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Most Kiwis unclear about their retirement finances - survey

Most Kiwis unclear about their retirement finances - survey

We might be looking forward to a whole lot more leisure, spending time with family or travelling the world, but most of us have no idea what our retirement will cost.

A Nielsen survey, commissioned by the Retirement Commission, found 84% of 45 to 59 year olds didn’t know how much NZ Super a single person living alone would receive. And 81% didn’t know how much a couple aged 65 or older would receive.

The survey also found 42% hadn’t calculated how much money they need to save for retirement.

Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan says the lack of knowledge about NZ Super indicates people are not thinking enough about how they will manage when they stop working.

“Almost all Kiwis are entitled to NZ Super at 65 but many of us don’t really know how much we will receive. What’s interesting is that the group we surveyed is not very far from retirement, yet a large number didn’t have a financial plan or any knowledge of how much money they would receive on NZ Super.”

Ms Crossan says around 40% of today’s retirees live on NZ Super alone; $333 per week for singles living by themselves and $511 for a couple. Another 20% live on NZ Super and approximately another $100 a week of other income. She says Kiwis need to be aware of current NZ Super rates so they can work out how much money they will need to afford the retirement they would like.

“Our population is ageing rapidly and in 20 years time one in every five of us will be over 65. We are all getting closer to retirement so we need to start thinking about preparing ourselves financially”.

This year will see the first baby boomers (40,000 people) turning 65. In 10 years time 52,000 people will turn 65.

“Most of us look forward to our retirement because we see it as a time to enjoy the things we love, like our hobbies, travel and spending more time with family and friends. But to really make the most of it you need all the facts and a plan – it’s never too late to start to save,” Ms Crossan says.

About the research

Neilsen surveyed 400 New Zealanders aged 45 to 59. Respondents were asked;

Have you started to plan financially for your retirement, that is have you worked out how much money you will need to have saved when you retire? Y/N
Please indicate what you think a single person living alone aged 65 or older might receive each week on NZ Super (prompted list of ranges provided)
Please indicate what you think a couple aged 65 or older might receive each week on NZ Super (prompted list of ranges provided)

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