Prepare to Retire

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A quarter of those in retirement say they don’t have the money to do the things they want. Another quarter say they have enough to do everything they want and the rest, around a half, are able to do only some of what they want. These are the grim findings of a recent survey of people over the age of 50 done as a joint project by the Financial Markets Authority and the Commission for Financial Capability.

Nearly half of those nearing retirement don’t have a financial plan for their retirement and only a quarter have thought deeply about the sort of retirement lifestyle they want. A minority of people have calculated their desired income and required expenditure and how much they need to save to top up their income from NZ Superannuation.

Key factors that get overlooked are housing costs and the impact of health on retirement.  Changes in health status can lead to additional medical costs as well as impacting on the ability to work and be active. Around 20% of people are likely to be paying rent or a mortgage in retirement and yet only a few of these people have considered what these costs might be and how they will find the income to cover them.

Of concern also is the conservative approach to investment in the over 50 age group, with bank deposits and residential property being the investments of choice. Only a quarter of those surveyed planned to invest in shares or managed funds. There was a high correlation between those who had more thoroughly planned for their retirement and those who were prepared to invest in medium and high risk investments.

There is no excuse for lack of preparation. Do your retirement plan through the Commission’s Sorted website and/or see a financial adviser.

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