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How moving into a land lease community can help you retire early

<p><span>After working full-time since the age of 15, including two decades doing weekend and around-the-clock shift work, Geoff Ashton decided it was time for a change.</span></p> <p><span>“I was doing shift work seven days a week, at any time of day or night. I was about to turn 65, and the shift work was getting very difficult,” Geoff said.</span></p> <p><span>“What’s more, it was a pretty full-on job, and if something went wrong, it really went wrong.</span></p> <p><span>“I was keen to start thinking about life outside of work.”</span></p> <p><strong><span>Benefits of moving into a residential land lease community</span></strong></p> <p><span>For Geoff, a crucial part of making the transition to retirement involved moving into a <a rel="noopener" href="https://hometownaustralia.com.au/" target="_blank">Hometown Australia</a> residential land lease community at Port Stephens, in the NSW Lower Hunter region. </span></p> <p><span>In January 2020, Geoff and wife Deb moved into Hometown’s <a rel="noopener" href="https://hometownaustralia.com.au/nsw/port-stephens/sunrise-port-stephens/" target="_blank">Sunrise residential land lease community</a>, after selling their townhouse in nearby Nelson Bay. </span></p> <p><span>According to the couple, a key reason behind moving into Sunrise was that - unlike some retirement villages - it wasn’t strictly for retired people. </span></p> <p><span>This allows them to live at Sunrise while carrying out their transition to retirement plan, which involves working for at least two more years.</span></p> <p><span>Geoff has left his previous full-time job and is now working three days a week as a truck driver, while Deb works full-time in the disability care industry.</span></p> <p><span>Their <a rel="noopener" href="https://hometownaustralia.com.au/homes-for-sale/5686/seabreeze-" target="_blank">three-bedroom Seabreeze home</a> at Sunrise is also a key part of the transition planning. </span></p> <p><span>Compared to their former Nelson Bay townhouse, Geoff and Deb’s new home will provide more suitable accommodation as they get older. This is because it doesn’t have any internal stairs and is smaller and more manageable than the former townhouse. </span></p> <p><span>It also includes a dedicated office space, allowing Deb to occasionally work from home. </span></p> <p><span>Importantly, their new home also has a yard big enough for their two dogs, along with high-quality finishes and features including a covered outdoor entertaining area, walk-in wardrobes, stone kitchen benchtops and a double garage. </span></p> <p><span>As Sunrise community residents, Geoff and Deb also have access to fantastic and relaxing communal facilities including two new swimming pools, tennis and pickleball courts and a clubhouse, bowling green, community bus, cinema and library.</span></p> <p><span>“The whole reason we moved in here was so I could give up full-time work,” Geoff said.</span></p> <p><span>“For anybody that has full-time employment in our age group and wants to switch to work part-time, I fully recommend moving into a community like this.</span></p> <p><span>“In future years, we’re also hoping to do a bit of travel, and here at Sunrise we can park our camper in the hardstand area, which is another big advantage.”</span></p> <p><strong><span>More Australians than ever before transitioning to retirement</span></strong></p> <p><span>There are a number of major trends underway, which means more Australians than ever before are moving into Hometown Australia’s residential land lease communities, to allow them to either retire early, or to transition to retirement.</span></p> <p><span>For instance, due to the COVID-19 economic impacts, around 102,000 Australians aged 50-64 and a further 54,000 aged over 65 fell out of employment between February and May 2020. </span></p> <p><span>It’s predicted that a significant proportion of these people may have difficulty finding new work and may need to retire early.</span></p> <p><span>Already some 21 per cent of Australians who retire are forced into this situation <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6238.0" target="_blank">because of sickness or injury</a>, and a further 11 per cent because they were retrenched. </span></p> <p><span>What’s more, an increasing number of Australians in their 50s and 60s are also voluntarily moving from full-time to part-time work, as part of their retirement planning.</span></p> <p><span>Between 2005 and 2020, the number of people working part-time in the 55-64 age group jumped by 74 per cent, and by 249 per cent in the 65 plus age group. This compares with a part-time work growth rate of 43 per cent across all age groups during the same period.</span></p> <p><span>Many people in the above scenarios are - like Geoff and Deb - looking for the right sort of accommodation which helps meet their new circumstances.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Hometown land lease communities the perfect transition to retirement option</span></strong></p> <p><span>Hometown Australia operates just under 50 residential land lease communities containing around 10,000 residents across Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.</span></p> <p><span>According to </span>Hometown Australia joint managing director and chief operating officer Stuart Strong, an increasing number of people entering his company’s communities are in the pre-retirement or early retirement phase.</p> <p><span>“The financial benefits of our residential land lease living model - along with the great lifestyle we offer - is very attractive to people in their 50s and 60s who are weighing up their retirement options,” Mr Strong said.</span></p> <p><span>Mr Strong said that, more often than not, people moving into a Hometown Australia community were able to top-up their retirement income, as the price of homes was usually below the median house price in the surrounding area.</span></p> <p><span>Mr Strong also said that residents in his communities didn’t have to pay stamp duty, nor council rates or exit fees, and retained their home’s capital gain.</span></p> <p><span>“This means a person looking to retire early can do so without the significant incoming and outgoing costs which apply to other over 50s housing models,” he said.</span></p> <p><span>Furthermore, once a Hometown Australia community resident reaches the pension age, or already claims a disability pension, it is possible they can also claim <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/rent-assistance" target="_blank">Commonwealth rental assistance</a> (which is up to $139 a fortnight per couple).</span></p> <p><span>This comes about because land lease living residents own their home and then secure a long-term lease on the land on which the home is located. (For instance, weekly site fees are around $175 a week at Sunrise).</span></p> <p><span>Mr Strong also pointed out that Hometown Australia community homes are designed to allow people to work or study from home, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.</span></p> <p><span>He said that the vast majority of new Hometown Australia community homes include multi-purpose rooms, which can be used as a study.</span></p> <p><span>“Most communities also contain a range of features to keep residents active and fit, including pools and tennis courts,” Mr Strong said. </span></p> <p><span>“If you are wondering if you can retire early, or have been forced to retire early, or want to ease your way into retirement, then think about our communities.</span></p> <p><span>“People in the above scenarios might be pleasantly surprised to find that they can achieve a very happy housing and lifestyle solution, and find great new friends along the way.”</span></p> <p><strong><span>About Hometown Australia</span></strong></p> <p><span>To learn more about Hometown Australia and its 48 communities across Australia, go to <a rel="noopener" href="https://hometownaustralia.com.au/" target="_blank">www.hometownaustralia.com.au</a></span></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article written in partnership with </em><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://hometownaustralia.com.au/" target="_blank"><em>Hometown Australia</em></a></span><em>.</em></p> <p><span> </span></p>

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Discover the resort-like over 50s communities helping Australia’s grey nomads get back on the road

