refusing to follow the rules could land you a hefty fine.</p> <p>However, the government has good reason for their law. The pigeons cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to statues and clean-ups every year. Although seed-throwing used to be the square’s trademark for tourists, staying on the good side of the city means opting for a wine, coffee or gelato on one of the piazza’s patios to watch the birds mill around instead.</p> <p><strong>You can only bring certain chewing gum to Singapore</strong></p> <p>Bringing chewing gum into Singapore has been illegal since 1992. The reason for the strange rule tourists and locals have to follow is due to the gum causing serious problems for the public transit system. Singapore’s government says the clean up for gum litter cost US$106,000 per year before the ban.</p> <p>A hefty fine or in some cases, jail time, could be placed upon those who ignore this law.</p> <p>However, certain gums are now allowed in Singapore for “therapeutic” purposes such as nicotine gum and sugar-free gum for dental health benefits.</p> <p><strong>No dirty magazines or alcohol in the Maldives</strong></p> <p>The Maldives is a primarily Islamic country and does impose strict laws many westerners would find strange. In particular, sex toys, dirty magazines and liquor sold past duty-free is illegal and unless you want to risk a humiliating bag search and a possible fine, leave it at home.</p> <p><strong>Don’t throw out your train ticket in Paris or Madrid</strong></p> <p>Unfortunately, throwing out a train ticket in Paris and Madrid might cost you way more than you bargained for, and despite how much it might let you off in other places, ignorance won’t work in these cities.</p> <p>It is heavily advised to never throw out your train ticket while in transit, as getting out could risk you a fine from metro police – how are you able to prove you didn’t hop a turnstile without one?</p> <p>Expert travellers and locals advise purchasing a ‘multi-trip’ ticket or a weekend-long metro card rather than a single trip ticket. You’ll save much more over a fine.</p> <p><strong>Kissing in Dubai might be tricky </strong></p> <p>If you’re thinking of taking a trip to the United Arab Emirates, you should be aware of the <em>public decency </em>laws, which are much different to countries like Australia and New Zealand. Public kissing and/or touching your partner can land you jail time. Hefty fines are also likely to be imposed, so make sure you keep yourself to, well, yourself if you’re wanting to explore Dubai or Abu Dhabi anytime soon with someone special.</p> <p>Did you know any of these laws? Have you ever been caught by one of them? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Scam alert: Disturbing fake "emergency" text message doing the rounds

<p>An unusual text message scam is circulating, making those on the receiving end to feel extremely unsettled.</p> <p>A number of people have reported the text message which is sent from an unknown number asking for help during an emergency situation.</p> <p>The message says: “Please call me back right away. It is an emergency. I need your help!”</p> <p>ScamWatch has revealed that when the number is called, they hear a strange recording.</p> <p>The recording includes multiple voices saying phrases such as “hello” and “are you OK?” but it doesn’t take long for the voice message to turn into verbal abuse and curse words.</p> <p>“This is a new and emerging issue,” said ScamWatch in a <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/news/warning-about-emergency-text-messages" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p> <p>“While people have not yet reported losing money as a result of these calls, you may find the content of the recording distressing.”</p> <p>They have strongly advised to not respond to the message.</p> <p>Also issuing a warning was the Richmond Police District after a resident from Ballina reported the scam.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FRichmondPoliceDistrict%2Fposts%2F1959643157424280&amp;width=500" width="500" height="452" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>The resident told authorities that the message, which was laden with swearing and abuse, went on for “well over five minutes”.</p> <p>“It would appear the recording is of reactions to the message when no one answers,” the Facebook post reads.</p> <p>With no profit gained from the scam, police believe those behind the con are collecting mobile phone numbers.</p> <p>If you receive this text message, it is strongly advised that you do not reply and to block the number. </p> <p>Have you or anyone you know received this terrifying text message? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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6 weird Australian laws you might not know about

<p>The law is a set of rules put in place to protect us, but sometimes it can get taken a little too far. At the end of the day, these strange rules Aussies have to follow can give us all a good laugh – and a few things to keep in mind as well.</p> <p><strong>1. It is illegal to have more than 50kg of potatoes in one place </strong></p> <p>Believe it or not police have a right to stop and search a person and their vehicle if there is suspicion of more than 50 kilograms of the vegetable in your possession. This strange law only applies in Western Australia (fortunately for everyone else).</p> <p><strong>2. Your grandkids probably can’t buy spray paint </strong></p> <p>Spray paint cans are only <em>legally </em>allowed to be purchased by a person over 18. However as weird as this law might seem, the government reports graffiti vandalism costs NSW local councils, business owners and private property owners up to $300 million each year <em>alone. </em></p> <p>On a national scale, removing illegal graffiti can come at a hefty price – a staggering $1.5 billion dollars is spent annually</p> <p><strong>3. Change your showerhead if you want to – but know it’s illegal </strong></p> <p>Rental property laws in Victoria require an owner to be asked by a renter to install “fixtures” or make “alterations” to a home. So, changing your lightbulb might not be a crime but don’t even <em>think</em> about changing your showerhead unless you want to break the law.</p> <p><strong>4. Walking on the right-hand side of a footpath in a busy Australian street is against the law </strong></p> <p>Police have the right to fine you if you are caught walking on the wrong side of the footpath – literally. </p> <p><strong>5. Pigeons are not ‘pets’ – according to Australian law</strong></p> <p>In Australia, native birds like cockatoos, finches, doves, ducks or pigeons are not allowed to be kept as home pets <em>if</em> they’ve been caught in the wild.</p> <p><strong>6. Don’t be a wedding or funeral crasher in South Australia – it’ll cost you </strong></p> <p>This obscure law prohibits anyone from attending a wedding or funeral in South Australia uninvited. If you choose not to listen, you might just get fined up to $10,000.</p> <p>Did you know about any of these obscure laws in Australia? Tell us in the comments below.</p>

