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Teen entrepreneur calls out the older generations

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An Australian high schooler who has become a multi-millionaire off of his online business ventures has called out older generations for labelling millennials as “lazy” and “entitled”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jack Bloomfield has become a successful ecommerce entrepreneur through a series of ventures.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 17-year-old has penned an open letter, saying young people are “doing incredible things”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If I had a dollar for every time I heard yet another insult about Millennials like me, I could probably actually afford to be every bit as lazy as we’re always accused of being,” he wrote in a </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/17yo-selfmade-millionaires-open-letter-to-adults/news-story/3ab4fd514b3aa838b14b5ca12f96ca40" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> piece.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Honestly, it feels like kids my age should all be walking round with helmets on given just how much of a beating we take from older generations.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxrT1FTl-Kg/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BxrT1FTl-Kg/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Jack Bloomfield (@jackbloomfield)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“All we get told is how lazy and entitled we are.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But you know what? We’re not listening.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We don’t want to spend 40 years chained to a desk taking a pay cheque like you did.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We want to be in charge of our own future.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And we’re making it happen whether you like it or not.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since starting his first business at the age of 12, Jack has gone on to become a multi-millionaire and public speaker.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He told </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Today Extra</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> last year that schools needed to do more to support aspiring entrepreneurs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It all comes back down to support of kids like myself who want to go out there and start something really big with their lives,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“No one’s really talking about starting a business, especially teachers and schools around the country, so it was all self-education.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Instead of watching Minecraft or whatever I watched at the time, I started typing up how to start your own online business just on YouTube, just spending hours and hours educating myself trying to figure out how this whole thing’s going to work.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bloomfield concluded his piece by praising the achievements of other young people who are "trying to launch the next revolutionary business that will change the way we live or work".</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We want to be in charge of our own future," he said. "And we're making it happen whether you like it or not."</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Jack Bloomfield / Instagram</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p>

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Oldest woman makes it to space 60 years after training

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">60 years after she first completed astronaut training, Wally Funk has become the oldest person to reach space.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Funk was one of the so-called Mercury 13 - a group of women who trained to become NASA astronauts in the 1960s.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite her training, she was denied the opportunity to go to space because of her gender.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She was 21 at the time, and the youngest of the women who passed the same testing as the Mercury Seven male astronauts in NASA’s program that sent Americans into space between 1961 and 1963.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I didn’t think I’d ever get to go up,” Ms Funk said in a video interview on NASA’s website.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, the 82-year-old was finally able to make the journey as one of Jeff Bezos’ three co-passengers aboard the Blue Origin’s New Shepard launch vehicle during its historic suborbital flight.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">"Guess what: It doesn't matter what you are. You can still do it if you want to do it. And I like to do things that nobody has ever done." ~Wally Funk ❤️✈️🚀 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FlyWallyFly?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FlyWallyFly</a> <a href="https://t.co/zispvzshnm">pic.twitter.com/zispvzshnm</a></p> — Dr. Tanya Harrison (@tanyaofmars) <a href="https://twitter.com/tanyaofmars/status/1417460508731523085?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 20, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She also set the new record as the oldest person to launch into space, a title previously held by the late John Glenn, who was 77 when he flew aboard the Discovery space shuttle in 1998.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve been waiting a long time,” Ms Funk said afterward.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The four of us, we had a great time. I want to go again – fast.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Funk was a passenger alongside Mr Bezos’ brother Mark, and Oliver Daemon, the 18-year-old who became the youngest person to fly to space.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The vehicle reached an altitude of about 106 kilometres during the 10 minute flight.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I felt like I was just laying down. I was just laying down and I was going to space,” Ms Funk said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It isn’t the first time Ms Funk has set a record, having been both the first female flight instructor at a US military base and the first woman to become an air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve done a lot of astronaut training through the world, Russia, America. And I could always beat the guys on what they were doing because I was always stronger and I’ve always done everything on my own,” Ms Funk said after the flight.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And I didn’t do dolls … I did outside stuff. I flew airplanes, 19,000 some hours. I loved it and I loved being here with all of you, your family,” she told Mr Bezos.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She added that she would “cherish that forever”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Footage from the flight showed the weightless passengers floating, doing somersaults, tossing Skittles and throwing balls.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Blue Origin video from inside the New Shepard capsule in space:<br /><br />Jeff Bezos: “Who wants a Skittle?” <a href="https://t.co/SUO6sAYZAE">pic.twitter.com/SUO6sAYZAE</a></p> — Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) <a href="https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1417522168078893056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 20, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The crew also took a number of mementos with them on the trip, including a piece of fabric from the Wright brothers’ first place and a pair of goggles belonging to Amelia Earhart.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: IWASM / Twitter</span></em></p>

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“Miraculous” lotto win saves Sydney man’s livelihood

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Sydney man will be able to stay in business after a “miracle” lotto win saw him receive more than $1 million.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 50-year-old said he was on the brink of losing his business and one of thousands struggling during Sydney’s extended COVID-19 lockdown.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I have been in business for almost 30 years but due to the devastating impact of COVID-19, I was about to go under,” he told lotto officials after his win.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I feel like this win is an absolute miracle that has saved my life, and I won’t let this opportunity go to waste.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I will put the money towards paying off debts and saving my business.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The winner took part in The Lottery Office’s USA Power Lotto via The Lottery Office app, taking home a division two prize.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After accidentally selecting a multiplayer game for an extra $3.25, the man’s prize was doubled and came to a total of $1.6 million.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lottery Office chief executive Jacyln Wood said the man struggled to sleep after he received the news.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The player said the recent lockdowns had been a massive blow to his hospitality business and he had suffered numerous sleepless nights figuring out how he could continue to support his family and staff,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“He emailed us straight after the app notified him of the win, he knew he had won a big prize, but he wasn’t ready to believe it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When I called him this morning, he was in tears from the moment I confirmed how much he had won.”</span></p>

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New report predicts Australians will be older, smaller and more in debt