<p>For the last three years, dedicated ‘grey nomads’ Sue and Ross Coburn have explored much of eastern Australia, including visiting Far North Queensland and parts of outback NSW.</p> <p>Now, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Coburns have realised the importance of moving into an over 50s community that provides the ideal springboard for their future travels.</p> <p>In late April, the Coburns moved into a new home at <a rel="noopener" href="https://hometownaustralia.com.au/nsw/mid-north-coast/beachfront-hallidays-point/" target="_blank">Beachfront Hallidays Point</a>, on the NSW Mid-North Coast. Beachfront is one of 48 land lease communities operated by <a rel="noopener" href="https://hometownaustralia.com.au/" target="_blank">Hometown Australia</a> across Queensland, NSW and South Australia.</p> <p>The Coburns had just sold their home in Werribee South in Victoria and were beginning a new round of grey nomad adventures when they found themselves marooned on the NSW Mid-North Coast due to coronavirus travel restrictions.</p> <p>“We were staying in a caravan park at Hallidays Point, and not moving, but we liked the area so we decided to look at Beachfront. We found it was exactly what we wanted as a base,” Ms Coburn said.</p> <p>“Being able to walk directly on to the beach, from the resort, was really important to us,” Ms Coburn said. “In addition, being able to park our caravan in a carport on one side of the house, and the car on the other side, was great. </p> <p>“We loved the home layout and the big deck on the back. I also look forward to using the community pool, as I am a keen swimmer, along with the clubhouse.”</p> <p>In addition, the Coburns enjoy the fact they don’t need to worry about home or garden maintenance, or home security, while they travel around the country.</p> <p>Once the coronavirus pandemic lifts, the Coburns intend to live at Beachfront for six months of the year, and then travel for the other six months.</p> <p>They won’t be alone. According to the latest figures from Tourism Research Australia, Australia’s grey nomads account for around 17 million visitor nights each year – higher than any other market segment. </p> <p>With states now beginning to lift travel restrictions, and many retirees getting itchy feet after being cooped up at home or on the road, Australia’s grey nomads are expected to be hitting the road in large numbers in the coming months and years.</p> <p><strong>Hometown delivers for grey nomads</strong></p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://hometownaustralia.com.au/" target="_blank">Hometown Australia</a> allows grey nomads such as the Coburns to select their perfect home base from Australia’s largest range of over 50s residential land lease communities. </p> <p>Many of these communities are located in some of Australia’s best-known coastal holiday spots, including Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay and Gold Coast regions, NSW’s Mid-North, North Coast and Port Stephens regions and South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.</p> <p>Hometown community homes suitable for grey nomads start at just $250,000. The affordable price point of these homes allows many retirees to top up their retirement savings, after selling their family home and moving into a Hometown community.</p> <p>In addition, buyers in Hometown communities do not have to pay any stamp duty, nor exit fees. They may also be eligible for Commonwealth rental assistance.</p> <p>Most Hometown community homes have two-bedrooms, a study and either 1.5 or two bathrooms. Many of these homes have dedicated caravan and boat parking, in the form of a high-roofed carport next to the dwelling.</p> <p>Importantly, the communities are generally also pet-friendly, which means it is easy to take Rover or Sootie on your grey nomad travels.</p> <p><strong>Secure communities suit grey nomads</strong></p> <p>Hometown Australia joint managing director and CEO Kevin Tucker said he was pleased to see many grey nomads beginning to realise the benefits of having a permanent base in one of his company’s communities.</p> <p>“If you want an affordable holiday there is no better holiday than caravanning around Australia and meeting great people along the way and making new friends,” Mr Tucker said. </p> <p>“Across the vast majority of our communities, we will cater for the grey nomad buyer.</p> <p>“This includes the fact that our homes support low-maintenance living, which makes it easier for residents to lock up and leave for extended periods of time. If necessary, we will even maintain the gardens for our residents.</p> <p>“In addition, for the most part our communities are secure, so our residents feel like they are leaving their home in a safe environment.</p> <p>“And then our communities typically will also have caravan storage, and that is important for a lot of people to be able to store their caravan on-site and easily access it if they need to pack it up and head off.</p> <p>“We have 40-50 communities in various locations across Australia, with a nice range of affordable and quality housing that can cater for just about anyone.”</p> <p><strong>Find out more</strong></p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://hometownaustralia.com.au/" target="_blank">Hometown Australia’s new website</a> allows potential buyers to easily search communities across Australia and see what facilities and homes they offer. </p> <p>The details of the community manager are listed alongside each community, allowing you to easily find out more information.</p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article written in partnership with </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://hometownaustralia.com.au/" target="_blank"><em>Hometown Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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The sea-change trend sweeping Australia’s east coast

<p>There’s a classic cartoon in which an elderly man, clearly some way from his prime, is laid back in an armchair doing a crossword. With a furrowed brow he calls out to his wife: “Honey, I need a seven-letter word for catatonic.”</p> <p>His wife thinks hard for a moment, and calls back:</p> <p>“Try <em>R. E. T. I. R. E. D.</em>”</p> <p>Of the many misconceptions about retirement – when it should be done, what it should look like – one of the more pervasive is the notion that retirement is necessarily a process of reduction: a well-deserved winding down after decades spent on hard work.</p> <p>But there’s a new trend in retirement on Australia’s east coast that is quickly dismantling the cartoonish stereotype of retirees idling about in community villages. No more Hawaiian shirts. No more bridge club. A huge number of retirees are embracing a particular type of sea-change retirement that, according to several of its fans, involves trading a lifestyle of work for a lifestyle of play.</p> <p>We spoke to three couples who are residents of <a href="https://harringtonwaters.com.au/">Harrington Waters</a>, a hidden gem on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, where a community of like-minded residents are being drawn to this unique style of living.</p> <p>Margaret Spours, who lives in Harrington Waters with her husband Stan, radiates positive energy when she talks about her new home:</p> <p>“Oh, we moved here not to sit in the home and watch TV,” she says, smiling.</p> <p>“We want to be out! Outside – down at the beach or walking along the river. Living on Harrington Waters, you can basically walk to everything, and that’s what really attracted us. My husband’s a golfer, so he’s a member of the Golf Club. And me, I love walking along the Riverwalk and to the other parts of Harrington Waters – it’s nice flat, scenic walks, with stunning sunsets. And when our family comes up to visit, it’s nice to go to the beach and explore around Crowdy Head, the beaches, even whale and dolphin spotting.”</p> <p>The distinctive lifestyle offered by Harrington Waters is made possible by Roche Group, one of Australia’s premier development companies with more than 20 years of experience. The waterside community has been deliberately conceived as an offering unlike anything else in Australia, offering a one-of-a-kind lifestyle for the recently retired. This is an area where you’re <span>more likely to see rock fishing than rocking chairs, and friendly neighbours that embrace an active, fun-filled lifestyle, surrounded by an award-winning golf course, shopping village, cafés, a medical centre, newsagency, bakery, Harrigan’s Irish Pub, community centre, library, national parks, Crowdy Head Beach and more.</span></p> <p><span>“There’s just a genuine village feeling,” says resident Adrian McCallister, a retired university teacher who moved to Harrington Waters six months ago with his wife, Annette.</span></p> <p><span>“Something about it’s very peaceful and open, so we can do a lot. It’s where the Manning River meets the ocean, so we can stroll along the beaches, or we can walk over near the river. It’s just very enjoyable and relaxing. There’s a sense of connection in the community village, neighbours become close friends. Bowling is very popular, and golf, even tennis.” </span></p> <p><span>Annette adds in, “...also fishing, boating, biking. And you see dolphins and turtles while walking along the sea wall. There’s so much activity.”</span></p> <p><span>The sea wall Annette refers to is a paved breakwall that extends two kilometres over the Manning River, offering residents a pedestrian walkway with stunning panoramic views overlooking the river to the west and the open ocean to the east.</span></p> <p><span>Annette sees the move as one of renewal; a new lease on life.</span></p> <p><span>“We both had a very full and busy life,” she says. </span></p> <p><span>“I taught dance for 30 years. We came up here to rejuvenate. And from here we can travel up to Brisbane. We can travel down to Sydney and back in a day. We still have children on the Central Coast. We very regularly pop down there to visit and come back.”</span></p> <p><span>Being centrally located allows a number of Harrington Waters residents to have regular visits with friends and family, with Margaret’s husband even commuting to the Central Coast every week for work. </span></p> <p><span>“We have a caravan that he stays in during the week and then he comes home on the weekends,” Margaret says. “It’s easy! He leaves early, and there’s not much traffic at all.”</span></p> <p><span>The final conversation we have is with Mario Schembri, a retired local that moved to Harrington in December, and a keen fisherman. After a brief exchange, he asks for a call back. Several hours later, he confesses:</span></p> <p><span>“When you called earlier, I was on one of the jetties out here catching Blackfish, and I had a bite on the line when you called me, which is why I asked <em>‘Can you call me back?’ </em>I caught a bunch of fish today, it was good. And they’re big ones too, so even better!”</span></p> <p><span>With a local boat ramp, countless jetties and nearby beaches, every home in Harrington seems to be located within easy reach of some of the best fishing spots on the Manning River.</span></p> <p><span>Asked about his experience with the design and construction process, Mario is unequivocally delighted:</span> <span>“The house is 100% perfect, as far as I’m concerned. It’s a RIBA Home, and I’d definitely build with them again. We’ve built a number of houses over the years and this was the least stressful house I’ve ever built. Once the process was underway,” Mario says, “Mate, we didn’t have to do anything. Everything came together. They were about six weeks ahead of schedule. RIBA are a really good company, and they build a real quality home as far as I’m concerned. I’ve had a few homes over the years and this one is by far the best.”</span></p> <p><span>Annette, whose home won Design of the Year last year, was similarly full of praise. “We’re quite chuffed about the house itself,” she chuckles. “The home, by RIBA Homes, was actually designed for our block. The living areas are at the back, so it’s very quiet.”</span></p> <p><span>Life at Harrington Waters certainly seems to have a distinctive charm. A number of modern, brand new homes are being moved into, and some residents are buying land on which to design and build their dream home, close to everything that keeps their life active, social and fun.</span></p> <p><span>—</span></p> <p><span>There are many misconceptions about retirement, most notably the idea that it’s necessarily a process of reduction, a winding down; a lifestyle of stasis or quiet calm. </span></p> <p><span>As for Harrington Waters, and its warm, genuine residents like Mario that are embracing a distinctively new type of retirement, he insists the area is dynamic, and suits a range of personalities and lifestyles: “It’s what you make it. It can be a quiet place. But there’s an Irish pub, a bowling club, tennis. There’s a bit of nightlife if you want to go out. And it’s only 40 minutes from Forster, 20 minutes from Taree and 40 mins from Port Macquarie.”</span></p> <p><span>Toward the end of our conversation, Mario pauses. “It’s just such a nice area,” he says. “Plus, it’s priced right. It’s priced very well.”</span></p> <p><span>Breaking into an endearing laugh, he adds, “So, please don’t tell too many people about it, alright?”</span></p> <p><span>Don’t worry, Mario. There are plenty more Blackfish in the sea.</span></p> <p><strong><em>Our sincerest thanks to Mario and Therese Schembri, Adrian and Annette McAllister, and Stan and Margaret Spours for sharing their photos, stories and the unique lifestyle of Harrington Waters with us. Below are some of our favourite photos, and you can learn more about the hidden gem of Harrington Waters at </em></strong><a href="https://harringtonwaters.com.au/"><strong><em>harringtonwaters.com.au</em></strong></a></p> <p><em>This article was written in partnership with Over60.</em></p>

