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Downsizing policy overlooks the most needy

National Seniors’ Chief Advocate, Ian Henschke, looks at why the government’s budget measures lack incentives for older people to ‘rightsize’.

National Seniors’ Rightsizing proposal was straight-forward.

We asked that $250,000 be quarantined from the profits of the sale of the family home and exempted from the Aged Pension means test.

Older people report scams on social media

Older people are making many of the reports about social media site scams, according to consumer watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Australians aged over 55 accounted for 45 per cent of around 200,000 reports to Scamwatch, with investment scams accounting for the most losses, followed by dating and romance scams.

Men call the shots on pay TV

More men than women make the decision about subscription or pay TV, a new survey has found.

Roy Morgan Research showed half of Australia’s married or de facto couples had at least one subscription or pay TV in their home and in only 50 per cent of these homes, the decisions about whether, when and which provider were made together. For the other 50 per cent, the decision was made by men 30 per cent of the time and 20 per cent women.

Federal Budget 2017-18: Summary of budget measures

Downsizing

National Seniors believes the government’s initiative is more about enabling contributions into superannuation than downsizing.

The government introduced the initiative to allow people aged 65 and over to sell the family home and roll up to $300,000 ($600,000 couples) into superannuation.

The policy is scheduled to come into effect from 1 July 2018.

Financial squeeze can cancel out joys of retirement, study shows

A new study has found that retirement can be just as stressful as working in a lower-paying job.

The first study to measure stress levels before and after retirement, rather than asking people how they felt, took five saliva samples throughout the day from 1,143 high-, middle- and low-grade public servants working in London.

Don’t call me, I’ll call you

Australians love using their mobile phones to call other people but do not always enjoy being contacted themselves.

A study by Roy Morgan Research showed 14.2 million or 72 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over agreed with the statement: “I love being able to contact my friends wherever I am”.

Only 10.8 million of them also agreed: “I enjoy people contacting me on my mobile phone”, leaving 3.4 million who were happy to call others at their own personal convenience, but were not always keen to pick up.

‘Can you hear me?’ scam

Australians who receive a phone call that starts with the words “can you hear me?” are being warned to hang up immediately without saying anything.

Police say it is a scam, which has done the rounds in the United States and United Kingdom.

The intention of the call is to record ”yes” responses to authorise payments using voice recognition software.

“If the scammer already has your mobile phone number and some sensitive identification information of yours… you may have some serious and legitimate reasons to be concerned,” Queensland police said.

Hidden numbers suffer from rare disease

Sufferers of one of Australia’s rarest diseases are calling for greater public awareness, which may lead to better treatments and even a cure.

Myositis is one of 80 auto-immune diseases affecting about 10 per cent of the population in Australia and New Zealand.

An estimated five to 10 people per one million Australians are afflicted across each of the three major forms of myositis - dermatomyositis, polymyositis and inclusion-body myositis.

Juvenile myositis affects children as young as three but the true numbers are unknown.

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