Over 50s: still not confident about their retirement income

A recent survey of approximately 3,000 Australians over the age of 50 conducted by National Seniors Australia asked about their current and expected financial situations, planning behaviours and strategies for managing financial uncertainty in retirement. In the context of the maturation of the superannuation system, older Australians are changing how they think about generating income in retirement. Super is now Australians’ main expected source of income in retirement.

New $5 note in circulation

A new $5 banknote entering circulation from today will help vision-impaired people distinguish it from other denominations, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Glenn Stevens said.

The note’s features include a world-first clear top-to-bottom window as an anti-counterfeiting measure and one raised bump on each of the long edges of the banknote next to the top-to-bottom window.

Stevens said the $5 banknote is the first in a new series which will incorporate the same security features. Other denominations will be upgraded over coming years.

Have you felt pressured by bank staff?

National Seniors wants to hear about your experiences with banks so we can help improve outcomes for older consumers.

The Australian Bankers’ Association has commissioned an independent review of product sales commissions and product-based payments.

National Seniors will have input into this review and we welcome member views on their experiences with banks.

Seniors welcome banking industry review

National Seniors will have input into the banking industry’s self-instigated review into sales commissions and payments.

The Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) said former Australian Public Service Commissioner Stephen Sedgwick will head a panel tasked with an independent review into retail and small business banking.

The review will include payments for selling and providing advice on products such as transaction accounts, general insurance products, consumer credit insurance, mortgages, personal loans, credit cards and small business loans.

Interest rate cut another low blow for seniors

The Reserve Bank’s decision to slash interest rates to 1.75 per cent is a further blow to older people on low, fixed incomes, National Seniors Australia said today.

The 0.25 percentage point drop is an all-time record low and the 11th consecutive cut.

“Many pensioners and self-funded retirees hold term deposits because of the security and peace of mind they represent,” National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill said.

Seniors baffled by delays in financial advice standards

Older Australians have labelled as ‘baffling’ the Federal Government’s proposal to delay raising the professional and ethical standards of financial advisers.

The new timetable, announced by Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer, shifts the education and exam requirements for new advisers from 1 July 2017 to 1 January 2019.

This means existing advisers now have until January 1, 2024 (5 years from 2019) to attain a degree or degree-equivalent qualification, and until January 1, 2021 (2 years from 2019) to pass an approved exam set by a yet-to-be-established standards body.

Paying for aged care

Finances are a major factor, and understanding how much it will all cost can be confusing.

The starting question for anyone contemplating residential age care is always: But how much does it cost? Here, Craig Hall from National Seniors’ Financial Information Desk has a rundown of what you could be up for.

FID expert to speak at seniors expo

An expert from the National Seniors Financial Information Desk (FID) will explain important superannuation changes and other retirement information at a community seniors expo in Wollongong in April.

FID senior officer Basil La Brooy will speak at the expo and explain changes to superannuation since 2015.

The expo will be held on Friday 1 April 2016 at the Builders Club, 61 Church Street, Wollongong, from 10am to 2pm.

Submission on Improved Superannuation Transparency

National Seniors highlights the need for consistency of information contained on the superannuation product dashboards and the more detailed product disclosure statements so consumers are not misled or confused.

Free information desk for National Seniors' members

Hundreds of National Seniors' members have accessed their free Financial Information Desk (FID) after the service was announced in the August/September 50 something magazine.

FID’s role is to help the over-50s better understand and navigate a complex retirement income system.

Craig Hall and Basil La Brooy (former employees of the respected former government-funded National Information Centre on Retirement Investments) can explain the basics of everything from super to pensions, paying for aged care, budgeting, equity release and estate planning.

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