Two Questions Every Retiree Must Ask

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With a bit of luck and hard work, you will arrive at retirement with a pot of money to supplement your income from NZ Superannuation and allow you to live comfortably. The problem is, so many uncertainties lie ahead. How long will you live? How much money will you need? What will your investment returns be? Where should you invest your money?

The most conservative approach to take is to assume you will live until at least ninety, as the average life expectancy for sixty year olds is about thirty years for women while men are catching up fast.

Having set your time frame, there are two very important questions which you must ask in order to know what to do with your pot of money.

  1. Who is going to spend my money? As they say, you can’t take it with you, so there are only three choices here. You and your partner can spend it during your lifetimes. Your children, grandchildren or other family members can spend it. Alternatively, you can leave it to someone outside your family, such as a charity, to spend. Divide your pot of money amongst these three groups of spenders.
  2. When is it going to be spent? Your investment strategy needs to be matched to your investment time frame. For each group of spenders, break down their pot of money into three time frames: the first five years of retirement, the next five years after that, and the remainder (ten years or more after retirement). Bequests to family members are charities will occur on death, however you may wish to make gifts or donations during your lifetime.

Now that you have the amounts and time frames, you can invest accordingly and use up each amount during the time frame allocated to it.

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