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

Image: MaxPixel
Image: MaxPixel

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.

Speaking of tea, have you ever thought about the cost of groceries over a 30-year retirement? The Commission for Financial Capability (NZ) has estimated that during this time, a couple will spend:

Some of us would be affected by the changes more than others, but essentially the same story still goes for all: we should be doing all we can, as early as we can, to plan for our retirement. Here are some ways to make your money work harder for you (so you don't have to):

KiwiSaver. Covering the gap with a long term savings plan like KiwiSaver is a sensible way of ensuring you can afford the type of lifestyle you want in retirement.

Diversify. Investing some of your money in assets that grow over time, like shares and property will ensure your capital grows in value to keep pace with your income needs.

Pay off your mortgage. As part of your overall plan try to pay off your mortgage before retirement. (some tips here)

Get rid of outstanding debt. Clear your credit card, car or personal loans as quickly as possible. This kind of high interest debt is a burden you can afford to live without in retirement.

Budget. One of the easiest ways to make your money last longer is to watch your spending. Plan a realistic budget to help you save for special occasions and keep your expenses in check.

Keep working. New Zealand doesn't have an official 'retirement age'. NZ Super is payable from age 65 – 67 but you don't have to stop working to get it. By continuing to work, even if it's part time, you can leave your savings untouched for longer.

Above all plan for the long term, not just the next five years. Seek financial advice, manage your spending, take advantage of your entitlements and diversify your investments for a happy, healthy retirement. If you'd like to learn more about your mortgage, investment or KiwiSaver options, contact us to arrange a chat with an adviser.


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