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Live like a local at these Brisbane retirement villages

<p>Downsizers can forget about home maintenance chores and enjoy a friendly community, resort-style facilities and first-class care and support services when they move into Queensland’s Azure Blue retirement villages.</p> <p>There are two <span><a href="https://www.azureblue.com.au/">Azure Blue villages</a></span>. One is located at coastal Redcliffe, some 28km north of the Brisbane CBD, while another is at suburban Carina, around 7km east of the Brisbane CBD.</p> <p>For years, apartments in these villages have been snapped up by downsizing Brisbane locals keen to spend their retirement years close to their families and friends, favourite shops and health professionals.</p> <p>But now the secret is out and downsizers from right across Australia have the opportunity to discover the benefits of “living like a local” in an Azure Blue village.</p> <p><span><a href="https://www.bluecare.org.au/retirement-living/locations/azure-blue-carina">Azure Blue Carina</a></span> is nestled in a bushland hilltop location in a well-connected inner-city neighbourhood. It has its very own onsite café and is close to major shopping centres, health services and beautiful parklands.</p> <p>The village contains 98 architecturally designed one, two and three-bedroom apartments, some of which enjoy stunning views of the surrounding bushland.</p> <p><span><a href="https://www.bluecare.org.au/retirement-living/locations/azure-blue-redcliffe">Azure Blue Redcliffe</a></span>, meanwhile, is located just a short stroll away from the edge of Moreton Bay, allowing residents to embrace the cleansing sea breeze and the freedom of coastal living. It’s also positioned close to shopping, dining, cinemas and health services as well as having its own onsite café.</p> <p>The village contains 122 one, two and three bedroom dwellings. These are modern, architecturally designed apartments with plenty of space and quality fittings and finishes.<br /><br />Every day feels like a holiday at the Azure Blue villages, which both contain swimming pools, BBQ areas, eateries, gyms, beauty salons and media rooms.</p> <p>Both villages also feature a friendly and supportive community, including well-organised residents’ committees that arrange functions and social activities. This provides residents with the opportunity to be active and connected.</p> <p>Importantly, the villages offer apartment and property maintenance, which means fewer chores and more time for freedom.</p> <p>As one resident of Azure Blue Carina said: “Living here is so easy and low maintenance, with no gardens to mow, we have the freedom to do what we want to do.”</p> <p>Although many residents in both villages live without the need for care and support services, those services are there for you if and when you need them.</p> <p>For instance, apartments in both Azure Blue villages have a 24-hour emergency response system.</p> <p>In addition, residents can access a range of Blue Care home care services, including home care support, assistance with housework, transport around town, and allied health services such as podiatry and physiotherapy.</p> <p>Both villages also have a state-of-the-art residential aged care facility on-site, offering peace of mind that additional care is close by for residents.</p> <p>For more information about the Azure Blue villages, including to make an enquiry, please visit <span><a href="https://www.azureblue.com.au/">www.azureblue.com.au</a></span></p> <p><em>This content has been prepared by <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.downsizing.com.au/" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">Downsizing.com.au</a> on behalf of Blue Care, an agency of UnitingCare which manages more than 30 retirement villages across Queensland.</em></p> <p> </p> <p><span> </span></p>

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Mornington Peninsula homes hit downsizer sweet spot

<p><strong>A range of new single-level houses, specifically designed to meet the needs of downsizers, have been released on the popular Mornington Peninsula, south-east of Melbourne.</strong></p> <p>The two and three bedroom homes - each with their own property title - form part of the 31-dwelling <a href="https://www.downsizing.com.au/property/sale/49063/sublime-single-level-living-designed-for-the-downsizer">Waterfall Gardens estate</a> currently under construction at Rosebud. </p> <p>Real estate agent Robert Bowman, of Bowman and Company, said the estate’s developer Masterline would have been able to increase the dwelling yield at the site by building two-storey terraces, for a wide range of potential buyers. </p> <p>Instead, he said, the developer had opted for lower-yield single-storey homes, specifically to meet demand for this type of home from downsizers who were keen to age-in-place. Each of the homes features its own outdoor deck and small garden area.</p> <p>The Waterfall Gardens homes are in line with <a href="https://www.downsizing.com.au/news/657/Three-beds-small-garden-Australias-ideal-downsizing-home-revealed">the housing aspirations of downsizers, as outlined in a report released in February by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. </a></p> <p>The report finds that Australians over 55 reported the highest level of satisfaction (66 per cent) with three bedroom dwellings, closely followed by a 59 per cent satisfaction rating for two bedroom dwellings. In addition, the report shows many downsizers are still keen for a small courtyard-style garden.</p> <p>However, the report also found that many downsizers find it difficult to access these types of homes.  </p> <p>Mr Bowman said three bedroom homes at the estate started from $589,000, with two bedroom homes starting at $549,000.</p> <p> “The developer of these homes has been developing for 50 plus years, and he is in the later years of his career and life, and has designed these homes for the retirees,” Mr Bowman said. </p> <p>“We could have got a higher yield on the site by putting on two-storey homes but we decided not to do that. </p> <p>“The person who buys these homes is a definite downsizer - we don’t get investors or first home buyers - so you are entering into a community of like-minded individuals. Everyone that has purchased in the estate so far has been a retiree.”</p> <p>“These homes are a higher grade specification, they are all brick veneer, which means they are lower maintenance for the retiree and they are not going to require constant upkeep.”</p> <p>Mr Bowman said the estate was an alternative to retirement villages, given that owners retain all capital gain, pay less in fees compared to villages and own the property title to the dwelling and land.</p> <p>However, unlike the situation with some retirement village properties, stamp duty is payable. </p> <p>Downsizing.com.au recently <a href="https://www.downsizing.com.au/news/656/Australias-most-popular-retirement-locations-unveiled">named the Mornington Peninsula as one of the top three downsizing destinations for 2019 in Victoria.</a> </p> <p>The Waterfall Gardens properties are across the road from Bay Views Golf Course and a stroll from local cafes.  </p> <p><em>Written by Mark Skelsey. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.downsizing.com.au/news/665/Mornington-Peninsula-homes-hit-downsizer-sweet-spot"><em>Downsizing.com.au.</em></a></p>

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The best holiday packing tips