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Heartbroken widower scammed out of $377,000

<p>A widower from Victoria has been left heartbroken after falling for an expensive and elaborate dating service scam.</p> <p>The man was promised a bride-to-be from a group saying they were a dating agency, but instead, he ended up penniless.</p> <p>The 69-year-old, who has requested to remain anonymous, was tricked into handing over large sums of money over the course of a year.</p> <p>The amount money he ended up handing over was approximately $377,000.</p> <p>The retiree was coerced in to handing over the funds for fees, such as membership fees, marriage costs, an engagement ring, as well as paying for his future wife’s legal fees.</p> <p>The lonely man was trying to build a life after his wife of 35 years passed away and decided to try the matchmaking service.</p> <p>"It was stupid but I was very vulnerable. I was lonely at the time and was feeling very low. I thought there was a connection," he told<span> </span><a href="https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/"><em>Sunshine Coast Daily</em></a>. </p> <p>The man met women who were posing as office consultants and managers to collect the payments from him. They met at a range of locations, including Melbourne Airport.</p> <p>'I think they are animals. They have left me destitute. It was my life savings and now I try to get by on a pension," he explained.</p> <p>There are a range of ways to see whether or not the person you’re talking to is trustworthy, which include:</p> <ol> <li>Take your time, especially when talking about yourself. You don’t need to tell them your whole life story as soon as you meet them.</li> <li>Check if there are records of the person you’re interested in online. Use a search engine to check their profile images.</li> <li>Keep your bank and account information private.</li> <li>Do not transfer money to a ‘safe account’ and ignore anyone who asks you to do this.</li> <li>Report suspicious behaviour immediately, trust your instincts and stop talking to anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable. </li> </ol> <p>Has this happened to anyone you know? Let us know in the comments.</p>

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Call to change controversial road rule with $448 fine

<p>Motorists and authorities are rallying against the rule for drivers to slow down to 40km/h around emergency vehicles.</p> <p>The Slow Down, Move Over legislation was introduced on September 1 for a 12-month trial period in New South Wales.</p> <p>The state government said the policy – which requires drivers to reduce their speed when passing a stationary police car, ambulance or fire truck displaying blue or red flashing lights – is aimed at improving the safety of emergency workers.</p> <p>However, many drivers believe the rule could lead to more accidents, especially in areas with high speed limits.</p> <p>NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury called for the “flawed” rule to be abolished. </p> <p>“It defies the laws of physics to go from 110 (km/h) to 40 (km/h) within a couple of metres,” Khoury told <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/crash-expert-back-nsw-police-and-nrmas-call-to-scrap-40kmh-slow-down-law/news-story/9bdcf466a52b88384c862f2dbd459582"><em>The Daily Telegraph</em></a>.</p> <p>“They need to introduce sensible measures to keep people who work on the side of the road safe.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 331px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7823311/ambulance.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/704de70d505f43a3b3b49570ae403427" /></p> <p>The Police Association of NSW (PANSW) also has some concerns over the legislation.</p> <p>“Police have had some serious concerns about the 40km/h zone which was introduced by the NSW Government,” said PANSW president Tony King, citing some issues occurring on major arterial roads that have emerged from the rule.</p> <p>Drivers failing to comply may be charged a $448 fine and three demerit points. However, King said the police do not want the legislation to be used as a “speed trap”.</p> <p>“The [PANSW] would be happy to see some sensible amendments to the current laws that would better balance the safety of our members through reduced speed and the creation of a safe working space, and the safety of all road users through a reasonable speed as opposed to a prescribed speed,” said King.</p> <p>“We need to ensure that sensible rules are put in place to make sure that everyone is as safe as possible on and around our roads.”</p> <p>Last year, the NRMA also called for the law to be in line with the one applied in Western Australia, which require motorists to slow down for tow trucks and NRMA-equivalent vehicles as well.</p> <p>The Slow Down, Move Over rule is also in place in Victoria and South Australia.</p> <p>What do you think about the new 40km/h road rule for passing emergency vehicles? Tell us in the comments below.</p>

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Is your dog OK? Popular pet food brand issues urgent recall