<p>Australia will be smaller and older than previously expected in 40 years time after the first downward revision of official projections in an intergenerational report in 20 years.</p> <p>The much lower projections in Monday’s fifth five-yearly intergenerational report will mean indefinite budget deficits with no surplus projected for 40 years, only 2.7 Australians of traditional working age for each Australian over 65 (down from four) and average annual economic growth of 2.6%, down from 3%.</p> <p>“Intergenerational reports always deliver sobering news, that is their role,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will say launching the report Monday morning. “The economic impact of COVID-19 is not short lived.”</p> <p>The report says the pandemic has slowed both Australia’s birth rate and inflow of migrants.</p> <p>The <a rel="noopener" href="https://treasury.gov.au/publication/2015-igr" target="_blank">2015 intergenerational report</a> projected an Australian population of almost 40 million by 2054-55. The 2021 update projects 38.8 million by 2060-61.</p> <p>As a result in 2060-61, about 23% of the population is projected to be over 65, up from 16% at present and 13% in 2002.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408519/original/file-20210627-22-f8hva7.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408519/original/file-20210627-22-f8hva7.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption"></span></p> <p>Although in the future increased superannuation would take pressure off the age pension, superannuation attracts favourable tax treatment which cuts government revenue.</p> <p>The combined total of age pension spending and superannuation tax concessions was projected to grow from around 4.5% of gross domestic product to 5% by 2061.</p> <p><strong>Health, aged care spending to soar</strong></p> <p>Real per person health spending is projected to more than double over the next 40 years, largely due to the costs of new health technologies.</p> <p>By 2060-61 health is expected to be the largest component of government spending, eclipsing social security and accounting for 26% of all spending.</p> <p>Aged care spending is projected to nearly double as a share of the economy, largely due to population ageing.</p> <p>Mr Frydenberg will say that even in the face of these demands the government remains committed to its promise to limit the tax take to 23.9% of GDP. Tax receipts are not expected to reach this level until 2035-36.</p> <p>“Growing the economy is Australia’s pathway to budget repair, not austerity or higher taxes. This is why we remain committed to our tax to GDP cap, ensuring our COVID support is temporary and persuing productivity-enhancing reforms.”</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408513/original/file-20210627-15-s05d00.PNG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408513/original/file-20210627-15-s05d00.PNG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption"></span></p> <p>Net debt is projected to peak at 40.9% of GDP in 2024-25, before falling to 28.2% in 2044-45 and then climbing again to 34.4% by 2060-61.</p> <p>While Australia’s population will be smaller and older, and debt levels higher as a result of the pandemic, had the government not spent at unprecedented levels to support the economy a generation of Australians might have been condemned to long term unemployment, seriously damaging the budget longer-term.</p> <p>Other projections have real GDP per person a measure of living standards, growing at an annual average of 1.5%, down from an earlier-projected 1.6%</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408514/original/file-20210627-19-o5he25.PNG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408514/original/file-20210627-19-o5he25.PNG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption"></span></p> <p>The result will still be a near-doubling of real GDP per person, from $76,700 in today’s dollars to $140,900 in today’s dollars in 2060-61.</p> <p>Behind that projection lies an assumed lift in annual labour productivity growth to 1.5%. In the decades before the pandemic, annual productivity growth had been averaging 1.2% and had slumped to 0.4% in the year leading up to the pandemic?</p> <p>The lift in productivity assisted by government policies that will help individuals and businesses “take advantage of new innovations and technologies” is expected to take ten years.</p> <p>Not included in the extracts from Monday’s report released by the treasurer late Sunday are the closely-watched projections for net overseas migration and for spending on the national disability insurance scheme.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/163474/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 rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709" target="_blank">Peter Martin</a>, Visiting Fellow, <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292" target="_blank">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/intergenerational-report-to-show-australia-older-smaller-and-more-in-debt-163474" target="_blank">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Nobel laureate delays retirement to help combat COVID

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Peter Doherty was preparing to retire in early 2020, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic saw him meeting with leading coronavirus experts and working on a new book about the pandemic instead.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I thought I was going to retire,” the laureate professor said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I was 79 years old, I’d just finished our last big NHMRC grant, and I was also working on a book that I’ve been working on for ages.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Doherty won a Nobel Prize in 1996 after discovering how our immune cells destroy viruses, and has since revolutionised the field of immunology.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Last year, he joined conference calls with senior researchers from The Doherty Institute - named in his honour - to discuss the latest findings about the deadly disease.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I haven’t been running a lab for a while, but I joined in on that, and suddenly got a sense [COVID-19] was pretty dangerous,” Professor Doherty said of the early meetings.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My sense was I could help by being in the discussion because I’d been working on this kind of stuff for years so I have got some sort of understanding of it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Sitting on these morning discussions, I’m hearing details of what people who are running the diagnostics, evaluating the tests and so forth are doing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And though I knew superficially about the challenge, I had no idea about the actual detail that was involved.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But his scientific work isn’t the only reason why he came to prominence during the pandemic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In April 2020, the 80-year-old gave the internet a well-needed laugh when he accidentally asked his Twitter followers when Dan Murphys was open, mistaking the platform for Google.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Dan Murphy opening hours</p> — Prof. Peter Doherty (@ProfPCDoherty) <a href="https://twitter.com/ProfPCDoherty/status/1254616358479966209?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 27, 2020</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I love it. Scientists (even Nobel laureates) are human first,” one follower commented.</span></p> <p><strong>Predicting the pandemic</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scientists like Professor Doherty have been warning about the threat of a pandemic for decades.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2013, he wrote a book he jokingly described as “pandemics for dummies”, called </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It didn’t sell well because who wants to read about disease and death?”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the science in his book still holds up, Professor Doherty said he and other experts mistakenly believed a flu pandemic would be a threat.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If I’d been thinking more clearly, I would have thought about coronaviruses, and what happened with SARS,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While he did predict the economic cost of the pandemic, the use of social media, and the transition to working from home, he said COVID-19 has proved to be a “steep learning curve”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Both on the science side - we didn’t understand the virus to begin with, it’s much more complicated than we thought,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And also the social dimension of it - I think we’ve all been grappling with that one.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I had no real understanding of the social dimension of [a pandemic], and I think you have to live through it to really understand that.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Based in Melbourne, Professor Doherty and his wife Penny joined other Melbournians in the city’s 112-day lockdown during the second wave of the virus.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s pretty scary because we’re both old,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He tried to stay cautious and still take regular walks, including some in his own backyard to avoid needing to wear a mask, where he would “stride up and down like on the deck of a ship”.</span></p> <p><strong>Looking to the future</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thinking about the next 12 months, Professor Doherty’s biggest concern is a possibility of a new variant emerging that vaccines won’t be able to protect against.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Current variants such as Delta appear to dilute the effectiveness of the vaccines but don’t prevent the immune response triggered by vaccination.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He worries that the virus could mutate in such a way that it “subverts the vaccine”, requiring scientists to modify the vaccines.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Apart from that concern, I think we’re now really on the right track,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What we absolutely need is for people to get vaccinated.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“[Herd immunity] is incremental. If you get 50 percent of the people vaccinated, you’d worry a lot less about locking down and all that sort of stuff.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But if we can get to 80 percent vaccinated, I think we’d be in pretty good shape.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: The Doherty Institute / Instagram</span></em></p>

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Four-day working week trial found to be ‘an overwhelming success’

