Renting makes you age faster than smoking


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Renting ages tenants faster than smoking or job loss, crypto crackdown kicks off, and famous dessert brand burnt by rising costs.

Here are five things you may have missed this week.

Renting can make you age faster

renting ages you faster than smoking

When interest rates are high, it can feel like the mortgage is killing you.

But it turns out renting can send us to an early grave far more quickly than paying off a home loan.

A new study by the University of Adelaide and University of Essex has found that renting leads to faster ageing.

Worryingly, the negative health impacts of renting outpace cigarette smoking or unemployment.

The researchers suggest that housing insecurity and high rents are driving the link between renting and biological ageing.

While the study was based on UK data, Dr Amy Clair, from the University of Adelaide's Australian Centre for Housing Research, points out that private renters in Australia face much the same challenges around limited security of tenure and high rental costs as renters in the UK.

"It is therefore likely that private renters in Australia might also experience accelerated biological ageing," says Dr Clair.

Australian government recommends cryptocurrency crackdown

It's almost a year since cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed, sending $US9 billion ($14 billion) of investors' money down the tube, and landing founder Sam Bankman-Fried in court on fraud charges.

More than 50,000 Australians lost money in the FTX collapse.

Failures of other crypto platforms including Genesis (losses of $US3.4 billion), BlockFi ($US1.3 billion) and Voyager Digital ($US1.3 billion) to name a few, have left many more people out of pocket or forced to wait their turn in long lines of creditors.

In response, Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers released recommendations this week pushing for greater regulation of crypto exchanges and digital asset platforms.

The proposals include the need for platform operators to have an Australian Financial Services Licence.

According to Swyftx, one in four Australians own cryptocurrency, though lack of regulation is the number one reason why people steer clear of digital currencies.

Feedback on the proposed reforms closes December 1 and consultation for draft legislation will continue next year.

50-years of history crumbles for Sara Lee

An iconic brand is no protection against tough times.

That's been the case for dessert manufacturer Sara Lee, which appointed voluntary administrators this week after battling rising costs for the past year.

The 52-year-old business is expected to keep trading, hopefully until a buyer is found.

However, it could be a sign of things to come.

CreditorWatch is forecasting an uptick in the rate of business failures over the coming 12 months.

Anneke Thompson, Chief Economist at CreditorWatch, says business conditions, particularly among small businesses which are more sensitive to drops in consumer spending, are likely to remain "subdued" until at least mid-2024, when cuts to the cash rate are expected.

CreditorWatch says the food and beverage services sector is at most risk of defaulting on payments.

In terms of regional risk, Western Sydney is the unfortunate outperformer. It has eight of the top 20 regions in Australia most at risk of business failure.

Unley in South Australia is the region with the lowest risk of business failure followed by Ballarat in Victoria.

For sale: Rural bolthole the size of Belgium

Who hasn't hankered for country living at some stage?

If you're thinking of a tree change and the chance to raise a few cows, the right property may have come onto the market.

Property specialists LAWD have listed a Western Australian farm for sale via expressions of interest.

It's what you might call a generous spread.

The Kimberley Cattle Portfolio covers a series of cattle stations spanning 2.9 million hectares.

That's around 7 million acres, roughly the size of Belgium.

The sale includes a herd of El Nino-friendly Droughtmaster-cross cattle (about 50,000 of them), which should more than satisfy bovine enthusiasts.

With WA farmland selling for $6000 per hectare earlier this year, interested buyers will need seriously deep pockets.

The combined cattle stations are currently owned by Chinese-Australian property developer Hui Wing Mau.

Lemon cars leave buyers out of pocket

There's nothing like the thrill of owning a car. Until it breaks down.

A new report by the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) based on Victorian data, found alarming numbers of cars sold - new and used - are lemons.

Over half (54%) those who purchased a car in the last five years experienced a fault with the vehicle - a figure that rises to 75% of motorists who purchased a used car from a dealer.

While consumers have legal protections when their car isn't working, the CPRC says these rights are not easily enforceable, and it's often the vehicle owner who wears the cost.

Six out of ten people with faulty cars spent more than $1000 trying to resolve the problem and 24% spent over $10,000 resolving the issue.

The CPRC is suggesting a range of measures including stronger pre-sale checks and greater support for buyers to get independent mechanical checks of used cars.

Until this happens, it's a case of buyer beware.

Pre-purchase inspections with automobile associations such as NRMA cost around $270 for members.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.