<p><span>A popular pet food brand has issued a voluntary recall across Australia after their canned goods showed signs of causing serious health issues in dogs.</span></p> <p>Hill’s Pet Nutrition is voluntarily recalling 13 canned dog food products due to an increased amount of vitamin D.</p> <p>The recall has been issued worldwide, with their products mainly found at pet stores, veterinary clinics and online.</p> <p>Dog owners are being advised to check their canned food, as the recall also includes the Hill’s Prescription Diet and Hill’s Science Diet range.</p> <p>In a statement released by the company, vitamin D is necessary for dogs to be able to achieve optimal health, but excessive amounts can cause a number of health problems.</p> <p>Symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling and weight loss.</p> <p>“Vitamin D, when consumed at very high levels, can lead to serious health issues in dogs including renal dysfunction,” read the statement.</p> <p>“Pet parents with dogs who have consumed any of the products listed and are exhibiting any of these signs should contact their veterinarian. In most cases, complete recovery is expected after discontinuation of feeding.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="/media/7823290/dog-food.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c01fcbe374a54ea79d362e02c6ba746c" /></p> <p>The company chose to pull the item off the market after receiving a complaint from the US about a dog showing symptoms of increased vitamin D levels.</p> <p>“Our investigation confirmed elevated levels of vitamin D due to supplier error,” the statement said.</p> <p>The pet food brand will now ensure that “additional quality testing” is put into place before they release their ingredients.</p> <p>“In addition to our existing safety processes, we are adding our own further testing of incoming ingredients,” it said.</p> <p>Dry food, cat food and treats from the same brand have not been affected.</p> <p>If you have purchased the canned dog food with a specific date code, you are able to take it back to your local pet store or vet clinic for a replacement.</p> <p>For more information contact Hill’s through their<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.hillspet.com.au/productlist" target="_blank">website</a>, call 1800 679 932 or email<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="mailto:HillshelplineANZ@hillspet.com" target="_blank">HillshelplineANZ@hillspet.com</a>.</p>

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New 10-minute "grace period" parking rule – but there's a catch!

<p>Motorists in New South Wales can now catch a break as a 10-minute parking "grace period" is now in place.</p> <p>Starting today, parking officers will wait 10 minutes after the tickets expire before writing a fine, providing drivers with extra time.</p> <p>The grace period only applies in ticketed areas where drivers pay for at least one hour of parking and receive a physical ticket or coupon. It does not apply to private car parks, bus lanes, loading zones, mail zones, transit lanes or special event parking.</p> <p>“This is a common sense approach … people shouldn’t have their day ruined or their weekly budget compromised for a slight delay in returning to their car when they’ve shown intent to do the right thing,” said NSW Treasurer Dominic Perottet.</p> <p>“We are hopeful this will also reduce the stress and pressure on parking inspectors as it will give some leniency in the issuing of fines.”</p> <p>Starting March 1, parking fines will also be reduced across parts of Greater Sydney. Eighteen local government areas throughout Western Sydney and regional NSW have agreed to cut basic parking fines from $112 to $80.</p> <p>“That’s 32 bottles of milk, that’s 10 loaves of bread, a couple of dozen eggs and that’s important to families that are struggling and on the breadline,” Wendy Waller, mayor of participating council Liverpool, told <em><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/sydney-spots-parking-fines-will-slashed-201337218.html">7News</a></em>.</p> <p>Perottet hopes more councils would join and opt in to reduce their parking fines.</p> <p>“Fines should be used as deterrents, not a license to print money,” he told the <em><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/people-shouldn-t-have-their-day-ruined-new-grace-period-for-nsw-parking-fines-20190130-p50uku.html">Sydney Morning Herald</a>.</em></p> <p>What do you think of this new street parking rule? Share your thoughts in the comments.</p>

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Warning: Aussie grandma loses $30K to scam pretending to catch scammers

<p><span>Consumer Protection has urged caution against possible scams as Western Australia lost a total of almost $11 million to scams in 2018.</span></p> <p>One of the victims was Marion, a 78-year-old woman who lost <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/2019/01/29/20/46/scam-warnings-australia-wa?app=applenews">$30,000</a> to a sophisticated scheme. She received a call about the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout from someone claiming to be from the Australian Crime Commission, who then asked for her help in catching scammers. She complied and sent $30,000 to a Thailand bank account, not realising she had been conned until a few days later.</p> <p>“I was completely taken in, I must confess,” she told the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-29/consumer-protection-warns-of-online-scams-after-spike-in-2018/10759918"><em>ABC News</em></a>. “It was like I was hypnotised in a way … I felt I was helping the world in some way, I was saving the world.”</p> <p>According to commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard, the “catch a scammer” scheme was where criminals pretended to be crime prevention agencies and enlisted the help of their targets to "catch a scammer" by getting them to send money so that the scammer can be caught when they come to collect it.”</p> <p>Other common scams included outstanding tax scams, fake invoice scams and bogus requests for a change of bank account.</p> <p>The Department of Consumer Protection said 569 Western Australians reported losses to scams in 2018, a 42 per cent increase from the previous year. The losses totalled $10.68 million, increasing 32 per cent from 2017.</p> <p>Investment scams accounted as the biggest source of loss, followed by romance scams and stings where people lost money from buying and selling online.</p> <p>Hillyard told the <em>ABC News</em> these numbers were “just the tip of the iceberg”, as many more people had not come forward due to embarrassment or other reasons.</p> <p>“Perpetrating scams is a highly profitable business for organised criminals who are becoming increasingly professional at fleecing money from their innocent victims as they constantly change their names and methods to keep ahead of consumer warnings,” said Hillyard.</p> <p>“Out of the blue emails and phone calls should be treated with suspicion, especially if they are demanding money, personal information or asking to change bank details. If you are not 100 per cent sure that the person you are dealing with is the real deal, hang up and call the person or organisation back using previously known contact details or by looking up their official website.”</p> <p>Have you been stung by a scam? Share your story with us in the comments below. </p>