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Trials of a four-day working week in Iceland have been an “overwhelming success” that led many workers to move to shorter hours, researchers have said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Taking place between 2015 and 2019, workers were paid the same amount but worked fewer hours.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Researchers said productivity levels stayed the same or increased in the majority of workplaces involved in the trial.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The trials run by Reykjav</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">í</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">k City Council and the Icelandic government eventually included upwards of 2,500 workers, accounting for about one percent of Iceland’s working population.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many of the various workplaces, including preschools, offices, social service providers, and hospitals, moved from a 40 hour week to a 35 or 36 hours week, according to researchers from UK think tank Autonomy and the Association for Sustainable Democracy (Alda) in Iceland.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The trials also led unions to renegotiate working patterns, and 86 percent of Iceland’s workforce have now moved or will gain the right to move to shorter hours for the same pay, the researchers said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Workers reported feeling less stressed, having a lower risk of burnout, and said their health and work-life balance had improved. They also said they had more time to spend with family, do hobbies, and complete chores around the house.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This study shows that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success,” said Will Stronge, director of research at Autonomy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It shows that the public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks - and lessons can be learned for other governments.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gudmundur Haraldsson, a researcher at Alda, said: “The Icelandic shorter working week journey tells us that not only is it possible to work less in modern times, but that progressive change is possible too.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A number of other trials are now being run around the world, with Spain pivoting to a four-day working week for companies and Unilever in New Zealand trialling a 20 percent reduction in work without affecting pay.</span></p>

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Three tricks scammers use

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With a recent uptick in potentially fraudulent texts, emails, and phone calls during the pandemic, the field of psychology has analysed these deceptions to reveal some simple tricks scammers use.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Using trusted logos and brands</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fraudsters will often use familiar elements, such as the name or logo of well-known brands, to gain immediate trust from their victims.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This will tend to be paired with a message that aims to elicit a strong emotional response to stop the victim from thinking logically. That could take the form of a promise of a reward or a potential threat that victims need to provide their personal or financial information to receive or avoid.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Posing as a professional</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In other more devious schemes, scammers pose as lawyers or doctors representing a family member or colleague needing financial help.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Often negative emotions are most effective,” said Cleotilde Gonzalez, a professor of decision science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Setting a timer</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Finally, most scams will present their victims with a “time-limited” situation that requires an immediate response.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This works to increase the chance that you will act before you engage your critical thinking skills to either not miss the opportunity or avoid potential threats and forget the possibility of deceit.</span></p> <p><strong>A mix of all three</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Most scams rely on a mix of all three tricks to ensure success.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Think of the calls claiming to come from the tax office, warning that you could face a fine if you don’t take action immediately, which usually involves sharing bank account details. With an immediate threat to deal with, it can be incredibly difficult to think clearly.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Your guard automatically drops in those situations and your emotions will override rational decision making,” said Garth Norris, a psychologist at Aberystwyth University in the UK.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though there isn’t a single fool-proof way of protecting ourselves from scams, both Norris and Gonzalez suggest not responding immediately to every single message we receive.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Just give yourself the time and think, is this real?” said Norris.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And if the message includes a link, typing it out manually instead of clicking on it can help us spot any anomalies.</span></p>

Retirement Income

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Record losses to scammers during COVID-19 pandemic

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Australians have lost a whopping $851 million to scams in 2020, according to new data released from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Having analysed 444,000 reports from scam victims provided by banks, government agencies, and financial intermediaries, the ACCC found that investment scams and romance scams were two of the most financially damaging, costing Aussies $328 million and $131 million respectively.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Payment redirection scams came a close third, resulting in $128 million of losses.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said the most shocking fact was that the total figure only included the scams that were reported by victims.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Last year, scam victims reported the biggest losses we have seen, but worse, we expect the real losses will be even higher, as many people don’t report these scams,” Ms Rickard said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Unfortunately scammers continue to become more sophisticated and last year used the COVID-19 pandemic to scam and take advantage of people from all walks of life during the crisis.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, said scammers have also had greater opportunities to target Australians at their most vulnerable during the current financial crisis.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Fraudsters are increasingly seeking to take advantage of those experiencing uncertainty and financial instability,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Scammers are quick to capitalise on major events such as a pandemic so it’s important to be extra vigilant over the coming years.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the ACCC’s analysis of the demographics of scam victims, it found those aged 65 or older accounted for 18 percent of reports and 23 percent of the losses.</span></p> <p><strong>COVID-19 scams</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since the start of the pandemic, Scamwatch has received over 6400 scam reports mentioning coronavirus with more than $9.8 million in reported losses.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some of these include vaccination scams, where scammers may try to obtain personal or financial information by claiming you will need to provide it in order to get the COVID-19 vaccine.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Be sure to book your <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19</a> vaccine through the Eligibility Checker on the Australian Government website.<br />We will never ask you for bank, credit card or other payment details.<br />Vaccination is FREE and voluntary. To book safely and securely, visit: <a href="https://t.co/62OZ8zWiK3">https://t.co/62OZ8zWiK3</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZZ8Cefv9Xm">pic.twitter.com/ZZ8Cefv9Xm</a></p> — NSW Health (@NSWHealth) <a href="https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/1410382464044789760?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 30, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some scammers include links in emails or texts they send, which can contain malware that could give your personal information to the scammer. Scamwatch recommends not clicking on any links in emails or texts you receive about the vaccine that you aren’t expecting.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scamwatch is also aware of other vaccine scams that include offers to pay money as an investment opportunity in the Pfizer vaccine, as well as fake surveys that offer a prize or early access to the vaccine when completed. In reality, these surveys are used to obtain your personal or financial information.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Outside of Australia, scammers have been selling fake vaccine appointments, administering fake vaccines door-to-door for money, and asking for payment to ship vaccines to consumers, among other scams.</span></p>

Retirement Income

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4 tips that could save you thousands

