Most retired Kiwis over the age of 65 get their income from two main sources - a pension from the government, called New Zealand Superannuation (NZ Super), and their own private savings.
New rates for NZ Super came into effect on 1 April. The new maximum after tax rate for couples (where both partners qualify) is now $22,870 a year. And the single (living alone) rate is $14,865 a year. Would that be enough for you to live on? If not, do you have a savings plan in place?
One of the easiest ways to save for your retirement is through a workplace savings scheme like KiwiSaver. The money comes out of your pay before you see it, so you’re not tempted to spend it on living for today.
With KiwiSaver, you can save 4% or 8% of your salary or wages. And from 1 April employers now make a contribution as well – starting at a minimum of 1% of your gross salary and increasing to 4% by April 2011.
If you can afford it, and you don’t mind the funds being locked in until you’re 65, or older, then KiwiSaver could be an easy way to save for your retirement. But it’s not the only savings option and it may not be right for you. For help making an informed decision about whether or not to join KiwiSaver, visit the Sorted website at www.sorted.org.nz
Of course, you may have some other ideas in mind. Your strategy may be to put all your money into your mortgage and down-size your home before retirement. Saving may also not be the best option for you at the moment – for example, you may have high interest debt you want to pay off first. However, at some stage, saving is likely to be an important part of your plan.
To find out more, visit the Retirement Commission’s website www.sorted.org.nz
– your independent money guide. It’s packed with free information, tools and calculators to help you plan for retirement and manage your money throughout life.
If you are already in or nearing retirement, you can also visit Sorted’s 60plus section (located under the ‘Life Stages’ tab). Or you can order a copy of the Retirement Commission’s free booklet ‘Your Money in Retirement’ from the site at www.sorted.org.nz/sorted-print