• Money Matters,  Retirement

    Reverse mortgage warning

    A Reverse Mortgage or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loan enables Senior Australians over 60 years to access the equity in their home as security to borrow money. This can be taken as a regular income stream, a lump sum, a line of credit or a combination of these options. Seniors who contemplate a reverse mortgage are often asset rich but cash poor. But is a reverse mortgage a good alternative to downsizing or some other solution? To begin with I am not about to venture into the territory of securing a reverse mortgage. My interest comes from reading about the availability of reverse mortgages and the experiences of others.…

  • Money Matters,  Retirement

    Super Snoop

    If you have super perhaps you would like to join me in being a “super snoop”.  It is not advisable to turn a blind eye to what is going on with your super and leave it only to the “experts”. If you are like me and retired there are no further earnings from your employment. At the moment money in bank accounts is earning very little. For example, if you invest $10,000 – $50,000 with the major banks you will get anywhere from 2.50% – 2.80% for a 12 month term deposit (paid at the end of the term). Investing $20,000 with a bank on this basis will return around $520…

  • Health Matters,  Socio-Political

    Are we Work Rich and Time Poor?

    When I was in full-time paid work I became aware of the “work rich and time poor” culture. It was a common theme I heard from people in the workplace. By “work rich” I mean that everyone had so much work it could not reasonably be done in a day or a 36-38 hour week. In my work environment many workers, particularly managers, would frequently lose their accumulated hours. These hours were never paid or taken off as time-in-lieu. Many years ago I analysed my hours of work (in a Queensland Government job) and discovered that I worked 15 months in one 12 month period. There are reasons why people…

  • Money Matters

    Mid-Year Budget Review

    Last week it was time for a mid-year budget review of our household income and expenses. The Federal Government calls it their Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO). I am calling this My EFO (My economic and fiscal outlook). My budget strategy for the rest of the year is simple “do more with less”. The Australian government is intent on repairing the budget. Therefore this is something that every household should do if the household budget is in need of repair.  Just as the government is working towards “sustaining strong growth in living standards” we can all do this if we manage our budget. Following the 2008 Global Financial…

  • Life Day By Day,  Money Matters

    Giving & Generosity

    At this time of the year we are coming close to what is commonly called the “Season of Giving”. When we talk about giving we often hear the phrase “charity begins at home”. As far back as 1383 John Wycliffe stated that “Charity should begin at himself”. There was no gender inclusion language in those days. In the 1380’s John Wycliffe produced the first hand written English Bible manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate. While this post is about an entirely different matter, suffice to say Wycliffe’s actions were significant as they marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Yet it is Sir Thomas Browne in his book of 1642 titled…

  • Money Matters,  Socio-Political

    Financial Future of Seniors

    The financial future of many seniors depends heavily on the government of the day to have financial laws in place that will protect the consumer. In my post of 17 June 2013 I raised a number of concerns surrounding the Abbott Government’s intention to rollback the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) laws. I mentioned that these reforms, introduced by Labor, must stay in place as a protective mechanism for consumers. Without strict financial regulations in place many people will receive misguided financial advice that is not in their best interest e.g. Timbercorp Investment Scheme. Last week a group of Senators after hearing from people affected by the Timbercorp collapse could…