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When it comes to our finances, there are plenty of monetary pitfalls that can have costly consequences.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are four financial tips that could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Choose who you take advice from</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though looking to family and friends for advice can be helpful in other circumstances, you can run into problems when it comes to money advice.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Unless your loved one is qualified and an expert in this field, they are unlikely to know everything there is to know,” says Helen Baker, a financial advisor, author and public speaker. “Those who speak from their own experience are not aware of the details that make everyone’s situation different.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Being more picky about where and who you take financial advice from is the best way to go, according to Baker.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Make sure they are licensed to practice and have a good reputation,” she says. “Beware of vested interests pushing you a certain way. Consider professional advice only on matters they are qualified to discuss: accountants aren’t licensed to give financial advice, and financial advisors are limited with their tax advice.”</span></p> <p><strong>2. Be smart about your super accounts</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While most advice tells us to roll all our superannuation accounts into one to save money, it might not be so simple</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you consolidate low-fee super accounts into a high-fee one, you’re actually losing money,” Baker explains. “Low cost funds don’t necessarily offer the same investments found in other funds.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Claims that having two funds will mean you pay double the fees aren’t necessarily true either.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Fees are generally calculated as a percentage of your super, so one percent of, say, $200,000 is the same as one percent of two $100,000 balances.” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instead, the biggest super mistake relates to life insurance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Life, disability, and income protection insurances can all be paid out of your super,” Baker says. “If you close an account, the policies attached to that account in almost all cases are terminated. Policies also differ between providers - you’re unlikely to get exactly the same policy in each one.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Many people only discover their mistake when they need to make a claim but are no longer covered.”</span></p> <p><strong>3. Put away the crystal ball</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the unpredictable nature of life, Baker says calculators meant to determine how much super you will need for retirement should be treated with caution.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“How is that calculated? How can it factor in things such as future tax rule changes, Centrelink changes, spontaneous withdrawals, changes in employment or market fluctuations? They can provide false hope that you have enough so you needn’t do anything, or scare you into taking unnecessary risks.”</span></p> <p><strong>4. Get involved</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For couples, the common pattern of one partner leaving financial matters to the other and not getting involved can be detrimental.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Baker says this can become an especially thorny issue following divorce or death.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Nobody gets married expecting to divorce or be widowed early,” she says. “But sadly, this can and does happen. If your partner dies suddenly or becomes your ex, it’s difficult to unpick where the funds have gone if you weren’t involved - especially at a time when you’re grieving and becoming accustomed to living on your own.”</span></p>

Retirement Income

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How a Sydney mum spent her $107 million lotto win

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After winning Australia’s largest ever individual lotto prize, a Sydney nurse has revealed just how she has spent the money and its effect on her life so far.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In January 2019, the woman was the only person with a division one winning entry in a massive Powerball jacket, seeing her take home $107 million.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though most might consider quitting their jobs with that much cash to their name, at the time the Sydney mum said she would still go to work the next day.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She has continued to work and has been enjoying “little luxuries” in the two and a half years since her win.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m still working and my husband is also still working. We both love our jobs!” she told </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thelott.com/real-winners/powerball/what-its-like-to-tell-your-family-youve-won-107-million" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Lott</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Having always been passionate about giving back to the community, the woman said she and her husband have been using the prize to do just that.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In those weeks after our win, I walked down the street and I knew that just about every second person bought a ticket into the draw, and I know that I won their $10 or $15 and that really resonated with me,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Paying it forward is really important to us because if you change one person’s life, you have the potential to change the whole community.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We have already made some really important donations, and we’re always thinking a lot about what we want to support next.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We watch the news and we read the papers, and we literally keep a notebook of causes we know we want to help on a grassroots level.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It makes you feel incredibly privileged, and it is what we’ve always done anyway, but now we can just do so much more.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The couple have been using some of their funds to purchase a new home, which the woman says will become a family home for generations to come.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Every time I walk into my beautiful home is a pinch-me moment,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Every time I come home and I remember that this is my house and I never have to move my family is something that I will never take for granted.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And seeing the relief on my husband’s face. We’ve both worked so hard for so long, and to never have that financial stress, to be able to take that away from him, that is just priceless.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The woman added that she’s now enjoying the little luxuries in life, such as buying fresh flowers and nicer bottles of wine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And having the ability to travel with the children is incredible,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We never thought we’d be able to afford to do that.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was always out of reach for us, so to have those memories is priceless!”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: The Lott</span></em></p>

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Veteran horsewoman honoured for exceptional achievement

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jane Dotchin, from Hexham in Northumberland, England, has been recognised for her efforts by the British Horse Society (BHS) and received an Exceptional Achievement Award.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 80-year-old became an online sensation during her 600-mile journey from Hexham to Augustus in Scotland’s north and back - which she takes each year - with her pony Diamond and disabled dog Dinky who travels in a saddlebag.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For most of her life, Jane has operated a small riding school in Hexham where she has shared her love and knowledge of horses with thousands of local young people and adults.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jane lives off the grid, cares for her horses by hand, and uses her own intuition rather than high-tech riding gear. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This also meant the news she had won came as quite a surprise.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I didn’t know what I’d won it for,” Jane said to </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-tyne-57527584" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">the </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">BBC</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. “And of course I don’t have internet, no modern technology at all. So I had to get a friend to use hers to find out what it was about.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Having made the journey over so many years, Jane has become well-known along the route.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve done the route so many times now and I know people all along the way and it’s nice to see everybody again, everybody’s very kind and generous,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jane was stopped and filmed by stunned resident Rab Black, who shared the clip on Facebook in September last year.</span></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=316&amp;href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftyndrumlodges%2Fvideos%2F767297650720296%2F&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=560&amp;t=0" width="560" height="431" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share"></iframe></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Well they always seem so surprised I’ve travelled so far, but I say well at one time when we didn’t have cars, everybody travelled by horse.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Hexham Courant, Hyndshaw Stables </span></em></p>

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4 reasons to avoid MLM schemes

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whether you’re looking for an income boost or are strapped for cash, you’re likely to come across multi-level marketing (MLM) while figuring out your options.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Multi-level marketing, also known as direct selling, is a form of direct sales where salespeople who aren’t employees of the company and don’t receive a salary or wage are used to distribute products or services.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These companies often sell wellness and cosmetic products - such as essential oils, supplements, and skincare products.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Recruiters of MLMs often target vulnerable people with promises of flexible working hours, getting to be your own boss, and being able to “get rich quick”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In situations where money is tight, it’s easy and understandable to be susceptible to that kind of temptation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To combat the stigma and dispel the myths around MLMs, here are four reasons why they may not be the solution.</span></p> <p><strong>#1 You have a 99.7 percent chance of losing money</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though some MLM recruits say their income allows them to travel the world and buy new cars, the representative body for direct selling, Direct Selling Australia, says otherwise.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Direct selling isn’t about buying boats or bigger houses … [rather] earning additional income that contributes to school fees, weekly groceries, saving for a holiday and bills.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But even that is a reach for most members.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gerard Brody, CEO of Consumer Action Law Centre, said more than 99 percent of recruits will lose money, going against the wealthy lifestyle MLMs claim to fund.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor David Wishart, who has researched the dangers that come with MLMs, said it’s important to remember these companies “don’t operate within the social contract that business has with society”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you are in business, yes you look after your own needs, but there are limits and morality - everyone is supposed to have that,” Professor Wishart said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“[MLM recruits] operate outside of that.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“People down the end are simply ripped off. It’s a bad taste capitalism.”</span></p> <p><strong>#2 It could cost you your friendships</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Members of MLMs often rely on their existing relationships with friends and family, but it can come at a cost.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Many people become frustrated with friends attempting to ‘commodify’ their emotional connection,” said Marie O Sullivan, a lecturer in marketing at the Cork Institute of Technology who has studied MLMs from a feminist perspective.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dr O Sullivan also said some of these companies encourage members to cut ties with those who don’t support them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Participants are encouraged to cut out anyone who expresses doubt as this negativity will prevent them from achieving their full potential.”</span></p> <p><strong>#3 You’re blamed for failing, despite working hard</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With many MLMs pushing the idea that the harder you work, the more you earn, many are left feeling shame when they don’t make it in direct selling, Dr O Sullivan explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sara Balanuik, who had sold weight-loss products for a MLM in the past, recalled: “I hustled hard but was still not a successful boss babe, as was promised.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She was told by her “upline” that she wasn’t seeing the results promised because she wasn’t working hard enough.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This kind of business model sets people up to fail, according to Anna Jenkins, a senior lecturer in entrepreneurship at the University of Queensland.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s very, very important for all potential sellers to make themselves aware of the statistics around MLMs,” she said.</span></p> <p><strong>#4 It can be an ethical conundrum</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While MLMs aren’t strictly illegal - unlike pyramid schemes - they can be ethically dubious.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many MLMs use a business model that focuses on recruiting “downline” - meaning they get new distributors to buy the product - rather than selling products to actual customers, making them similar to pyramid schemes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“While there are many genuine underlying economic activities involved in these schemes, they commonly operate to benefit those at the top. And disadvantage those at lower levels,” Mr Brody said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Wishart recommended doing your due diligence on the company before deciding to join their ranks.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Read what you’re in for. Work out what the terms are.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Look at the product and the sales commission you get on it. Compare the product with what else is on the market. Nobody buys Tupperware anymore as there is stuff that is just as good.”</span></p>

