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Living Costs

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This vital yet "forgotten" indicator of inflation holds good news

Financial commentators seem to have forgotten the leading cause of inflation: growth in the supply of money. Warren Bird explains the link and explores where it suggests inflation is headed.

A pullback in Australian consumer spending could last years

Australian consumers have held up remarkably well amid rising interest rates and inflation. Yet, there are increasing signs that this is turning, and the weakness in consumer spending may last years, not months.

Trying to save money? Pay in cash

The cost of living crisis has made spending control front-of-mind for many people. New research shows that paying by cash rather than card, even if inconvenient, can be a valuable tool in controlling expenses.

Protecting retirement income from inflation shocks

As we continue to navigate a volatile market and geopolitical landscape, retirees need a portfolio with protection from inflation risks so that they don’t experience another cost-of-living crisis when inflation has another upturn.

Household spending falls as higher costs bite

Shoppers are cutting back spending at supermarkets, gyms, and bakeries to cope with soaring insurance and education costs as household spending continues to slump. Renters especially are feeling the pinch.

CPI lowballs the true cost of living

The consumer price index is supposed to reflect the cost of living but no longer does. The ABS publishes other estimates that provide a more accurate picture of our living expenses, and how much they've recently risen.

Survey results: Your personal experiences with inflation

Over four in five respondents feel inflation has risen faster than official statistics and three-quarters believe companies are taking advantage of circumstances to increases prices. Check the quirky anecdotes.

Recent age pension changes impact non pensioners too

It’s great to see the age pension increase recently, but there are now additional challenges and opportunities. One is a change in aged care costs, and another is what the pension rise means for your own situation.

The five most common topics for advisers and their clients

An explanation of five areas of most interest to financial advisers and their clients, including home equity access, downsizing, Senior Cards, work tests and new transfer balance caps - all worth knowing about.

Start the year right with the 2022 Retiree Checklist

This is our annual checklist of what retirees need to be aware of in 2022. It is a long list of 25 items and not everything will apply to your situation. Run your eye over the benefits and entitlements.

Why don't higher prices translate into inflation? Blame hedonism

Why are prices rising but not the CPI? When we measure inflation, we aren’t measuring raw price changes, we’re measuring the pleasure-adjusted or utility-adjusted price changes, and we use it incorrectly.

Great new ways the Government helps retirees

Last year's retiree checklist of services available was one of our most popular articles. There are some additions for 2021, and while it can take effort to set them up, they can pay off over the long term.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Meg on SMSFs: Clearing up confusion on the $3 million super tax

There seems to be more confusion than clarity about the mechanics of how the new $3 million super tax is supposed to work. Here is an attempt to answer some of the questions from my previous work on the issue. 

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 566 with weekend update

Here are 10 rules for staying happy and sharp as we age, including socialise a lot, never retire, learn a demanding skill, practice gratitude, play video games (specific ones), and be sure to reminisce.

  • 27 June 2024

Australian housing is twice as expensive as the US

A new report suggests Australian housing is twice as expensive as that of the US and UK on a price-to-income basis. It also reveals that it’s cheaper to live in New York than most of our capital cities.

The catalyst for a LICs rebound

The discounts on listed investment vehicles are at historically wide levels. There are lots of reasons given, including size and liquidity, yet there's a better explanation for the discounts, and why a rebound may be near.

How not to run out of money in retirement

The life expectancy tables used throughout the financial advice and retirement industry have issues and you need to prepare for the possibility of living a lot longer than you might have thought. Plan accordingly.

The iron law of building wealth

The best way to lose money in markets is to chase the latest stock fad. Conversely, the best way to build wealth is by pursuing a timeless investment strategy that won’t be swayed by short-term market gyrations.

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