<p>Thinking about packing and unpacking can be a real point of stress for all travellers. So, the best way to beat the stress when you land is to pack right. These are among the best packing tips we have grown to love.</p> <p>1. Your carry-on and your checked bag should carry different types of items. To some, this is obvious, but to others, this little tip can mean the difference between a carry-on stuffed with socks and one with items that need quick-access. Your carry-on bag will turn into your day-pack once you arrive at your destination. So, to make the transition easier, include personal items like wallet, passport, pen and paper, hand-sanitiser, maps and city guides, books, camera, headphones, and your mobile phone + charger. You’ll avoid lots of stress while flying by having these types of items readily accessible during flight.</p> <p>2. Roll your clothes. When you are unpacking, you will notice that rolled clothes often come out of the bag with fewer creases. Also, by rolling your clothes, you will often be able to pack more into your suitcase (psst…see tip #5 below).</p> <p>3. Pack your suitcase in sections. Standard rectangular suitcases are easy to mentally divide up into sections. Depending on what is right for you, divide your case into 2, 3, or 4 parts. Each part should only contain similar items. For example, keep all tops in one section, bottoms in another, and under garments + bathing suits in yet another. Or, if you like to pack outfits together, consider packing fair weather outfits in one section, cold weather outfits in another, and shoes + accessories in another. And remember, re-section your bag as you start to accumulate clothes that need washing. Keep those clothes separate to keep things simple.</p> <p>4. Fill your shoes. When packing shoes with any structure (ones that can’t be flattened), ALWAYS take advantage of the space inside your shoes. Pack socks, trinkets &amp; extra breakable souvenirs bought while abroad, or (depending on how smelly your shoes are) clothes and other items.</p> <p>5. Over pack. (Yes, you read that right!) When it comes to a semi-full suitcase or a jam-packed one, what’s really the difference? Most of us use rolly-suitcases anyways, so as long as your bag still meets flight weight requirements, pack the extra pair of shoes, gloves, pants, or sunglasses! Having just want you want with you while you are on holiday can be a relief and a give you an added sense of comfort when exploring!</p> <p><em>Written by Luray Joy. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/packing-for-holiday-tips/">MyDiscoveries.</a></em></p>

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How do you help grandchildren adjust when they’re moving?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When our children move house, we’re often asked to help store their clutter so their home is looking at its best during marketing. However, looking after grandchildren is sometimes added to the list of our desirable contributions when children are moving. And, given that moving home can be particularly stressful for young children and teenagers, there are a few tips to consider – before and after they move.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Routines are understandably disrupted in major ways during moving and sensitive planning can help all family members, but especially young children, to better cope with the impending changes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of the problems is that busy parents, hectic professional lives, and the necessities of an extremely competitive real estate market can mean little thought is given to the effect moving has on young children and teenagers, both of whom respond differently. Certainly no thought is given to the advice grandparents might need when asked to look after children in the middle of the moving process or how to deal with what comes up afterwards.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Firstly, kids need time to get used to the idea of moving, so parents should give them as much advance warning as possible. It is important for other family members such as grandparents provide them with as much additional information as possible about why the family is moving and what they can expect in their new home and suburb.</span></p> <p><strong>Before the move</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are some tips that should help smooth the process of looking after kids when they are in the process of moving suburb, interstate or overseas:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Ask grandchildren to share their feelings with you:</strong> Although you’ll undoubtedly be going through your range of emotions, experts say open discussion is very important so your grandchildren can voice the feelings they’re encountering. Listen to what they have to say and assure them that you understand any concerns. Talk to them about your moving experiences and reassure them about life’s journey, and how change can often opens doors to new and exciting chapters and friends.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Don’t take their reactions personally:</strong> Children can have problems adjusting to a move, or the idea of moving, and can blame a parent or parents for causing it. Don’t fall into the trap of defending a parent’s decision making if this happens. Explain that sometimes big decisions can’t be avoided and reinforce some of the positive outcomes that are possible from a move.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Make them a part of the process.</strong> Ask your children to help very young grandchildren pack some of their favourite items as their house is being packed up. It can help them understand that although the family will be moving to a new home, their belongings will be moving with them. Personalise their boxes with labels and stickers. Perhaps even ask them if they would like some of their belongings to holiday at your house, during the move.
</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Be cautiously optimistic.</strong> It’s important to be positive and optimistic because your grandchildren’s attitude will largely mirror yours and that of their parents. However, don’t insist everything is going to be wonderful. Even if the new house is fantastic, it’s normal for it to take some time to adjust.
</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Help grandchildren to explore the new neighbourhood on the Internet:</strong> If they’ll be moving to a new suburb or town, use Google Street View, Google Earth, maps, tourism information websites, local council websites and Wikipedia pages from your new local council or the Internet to explain where you’ll be living. Explain any differences in weather and geography and talk about any nearby attractions that may be interesting, such as moving closer to the beach or to a park. 
</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>Try to keep a routine:</strong> A child’s world is based on routine and it’s important to try and keep some semblance of normalcy throughout the process. We suggest sticking to a set time for dinner every evening, no matter how chaotic things seem to be, and to regular weekend activities the family enjoys.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For younger children and toddlers, it can be useful to speak to your doctor about issues such as a new diet or the start of toilet training. It may be better to put any further new experiences on hold until you’ve settled in to the new home.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With teenagers, the most prevalent concerns revolve around the loss of peer groups, friends and what to expect from a new school. It’s vitally important not to invalidate their feelings but to openly acknowledge their fears and discuss the importance of keeping a sense of proportion and context. Moving house can be exceptionally challenging for teenagers but also an important, strengthening, life experience when handled sensitively.</span></p> <p><strong>After the move</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After your grandchildren have moved, there’s bound to be a settling in period – perhaps for you as well. If they’ve moved some distance away, you may feel just as heartbroken as them. In fact, it can be doubly difficult for grandparents because you may be experiencing considerable anxiety about the loss of regular visits to your children as well as your grandchildren.</span></p> <p><strong>There are a few things you can do to make the separation less arduous:</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, or if you’d like to teach your grandchildren the art of snail mail, make a folder with some paper for very young grandchildren to write notes or draw pictures of their new neighbourhood and friends on. Include some addressed, stamped envelopes (taking account of any looming postal increases) and encourage them to snail mail you at any time.</span></li> </ul> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Set up a Skype account or try out Facetime with the kids before they move. It’s a great way of providing a fun and reassuring way of them keeping in touch whenever they like.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Create a photo album or a framed photo collage with all the great times you’ve shared.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Give your grandchildren a special possession for safekeeping and to remember you by.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Provide the recipe for one your grandchildren’s favourite treats or meals.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Finally, it’s important to let children know that they’ll always be in your heart and in your thoughts, that their future holds exciting new adventures that will also include you, and that you have a pact to find ways to stay in contact and strengthen your bond until you see each other again next time.</span></li> </ul> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/property/how-do-you-help-grandchildren-adjust-when-they%E2%80%99re-moving.aspx"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wyza.com.au.</span></a></em></p>

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3 simple cruise packing hacks you need to know

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Packing for a cruise may seem like the same ritual as it is for a holiday, however that couldn’t be further from the truth. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Unlike resort getaways or adventure travelling, cruising can, for the most part, be a pretty isolated experience when thinking about how close your ship is to land. A quick trip to the local supermarket for a bottle of sunscreen and a floppy hat or a stop at the chemist to stock up on medicine is not possible when you are on a cruise if you are not willing to pay the hefty price tag.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So without further ado, here are some simple cruise packing hacks so you’re not left stranded without your swimmers or a spare pair of undies while you’re thousands of kilometres away from shore.  </span></p> <p><strong>1. Pack your carry-on like it is the only bag you’re taking on your trip</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cruise lines do warn travellers to pack similarly to this tip, however, many overlook it although they NEVER should. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">When you climb aboard, it is important to keep in mind that your carry on is mostly the only bag you’re allowed to keep with you when you first step on the cruise vessel as your big luggage filled with all your necessities are delivered to you by stewards. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While this may seem convenient, it means your bags may not get back to you for hours or even days (depending on the cruise line’s size and efficiency). </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So make sure you are prepared to go the distance with your small backpack, sun bag or mini suitcase. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A carry-on can be the lifesaver you didn't know you needed if your bags decide to take a vacation on their own. </span></p> <p><strong>2. Pack all sorts of outfits</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Packing for a cruise can be pretty straightforward but you must come prepared for any occasion because depending on the length of your stay on board, there will be plenty of festivities guests are welcome to dress up or down for. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So whip out those heels and the gorgeous gown you’ve been wondering if you’ll ever get to wear again and pull out the suave leather shoes because most cruise lines famously host “formal” nights which ask guests to dress to the nines. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Depending on the itinerary as well, cruisers will be asked to bring supplies and a special outfit for themed holiday nights such as “Mexican Fiesta” or “‘80s disco.”</span></p> <p><strong>3. Bring the jacket you didn’t think you would need</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">No matter how hard the sun promises it will beat down throughout your trip, it is always essential to bring a jacket as those long, drawn-out nights at sea can get pretty chilly. It can also be a lightweight jacket and a windbreaker just to ensure those heavy winds are no match against you. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Most importantly, be safe and don’t pack what you’re not allowed to.</span></p>

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5 genius packing tips from flight attendants