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Is it worth selling my house if I’m going into aged care?

<p>For senior Australians who cannot live independently at home, residential aged care can provide accommodation, personal care and general health care.</p> <p>People usually think this is expensive. And many assume they need to sell their home to pay for a lump-sum deposit.</p> <p>But that’s not necessarily the case. Here’s what you need to consider.</p> <p><strong>You may get some financial support</strong></p> <p>Fees for residential aged care are complex and can be confusing. Some are for your daily care, some are means-tested, some are for your accommodation and some pay for extras, such as cable TV.</p> <p>But it’s easier to think of these fees as falling into two categories:</p> <ul> <li> <p>an “entry deposit”, which is usually more than <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/06/eighth-report-on-the-funding-and-financing-of-the-aged-care-industry-july-2020-eighth-report-on-the-funding-and-financing-of-the-aged-care-industry-may-2020.pdf">$A300,000</a>, and is refunded when you leave aged care</p> </li> <li> <p>daily “<a href="https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/aged-care-home-costs-and-fees">ongoing fees</a>”, which are $52.71-$300 a day, or more. These cover the basic daily fee, which everyone pays, and the means-tested care fee.</p> </li> </ul> <p>To find out how much government support you’ll receive for both these categories, you will have a “<a href="https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/income-and-means-assessments/#aged-care-home">means test</a>” to assess your income and assets. This means test is similar (but different) to the means test for the aged pension.</p> <p>Generally speaking, the lower your aged-care means test amount, the more government support you’ll receive for aged care.</p> <p>With full support, you don’t need to pay an “entry deposit”. But you still need to pay the basic daily fee (currently, <a href="https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/aged-care-home-costs-and-fees">$52.71</a> a day), equivalent to 85% of your aged pension. If you get partial support, you pay less for your “entry deposit” and ongoing fees.</p> <p><strong>You don’t need a lump sum</strong></p> <p>You don’t have to pay for your “entry deposit” as a lump sum. You can choose to pay a rental-style daily cost instead.</p> <p>This is calculated as follows: you multiply the amount of the required “entry deposit” by the maximum permissible interest rate. This rate is set by government and is currently at <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/03/schedule-of-fees-and-charges-for-residential-and-home-care-schedule-from-20-march-2021_0.pdf">4.01%</a> per year for new residents. Then you divide that sum by 365 to give a daily rate. This option is like borrowing money to pay for your “entry deposit” via an interest-only loan.</p> <p>You can also pay for your “entry deposit” with a combination of a lump sum and a daily rental cost.</p> <p>As it’s not compulsory to pay a lump sum for your “entry deposit”, you have different options for dealing with your family home.</p> <p><strong>Option 1: keep your house and rent it out</strong></p> <p>This allows you to use the rental-style daily cost to finance your “entry deposit”.</p> <p><strong>Pros</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>you could have more income from rent. This can help pay for the rental-style daily cost and “ongoing fees” of aged care</p> </li> <li> <p>you might have a special sentimental attachment to your family house. So keeping it might be a less confronting option</p> </li> <li> <p>keeping an expensive family house will not heavily impact your residential aged care cost. That’s because any value of your family house above <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/03/schedule-of-fees-and-charges-for-residential-and-home-care-schedule-from-20-march-2021_0.pdf">$173,075.20</a> will be excluded from your <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/organisations/health-professionals/services/aged-care-entry-requirements-providers/residential-care/residential-aged-care-means-assessment">means test</a></p> </li> <li> <p>you can still access the capital gains of your house, as house prices rise.</p> </li> </ul> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/405552/original/file-20210610-15-3u26en.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/405552/original/file-20210610-15-3u26en.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Lease sign on front fence of house" /></a> <span class="caption">Renting out your house can be an option.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/sign-lease-front-old-residential-house-1492504154" class="source">from www.shutterstock.com</a></span></p> <p><strong>Cons</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>your rental income needs to be included in the means test for your aged pension. So you might get less aged pension</p> </li> <li> <p>you might need to pay income tax on the rental income</p> </li> <li> <p>compared to the lump sum payment, choosing the rental-style daily cost means you will end up <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/money/super-and-retirement/seek-help-when-weighing-up-how-to-pay-for-your-aged-care-20191202-p53g16.html">paying more</a></p> </li> <li> <p>you are subject to a changing rental market.</p> </li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>Option 2: keep your house and rent it out, with a twist</strong></p> <p>If you have some savings, you can use a combination of a lump sum and daily rental cost to pay for your “entry deposit”.</p> <p><strong>Pros</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>like option 1, you can keep your house and have a steady income</p> </li> <li> <p>the amount of lump sum deposit will not be counted as an asset in the pension means test.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Cons</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>like option 1, you could have less pension income, higher age-care costs and need to pay more income tax</p> </li> <li> <p>you have less liquid assets (assets you could quickly sell or access), which could be handy in an emergency.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Option 3: sell your house</strong></p> <p>If you sell your house, you can use all or part of the proceeds to pay for your “entry deposit”.</p> <p><strong>Pros</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>if you have any money left over after selling your house and paying for your “entry deposit”, you can invest the rest</p> </li> <li> <p>as your “entry deposit” is exempt from your aged pension means test, it means more pension income.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Cons</strong></p> <ul> <li>if you have money left over after selling your house, this will be included in the aged-care means test. So you can end up with less financial support for aged care.</li> </ul> <p><strong>In a nutshell</strong></p> <p>Keeping your house and renting it out (option 1 or 2) can give you a better income stream, which you can use to cover other living costs. And if you’re not concerned about having access to liquid assets in an emergency, option 2 can be better for you than option 1.</p> <p>But selling your house (option 3) avoids you being exposed to a changing rental market, particularly if the economy is going into recession. It also gives you more capital, and you don’t need to pay a rental-style daily cost.</p> <hr /> <p><em>This article is general in nature, and should not be considered financial advice. For advice tailored to your individual situation and your personal finances, please see a qualified financial planner.</em></p> <p><em>Correction: this article previously stated the amount of lump sum deposit will not be counted as an asset in the aged-care means test, as a pro of option 2. In fact, the amount of lump sum deposit will not be counted as an asset in the pension means test.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/161674/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><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/colin-zhang-1234147">Colin Zhang</a>, Lecturer, Department of Actuarial Studies and Business Analytics, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></span></p> <p>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/is-it-worth-selling-my-house-if-im-going-into-aged-care-161674">original article</a>.</p>

