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This is Michelle's story

This is Michelle's story. Her life changed suddenly when she was diagnosed with cancer. But as Michelle puts it "one thing this cancer will never do, is get me off my horse". Don't miss this truly inspirational story on how being well planned made the difference for Michelle and how she is making the most of her life....

July 19, 2017

Kids and money - activities and lessons for every age

Kids can start learning the concept of spending and saving from as little as 3 years old, and a study by the University of Cambridge shows money habits start to be formed by age 7. Money makes the world go around, but how much do our little ones know about the concept of money, and what are some fun ways to teach them that it doesn’t grow on trees? 3-5 years Pretend to spend – set up a make-believe restaurant or store at home. Give them a set amount of pretend money and create scenarios, s...

July 14, 2017

You think saving is boring? You’re right

So why do we find saving so hard, if we know it’s good for us? Instant gratification – that’s the simple answer. We want things now and we aren’t prepared to wait. And these days, with credit cards, deferred payment plans and loans you don’t necessarily have to wait.  Our brains are hardwired to look for the immediate pleasure of buying now. And any longer-term thoughts of “I need to save for my retirement” get pushed to the back of our minds.  After all, the here and now...

July 4, 2017

The changing face of KiwiSaver: What it means for you

Happy birthday, KiwiSaver! With the scheme having been in action for a decade now, we take a quick look at what’s changed, and what it means for you (and your retirement fund). It’s kind of a big deal… With KiwiSavers now having contributed for up to 10 years, there’s an increasing number of significant funds and retirees are beginning to reap the benefits of saving, investment and compound interest. With KiwiSaver contributing more and more to Kiwi’s wealth, the management and ...

June 30, 2017

Your mid-year mortgage check-up: 5 questions to ask yourself

Beach holidays and summer BBQs seem a distant memory now and suddenly we're half-way through the year. So, chances are it's been 6 months since you made financial plans or goals, and some may have fallen by the wayside. What were your financial goals for this year? Did you want to review your interest rates? Pay off your credit cards/reduce your short-term debt? Make a plan to pay off your mortgage faster? How much have you managed to achieve so far this year? If it's not as much as you had...

June 22, 2017

Are you buying more than you can afford?

According to the AA, up to 70 per cent of all vehicles sold in New Zealand are bought with some kind of financing attached. Currently car/personal loan rates vary between 9.99 and 19.50 per cent interest through a bank or credit union. But it's easy to end up paying up to 27 per cent through car yard finance. At the same time, cars can depreciate up to 20% per year. So is a good idea to pay for a high interest rate over the next 2 years to end up with a car that's worth a lot less? In her ar...

June 21, 2017

Do you need to top up your KiwiSaver to get your free $521?

For every dollar you put into your KiwiSaver account, the Government puts in 50c, up to a maximum of $521.43 each year - this is effectively free money for KiwiSaver members. If you have been contributing to KiwiSaver for at least one year through your employer at the 3% rate and you earn over $34,766 per annum, your contributions will meet the minimum requirement to qualify for the full tax credit. If you are not quite sure if you have contributed enough, we've put together this handy ca...

June 7, 2017

DO YOU GET LANDED WITH THE DEBT IF YOUR BUSINESS PARTNER CAN’T WORK?

By Greg Hahn – Apex Financial Adviser. It's common practice to insure your business assets – premises, machinery, computers. These are all seen as integral parts of a functioning business and important to its smooth running. But have you considered what effect the loss of a key staff or business partner member might have? Could losing them be just as devastating as losing that integral piece of equipment? In 2008, it was estimated that 1,880 businesses in New Zealand ceased operation ...

June 1, 2017

So it's impossible to buy a house in this market? We've got some ideas

There's been a lot of news lately around the struggles of today's property market, particularly for first home buyers. Our opinion? It's hard, but it's not impossible. Instead of waging a war between the generations, we wanted to come up with a scenario showing one way you can make home ownership happen....

May 31, 2017

Economic update - May 2017

Introduction Solid global economic growth is expected in 2017. However, political uncertainties could create turbulence and any expectations of further economic stimulus may be optimistic. Improving economic growth will generally support equities and challenge bonds, because this growth is now more "traditional" in nature, i.e. it arises from better employment and demand, thus allowing prices and potentially profits to rise, rather than the ultra-loose monetary policies of recent years. Un...

May 30, 2017

Why stay-at-home parents need insurance too

It's a big job (and an important one at that!) but as a stay-at-home parent with a zero-rated income it can be easy to under value your financial contribution. When it comes to life insurance, it seems obvious to insure the bread winner of a household, but it might be worth considering the financial impact of replacing all the work a stay-at-home parent does, should the worst ever happen. When attempting to calculate this figure, there's plenty of articles which estimate value based on co...

May 24, 2017

What will $1,000,000 buy you around the world?

With the average property price in Auckland having surpassed the million dollar mark, we thought for a bit of fun we'd shop around the world to see what $1,000,000 could get you... SYDNEY...

