Mind Your Own Retirement Episode 42

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Jean Kittson may just be the perfect example of how a sense of humour can help you achieve amazing things. Jean – author, actor, comedian, script-writer, public speaker, ambassador and mum – joins co-hosts John Deeks and Janelle Ward on Mind Your Own Retirement to explain the motivation behind her latest book, We Need to Talk about Mum & Dad. She tells how she managed to navigate the aged care journey with a smile (mostly) – and that’s good news for us.

Learn more about We need to Talk about Mum & Dad.

Consumer advocate CHOICE has been the go-to source for independent information for all matters appliances for decades. Who in their right mind would spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new oven or fridge or vacuum without first checking the CHOICE reviews? But CHOICE is not just a buying guide, it is also an advocate for consumer rights. Spokesperson Jonathan Brown tells how to save money, avoid sales tricks and spot misinformation by taking us step by step through its Consumer Rights Guide 2020.

Find out more about CHOICE reviews.

Finally, as we continue to bunker down during this time of self-isolation, we chat with travel editor Leon Della Bosca – who obviously hasn’t been anywhere for some time now – about a holiday we can all still enjoy.

Transcript: Jean Kittson – We Need to Talk about Mum
Transcript: Jonathan Brown – Choice
Transcript: Holiday in isolation

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Total Comments: 7
  1. 0

    Regarding Choice’s comparative assessment of clothes dryers. Take note are all the expensive brands worth paying ten times the price of the cheapest brand.

    Note the most expensive brands are the ones being flogged in the shops. Is it because salesmen get higher commissions on sales? How much of the built in profit margins goes to who’s pocket ?

    Take the highest priced product, Bosch model X1 at $2,600 odd and zoom in on the label, it seems efficiency wise it ticks all the boxes, then take its most inefficient brother, the Bosh X2 model at one star efficiency at $1700 odd. Even the Aldi Model is rated at two stars.

    How can one justify the price difference? The second Bosh X2 model at $1700 odd is 6 times the price of the Aldi model.
    Is it made of gold, is the motor 6 times bigger or stronger, is the cabinet made of 18/8 stainless steel?, then look at the Miele offering, the most stupid design I’ve ever seen yet dearer than the cheapest Bosch offering, why because you cant look at the clothes tumbling to get an idea whether they’re done or not. EL cheapo Miele! Make cheap products = more profit.

    Now I am not gullible enough to have to log in to Choice so I become a regular purchaser of their magazine (and thus be a paying customer for advice I can guarantee is hopelessly biased and which I can get for free by applying common sense). More importantly, I don’t want my shopping preferences and personal details to be on -sold for trader’s profit. All I’ll get out of it besides Choice magazine, is to be bombarded with adverts in my emails I’ll find hard to eliminate.

    My advice is go to the stores listing these products and do some common sense observations. For example, check the quality of the door hinge, door seal, and door lock mechanism. Do you hear a decisive “click” when you close the door. Is the hinge EL Cheapo!, are the switches at eye level or at bottom of unit, Check this because if you want to mount the unit at floor level switches must be at the top, if it’s to be over the washer, or wall mounted, switches must be at the bottom of the unit. Remember too, if your laundry space is minimal as most laundries in units or apartments are, you may not have direct access to an exterior wall, meaning the exhaust duct is visible and ugly to look at, draped across the WM, bench or trough wall to outside projection hole in wall. Note we are talking a flexible pipe 150-200 mm diameter, so it’s not small. I bet Choice doesn’t mention these things.

    My advice, is buy the Aldi product and if it lasts 3 years, buy a new one every 3 years for the next 30 years, I guarantee the Bosch product won’t last that long, yet that’s what the price difference equates to. Who knows, you may easily get 6 years out of the Aldi job, then you could stretch the lifetime expectancy to 60 years. I think by then I’ll need to be resurrected to come back and enjoy a new Aldi Dryer. In the meantime, my $2400 savings with 3% compound interest over 30 years would have earned- wait for it -: $5,656 . Again I bet Choice doesn’t mention these things.

    I will also save my subscription costs but more to the point i won’r be badgered over and over with advertising junk and my emails won’t disclose my personal details to every trader and manufacturer out there, let alone to scammers making money with this info off my back!

  2. 0

    wise advice JoJozep

  3. 0

    Well said, Jojo. You nailed it and have laid the inadequacies of self-serving Choice wide open for all to see. A further suggestion would be to solicit product reviews for the machine of your choice before purchasing it. By careful evaluation you can separate the genuine reviews from the BS ones and be more confident in your choice.

  4. 0

    I would never buy another Condenser Dryer. The clothes are never dry when it stops, not even a small load. I always have to put mine going a second time. It isn’t a cheap brand either.

  5. 0

    One thing you haven’t thought about is landfill JoJozep.

  6. 0

    I need to stand up for CHOICE.

    I’ve been a subscriber to CHOICE for about 30 years and have never received any marketing information based on my subscription details or product reviews that I have shown interest in. They are funded by members for members and do not carry any advertising.

    JoJozep you seem to be making assumptions without actually having had appropriate experience. It’s certainly true that most comparison sites will use your information, and others (including YourLifeChoices, are laden with advertising (and sometimes biased reporting) but CHOICE have proven to me over decades that they are unique in their independence.

    However, your general advice to use one’s common sense, and not always to buy the dearest or even recommended product is, of course, true. A product needs to be fit for purpose and that purpose may differ between users – some may need a budget product for a rental property and others may need something to suit a mansion. CHOICE cannot know what your intended use is but can only report on the results of their very thorough testing.

    The thing my wife & I have found so useful with CHOICE is that they make you think about things that might not otherwise occur to you – things which you, JoJozep, have also alluded to – such as where a vent pipe might go, where the controls are, how easy are the controls to use if you have arthritic hands, etc This approach also applies to services like health insurance – making one ask questions that help assess what one really needs.

    We have often bought products which may not be at the top of their recommended list (although usually close to the top) but have always found the “things to consider” of enormous help. It helps us know what to look for when shopping.

    BTW we have bought Aldi items before and found them good value – but don’t expect spare parts or a local service agent to come out to fix a problem. They are great for more minor purchases but caution should be used if considering larger appliances, unless they offer local servicing. And, of course, not everyone has an Aldi close by (such as here in Nth Qld).

    I thoroughly recommend CHOICE (and, no, I don’t work there!) but you do not have to subscribe to get a lot of their advice – this is free on their web site http://www.choice.com.au. A subscription is only needed if you want detailed reports.



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