Top Up Your Retirement Savings

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Now is a good time to be thinking about whether you are putting enough aside for your retirement. A review of your long term plans should be done on an annual basis and June is a good month for two reasons; firstly because it is too wet and cold outside to be doing anything more interesting and secondly because you should make sure you have put enough into your KiwiSaver fund to get the maximum Government tax credit. If you are self employed, working part time, or a low income earner, you might find your contributions for the year are less than $1,040. This means you will not receive the maximum tax credit of $1,040 as it is a matched credit. You can check what your contributions have been with your KiwiSaver provider and if there is a shortfall it is simply a matter of making a lump sum deposit into your fund. Your KiwiSaver provider will tell you how best to do this and it needs to be done well before 30 June to allow time for processing. If you have joined KiwiSaver part way through the year or turned 18 during the year, you are only eligible for part of the tax credit.

Retirement savings are not just about KiwiSaver, however. Depending on your goals, you may need to supplement your savings with other investments. There is a great retirement calculator at www.sorted.org.nz which will give you guidance on how much you should be saving. You will need to think about the age at which you would like to have the choice of not working, and how much income you will need over and above NZ Superannuation to pay for extras such as home maintenance, replacing your car, travel and other things you may wish to do in retirement.

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