May 11, 2017

This is why we do what we do

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May 9, 2017

Retirement - can you afford it without a house?

With home ownership rates decreasing in New Zealand, renting in retirement is fast becoming a reality for a growing number of future retirees. The retirement plans of past generations, which generally included having paid off a house, are no longer going to apply for all. Since superannuation payments only just cover the basics (not including rent), it's time to start thinking of alternative paths to a comfortable retirement. You'll find a few good ideas in the article below, or get in touch wit...

April 28, 2017

6 vital things to get done before retirement

Even if retirement is years away, here are 6 crucial things you need to do to make the most of your retirement years. Take care of the big-ticket items – Have you been postponing some repair work around home, scared to even think about how much it is going to cost you? Now imagine how much that could hurt your wallet if you are not working. You might be able to live with an out-of-date bathroom, for example, but if your roof need repairing, get it done before you are on a retirement budget....

April 26, 2017

Golden rules to a smart mortgage

Have a strategy. Our home is often our most valuable asset, so it certainly makes sense to keep our home loan in check. Having a plan around repayment timeframes and amounts, loan terms, forecasted life events and property changes means you're in a better position to make smart decisions. Smart decisions when it comes to your home loan can potentially save thousands of dollars and years off your mortgage. Aim to minimise interest costs. Interest costs over a long-term mortgage can be staggering...

April 20, 2017

Don’t add more grief – Have a Will

Kiwis are optimistic by nature, but life surely knows how to throw a curve ball. Although we don't like thinking about it, we could, put simply, die before our time. Not much we can do about that. We can, however, get things sorted financially. If you own a house, have life insurance, are a KiwiSaver member or have a savings account – it is best to decide who should get all the things you have worked hard for. If not, the law will decide for you. Who gets what if you don't have a Will?...

April 11, 2017

KiwiSaver: Why we need to treat it as an investment fund rather than a savings account

KiwiSaver – over 2.6 million of us have joined, and it's easy to assume we're on track to a comfortable retirement simply because we're signed up. We're putting away our hard-earned money and trusting someone to invest it wisely on our behalf so it's important we treat it as an investment fund rather than just a savings account. There are a few simple ways to ensure your KiwiSaver is getting the best returns, and ultimately earning more dollars for your future self. Choose the right fund ...

April 6, 2017

Moments of truth

As financial advisers, we know that claiming on your insurance is a moment of truth. This is the reason why we recommended you take out an insurance policy, to cover your loved one should the unexpected happen. And, unfortunately, it does happen. A lot of the work we do is assisting our clients throughout the claims process. We know that although you are going through a tough time, at least you'll have financial security, and your family will not have to wonder whether they will be able to pay ...

March 29, 2017

Help for first home buyers: Welcome Home Loan

Getting on the housing ladder is tough. For many people, finding the 20% deposit for your first home is a huge challenge. To help assist first home buyers to overcome this hurdle, Housing New Zealand underwrite a product that allows people to purchase their first home with a 10% deposit....

March 23, 2017

Planning for Retirement: Making your money work (so you don't have to)

With proposed changes to Superannuation policy, it's as timely as ever to assess your situation and check whether you're financially on track to a comfortable retirement. Whether you have dreams of cruising the Mediterranean or living the simple life, free of work (but with plenty of cups of tea), estimates show that NZ Super payments alone often aren't enough. Which means we need to ensure we have ways of covering the gap. ...

March 15, 2017

Apex team takes on Auckland Bike Challenge

As part of our holistic approach to financial health, the Apex Advice team hit the streets as part of the AT Auckland Bike Challenge. It was all about getting involved and encouraging others to give it a go – lycra was optional and it didn't matter if you were already a keen cyclist or just keen to bike to the local café on Sunday. ...

March 8, 2017

1 in 6 parents forced to 'ask their children for cash to fund retirement'

"One in six over-40s are concerned they will need to ask their children for financial support in retirement, a study has found. Some 16% of people in this age group with children worry they will need to ask their offspring to bail them out financially as they will not have saved enough for a comfortable retirement, insurance firm MetLife found". This is a very interesting read from www.mirror.co.uk. The article 1 in 6 parents forced to 'ask their children for cash to fund retirement' - expert t...

February 28, 2017

Did Christmas cost more than you expected?

If so, you are probably not alone. How much of that money you overspent over the holiday period went to your credit card? New Zealanders spent more than $36 billion on their credit cards in 2016. To make matters worse, Canstar estimates that about 63% of credit card spending ends up incurring interest, with an average interest rate of 19.24%. This is not a pretty picture. Not only do you end up spending plenty of money on interest, but using your credit card and not paying your bill on time...

February 20, 2017

Is self-diagnosis best?

In this digital world, most of the things we want to buy are available online. Insurance policies are no different. In New Zealand, there are a number of websites that offer customers the opportunity to compare the different types of policies and their costs. One could almost think that financial advisers who specialise in insurance could be out of a job soon. Here at Apex, we believe it is very positive for people to take charge and take an interest in their personal insurance. Being able to ...

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