Consumer protection

Bupa calls for pensioners to pay more for care

A shock increase in aged care costs could be included in this year’s Federal Budget if Treasury heeds a call to force pensioners to pay more for nursing home services, according to a report this week on retirement website YourLifeChoices.

The proposal by insurance company Bupa recommends that the capped value of people’s homes be increased from the current $162,087.20, so those with valuable homes are asked to pay more for care.

Aircon habit costs up to $1.3 billion

One in five Australians leave their air conditioning running when they are not at home – a habit expected to waste an estimated $1.3 billion this summer.

A new survey by comparison website revealed that 23 per cent of Australians or 2.3 million households wasted an average of 4.1 hours in energy per day at a cost of $578 per household each quarter. 

This works out to a cost of up to $1.3 billion in wasted energy expenditure over summer while these homes are sitting empty or an added $578 per household quarterly electricity bill.

Beware of opening a scammer's con these holidays

Consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is warning people to be wary of scammers trying to ruin their Christmas holidays.

The ACCC’s Delia Rickard said that scammers often try to take advantage of people during the busy Christmas period and prey on their vulnerabilities.

“For example, they may take advantage of you looking for a good deal on a family holiday, searching for a loved one’s present at an online store, or even that you’re expecting a present from someone through the post,” Ms Rickard said.

Taking the worry out of aged care

National Seniors has launched a new service to help members better navigate the potential minefield of aged care services for their parents, friends, family members - or for themselves.

In this month’s issue of 50 Something magazine, Financial Information Desk (FID) manager Craig Hall writes that decisions on aged care, and residential care in particular, are often made in a hurry but the consequences can be far-reaching.

Nab the best deal with free car buying service for members

Thinking of buying a new or used car? National Seniors members can now tap into the best deal possible through specialist car broker Auto Advantage.

Created in 2001, Auto Advantage works with thousands of people Australia-wide to help them save time, money and stress when buying a motor vehicle.

National Seniors’ Chief Executive Dagmar Parsons said older people sometimes put up with old or unreliable cars because the time and expense of buying another one was too daunting, or they worried about obtaining value for money.

Sizzling summer spending statistics

With Christmas fast approaching and retailers’ advertising hype in full swing, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has crunched the numbers on where Australians actually spend their money.

ABS spokeswoman Michelle Marquardt said Australian households spend nearly $130 a year on fresh fish and seafood and $30 on Christmas decorations. Almost $150 is spent on icecream, $600 on beer and $491 on wine.

“Approaching Christmas sees many people indulge in food, drink and festivities,” Ms Marquardt said.

Downsizing off agenda for 40 percent of seniors

Home is where the heart is, and for more than 40 per cent of older Australians, it determines where they live in retirement.

National Seniors’ new research report reveals that while many Australians consider downsizing to a smaller house when they retire, a substantial proportion of older homeowners rule it out because they don’t want to leave their house, neighbourhood and community.

One in six will not buy Christmas presents this year

A new study shows nearly one third of Australians are cutting back on gifts this Christmas and one in six won’t buy any presents.

With many households feeling the pressure of rising living costs, 31 per cent of people surveyed by comparison website said they would cut corners on gift giving.

A total of 12 percent said they would re-gift presents or choose the do-it-yourself route with baked treats and handmade goods. A further three percent planned to go on a holiday instead of giving gifts.

Singles on low incomes locked out of NSW

Many single people on pensions or benefits cannot find affordable rental accommodation in New South Wales, according to housing advocacy group Shelter NSW.

Its chief executive, Karen Walsh, said governments needed to address the shortfall of around 100,000 social and affordable housing dwellings in the state.

“The RAI (Rental Affordability Index) clearly shows that our current housing system is not ‘fit for purpose’,” Ms Walsh said.

Christmas shopping well underway

Australians are powering ahead with their Christmas shopping, with nearly half saying they have already started buying presents.

Comparison website said 47 per cent of those surveyed had already made Christmas purchases, with the rest saying they will buy their gifts in December.

Finder’s money expert Bessie Hassan advised people to start early and beat the crowds.

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