<p>Taking the time to plan what to pack before you fly can save you time, money and hassle. “How many times do you pack a lot of stuff, but never wear half of it?” asks flight attendant Michele Radon. “Lay it out before you pack it. You may find that you’ll be able to wear a pair of pants with two different tops.”<br /> <br />It’s also OK to wear the same thing twice, adds flight attendant Abagail Valencia. When it comes to handbags and dress shoes, choose just one and wear your bulkiest items such as coats, suit jackets and boots, when you travel. Mix and match your go-to travel outfits. A favourite top, blazer and tailored pants can be mixed and matched for both casual and unexpected dressier occasions. The following useful tips will help make your next trip a breeze.</p> <p><strong>1. Pack “double duty” clothes</strong></p> <p>If you want to travel light, simplify your travel wardrobe to include items that can serve more than one purpose. A comfortable jumper or pashmina wrap, for example, is essential, says Radon. Airlines don’t always give out blankets, so you can use it as a blanket or a ‘pillow’ when on the plane and then wear it.<br /> <br />Pack one pair of jeans and one pair of black pants that can be dressed up or down, suggests Valencia. A couple of T-shirts is all you need for casual wear, and one dressy shirt will suffice when going out at night, she says. If you need dressier attire, add a black dress, scarf and heels, while a smart blazer should work for men.</p> <p><strong>2. Streamline your toiletries bag</strong></p> <p>When travelling light, streamline your getting-ready routine, explains flight attendant Jane Frilicci. If you’re not dedicated to a certain brand, just use the shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion the hotel supplies and use the hotel’s hairdryer. Be careful of taking bulky glass aftershave and perfume which can break or is not allowed in hand luggage on international trips. Consider using up sample size atomisers or refillable sprays, roll or cream perfume instead.<br /> <br />Take the opportunity to use up those sample size products you’ve been storing or fill your favourite product in travel size storage. If you’re going to a remote place or a resort area, prices may be high and you may not be able to buy whatever you need, so taking enough to last the trip makes sense. Frilicci recommends getting a clear travel bag so you can see all of your toiletries when going through security and on your trip.</p> <p><strong>3. Compress and protect</strong></p> <p>Bulky items such as puffy coats for colder destinations that take up a lot of room in your suitcase can be managed by using compression cubes. If you have to travel with bulky items, compression space bags can easily compress your clothes, says Valencia. They save room in your suitcase and protect your items from dirt, moisture, odours and allergens.</p> <p><strong>4. Keep kids occupied and other passengers happy</strong></p> <p>Parents need to be prepared when travelling with kids, says Frilicci. “People get bent out of shape when there is a screaming kid, especially when they’re trying to sleep.”<br /> <br />To keep kids and passengers happy, Frilicci suggests packing a new toy, not an old one. Some parents make gift bags for the passengers seated next to them – including packaged sweets, earplugs and a note that says something like “Hi, I’m Jake, I’m three months old, and I’m not the best traveller so you might hear my loud voice.”</p> <p><strong>5. Keep useful items in your carry-on bag</strong></p> <p>“Keep a separate carry-on bag with all of your essentials that you need to access during the flight – things such as a toothbrush, make-up, passport and a pen,” Frilicci says.</p> <p><em>Written by Kim Fredericks. This article first appeared in </em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/flights/8-genius-packing-tips-flight-attendants"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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The 4 things you will ALWAYS find in a cruise expert's suitcase

<p><strong>1. Highlighter</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Believe it or not, a highlighter on a cruise is not that common to come across – so pack one! Cruises always hand out programs, itineraries and other handy pamphlets and it will be easier to highlight things of interest to you. All the papers you receive really add up, so while this tip may seem silly – it WILL help!</span></p> <p><strong>2. Ziplock bags / plastic bags</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Snacking is a common occurrence. If you’re travelling with children, they may get peckish while on the islands, in the rooms or by the pool so pack a few little snacks in a ziplock bag at the buffet so they never need to leave your sight. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Plastic bags are also a big help for any wet clothes or towels you don’t have the chance to wash or dry out while on your cruise. </span></p> <p><strong>3. Refillable water bottle</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This tip is a must as water bottles cost a lot on the ship! While water itself is free as well as some juices, having a water bottle will be the lifesaver you didn’t know you needed while lying underneath the sun or while on the islands. </span></p> <p><strong>4. Lanyard</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lanyards are very handy when you’re onboard as the whole ship is cashless – you will have to pay for everything with a cruise-given card. So instead of paying $8-10 at the cruise shops, bring your own (it is a lot cheaper if you’re a big group).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What are some of the little things you pack in your suitcase for a cruise? Let us know in  the comments below. </span></p>

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The new technology that allows you to grow your income and become an entrepreneur

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The cost of living is continuing to rise in Australia, but retirees’ don’t have the income to match it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Naturally, they’re turning to a new and fresh source of income. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Seniors are increasingly renting out spare rooms, opening their doors to travellers and letting them into their homes to increase their finances and beat loneliness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Australians aged over 60 are flocking to sites such as Airbnb and HomeAway to list their properties as the cost of living has a sharp bite.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On Airbnb, seniors are the fastest growing host demographic in Australia, raking in $158 million in 2017, new figures from Airbnb revealed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Seniors group COTA Australia’s chief executive Ian Yates have said that older people are embracing modern platforms to supplement their pension or superannuation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s an obvious way for people who have the room to generate a bit of extra income, depending on where they live of course,” he told </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/room-to-grow-seniors-incomes-as-retirees-become-entrepreneurs/news-story/1477d2497a7a5844151aed2c47de5a89"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“For the majority, the motivation is income based, but some also do it for the interaction with other people, meeting people from overseas and interstate.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Airbnb Australia country manager Sam McDonagh agrees.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Seniors are turning their empty nests into income engines allowing them to supplement their income and stretch savings further,” McDonagh explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, the Insurance Council of Australia warned against relying on the host protection insurance offered from the different platforms, as there are gaps in the coverage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Spokeswoman Lisa Kable explained that most do not cover loss or theft of personal items, cash, pets and public liability in shared areas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Householders who offer their houses or apartments on short-term holiday rental websites are likely to find they are not protected by home and contents insurance,” Kable said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I have heard frightening stories of homeowners returning after short-stay guests have departed to find a completely empty house or that their home has been used for illegal activities.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Do you use Airbnb or HomeAway to rent out your spare room? Let us know in the comments.</span></p>

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Packing cells will change how you travel in 2019

<p>Packing cells – people either love them or think they are a huge waste of money. We’ve detailed the pros and cons of packing cells so that you can make your own mind up.</p> <p><strong>1. What are they?</strong></p> <p>Packing cells are little cubes or zippered bags of various sizes that act as removable compartments for your suitcase or backpack.</p> <p><strong>2. How do you use them?</strong></p> <p>Packing cells allow you to organise your suitcase. You sort the items you need into individual bags. Put your dirty clothes in one, underpants in another. Put your socks in one, camera gear in another. You get the point. If you’re sharing a suitcase with a travelling companion, you can put your clothes into individual packing cells – that way your clothes won’t get all mixed up.</p> <p><strong>3. What do fans say about them?</strong></p> <p>A Facebook thread on packing cells went viral this week due to the number of people commenting. Comments such as: “Best things ever – saves so much room and keeps things tidy and organised” were common. Here’s a few more comments: “They have really changed our packing. Highly recommend. No more digging through the whole bag trying to find a pair of undies.” – Alicia thoman “We use them all the time now. Each person has their own pack and then you just take it out of the case – so much easier.” – Clare Ditchburn “They are the best, love mine, make so much more room in your suitcase.” – Kathy Stringfellow</p> <p><strong>4. What do the critics say?</strong></p> <p>Critics say that packing bags are a waste of money. Some argue that the bags are just more stuff you don’t need. Why pay the money when it doesn’t really take that long to find something in your bag. Is the 20 seconds really worth the cash?</p> <p><strong>5. Tips for using them</strong></p> <p>Generally, most people we found who have used the packing bags say they love them. So how do you use them effectively?</p> <ul> <li>Use a different colour per traveller</li> <li>Make sure you buy enough of them</li> <li>Get packing bags that have a clear window or mesh to allow you to see what is in the bag. Otherwise you’re going to spend just as much time hunting for the stuff you need.</li> <li>You can make your own packing bags from laundry bags, old airline amenities bags or plastic zip-lock bags.</li> <li>Buy a selection of different sizes</li> <li>Use them for small and necessary items.</li> <li>Use one for medications</li> <li>Keep one for chargers and phones</li> <li>Have a waterproof one for wet clothes</li> <li>Have one for dirty clothes</li> <li>Where do you buy them?</li> </ul> <p>You don’t need to pay much for packing bags. They are available in loads of places from Kathmandu to Big W, ALDI, Bags to Go, eBay. A simple web search will bring up dozens of different types.</p> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/packing-cells-hack/"><em>MyDiscoveries</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Tips and traps when moving in with your children