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Women retire with less than men: Boosting compulsory super won’t help

<p>All sorts of claims are being made following the release of the Retirement Income Review, including that it paid insufficient attention to issues of gender.</p> <p>Among other things we are being told that the gap between female and male super would narrow if compulsory contributions were lifted from 9.5% to 12%.</p> <p>It wouldn’t, not at all. As the <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/publication/p2020-100554">review</a> of which I was a member states, “maintaining the superannuation guarantee at 9.5% would avoid the increases in inequities associated with the superannuation guarantee rate rising to 12%”.</p> <p>Since men on average earn more than women, increasing the superannuation guarantee rate would widen — rather than narrow — the retirement income gap.</p> <p>By design, superannuation is a contributory scheme. That means what you get in retirement depends largely on how long you have been in the workforce and how much you have been paid.</p> <p>In that respect women are at a disadvantage, firstly due to the gender pay gap.</p> <p><strong>Women get less super because they get less pay</strong></p> <p>The review points out in November 2019 the gap in total average weekly earnings was 16.9% for women and men working full-time.</p> <p>The Bureau of Statistics reported in December 2020 that the pay gap had fallen to <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/people-and-communities/gender-indicators-australia/latest-release#economic-security">13.4%</a>.</p> <p>While there is still a way to go, it’s an improvement.</p> <p>However, the second and greater disadvantage for women is that they are far more likely to take on caring roles that lead to career breaks and part-time employment.</p> <p>Some 93% of all primary carer leave is taken by women. The result is a gender pay gap of closer to <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/earnings-and-work-hours/average-weekly-earnings-australia/latest-release">30%</a> when part-time and full-time work are taken together.</p> <p><strong>Several things could help</strong></p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/390716/original/file-20210321-15-1jrip39.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/390716/original/file-20210321-15-1jrip39.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption"></span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf" class="source">The Retirement Incomes Review modelled retirement outcomes by gender.</a></span></p> <p>To understand the contribution of career breaks to super balances and retirement incomes, the review constructed and modelled <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf">five different scenarios</a> for female workers based on observed patterns of career breaks and part-time work.</p> <p>Not surprisingly the modelling found that when women take more time out of the workforce, the gender gap in superannuation balances increases. Breaks earlier in careers have a greater impact on balances than breaks taken later.</p> <p>In recent decades the impact of career breaks has been declining as women take less time out of the workforce. Average female working life climbed from 24 years in 1980 to around 38 years in 2019.</p> <p>There are a number of measures that could improve super outcomes for women.</p> <p>The review found one would be to require the payment of superannuation on employer paid parental leave and <a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/parental-leave-pay">government parental leave pay</a>.</p> <p><strong>The super gap isn’t as wide as the pay gap</strong></p> <p>Another would be to require employers to make superannuation contributions to workers earning less than <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Super-for-employers/">$450 per month</a>.</p> <p>The present exemption impacts directly on those who work part-time and who work for a number of different employers, 63% of whom are women.</p> <p>Both options would improve the retirement incomes of women, but only marginally mitigate the gender gap inherent in the way superannuation is structured.</p> <p>But here’s what else we found. A number of measures already in place do quite a bit to lessen the gap.</p> <p>Among them are the <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Growing-your-super/Low-income-super-tax-offset/">Low-Income Superannuation Tax Offset</a> and the <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Growing-your-super/Super-co-contribution/">government superannuation co-contribution</a>.</p> <p>Because women earn less than men, both benefit women far more than men.</p> <p>Also, women benefit from the imposition of <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Growing-your-super/Division-293-tax---information-for-individuals/">Division 293 tax</a> which limits concessions for higher income earners, who are more likely to be men.</p> <p><strong>Half as worse off in retirement</strong></p> <p>And women also make higher <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf">voluntary super contributions</a> as a proportion of incomes then men. This is particularly so for women over the age of 50, suggesting some make a concerted effort to catch up.</p> <p>As a result, in 2017‑18 the median gap in superannuation balances between men and women aged 60‑64 was <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf">22%</a>, considerably less than the <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/earnings-and-work-hours/average-weekly-earnings-australia/latest-release">30%</a> gender gap in pay.</p> <p>And the age pension means test means that once women move into retirement, they are more likely than men to get the age pension, and to get more of it.</p> <p>When the age pension and superannuation income are combined, the retirement income gap for women who have worked full time with no career break falls to <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf">8.4%</a> For women with two career breaks and part-time work it falls to <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/p2020-100554-ud03_equity.pdf">14.5%</a>.</p> <p>We could do better, and the review spelled out steps to take. It found that boosting compulsory super contributions was not one of them.</p> <p>An increase in the proportion of income sent to super would lift the retirement incomes of high earners more than the retirement incomes of low earners.</p> <p>Until things change, increases in compulsory super will boost the retirement incomes of men more than women.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/157412/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><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/deborah-ralston-107436">Deborah Ralston</a>, Professorial fellow, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></span></p> <p>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/yes-women-retire-with-less-than-men-but-boosting-compulsory-super-wont-help-157412">original article</a>.</p>

Retirement Income

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Employees could soon be paying for their own super