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Car crash victim "chuffed" as Prince Philip finally apologises with personal letter

<p>Prince Philip has apologised for his part in a car crash that left two women injured earlier this month, blaming the accident on sunlight glare that obscured his view.</p> <p>The 97-year-old royal was driving near the Queen’s Sandringham Estate on January 17 when his Land Rover <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/prince-philip-involved-in-car-crash-very-shocked-and-shaken/">collided</a> with a Kia carrying two women and an infant. One of the women, Emma Fairweather, suffered a broken wrist from the crash.</p> <p>“I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident at the Babingley cross-roads,” Prince Philip said in an official letter obtained by<span> </span><em>The</em> <em>Mirror</em>.</p> <p>“I have been across that crossing any number of times and I know very well the amount of traffic that uses that main road … the sun was shining low over the main road. In normal conditions I would have no difficulty in seeing traffic coming from the Dersingham direction, but I can only imagine that I failed to see the car coming, and I am very contrite about the consequences.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Exclusive: Here is Prince Philip’s letter sent to crash victim Emma Fairweather. The Duke says he is “deeply sorry” and admits he “failed to see the car coming”. Read full story here - <a href="https://t.co/HWLFeBKMPo">https://t.co/HWLFeBKMPo</a> <a href="https://t.co/ckQImiEZAP">pic.twitter.com/ckQImiEZAP</a></p> — Russell Myers (@rjmyers) <a href="https://twitter.com/rjmyers/status/1089299157569933318?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">26 January 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The Prince also said he is “deeply sorry” about Fairweather’s injury and wished her “a speedy recovery from a very distressing experience”.</p> <p>Fairweather said she was “chuffed” to receive the letter. “I thought it was really nice that he signed off as ‘Philip’ and not the formal title. I was pleasantly surprised because of the personalised nature,” said Fairweather.</p> <p>“A lot of people said it was unrealistic that I wanted that human kindness from Prince Philip – which is what I saw this letter as … He’s tried to give an explanation so I appreciate that, whether I agree with it or not.”</p> <p>The apology emerged following a widespread backlash of him and the Buckingham Palace over the handling of the incident. Prior to the letter, which was dated January 21, Fairweather had complained about the royal family’s lack of response.</p> <p>“I’m lucky to be alive and he hasn’t even said sorry,” said Fairweather. “It has been such a traumatic and painful time and I would have expected more of the Royal Family.”</p> <p>The Duke of Edinburgh was also spotted driving on a public road without a seatbelt only two days after the crash.</p> <p>Meanwhile, an investigation into the collision continues. </p> <p>“As is standard procedure with injury collisions, the incident will be investigated and any appropriate action taken,” said the Norfolk police force.</p> <p>“We are aware of the public interest in this case. However, as with any other investigation, it would be inappropriate to speculate on the causes of the collision until an investigation is carried out.”</p>

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Driver breaks simple road rule: Who do you think was in the wrong?

<p>A man driving an Audi has learnt an important lesson the hard way after colliding with another vehicle when pulling out of a street.</p> <p>The footage, which was posted on to the Dashcam Owners of Australia Facebook page, shows the accident that occurred on Richmond Road in Blacktown, a suburb in Western Sydney.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FDashCamOwnersAustralia%2Fvideos%2F1973851379401951%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>In the video, you can see the motorist driving along a main road before they turn on their blinker to indicate changing lanes – which the Audi waiting at the intersection took as a sign that he was turning left off the main road.</p> <p>It was at that moment the Audi pulled onto the main road and collided with the dashcam vehicle.</p> <p>The accident has started a conversation online on the reliability of indicators, and how drivers need to be more alert when on the road.</p> <p>“I never change lanes in front of an intersection like this due to the fear of this exact scenario happening,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“I don’t go till the person commits to the turn. It pisses people off behind me but it’s not worth the risk,” said another.</p> <p>“Probably saw the indicator from the D/C car moving left and assumed they were turning. Even when someone indicated, I wait till they’ve turned because indicators seem meaningless on our roads,” commented a third.</p> <p>Speaking to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/" target="_blank"><em>Seven News</em></a>, Mick Humphries, general manager of the Australian Driver Trainers Association said that while both cars are at fault, it was mainly the Audi that should be held responsible.</p> <p>“When you’re in a give way situation you should ensure traffic has been given away before making your next move,” he said.</p> <p>He went on to say that the dashcam driver was “contributing negligence”, even though they were changing lanes.</p> <p>“You should always indicate when required to unless confusing circumstances prevail.”</p> <p>Who do you think was at fault? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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Warning: Have you been stung by this ATO scam?