<p>The Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us that 6.9% of people aged 65+ already live with their children. No doubt many more are actively considering it as an option, but before making the move it’s important to consider the pros and cons.</p> <p>The reasons for moving in with children may vary widely. It could be a financially based decision, helping one or both parties to consolidate their cost of living. For others it may be due to the adult children deciding to offer care for a parent with a physical impairment or illness. On the other side of the coin, it may be driven by the adult children needing the assistance of retired parents in taking care of grandchildren. Think back to the hilarious movie (pictured), Parental Guidance.</p> <p>While there are some obvious benefits to sharing living costs and improving family connections, there are some issues and difficulties that may not be so apparent at the outset. Here are some handy hints on what you need to consider doing to make it a success.</p> <p><strong>The danger of making assumptions</strong></p> <p>The concept of moving in with your children may happen in a number of ways. You might offer to use your own money to build a granny flat on their property or to make renovations or extensions onto their home to accommodate you. Another scenario is for both parties to sell their homes and buy a new property together, which is better suited to shared living.</p> <p>While these arrangements may seem fair and practical for both parties it is vital that great care is taken to protect your financial stake in the venture. While things may start out rosy, the reality is that there can be conflicts, misunderstandings, divorce or other family disruptions that can put your financial contribution at risk if things are not spelled out clearly at the outset.</p> <p>Imagine if the child you move in with ends up in an acrimonious divorce. The property settlement may involve the need to sell the home and if there is no documented evidence of your stake in the ownership, there could be a risk of you losing your money or having to go through legal action to reclaim it.</p> <p><strong>Make sure there is an agreement in writing</strong></p> <p>Any arrangement that involves a large amount of money or the exchange of property needs to have a written agreement drawn up. It doesn’t matter how good the family relationship is or how much trust exists, it is simply a matter of practicality. A written agreement does not indicate a lack of trust, but simply makes it clear to both parties what the expectations are. It brings clarity and prompts both sides to more fully consider all future possibilities.</p> <p>Putting things in writing will naturally help everyone to look at things objectively. Once it is in writing and signed by both parties then there is a basis for impartially sorting out future eventualities and a clear reference for any possible legal claims.</p> <p><strong>Obtain your own legal advice </strong></p> <p>Getting legal advice on the written agreement can help uncover issues you may not have considered and will help to express the spirit of the agreement in concrete and unambiguous terms.</p> <p>In doing this, however, don’t simply rely only on one side making the legal arrangements. You should enlist your own legal adviser who you consult separately and privately to ensure your needs and wishes are properly reflected in the agreement. This may seem pedantic at the time, but can prevent a lot of heartache down the track if the unexpected happens.</p> <p><strong>Some of the major areas that an agreement should cover:</strong></p> <ul> <li>What will happen if relationships change, such as you or your children going through divorce or starting new relationships?</li> <li>What is the nature of your financial contribution? Is it a gift or a loan? Should the property title be changed to recognise your shared ownership?</li> <li>How will you be compensated if you change your mind and want to move out? How will financial interests be calculated? </li> <li>What will be done financially and practically if your health deteriorates and you need extra care to stay in your shared accommodation or if you need to move to residential aged care?</li> <li>If there are other children outside of the agreement, how will their inheritance be affected by the agreement? Is there a need to adjust wills to reflect the desired outcomes?</li> <li>Is there an expectation of personal care being supplied by the child as part of the agreement? How will this be dealt with if your personal needs change or increase in the future?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Your pension may be impacted too</strong></p> <p>If you are receiving a pension, the written agreement may also be important for the purposes of calculating your pension entitlements. Centrelink have specific rules on granny flat arrangements that need to be considered. More information on this can be found at their website.</p> <p><strong>What should you do if disputes do occur? </strong></p> <p>It is important to get prompt legal advice as soon as any disagreement arises. Any delay may reduce your ability to protect your legal interests. Sharing accommodation with children can have many mutual benefits, but planning is essential to make it a successful move.</p> <p>Do you feel that shared accommodation is a workable alternative? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/tips-and-traps-when-moving-in-with-your-children.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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What to pack for a cruise

<p>In the Golden Age of cruising of the 1920s and ‘30s, first-class passengers donned full-length evening gowns and tuxedos as they steamed across the Atlantic.</p> <p>Dress styles changed as cruising became more egalitarian, although five-star lines maintained strict formal dress policies to allow well-heeled passengers to parade their finery.  </p> <p>I clearly remember staring in wonder at the dazzling array of full-length, full-beaded gowns in the boutique on board stylish ship Crystal Symphony in the early 1990s. There was plenty to plunder if one needed a bejewelled outfit for the evening.</p> <p>Dress codes still exist; however, sequins and bowties are more an option than a requirement.</p> <p>I’ll go out on a limb and say that most women love to dress up; I know very few who’d sneer at the chance to put on that cocktail outfit that’s been bought and begging for an outing. Conversely, men favour the phrase: “I’m on holidays – I don’t want to wear a tie.”</p> <p>To appease all-comers, cruise lines still offer traditional ‘formal’ nights (they may have a different name such as ‘cocktail’ or ‘dress to impress’) but also permit passengers to ‘dress down’ as long as they dine in the casual eateries.</p> <p>As a rule of thumb, cruise lines have a resort/casual code for daytime and two different codes for the evening.</p> <p><strong>Onboard</strong></p> <p><strong><u>Day wear</u></strong></p> <p>For summer cruises passengers should pack swimsuits (preferably two), sarong/cover-up, shorts, t-shirts, resort dresses, jeans or light-weight pants, sandals, thongs or ballet flats and gym wear if heading to the fitness centre along with the right footwear. Others should pack flat rubber-soled shoes to avoid slipping on deck.</p> <p>Swimsuits and sarongs are not allowed in restaurants and lounges during the day time, while some cruise lines also prohibit tank tops (sleeveless T-shirts) and baseball caps. The best advice is checking the cruise line website under the Q &amp;A section.   </p> <p>Those taking expedition cruises or venturing to cooler climes should pack hiking pants, waterproof over pants, wind-cheaters, lightweight warm jackets, thermals, beanies and hiking boots.</p> <p><strong><u>Evening wear</u></strong></p> <p>Most cruise lines – be they the affordable mass-market companies or the luxury lines – have two dress codes for the evening.</p> <p>On most nights the code with be “smart casual”, although a cruise line might call it “elegant casual”, as Seabourn Line does.  </p> <p>Women can wear a good dress (something one would wear out to dinner), pantsuit or separates (top and skirt/pants). Men are required to wear a collared shirt and long trousers and sometimes jeans (depending on cruise line), while jackets and ties are optional.</p> <p>The best choices for women are non-crush, no-iron varieties. There are plenty of jersey fabric dresses and outfits available, while a scarf or two, a pashmina, or a light evening jacket never goes astray.</p> <p>The biggest change in the cruise industry has been the relaxing of the “formal” dress code. Ladies can go to town and put on that sparkling evening dress, pantsuit or dressy separates. On most lines men are required to wear a tuxedo or a dark suit with tie or bow tie; P&amp;O Cruises Australia say a tie is optional, while Celebrity Cruises allows men to wear ‘pants or designer jeans’ on their ‘evening chic’ nights. These nights are held once or twice during a seven-night cruise.</p> <p><strong><u>Theme Nights</u></strong></p> <p>Many lines have these, with the most popular being ‘white’ parties and ‘Gatsby’ nights. Cunard ships also have masquerade and Victoriana balls, while P&amp;O has a “Back to School” party.  </p> <p><strong>Shore Excursions</strong></p> <p>Pack the sunscreen, hat, water bottle, lightweight jacket/jumper, rain jacket (or umbrella) into a light day-pack or travel bag and carry local currency for drinks, lunch and tips.</p> <p>The key to stress-free packing is check the cruise line website and choose lightweight, drip-dry outfits than can be mixed and matched and glammed up with a scarf, pashmina and some bling.</p> <p><em>Written by Caroline Gladstone. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/what-to-pack-for-a-cruise/">My Discoveries</a>.</em></p>

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Woman's genius travel hack for packing undies

