Tag: Work

When can I retire?

When it comes to talking about retirement, it surprises me how often I hear people say things such as ‘the government won’t let me retire until I’m 65’. Or, ‘by the time we’re ready to retire, they’ll have pushed it back to 70’.

But there’s no reason to assume that your retirement age will be the same as your superannuation preservation age or your pension eligibility age.

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What does it mean to be middle class?

Many people know what it is like to be relatively poor. And, thanks to the media, we all know what it looks like to be rich. But what does it mean to be middle class?

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Can we end poverty?

Yes, and no. Now we know what it means to be poor, we can talk about what it would take to end poverty.

You may remember that ‘absolute’ poverty is defined ‘in terms of the minimal requirements necessary to afford minimal standards of food, clothing, health care and shelter’. Meanwhile, ‘relative’ poverty is defined ‘relative to others in a country; for example, below 60% of the median income of people in that country.’

One of these can be eradicated, but the other is a different story…

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Want to start your own business?

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, chances are, you have thought of starting your own business. Almost 70% of Taiwanese employees between 21 and 40 want to set up their own businesses, and a University of Phoenix survey showed 63% of those in their 20s are either already or wanting to become business owners. Maybe digital nomads.

The lure of entrepreneurship appears correlated with age, possibly because those in their 20s have fewer responsibilities in the way of children or mortgages, they may have parents that are willing to financially support them, and they may deal better with the grueling hours required. I suggest, with the benefit of a couple of years’ experience, people in their 20s may also simply be less burned out by work. But Minda Zetin at Inc suggests that witnessing startup culture may be another important reason.

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Where does all my time go?

The relationship between time and money is complex. We talk about ‘saving’ and ‘spending’ both money and time. It’s very tempting to say to ourselves that we could get everything we needed to done if only we had a great expanse of uninterrupted time.

‘I could organise my finances if only I could have one afternoon a week spare, or a whole day to set aside to do my taxes!’
‘I could write that novel if I were rich enough to be holed up in an hotel for a year!’
‘I could learn French if I could live in France for six months!’

What is much harder to see is the amount of time we could be spending, each and every day, on these bigger goals we’d like to achieve.

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Should we have a basic income?

Over 400 years BC, a massive seam of silver was discovered in the mines in Athens. Naturally, how to distribute this new-found wealth provoked great debate. Aristides, a statesman of the time, proposed that the profit be distributed among the Athenian citizens.

The way in which natural resources – not only mining, but water, natural forests, arable land, and the sea – are allocated has always been and remains a major concern of humanity. In Australia, a combination of the mining boom and the global financial crisis is said to have caused a two-speed economy that saw some grow very rich while others became poorer.

Even more alarmingly, there exist companies who have designs on natural resources which everyone should have a fundamental right to – those resources needed for survival.

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Do you want a 15 hour work week?

We arrived in Milan, Italy yesterday, hungry. All throughout the flight, visions of plates overflowing with pasta danced in my head.

Upon landing at the airport, we took a bus straight for the city. On the way, we fervently started looking up Italian restaurants – and, no surprise, there were over 6,000.

But all of them were closed.

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