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With compulsory superannuation contributions set to increase from 9.5 to 10 percent on July 1, 2021, most workers are expecting a big jump in their super payments.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, some employment lawyers are warning that some bosses could be looking to avoid passing on the legislated increase in super to their workers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Workers whose contracts state their super should be paid on top of their salary are safe, but those who have super included as part of their total package could be missing out.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This means it could be legal for employers to take the additional super out of their employees’ base pay.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Provided the employees don’t drop below the minimum permitted wages in an award enterprise agreement, or the minimum wage, then yes, it is permitted,” said Fay Calderone, a partner at Hall &amp; Wilcox.</span></p> <p><strong>Who’s doing it?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Calderone also said she has received a number of queries from employers asking whether they have to pass on the increase.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She said large employers generally don’t deny workers super rises, with the four big consultancy groups - PwC, Deloitte, EY, and KPMG - proving that by publicly stating their workers will see a 0.5 percent increase to their total pay package.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But other employers may not pass on the increase according to Ms Calderone, and there’s a history of it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The businesses in the middle - where they are large enough where they’ve had their contracts prepared - they’ve had the history behind them where this has happened before,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Richard Denniss, Australia Institute’s chief economist, has also heard historical reports of this kind of behaviour, but has said it could be even worse this time around.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There have been instances of this in the past, but I fear it’s becoming even more prevalent for the simple reason that more and more employees are on the kind of contracts that allow it to happen,” Mr Denniss said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Unfortunately, I think a bunch of smaller and medium sized businesses are feeling that they’re going to get away with it. That no one’s going to notice. And even if someone notices, no-one’s really going to care,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But let’s be clear, if thousands of employers do this, that’s exactly why we don’t get wage growth in Australia.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A survey of 145 organisations conducted by the firm Mercer found that 62 percent of the organisations using a “base plus” super model said they are maintaining their employees’ take-home pay, meaning the employer is covering the cost of the increase in super contributions without cutting their employees’ pay.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On the other hand, almost two thirds of organisations offering packaged super and salaries are only covering some of the cost of the super contribution increase.</span></p> <p><strong>Unions are outraged</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This statistic has unions outraged, saying the 0.5 percent increase works out to cost less than $5 a week for most employers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s absolutely shocking to me that employers would be trying at this point to try and avoid paying that small increase in superannuation,” said ACTU President Michele O’Neil.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This [the super rise] is something that is going to mean that for … the economy, and for our social security and pension system, we’ll be better off if people have enough money to retire on and retire without living in poverty.”</span></p> <p><strong>What this means</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wages have been stagnating for a long time already - and the pandemic making future pay rises seem unlikely - and data from the Treasury and Reserve Bank suggests a growth in wages won’t be seen anytime soon.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With this in mind, unions are arguing the super rises effectively replace a wage rise. They argue that employers choosing to not pass on increases isn’t within the spirit of the law.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Calderone said “it’s a real conundrum at the moment” for employers deciding what to do.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Employers are struggling … but we also know that many employees are living hand to mouth,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So, employers need to balance what the financial consequences are going to be from passing on the pay reduction to employees, against the potential that those employees will go elsewhere.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And then even if they do stay - because many employees will stay in this current environment - it’s a disengagement and the impact on morale.”</span></p>

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An elaborate phishing scam targets rental applicants

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An elaborate phishing scam has left Australian rental applicants out of pocket, after real estate listing portal, Domain, was hit by a cyber attack.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Domain CEO Jason Pellegrino confirmed in a statement that an unauthorised third party had gained access to the site’s administrative systems.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This resulted in some users who had made rental enquiries being contacted by the scammers via email with requests to pay a deposit to secure their desired property.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We have identified a scam that used a phishing attack to gain access to Domain’s administrative systems to engage with people who have made rental property enquiries,” Pellegrino said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We understand the scammers then contacted some of these people by email to suggest that they pay a ‘deposit’ to secure a rental property on a website nominated by the scammer.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“While this is a serious matter, at this point our investigation shows only a small number of people may have engaged with the scam.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Clearly, people are becoming more aware of how to spot suspicious online behaviour and taking protective measures not to engage in such activity.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Unfortunately, since COVID, scams like these have been on the rise. It is disappointing for us to find out that after such a challenging past twelve months for many of us, some see this as an opportunity to take advantage of others.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since the incident, Pellegrino said Domain had implemented “several additional security controls” and had “elevated our level of monitoring even further”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We continue to implement further ways to identify and prevent phishing and have engaged external security consultants to provide further expertise in the management and prevention of online scams,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Phishing scams attempt to trick individuals into sharing personal information such as bank account numbers, passwords, and credit card numbers with scammers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to the Australian Competition &amp; Consumer Commission’s ScamWatcch, $227,872 had been lost to 4460 scams in April alone.</span></p>

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Psychology behind two common scams

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scammers rely on tried and true ways to manipulate how we think and act to make us more vulnerable. IDCARE counsellor Suli Malet-Warden explains how scammers use psychological games to entrap their victims in these two common schemes.</span></p> <p><strong>Romance scam</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the initial grooming stage, the scam artist works to gain a high level of trust from their victim to manipulate them into an “ether state”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Victims in this state characteristically have high oxytocin levels that are increased through “love bombing” - where the criminal validates the victim, tells them how amazing they are, sends love notes and poems relentlessly through the day, and emotionally bombardes them with “love vibes”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once in this state, the criminal can start asking the victim for money, citing plausible but unusual reasons such as accidents, lost wallets or banking issues.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The victim is also encouraged to keep messaging the scammer throughout the night, becoming sleep deprived, which has a detrimental effect on brain function.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The scammer will promise an enticing future life with the victim, who will want to believe everything the scammer says and will employ selective thinking to do so.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The victim will block out any observations that contradict the story the scammer is telling them, which is why it can be incredibly difficult for well-meaning friends and family to convince them they’re falling for a scam.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Romance scammers often lure victims in using sexual desire and dreams of an intimate relationship in the future. The stronger the ‘pull’ for sexual connection, the less a victim will notice any gaps or oddities in the scammer’s story.</span></p> <p><strong>The ATO scam</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Criminals using this scam send victims into “amygdala hijack”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This evolutionary response shuts down the prefrontal cortex - our rational ‘executive function’ area in the brain - in response to threats to our safety and security, which causes us to act and not think.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scammers often convince victims of the importance of needing to take immediate action, such as making an immediate payment in the Australian Tax Office scam, and the fear triggered by threats of imprisonment causes amygdala hijack.</span></p> <p><strong>When the cash starts flowing</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once the victim starts paying the scammer, they are susceptible to another psychological process called “induction of behavioural commitment” which makes them more motivated to keep giving money with the belief they will get it all back.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The victim will be asked to make small steps of compliance to build trust in the scammer. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Criminals also ensure the promised story of a better life is made vivid enough so the victim will still feel motivated to give money and continue making faulty decisions. This applies to both the romance and ATO scams, with scammers using the relationship, lottery winnings, or inheritances to suck the victim in.</span></p>