<p>An Australian Tax Office (ATO) scam has cost thousands of Australians almost a million dollars. The scam claims that you are about to be arrested over unpaid taxes and must immediately pay up.</p> <p>The scam will start by a phone call made by a robot. They then threaten to arrest you because you have filed a dodgy tax return. If you call the number back, it will sound like it’s someone from the ATO.</p> <p>If you’ve fallen for this scam, you’re not alone. Thousands of Australians have fallen victim to it in the last three months alone.</p> <p>Kym Robertson, 49, received one of these phone calls. The number was tracked to a Victorian number which was able to receive phone calls.</p> <p>“Normally when you ring back it says this number is no longer connected. This one you could ring back,” he told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.9news.com.au/2019/01/22/13/32/ato-scams-scamwatch-arrest-message-call-fraud-report" target="_blank">9News</a>.</p> <p>“A Chinese lady said that me and my family were going to be investigated by the tax department.</p> <p>“I said, ‘I don’t think you’re from the tax department.’</p> <p>“She swore at me and told me to p*** off, and don’t call back the number ever again.”</p> <p>The ATO has warned people that they do not project their number via caller ID.</p> <p>“The ATO does not project our numbers using caller ID. You can be confident that if there is a number displayed in your caller ID, it isn't the ATO,” assistant tax commissioner Kath Anderson told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6617869/ATO-scam-fools-Australians-handing-900-000-claiming-victims-arrested.html" target="_blank"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a>. </p> <p>“If a taxpayer is unsure whether a call is genuinely from the ATO, hang up and call the ATO's dedicated scam reporting line on 1800 008 54O,” an ATO spokeswoman said.</p> <p>Have you fallen victim to this scam? What did you do? Let us know in the comments.</p>

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Should you help your adult children buy a property?

<p>Do you have questions about how to help your children get into the property market? Here’s how!</p> <ul> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/finance/7-easy-mistakes-we-make-about-life-expectancy.aspx" target="_blank"><span>7 easy mistakes we make about life expectancy</span></a></li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/finance/should-i-set-up-a-self-managed-super-fund.aspx" target="_blank"><span>Should I set up a self-managed super fund?</span></a></li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/finance/25-easy-tips-to-help-you-avoid-common-estate-planning-mistakes.aspx" target="_blank"><span>25 easy tips to help you avoid common estate planning mistakes</span></a></li> </ul> <p>The reality is many of us will need to help their kids get into the property market. Without that help, the maths doesn’t work and many of them just may not be able to do it. It’s as simple as that.</p> <p>This is largely a tale of three immigrant cities - Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane - that now have average prices that are outside the reach of a younger generation (although Brisbane remains the most affordable).</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>THEN AND NOW</strong></h3> <p>Let’s look at 1975 - a good year to focus on because Baby Boomers were just turning 30, getting married, having kids and buying homes. On average they were marrying about six years earlier than they are today.</p> <ul> <li>The average price of a house in Sydney was $34,000.</li> <li>The average price for a unit in Sydney was $26,000.</li> <li>The average income was about $8,000.</li> </ul> <p>So, the house to income multiple was in the low fours - roughly four years’ income paid for a house, and less for an apartment.</p> <ul> <li>Today the average house price in Sydney is $1m.</li> <li>With average income at about $75,000.</li> </ul> <p>So the multiple is in the low 13s (even with two incomes you do not get back to the maths of the 1970s).</p> <p>Put simply, the maths has changed so much that without some help, younger generations will not be able to step onto the inflationary elevator that is Australian property.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>CONTRIBUTING FACTORS</strong></h3> <p>In 1974, just as a large wave of Baby Boomers was entering university, university fees were abolished. And then in 1989, just as the last Baby Boomers were leaving university, the fees were reintroduced again. So today’s university student can easily leave university with a $30,000 debt (or much more) compared to the unencumbered Baby Boomer.</p> <p>This is relevant to the discussion of entering the property market as these debts have a material impact of someone’s ability to get and service a loan. Having to pay 4-8% of your gross income with after tax dollars materially affects borrowing capacity and cashflow, and delays the entry into the property market. It now takes on average about eight years to pay off a university debt!</p> <p>So that’s the back story, and now on to the question of what older, wealthier parents who can afford it and want to can do to help their kids get into the property market.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>JUST GIVE THEM THE MONEY</strong></h3> <p>Let’s not beat around the bush. If you want to help them and you have the means to do so, just give them the money. Call it what you want, a gift or early inheritance, but the bottom line is that it was your money and you made it theirs. Saving enough money for a deposit nowadays borders on the impossible.