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The latest personal finance and investment news and views from Liz Koh

Liz koh

In Pursuit of Wellbeing

  The Government declared some time ago that the focus for this year’s budget is wellbeing. Increasing the wellbeing of New Zealanders is a very laudable aim and indeed, there is a noticeable global trend at a country and an individual level for the pursuit of wellbeing to take precedence over the pursuit of economic growth and wealth creation. People want balance, fairness, equity and happiness. The wellbeing of...


Advice for Single Women

  Being single is a status most women experience at some stage of life. Relationships are more fluid and marriage is often delayed or doesn’t occur at all. Then there is the prospect of relationship endings or death of a partner. Now, more than ever, it is important for women to take charge of their financial affairs and indeed, this is what they are doing. Perceptions of women being useless with money are being ...


Top Five Money Mistakes

  There is nothing worse than carrying on through life and suddenly finding that for some years you have been making some basic mistakes in managing your money that have cost you thousands of dollars. Here are the top five mistakes to avoid: Spending everything you earn. Spending everything you earn now leaves you vulnerable to changes in your income and potentially unable to achieve significant and important ...


KiwiSaver for Over 65s

There is good news for those over the age of 65. From 1 July this year, being over 65 will not be a barrier to joining KiwiSaver, and anybody who has previously closed their KiwiSaver account will be able to join again. It makes a lot of sense to make this change, as more people are looking upon KiwiSaver as a long-term retirement solution, and it would be unfair to exclude anyone based on age. KiwiSaver can be used as ...


The Retirement Income Gap

  The latest Retirement Expenditure Guidelines report published by Massey University paints a sobering picture. Using data from the Department of Statistics, the report looks at spending in retiree households and found that of the households considered, all are spending more than NZ Superannuation. How much more depends on where you live and how frugal or extravagant your lifestyle is. A two-person household living...


KiwiSaver Changes Bring New Options

KiwiSaver members now have a wider choice of contribution options. As of 1 April, you can put in 6% or 10% of your pay as well as choosing from the current options of 3%, 4% and 8%. There are good reasons why you could consider increasing your percentage contribution. If you work part time and your earnings are low, you may need to increase your contribution rate to 10% to ensure that you put at least $1,042 into your KiwiSa...


Cash Out Options for Insurance

  Taking out whole of life or endowment insurance policies was a popular way of saving and investing prior to the evolution of the managed funds industry. Because the premiums were typically not inflation-adjusted, the value of the policies has not kept up with inflation. What seemed like a very high insured value decades ago, enough to retire on even, is now only enough to pay for a decent funeral and perh...


How Much Money Do You Need To Retire?

Ask Google how much money you need to retire and you will get a whole range of answers that will leave you none the wiser. That’s because the answer to the question is different for everybody. There really is no ‘one size fits all’ amount that will give you a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. There is a range of different factors that will influence how much you need: What kind of lifestyle you want. Some peopl...


Second Timers in Retirement

Reaching retirement as a second time around couple can present a number of tricky issues. Planning how to manage money in retirement is complicated enough for any couple, but throwing relationship property issues into the mix makes it even more so. The key issues for retiring second timers are: Should finances be managed separately or jointly and what are the implications? How should financial inequality be dealt wi...


Dealing with Market Ups and Downs

Investors in shares or diversified funds such as KiwiSaver are on a rollercoaster ride. The best strategy for dealing with volatility depends on your financial goals and whether you are still building your wealth or using it to fund your retirement. For wealth accumulators, market volatility is more of an opportunity than a threat. Regular contributions into KiwiSaver and other investments when markets are moving up and ...


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