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How much does the “average” Aussie earn?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">New data from the Australian Tax Office has revealed the average Australian takes home just over $60,000 a year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Data from the 2018-2019 financial year shows the average salary was $63,085 for Australians who submitted tax returns, an increase of $1634 from the year before.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The median reported salary - which paints a more accurate picture of “average” Aussies without being pulled upward by millionaires - for 2018-2019 wass $52,732.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The data also showed vast differences between the earning power of men versus women.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 2018-19, the median taxable income for Australian men was $55,829 and $40,547 for women.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Australians also paid a median net tax of more than $11,000 for the same financial year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When analysed by location, NSW was found to be home to the majority of Australia’s high-income earners.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The country’s wealthiest suburb was Double Bay in Sydney, with an average taxable income of $202,598.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Close behind was the suburb of Toorak in Melbourne, with individuals earning an average income of $201,926.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">NSW and Victoria made up the majority of the top 10 wealthy suburbs. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cottesloe in Western Australia was the only exception, coming in sixth with an average income of $179,376.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The top-paying professions on average were found to be surgeons ($394,303), with anaesthetists ($386,065), internal medicine specialists ($304,752), financial dealers ($275,984), engineers ($184,507) and chief executive officers ($164,896) in the top ten.</span></p>

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68% of millennials earn more than their parents, but boomers had it better

<p>A lot of us are pessimistic about our children’s future. According to the most recent data from the Pew Global Attitudes Survey (in 2019), just 29% of Australians believe today’s children will be <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/global/question-search/?qid=1625&amp;cntIDs=&amp;stdIDs=">better off financially</a> than their parents.</p> <p>Such pessimism is common in many developed nations. In Japan, just 13% believe children will be better off, in France 16%, in Britain 22%. Australians are still marginally less optimistic than Canadians (30%) and Americans (31%), and significantly less optimistic than Swedes (40%) and Germans (48%).</p> <p><a href="https://www.lifecoursecentre.org.au/research/journal-articles/working-paper-series/are-we-richer-than-our-parents-were-absolute-income-mobility-in-australia/">Our research shows</a> things aren’t as bad as many fear, with 68% of millennials (those born between 1981 and 1987 for our research) earning more income than their parents did at the same age. This is close to the highest percentage <a href="https://www.iza.org/publications/dp/13456/trends-in-absolute-income-mobility-in-north-america-and-europe">among countries</a> for which estimates are available. The experience of gen-Xers (born from the early 1960s to late 1970s) has been similar.</p> <p>But it’s not all good news. That percentage is lower than the upward mobility enjoyed by baby boomers (born from 1946 to the early 1960s). For those born around 1950, 84% earned more at age 30-34 than their own parents did at the same age.</p> <p>There are two prime reasons for this decline in absolute mobility since the 1980s. Lower economic growth leading to average incomes growing more slowly; and growing income inequality.</p> <p><strong>How we did our research</strong></p> <p>The share of people whose income is higher than their parents at the same age is known as “absolute income mobility”. It is an appealing indicator of economic progress because it captures aspirations for our children. It reflects economic growth, inequality and opportunity.</p> <p>Estimating absolute mobility, though, is quite hard. The data we need to measure it directly – information about what people earned at a particular age compared to their own parents – does not exist for Australia.</p> <p>To do this exercise, therefore, we’ve applied <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6336/398">new statistical methods</a> that have been developed in recent years to estimate absolute mobility without linked parent-child data. These methods, using separate generational data on income distribution, have been verified in research published <a href="https://4a2bc32e-a967-44a4-9e23-f2b3b9cf578e.usrfiles.com/ugd/4a2bc3_10d644c7d36c42eba03136cca93e56fc.pdf">in 2018</a> and <a href="https://www.iza.org/publications/dp/13456/trends-in-absolute-income-mobility-in-north-america-and-europe">in 2020</a>.</p> <p>Our own approach closely follows leading international studies. We used sources of data including the Melbourne Institute’s Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, data from Australian Bureau of Statistics surveys and income tax records.</p> <p><strong>What our research shows</strong></p> <p>The main results are below. Of people born in 1950, 84% had higher household incomes than their parents. This fell to about 68% for those born since the early 1960s. It has stayed roughly constant for gen-Xers and millennials.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="CxoOP" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/CxoOP/3/" height="400px" width="100%" style="border: none;" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The main driver of this change is slower economic growth. Boomers’ incomes were much higher than their parents particularly due to decades of uninterrupted economic growth from World War II to the mid-1970s.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="qjHQt" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/qjHQt/1/" height="400px" width="100%" style="border: none;" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The other driver has been rising income inequality over the past 40 years, after falling in earlier decades, as the next chart shows. The relationship between inequality and mobility is complicated, because high inequality for either generation lowers the rate of mobility.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="8bQEW" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/8bQEW/1/" height="400px" width="100%" style="border: none;" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Absolute mobility would be higher if income was adjusted for family size – 78% for millennials, because the younger generation have smaller families than their parents did at the same age.</p> <p><strong>Complicating factors</strong></p> <p>Our results are for income earned in a single year (at about age 32). We have also found similar results when looking at income at around age 37.</p> <p>Ideally, we’d like to calculate absolute mobility of lifetime income. But methods to do this have not yet been developed. So we don’t know what mobility in lifetime income is. The same could be said for indicators of income inequality, which mostly use single-year income measures as well.</p> <p>You also might be wondering about how the cost of housing fits in – an important issue given the escalating cost of a home compared to the median wage.</p> <p>In all the results shown, income is adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index. Housing is a big part of the index though costs such as the price of land and mortgage interest payments are <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/6467.0Feature+Article1Mar+2017">not included</a>.</p> <p>The ABS does factor mortgage debts into its “Selected Living Cost Indices”, but these only go back to 1998, so couldn’t be used in these calculations. However, the changes in the CPI and the SLCI over the past 20 years are similar, which gives us some assurance our estimates account for the cost of housing. Further work could explore this in more detail.</p> <p><strong>Valid concerns</strong></p> <p>Australia has achieved high levels of absolute income mobility for all generations since at least the 1950s. This is still the case. But the pessimism about our children’s financial future is rooted in some valid concerns.</p> <p>Wage growth has been <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2017/mar/2.html">slow for years</a>. Income inequality has been <a href="https://wid.world/country/australia/">increasing for decades</a>. So has the gap <a href="https://grattan.edu.au/report/generation-gap/">between young and old</a>.</p> <p>So there are clear threats for the prosperity of today’s children – even without factoring in concerns such as climate change.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/161647/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><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-siminski-250958">Peter Siminski</a>, Professor of Economics, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/68-of-millennials-earn-more-than-their-parents-but-boomers-had-it-better-161647" target="_blank">original article</a>.</p>

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