</p> <p>After tax, living expenses, rent and the university debt, there is not much left to save for a deposit that can easily reach $100,000. By the time they have been able to save the deposit, many years later, property prices have risen again and they never get to latch on.</p> <p>If we put family relationships and politics aside, it really is a question of maths. Can you give them enough money to help them into the market without affecting your lifestyle? Even better, are you happy to have your lifestyle affected a little bit to help them in?</p> <p>Ask yourself The 5% Question.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>THE 5% QUESTION</strong></h3> <p>Would giving them 5% of your net worth affect your lifestyle today? If your net worth was $3m, would giving then $150,000 affect you and if so how much? If your net worth was $2m, would $100,000 affect you and so on.</p> <p>Or, you might say, that a large part of your net worth is in your home, so then you could ask the question a different way. Would giving 5% of your retirement fund affect you?</p> <p>So let’s say that between your super and an investment property you have $1.5m. Would giving them $75,000 (or possibly less than one year’s returns) affect you in a major way?</p> <p>Whatever the amount or percentage is, what you are really asking yourself is whether you can do without that money in order to help a child into the property market.</p> <p>One client comes to mind, who retired last year, with a net worth of about $4m. He gave his 28-year-old son $200,000 to help him and his wife buy an apartment near the city for about $800,000. It hasn’t affected his retirement income in any material way and he is deeply satisfied with the fact he was able to get his son into the market. Now, had he had five kids, his ability to help to that degree would have changed, but you have to work with the hand you are dealt.</p> <p>I often hear concerns from parents around the loss of family wealth in the event of an adult child divorcing. It’s a legitimate concern but one that has solutions if you get the right advice.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>EARLY INHERITANCE</strong></h3> <p>Lets look at this subject in more depth. If you are 60 and your daughter is 35, helping her now with a small portion of your wealth could make a profound difference to her and a minor difference to you. However, if you go down the more traditional road of inheritance and give it all to her at your death, she could be waiting another 30 years. By the time she inherits the funds at 65, it won’t have the same impact on her life because she has lived most of it already.</p> <p>The whole idea of early inheritance is giving the funds when it really matters.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>LEND THEM THE MONEY</strong></h3> <p>Alternatively you can lend them the money. This can take a variety of shapes and forms:</p> <ol> <li>These can be interest free loans, as they often are.</li> <li>They can be an informal handshake agreement or they can be formalised with a written agreement.</li> <li>They can have an indefinite repayment term, which makes it a gift by another name, or an agreed repayment timeline.</li> <li>The agreement  can be directly between you and your child or you can include a third party between you to formalise the arrangement.</li> </ol> <p>If you lend them the money on an interest free basis, you are in effect ‘gifting’ them the interest on the money.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>OFFSET ACCOUNTS</strong></h3> <p>If you have the funds and your son has a mortgage, you could get them to set up an offset account so that you could simply ‘park’ your money in their offset account and save them the interest on that part of the loan. The only cost to you would be the ‘opportunity cost’ of earning a return on that money in your own bank account.</p> <p>If you had the money in your bank account you might earn 2% on which you would pay tax, but in your daughters offset account, it would save her 5% on her debt, after tax.</p> <h3 class="tint"><strong>HECS-HELP</strong></h3> <p>You could choose to pay for their university education so that they leave university unencumbered. Or if they have a HECS-Help loan, you could choose to pay it off for them, which at the very least will help with any loan applications that they make. It will increase their borrowing capacity and increase their ability to cash-flow any loans.</p> <p>For example, if they are paying 6% of the gross income towards their student loan that could easily reduce their borrowing capacity by 20%.</p> <p>Making any or a combination of these ideas work for you, requires customisation to your individual circumstances. There will be tax, legal and liability considerations for many of them and you would be well advised to first canvass the viability of an idea with a financial adviser. They are best suited to navigate you through the varied and interconnected areas of expertise that are required to solve this type of problem.</p> <p>Watch out for our follow up article on other ways you can help support you adult children when trying to get into the property market without directly giving them the funds to do it.</p> <p><em><strong>What do you think about helping adult children into the property market? Join the conversation below.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Written by Frank Paul. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/investment/should-you-help-your-adult-children-buy-a-property.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Age discrimination in the workplace and how it affects you

