From the Editor

The events of the last week make it difficult to reflect on the year as a whole, or indeed, look forward to next year. At home, two families lost loved ones in an event which has rocked Australia to its core. The senseless siege in Sydney’s Martin Place will forever be etched in our minds and we may never know the real reason behind Man Hamon Monis’s actions that day.

And, on Friday, as many Australians partied to celebrate the end of the working year, news came through that a mother in Cairns had taken the lives of seven of her own children and a niece, before apparently trying to take her own life. Again, her actions are difficult to reconcile with the nurturing nature mothers are supposed to have and we mourn the senseless loss of more lives lost.

But Australia is not alone in its tragedies, with 149 people, mainly children losing their lives when Taliban extremists attacked a military school in Pakistan. And just yesterday, two New York police officers were killed in the line of duty by a young man, who was acting in apparent retribution for the recent shootings by US police officers, of unarmed black men.

Our world is changing. Violence and murder, whatever the motivation, is now commonplace and while horrific events happen every day, there are few which make us sit up and take notice of this fact. Hopefully, some good will come from the horrible events we witnessed last week, and we embrace the values which made Australia great.

At YOURLifeChoices we’re also reflecting on the year we’ve just had. It’s been busy, but thankfully, fun. As well as bringing you your daily news, on which we know you love to have your say, we’ve also kept you up-to-date with the changes to Age Pension, government legislation and Federal Budget measures on the night they were announced. We’ve looked after your health with a heads-up on what’s new in medical research and the simple tips you can follow every day to keep your proverbial motor running. And we’ve suggested destinations far and wide, as well as in your own backyard, which are not only worth visiting, but how you can get there on a limited budget.

On top of all this, we’ve launched our Quarterly Retirement Update which aims to simplify retirement, the stage of life which should be your reward for years of hard work. We’ve also moved offices to accommodate our growing and changing team. Andrea decided that she wanted to try something new, but has popped back in now and again to help us out. So Kathryn took her place and is the one to thank for all the delicious recipes you see each day. After more than three years in our team, Rachel moved on to pastures new, but in her place, we gained Leon and Amelia and we’re enjoying the different points of view they are bringing to our team.

And so we look to next year and promise that we’ll bring you more of the content you love, as well as some new and exciting features. As always, we welcome your feedback, so if you think we’re missing something, or if you’ve particularly enjoyed something we’ve done and would like to see more of it, let us know. Don’t forget, if you’ve got a burning question that no one seems able to answer, ask us. Our team of experts are on hand to give you the benefit of their wisdom – we’re here to make retirement simpler, and fun.

To each and every one of you and your families, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year and beyond.

Written by Debbie McTaggart