<p>Packing for a holiday is already hard enough as it is, and usually ends up one of two ways: you either pack enough clothes for a two-week trip to last you 12 years, or you end up with hardly any clothes because you decided one t-shirt would be enough.</p> <p>But if you’re Karina Judd, you wouldn’t have that problem. The savvy genius took to Facebook group, Meme Queens, to share her clever travel hack. One that requires scientific calculations and mathematical formulas to help you figure out how many pairs of underwear you need to take when you travel abroad.</p> <p>It started when one member of the group posted this:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 383.6477987421384px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7822762/2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3f0e96a98f174ffa8775b51944647994" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Photo: Facebook/Meme Queen</p> <p>To lend a helping hand, Karina posted this to share her incredible travel hack.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 383.6477987421384px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7822761/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ab337064919547ebaf85749f4b919ded" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Photo: Facebook/Meme Queen</p> <p>And if you aren’t quick with numbers, she also created an <a rel="noopener" href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19OozLIzUI5vsFGB81qYOoTlDr_lkAi4LdIC5Jjcfjwc/edit#gid=0" target="_blank">online spreadsheet</a> that does all the work for you. The only thing you need to do is enter how many days you plan on being away and other tiny details.</p> <p>So before you head off on your dream vacation, try out Karina’s <a rel="noopener" href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19OozLIzUI5vsFGB81qYOoTlDr_lkAi4LdIC5Jjcfjwc/edit#gid=0" target="_blank">spreadsheet</a> to help make your life a whole lot easier.</p> <p>Will you be trying out this nifty packing hack? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Woman writes genius note to noisy neighbour

<p>Dealing with a noisy neighbour is tricky – but this woman from New Jersey in the US took the high road and tried a different approach.</p> <p>Candice Benbow was getting used to the fact that her neighbour loved to play loud music. However, one night when the noise blasted into the wee hours, Benbow finally had enough.</p> <p>While others might call the police or talk to the strata committee, Benbow decided to pick up her baking tools and make a cake at 3.30 in the morning to pass on to her neighbour with the note. </p> <p>“I wanted the best way to tell my neighbor that he tried it with his late night party,” Benbow said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">I wanted the best way to tell my neighbor that he tried it with his late night party. So I wrote him a letter and baked him a cake. <a href="https://t.co/SxPKAzOHp0">pic.twitter.com/SxPKAzOHp0</a></p> — Candice Marie Benbow (@CandiceBenbow) <a href="https://twitter.com/CandiceBenbow/status/1074010643592814592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 15, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>Accompanying the cake was a whimsical letter, which she also posted on her Twitter page. </p> <p>“When you come home every evening and blast music, I’ve come to expect it,” Benbow said in the letter. She even admitted that the loud music helped her “catch a vibe” and find new songs for her weekly playlists.</p> <p>“But last night… Fam, you tried it,” she wrote. “I don’t know if you were hosting the official afterparty for our building’s holiday social … In the future, as you’re hosting your kickbacks and come throughs, please remember the rest of us.”</p> <p>To her surprise, the gesture worked – and she shared all the updates on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">UPDATE: I JUST MET MY NEIGHBOR TOMMY!!!! He’s so freaking cool! He apologized for the noise, promised to invite me to the next party and most importantly...HE SAID MY POUND CAKE WAS AMAZING!!!! <a href="https://t.co/NcU8t0ZfqT">pic.twitter.com/NcU8t0ZfqT</a></p> — Candice Marie Benbow (@CandiceBenbow) <a href="https://twitter.com/CandiceBenbow/status/1075057181798604801?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 18, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>The neighbour, Tommy Amaro, turned out to be a music video director, which explains the loud music. </p> <p>“It was just beautiful because if it was another neighbour, they would’ve at least tried to call the cops on me, try to knock me out and this was like, it was cool,” Amaro told<span> </span><a href="https://www.insideedition.com/instead-getting-mad-noisy-neighbor-new-jersey-woman-bakes-him-cake-49470"><em>Inside Edition</em></a>.</p> <p>Benbow also learned that Amaro was having his first Christmas without his daughter, who died in a car accident.</p> <p>“It was a sweet and gentle reminder that we never know what folks are going through and it is always best to lead with kindness,” said Benbow.</p> <p>She confirmed that now she can enjoy being home without the noise. “He has been quiet as a church mouse,” she said.</p> <p>What do you think about this woman's strategy to put an end to her noisy neighbour? How do you deal with noisy neighbours? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

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10 things that are always a waste to pack

<p>All travellers know the hardships of packing the necessities for the trip ahead. And everyone knows how many things you haven’t actually used by the time you get home again – what a waste of precious space in your luggage.</p> <p>Here is a list of 10 things to not bother packing in your suitcase.</p> <p><strong>1. Shampoo and conditioner</strong></p> <p>You can purchase these items at the places you travel. If the locals have easy access to hair products then so will you. Hotels should provide little travel-sized minis which will last a few days. Travelling with liquids can also lead to delays at security check points.</p> <p><strong>2. Shoes</strong></p> <p>Don’t pack more than two pairs of shoes – they take up unnecessary weight and space. Ensure you have a comfortable pair of walking shoes and some shoes that are nice enough to go out in at restaurants and other events.</p> <p><strong>3. Jewellery</strong></p> <p>Don’t bring your favourite expensive jewellery, you are only human and can accidentally leave items behind in hotels or apartments. You could also increase your risk of becoming a target for pickpockets. Try swapping out your diamond earrings for some cheaper substitute studs while you’re away.</p> <p><strong>4. Laptop</strong></p> <p>Don’t bring your laptop. Unless you’re travelling for work, you probably don’t need to bring a computer on your holiday. You could also become a target for thieves while travelling if they notice you have an expensive technological device with you.</p> <p><strong>5. Swimming costume</strong></p> <p>Don’t bring more than two swimming costumes. They are easy to wash and having two on hand always ensures you have a dry one to wear for the next day. Just put the swimmers in the sink filled with cool water and add some mild detergent before rinsing and wringing out to dry.</p> <p><strong>6. Hair dryer </strong></p> <p>Hair dryers are heavy and bulky, so they aren’t the easiest thing to try and squeeze into your suitcase. Hairdryers are usually provided by hotels and although yours may be nicer, they both do the same job in the end.</p> <p><strong>7. Out of season clothing </strong></p> <p>Avoid packing out of season clothing – if you’re going on a summer holiday in Europe, you probably don’t need that heavy winter coat. The excuse for packing these unnecessary items is always “just in case,” but if the situation does arise where there is an uncharacteristic change in weather, you can always buy what you need to face the day.</p> <p><strong>8. Books </strong></p> <p>Turn to paperback books or electronic tablets instead of hardcover novels. The electronic tablets are most helpful as they can contain a whole library of book options without adding the weight of a library in your suitcase. Paperback books are good when you don’t have an electronic tablet, but maybe avoid packing seven books!</p> <p><strong>9. Traveller’s checks </strong></p> <p>Traveller’s checks aren’t used anymore. Although they were once the safeguard of money while on holidays, the traveller’s checks have gone out of style. It’s unlikely you will come across a place that will accept the checks, as these have been replaced by the use of ATMs for cash and the ability to use your debit and credit cards that don’t charge an international transaction fee.</p> <p><strong>10. Double-ups </strong></p> <p>Finally, don’t bring anything your travel partner is also packing. For instance, don’t pack more than one thing that can be shared. You don’t need two tubes of toothpaste, for instance!</p> <p>What are your packing tips? Tell us in the comments below.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

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"They won't get away with it": Sylvia Jeffreys’ moving message

<p>Sylvia Jeffreys delivered a moving message this morning, paying tribute to Eurydice Dixon whilst passionately urging for change to take place across the country.</p> <p>The <em>Today</em> show reporter delivered her emotional speech during a live cross from Princes Park in Carlton North, Melbourne, where the memorial for the 22-year-old rape and murder victim sits.</p> <p>Jeffreys returned to the site of last night’s candlelight vigil, to speak of the tragic incident that has struck a chord with hearts around Australia.</p> <p>“Once again this morning, I stand here 900 metres from Eurydice’s home, on the soccer pitch where her body was found last week as we, as a nation, search for answers,” Jeffreys said.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="499" height="375" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7819243/2_499x375.jpg" alt="2 (90)"/></p> <p>“How did we let her down? How do we stop this from ever happening again? We can light more footpaths, we can mount more cameras, but there will always be shadows. We can, and we must, teach our sons and our brothers to respect women and to strive for gender equality.</p> <p>“But attitudes won’t change overnight. So for now, it’s on our leaders, our law makers, our law enforcers to hold perpetrators to account, to send a clear message that they will not get away with it, that there is zero tolerance for violence against women.”</p> <p>Jeffreys urged listeners to keep the dialogue alive about gendered violence.</p> <p>“It is also on every one of us to keep this dialogue going, to look out for one another and to continue to apply pressure on the men and the women we elect to end this crisis of gendered violence that is robbing mothers of their daughters, husbands of their wives, children of their mothers,” she said.</p> <p>“Last night, I learned a little bit more about Eurydice Dixon. She volunteered at a community kitchen and she was about to become an aunty.</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>“She was on the verge of big beginnings, she was brave and she was smart. She was funny and just like every one of us, she thought ‘it won’t happen to me’.”</p> <p>The Channel Nine reporter’s passionate appeal for change was applauded by viewers and quickly shared on social media.</p> <p>“Long after these candles go out, we have to carry her flame,” Jeffreys said.</p> <p>“Eurydice, just like her name, will always and forever be a symbol of justice. And it's on us now to ensure that her life drives change to make our streets and our homes a safer place for every one of us.”</p>