<p>Over the past year, age discrimination has moved to the front and centre of the national debate. As we are working longer than ever before, experts suggest that ageism is set to become a more pertinent problem. </p> <p>It is a serious issue that affects many of us in the work-place over the age of 50 and age discrimination has wide-ranging social and economic effects on us as individuals and our nation.</p> <p>Here are some tips on how to avoid - and deal with - ageism and continue a fulfilling career.</p> <ul> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/lifestyle/boomer-life/how-to-get-a-good-job-after-50.aspx" target="_blank"><span>How to get a good job after 50</span></a></li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/lifestyle/boomer-life/want-to-discover-the-secret-to-positive-thinking.aspx" target="_blank"><span>Want to discover the secret to positive thinking?</span></a></li> <li><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/lifestyle/boomer-life/help-us-find-50-reasons-why-you-should-love-being-over-50.aspx" target="_blank">Help us find 50 reasons to love being over 50!</a></span></li> </ul> <p><strong>What is age discrimination?</strong><br />The good news is we are covered legally because under federal law, we are all protected from discrimination on the basis of age. The Age Discrimination Act 2004 makes it illegal to treat someone who is older person unfairly because of their age. Discrimination can be direct or indirect, but the law gives a person the right to equality in a number of distinct situations. These include, but are not limited to, employment, the provision of goods, education and accommodation.</p> <p>Though several exceptions to the law already exist, there are clear-cut examples of age discrimination that are covered by the law. These include: the blanket refusal of employment based upon one's age; less than desirable terms or conditions that differ to those afforded to other, younger workers; the denial of promotion and training; general dismissal for reasons related to age; and any other detrimental decision that was made on the basis of an individual's age.</p> <p>Despite the best intentions of the federal law, it seems that acts of age discrimination are nonetheless going unreported and undetected. Alarmingly, statistics also seem to indicate that ageism is increasingly common in the Australian workplace and particular during periods of 'hiring and firing'.</p> <p><strong>The statistical prevalence of ageism</strong><br />According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, age discrimination is significant and statistically common. In a 2015 study, <span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/publication/AgePrevalenceReport2015.pdf%20" target="_blank">'National prevalence survey of age discrimination in the workplace'</a></span>, the AHRC made alarming discoveries about the current Australian workplace. The report arrived at the following findings:</p> <ul> <li>27% of Australians aged 50 and over had experienced age discrimination in the workplace over the last two years</li> <li>32% of respondents reported that they were aware of others in their age range who had been discriminated against</li> <li>32% of respondents aged between 55 and 59 believer they experienced discrimination</li> <li>44% of managers aged over 50 years admitted that age was a deciding factor in their hiring choices</li> <li>33% of those responsible for making staff-based decisions considered a person's age on a frequent or occasional basis </li> </ul> <p>The AHRC study also found that a mammoth 43% of Australian workers did not take any action to curb the discrimination. Of those who did report the problem to external or internal authorities, a paltry 18% reported that they were subsequently employed, re-trained, accommodated in terms of working hours or given an apology. All of these statistics are unveiling a job-culture that does seem to be biased towards younger employees, and a system that is having difficulty with transitioning to an older workforce.</p> <p>Thankfully Attorney-General George Brandis recently ordered the AHRC to begin work on a national inquiry into ageism. The <span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/media-releases/willing-work-national-inquiry-launch" target="_blank">'Willing To Work'</a></em></span> inquiry is set to focus on the economic impacts of isolating older people from the workforce, as well as ways to promote participation among older Australians. It will conclude and report by July 2016.</p> <p><em><strong>Did you know an extra 3% participation rate in workers over 55 is estimated to account for a $33 billion boost to Australia’s gross domestic product! </strong></em></p> <p><strong>The economic benefits of staying in the workforce longer</strong><br />Every year, the Australian economy suffers as a result of age discrimination. Recent Deloitte Access Economics figures indicate that older workers are highly valuable to the economy. The statistics show that an extra 3% participation rate among older workers (over 55s) would account for a $33 billion boost to the nation's Gross Domestic Product. The recent Intergenerational Report reaffirmed the important role of older workers by finding that the continued presence of those aged 55 and over add a whopping $55 billion (or 2.7%) to the country's bottom line.</p> <p>The employment of ‘older workers’ has also been positively linked to lower recruitment and training costs, the increased flow of knowledge to less experienced workers and the encouragement of a more diverse and equal workforce.</p> <p><strong>7 tips for battling ageism in the workplace</strong><br />During the hiring process, and while we are gainfully employed, older workers will face a barrage of issues that may impact on our long-term job prospects. Though these discriminatory factors are patently unfair, there are ways to side step the problems and improve your chances of staying employed or getting a great new job.</p> <ol> <li>Make sure your resume is up-to-date, well set out and looks modern.</li> <li>Familiarise yourself with user-based technologies, applications and common programs to avoid the perception that you are 'out of touch'. Consider investing in education such as covering basics in social media if relevant to your field.</li> <li>Sell your skills and years of experience. Don't be afraid to refer to your years of experience in a specific field as it may well reverberate with potential employers faced with less-experienced, younger workers.</li> <li>Dress well and professionally. A modern looking dress-sense can make you seem more approachable and more adaptable. Invest in a new hair cut. In doubt about what to wear? Seek professional advice. David Jones offer a<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.davidjones.com.au/Store-Services/Fashion/Personal-Shopping-Service" target="_blank"><span>free personal shopping service</span></a><span> </span>by appointment.</li> <li>If appropriate don't be afraid to address the elephant in the room. If you get the opportunity, discuss your age and the perceived impact it may have on your ability to work or get the job. Ask questions and be honest with your potential employer. Assert yourself as pro-active and flexible.</li> <li>Listen to younger workers and develop a good working rapport with them – share your experiences and knowledge with younger workers and work to foster a steady flow of communication between older and younger workers.</li> <li>End the interview or each working day on a positive note. </li> </ol> <p>If you choose to you can continue working and contributing to the productivity of the nation and your workplace. We want to know what you think so if you've had experience with age discrimination in the workplace, please share your thought and experiences with others via social media or in the discussion below. </p> <p>For more information on age discrimination visit the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/age-discrimination" target="_blank"><span>Australian Human Rights Commission</span></a>.</p> <p><em><strong>Have you experience age discrimination in the workplace? Share your thoughts and experiences below. . . </strong></em></p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/work/employment/what-do-you-think-about-age-discrimination-in-the-workplace.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Trusts: What you should know

