Magazine article New Zealand Management

Time to Retire?

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Time to Retire?

Article excerpt

Who can afford to retire these days? No use looking to universal superannuation schemes. Governments everywhere in the western world are caught between past retirement welfare promises and rapidly ageing populations and ever larger superannuation bills.

Government pay cheques in future won't deliver much beyond a contribution toward the rent, phone and grocery bills. And they won't start arriving till later in life.

Let's face it, you'll have to fund your own retirement pretty much, so here are some sites that provide investment advice, tools to assess your likely needs and some tips on how to make the retirement adjustment. A few years back the New Zealand Retirement Commission launched an advertising campaign to get more Kiwis thinking about their future retirement.

The campaign produced the Sorted website, a reasonable, albeit elementary, retirement planning site. It has an excellent layout and design and provides basic information on subjects such as managing debt, investing and retirement.

Understandably, the retirement section makes a compelling case for the need to save now to buy later. There is a "quick retirement calculator" which enables you to see just how much you should be putting aside today to retire in the style you desire tomorrow (there is a more comprehensive version of the quick calculator).

In the resources section there's an investor's "jargon buster", a look at the "law and your money", retirement research, a library, links to other related websites and other generally useful information. An excellent first stop. The Consumers' Institute of New Zealand website is another good place to kick off a search into retirement investment opportunities and services. It's especially helpful with information about some services you should steer clear of. There's also commissioned research and findings on retirement trends and realities. For any real detail however you will have to pay the annual subscription fee which, at the time of writing, was only $32.75 (usually twice this) for a limited period.

In the "kids and family" section of the site there is a retirement savings calculator, advice about relative benefits of long-term savings, trusts, annuities, company super schemes and so on. This is a an impressive little website catering largely for people in their 20s and 30s who want to get their financial matters "in form". …

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