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5 questions to ask before moving into a granny flat

<p>If managed correctly, a granny flat arrangement can turn into a win-win scenario for all parties. It can also turn sour fast. If you’ve toyed with the idea of entering into this sort of arrangement, it’s important to make sure you’re aware of the implications.</p> <p>Here are five questions to ask before moving into a granny flat.</p> <p><strong>1. Am I really ready to live in a granny flat?</strong></p> <p>While often in these situations you still have plenty of your own personal space, there is going to be a loss of independence to a degree. It’s important to ask yourself if you are really willing to give up this space when moving in with your family.</p> <p><strong>2. Is my family really ready to live with me?</strong></p> <p>It’s not pleasant thing to think about, but the harsh reality is there may be some parties who are not altogether pleased with the situation (even if it seems like they are on the surface). It’s always worth having a frank discussion with all the parties that are affected, and asking them if this is arrangement is indeed willing to go into. </p> <p><strong>3. Is my pension going to be affected?</strong></p> <p>Depending on the arrangement you enter into, moving into a granny flat can affect your pension entitlements. It’s important to check with the Department of Human Services<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.humanservices.gov.au/" target="_blank"></a> and a financial professional about the ramifications of making this move, and ultimately whether or not you’re willing to live with them.</p> <p><strong>4. Have I formalised the agreement?</strong></p> <p>This may seem like adding unnecessary red tape to the arrangement (especially when you’re dealing with family), but formalising the agreement can go some way to avoiding conflicting. Getting the rights and responsibilities of each party down on paper is the best way to manage expectations and ensure no one is given the short end of the stick.</p> <p><strong>5. Do I have a backup plan?</strong></p> <p>If things do go awry you don’t want to be left high and dry. It’s important to have a backup plan up your sleeve just in case the worst does happen, and you can be sure you’re in the best position possible to recoup and ultimately recover.  </p> <p>Have you moved into a granny flat? Or perhaps you know someone who has? What do you think about the arrangement? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Why Coles and Woolies are moving away from the “supermarket price wars”

<p><em><strong>Gary Mortimer is Associate Professor in Marketing and International Business, Queensland University of Technology, and Louise Grimmer is Lecturer in Marketing, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, University of Tasmania.</strong></em></p> <p>On January 26, 2011, Coles fired the first shot in what would soon be dubbed the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://localejournal.org/issues/n2/Locale%20n2%20-%2007%20-%20Keith.pdf" target="_blank">“supermarket price wars”</a></strong></span> by reducing the price of its own-brand milk to A$1 per litre. Woolworths fired back, triggering seven years of intense price competition.</p> <p>But now Coles has waved the white flag, indicating a move away <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.afr.com/business/retail/coles-shows-its-softer-side-as-living-costs-bite-20180306-h0x2gc" target="_blank">from price-based marketing</a></strong></span>, to a focus on other attributes, such as sustainability, local produce and community.</p> <p>Research shows if price is the main selling point, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.canstarblue.com.au/food-drink/stores/supermarkets/" target="_blank">shopper loyalty decreases</a></strong></span> and customers become more conscious of price. Price wars are also <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://theconversation.com/predicting-the-last-brand-standing-in-the-supermarket-price-wars-32556" target="_blank">costly for retailers</a></strong></span>.</p> <p>While operational costs (wages, rent, bills) remain fixed or go up, prices can’t keep coming down. You eventually run out of margin.</p> <p>Coles recent <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.wesfarmers.com.au/docs/default-source/asx-announcements/2018-half-year-results-announcement.pdf?sfvrsn=0" target="_blank">half yearly results</a></strong></span> reflect this, with a drop in earnings of 14.1% from A$920 million to A$790 million.</p> <p>In contrast, Woolworths announced an 11.1% increase in earnings for <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.woolworthsgroup.com.au/icms_docs/189600_2018-half-year-results-presentation.pdf" target="_blank">their supermarket business</a></strong></span>. But Woolworths dropped their “cheap, cheap” price cutting campaign <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://mumbrella.com.au/woolworths-ditches-cheap-cheap-in-favour-of-new-always-at-woolworths-tagline-325378" target="_blank">nearly two years ago</a></strong></span>.</p> <p>Other retailers also get caught in the cross fire of price cutting. Case in point is Aussie Farmers Direct, which fell into administration this week <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.aussiefarmers.com.au/" target="_blank">saying they were</a></strong></span>:</p> <p><em>…no longer able to compete against the domination of the major two supermarkets.</em></p> <p>While it may be overly simplistic to blame the two big supermarkets for the downfall of Aussie Farmers Direct, price conscious consumers and thin grocery margins certainly contributed.</p> <p><strong>How this strategy came about</strong></p> <p>Supermarkets are now looking beyond price to stand out.</p> <p>Both Coles and Woolworths are very similar in the brands they offer, prices, layouts, weekly specials and online channels. The move away from price gets shoppers thinking about what is unique to each chain.</p> <p>So, rather than price, the focus has shifted to <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.woolworthsgroup.com.au/page/media/Press_Releases/Free_Fruit_for_Kids_at_Woolworths/" target="_blank">service quality, social programs</a></strong></span> and <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.coles.com.au/sfs/assets" target="_blank">connecting with the community</a></strong></span>.</p> <p>Shoppers who are continually exposed to loyalty program logos, may eventually stop noticing these logos, or “switch off”. This is because of a behavioural tendency called <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-habituation-2795233" target="_blank">“habituation”</a></strong></span>.</p> <p><strong>What these new strategies are trying to sell</strong></p> <p>So, if Coles are no longer selling themselves on price, what are they selling?</p> <p>Coles’ new approach is more subtle, selling themselves through aspirational stories and employing <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.designsociety.org/publication/34585/a_theory_of_affective_experience" target="_blank">classic advertising techniques</a></strong></span> to do it.</p> <p>These techniques are used in advertising to convey positive feelings and emotions associated with a particular experience. A simple way to achieve this in advertising is to feature people telling their own stories – as seen in the new Coles advert launched this week.</p> <p>By moving away from price and focusing on a story telling strategy, both supermarkets can engage consumers with a process called <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?id=gWfVlJAp31wC&amp;pg=PA292&amp;lpg=PA292&amp;dq=Internalization+endorser%E2%80%99s+position+on+an+issue+as+their+own&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=etMsCJ8v2H&amp;sig=SSVql3GEe9bYINgh1T0TDjOYjA8&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiG86fNmNnZAhWoiVQKHRkmCXsQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&amp;q=Internalization%20endorser%E2%80%99s%20position%20on%20an%20issue%20as%20their%20own&amp;f=false" target="_blank">“internalisation”</a></strong></span>. This is where people accept the endorser’s position on an issue as their own.</p> <p>Internalisation is a powerful psychological mechanism because even if the source used in the campaign is forgotten, the internalised attitude usually remains. Price doesn’t create this effect.</p> <p>While food prices won’t necessarily go up any time soon, consumers shouldn’t expect to see any further significant price drops. Instead, Coles and Woolworths will draw attention to other important attributes.</p> <p>Faced with the expansion of Aldi <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://corporate.aldi.com.au/fileadmin/fm-dam/pdf/Press_Release/2016/ALDI_Media_Release_2016_Business_Update_311016__for_website__11_.pdf" target="_blank">across South Australia and Western Australia</a></strong></span> and <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.smartcompany.com.au/industries/retail/kaufland-australia-hiring-local-staff/" target="_blank">the entry of German supermarket Kaufland</a></strong></span>, Coles has recognised they can’t keep fighting a battle on price alone.</p> <p>What are your thoughts?</p> <p><em>Written by Gary Mortimer and Louise Grimmer. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.theconversation.com" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Conversation</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

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