<p class="Body">A trust is a legal relationship which is recognised and enforced by the courts.</p> <p class="Body">In a trust, a person or company (the trustee) is required to hold and distribute assets on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. Assets can be anything from equity, to shares or even real estate, and beneficiaries can be individuals, companies, or organisations.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">What is the purpose of a trust?</strong><br />Trusts are useful for a whole range of personal and corporate purposes. Some common ways trusts are used in transactions include:</p> <ul> <li>To invest, such as cash management trusts and property trusts</li> <li>To hold money for family members for the future</li> <li>To protect family assets and assist with tax planning</li> <li>To hold money and assets for the purposes of research or charitable purposes</li> <li>To protect business assets</li> <li>To protect the financial interests of people with a disability and provide for their needs</li> <li>For superannuation</li> </ul> <p class="Body"><strong><span class="bigger-text">Types of trusts</span><br />Discretionary trusts (family trust)</strong></p> <p class="Body">In this case, the beneficiaries have no fixed interest in the assets and the trustee can distribute income or capital however they see fit. This flexibility means they are useful for family tax planning, according to financial planner<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.wfscanberra.com.au/why-use-us/our-staff">Catherine Smith</a></span><span> </span>from<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.wfscanberra.com.au/">Wholistic Financial Solutions</a></span>.</p> <p class="Body">“In a dual income household, a trustee might decide to allocate more income to the lower earning individual. This could afford the couple the maximum tax benefit,” says Smith.</p> <p class="Body"><strong>Unit/fixed trust</strong></p> <p class="Body">The beneficiaries of unit trusts (known as unitholders) have a set interest in the trust, identified by holding units. These units can be likened to shares in a company. Each unitholder receives a set income or capital from the trustee, according to the number and value of units they hold.</p> <p class="Body">“This trust structure is mostly used by unrelated parties. It is common for investment trusts like managed funds, property trusts, and joint business ventures,” says Smith.</p> <p class="Body"><strong>Testamentary trusts</strong></p> <p class="Body">These trusts are created under a will and take effect when the testator (will maker) dies. “They are good for protecting the testator’s assets against creditors and divorcees since the assets are owned by the trust, not the individual,” says<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.omniwealth.com.au/staff/duncan-barber">Duncan Barber</a></span>, Managing Director of Accounting and Advisory at<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.omniwealth.com.au/">Omniwealth</a></span>. Testamentary trusts also provide capital gains tax benefits since this tax can also be shared among beneficiaries.</p> <p class="Body"><strong>Superannuation trusts</strong></p> <p class="Body">Superannuation funds in Australia operate as trusts. Their obligations are set out in the<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017C00052">Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993</a></span>, including special provisions to which the funds must comply, such as the minimum age of entitlement.</p> <p class="Body"><strong>Bare trusts</strong></p> <p class="Body">A basic trust in which one beneficiary has absolute right to the assets and any income generated by the trust.</p> <p class="Body"><strong>Charitable trusts</strong></p> <p class="Body">These trust structures exist for the purpose of charitable and philanthropic work. They have special tax concessions and tax deductions for taxpayers who gift money to them.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">How do I set up a trust?</strong><br />To set up a trust, follow these steps:</p> <ol> <li>Determine assets to be held by the trust</li> <li>Appoint a trustee</li> <li>Determine the beneficiaries</li> <li>Draft a trust deed</li> <li>Pay stamp duty</li> <li>Register as a company (if required)</li> <li>Open a bank account</li> <li>Start operating as a trust</li> </ol> <p class="Body">There are a number of websites that can assist with establishing a trust, including the<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/super/self-managed-super-funds/setting-up/create-the-trust-and-trust-deed/">ATO (Australian Taxation Office)</a></span>.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">Who can be a trustee?</strong><br />A trustee can be any legally competent person or company. This person or entity is obligated to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries at all times, otherwise they may be held liable by beneficiaries.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">Trusts and tax</strong><br />The tax payable from income allocated from trusts depends on the beneficiary entitlements at 12:00am on June 30— each year. If all or part of a trust’s income is paid to a beneficiary, that income is assessed as normal for tax purposes — unless that beneficiary has a legal disability, in which case tax concessions may apply. Any income to which the trustee deems no beneficiaries are entitled to yet is taxed at 47 per cent.</p> <p class="Body">Trusts whose beneficiaries are individuals that have held assets for 12 months or more are eligible for a 50 per cent concession on tax for capital gains.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">What else do I need to know about trusts?</strong><br />It’s useful to know that trusts have pitfalls and aren’t for everyone:</p> <ul> <li>There are ongoing obligations and administrative duties for trustees and beneficiaries.</li> <li>Some trusts — such as discretionary trusts — can lead to disputes among beneficiaries.</li> <li>Trusts can require a thorough understanding of the legal complexities set out in the deed.</li> </ul> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">What should I do before establishing a trust?</strong><br />Do your homework and meet with the experts first. This includes seeking professional legal advice for the deed, as well as a qualified tax agent and a financial planner to discuss how being involved in a trust will affect you and your loved ones financially.</p> <p class="Body"><em><strong>What experience have you had with trusts? Share your thoughts below.</strong></em></p> <p class="Body"><strong>Read more:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/wills-and-disability.aspx" target="_blank"><span>Wills and disability</span></a></li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/helping-your-adult-kids-to-be-financially-savvy.aspx" target="_blank"><span>Helping your adult kids to be financially savvy</span></a></li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/is-an-smsf-right-for-you.aspx" target="_blank"><span>Is an SMSF right for you</span></a></li> </ul> <p><em>Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/trusts-what-you-should-know.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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