Wednesday, November 10, 2010

FREE2GO - A new initiative from the NRMA for young drivers

I am the proud parent of a 17 year old girl who just got her licence and her first car.  My first thoughts were "Yippee! No more picking or dropping her off her up from work at ungodly hours".  Now after a week I am not so sure just how great this new found freedom is.

Between worrying when she is 5 minutes late and resisting the urge to ring the hospital to make sure she hasn't been in an accident every half hour, there is the added concern of her financial commitments.  It's just not the car payments, insurance, registration and the cost of peterol but also the cost of her being stranded, broken down or as luck would have it today locking her only key in the car!

We all know that having roadside assistance can be very useful in these situations, however the young girl in question has only been driving 2 days and needless to say we haven't got around to getting her roadside assistance.  So now my dear girl is parting with some hard earned cash for a locksmith to come out and break into her car so she can resume her driving activities!

Needless to say I dropped everything and rang the NRMA Roadside Assist to look into a membership for her and was quite prepared to part with some hard earned cash of my own.  However I was pleasantly suprised to find out they have a new initiative called Free2go, which is designed for young drivers aged 16-20 and is completely free for the first year. 

It offers roadside assistance to the young person, no matter who's car they are driving - an added bonus for when she borrows someone else's car!   It takes 48 hours to activate the membership after joining but once it is activated they have all the benefits of an adult member no matter which vehicle they are driving.

You can find out more by visiting .


Most people think of retirement when they think of a Financial Adviser and while planning for your future is important an experienced and qualified Financial Adviser can help you save money, protect against risk, manage debts, grow wealth, reduce tax and even help with your legacy.

A financial adviser’s first responsibility is to you, the client, not an employer, a product provider or to him/herself but to the needs and objectives of the client.

When providing advice an adviser must take into account the individual circumstances of the client. A client’s needs and objectives are as individual as their finger prints and no two clients will ever be the same so it is important for your adviser to spend time getting to know you and what your needs and goals are.

There are two types of advice, General Advice and Personal Financial Advice.

General advice may help you to make decisions on financial products or money but it does not take any of your personal circumstances into consideration. Personal financial advice on the other hand considers a clients personal needs, objectives, their current situation and any goals the client may have for the future. With all this information the adviser can recommend appropriate strategies specific to these individual circumstances and where necessary recommend financial products.

Most people choose to see a financial adviser at significant turning points in their life. They may need a professional to help them consider their options and to understand financial products, tax laws or the benefit system (centrelink). Once people find an adviser with whom they are comfortable, a long term relationship often develops with regular meetings to review changing needs.

Some of the reasons a person may consult a financial planner include:

• Starting work or changing jobs and looking at superannuation options.

• Getting married, or separating from a partner.

• Starting a family, and saving for education costs.

• Buying a house, or paying off the mortgage.

• Looking to invest for capital growth.

• Planning to retire.

• Inheriting money, receiving redundancy payments or other lump sum payments.

So how do you know if you are getting good advice?

Your financial adviser should be:

• taking into account your personal needs and goals,

• putting your needs first,

• providing clear and understandable advice both verbally and written(statement of advice),

• clearly identifying costs which are openly discussed and explained

• open about any conflicts of interest which may influence the adviser’s recommendations

Financial advice is a valuable professional service. To provide financial advice, a financial adviser must be licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or be an authorized to represent a license holder.

The ASIC consumer website  allows people to check who holds a licence or is an Authorised RepresentativeClick here for tips on choosing a financial adviser.

Disclaimer: This article is no substitute for financial or investment advice and should not be read as such nor relied upon as such. You should seek your own professional advice tailored to your individual investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs.

Wayne Lennan is an Authorised Representative of Financial Wisdom AFSL No. 231138


We all know that stress can be bad for us, both mentally and physically.  We live in a hectic world, always on the run from one commitment to the next, kids, spouses, bosses, the demands on us and our time are high these days.  In fact we are so busy that sometimes we forget how to breathe or rather how to breathe properly. 

Think about it, it is the one thing we must do to live.  A few minutes without breathing will put our life at risk, but how often do we actually stop and think about it.

"Mindful Breathing" is a simple relaxation technique that can help you deal with stress, anxiety and panic attacks.  It can even help you deal with fears such as a fear of flying.

So the good news is you don't have to take up yoga to learn how to relax.  In fact all you need is 3 minutes.

  1.  Find a quiet place and sit upright in a comfortable position.
  2.  Focus on your present state and existence and block out any intrusive thoughts (like what chores still need to be done).
  3.  Pay attention to your breathing, inhale slowly through your nose taking several seconds to breathe in.  Exhale slowly (aim for twice as long as inhalation) through your mouth.
  4. Continue "Mindful Breathing" for 3 to 5 minutes or for deeper meditation you can work your way up to 20 to 30 minutes.

BREAST CANCER - Keeping Abreast of the Facts

1 in 9 Aussie women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85

7 Aussie women die every day - that's more than 2,500 deaths a year

Early detection of breast cancer helps increase the survival and provides the best chance of effective treatment for women with the disease.

What you should look out for?
  • A lump, lumpiness or thickening of the breast
  • Changes to the nipple such as a change in shape, crusting, a sore or an ulcer, redness or an inversion of the nipple.
  • Discharge from one nipple; if this is blood stained, clear or occurs without squeezing.
  • Changes in the skin of the breast such as any puckering or dimpling of the skin, unusual redness or other colour change.
  • Changes in the size or shape of the breast; this might be either and increase or a decrease in size.
  • Unusual pain that is persistent and doesn't go away, if this not related to the normal monthly cycle and occurs in one breast only.

What can you do to reduce the risk?
  • Maintain a healthy weight throughout your life
  • Be moderately physically active, equivalent to brisk walking for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Eat a balanced diet including at least 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit a day
  • Limit alcoholic drinks to no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women
  • Aim to exclusively breastfeed babies for up to 6 months and continue with complementary feeding thereafter

Two things you can do today
  1. Know what is normal for your breasts, get to know how they look and feel and regularly check for any changes.
  2. Women aged 50-69 years can call 13 20 50 for a free mammogram

You don't need to be able to fly to be someone's hero

Did you know that one in three Australian's are going to need blood donations at same stage of their life?  It's a good thing that Australia has just been named the most generous country when it comes to donating blood, but there is still a short fall in donations with only 1 in 30 people donating.

Who needs your blood?

34% will be used by Cancer patients
19% Other causes of anaemia
18% surgical patients including, heart surgery & burn victims
13% other medical conditions including heart, stomach and kidney disease
10% orthapaedic patients including fractures and joint replacements
4% obstetrics including pregnant women, new mothers and young children
2% trauma patients including road accidents

Other blood components such as plasma and platelets are also vital. Plasma is used in bleeding patients and for children and adults with immune disorders and also to prevent some complications of pregnancy.  Platelets are used to manage bleeding in surgical patients and cancer patients.

Whether your type is A, B, O or AB, your blood is a match for someone in need.  Please become a donor today - your just the type to be a hero in somebody's life!

To become a blood donor click here