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Kiwisaver (longish)

July 3rd, 2007 at 09:04 pm

Kiwisaver is the name of the new retirement savings scheme launched by the Govt on the 1st of this month. I have been checking out info, and it seems worth joining. You can contribute up to 8% of your earnings, with up to 4% employer match, plus an initial boost of $1000 from the govt, and tax credits of up to $1040. Slightly more complex than letting it grow tax free, which would be my preference, but nothing is perfect in this world. Of course it would be perfect if I ruled it!!!

There is a range of approved schemes you can choose from; I picked one up from my bank this morning, which offers 5 funds, from conservative (mainly fixed interest investments) to aggressive growth (nearly 100% shares). The management fees are reasonable, around 1% in total, and investors who itemise claims can get reimbursement. I already have some retirement savings in a private scheme which is a growth fund, but now I'm in -erm, "late youth" - maybe I should look at starting a balanced fund. You can get an age appropriate scheme which will transfer you based on your expected retirement date, but there is a transfer fee. Still got to consider whether saving that is penny wise, dollar foolish. Also, all I have heard so far seems to be based on someone working a regular job for a single employer. Don't know where that leaves self-employed, freelancers and temps - much of my past working life was spent on short term projects, which is why I had to be careful to put a portion of all I earned in a private scheme.

It amazes me how many people seem to be so resistant to putting anything into Kiwisaver. There seems to be a feeling of "this is just another ploy cooked up by the govt and the big money interests to rip us off." Well, maybe it's not so generous as people expected, but if you put nothing into it, then you'll find what you get from the govt at retirement isn't very generous either - and you will have ripped yourself off. It is mostly the lower earning people who argue this way, the higher earning people are quite keen to join, and if they object, it's becuase they have other ways of investing their money, or they project earlier retiremnt and don't want to tie up their savings until they're 65.

The other big argument, of course, is I can't afford it. I have 2 friends who smoke; one is earning a low income but is doing his level best to quit so he can save money. The other argues that the pleasure she gets from it is worth "only" $18 a week, and anyway she has a high earning husband who she's sure will look after their retirement. That $18 a week invested in Kiwisaver would come to around $100,000 by retirement. Meanwhile she continues to buy clothes and lunch out whenever she wants - then complains she "has" to work at a cr@p parttime job in order to support her family. Her lack of logic drives me crazy, but maybe I'm a smallminded person - was it Emerson who said consistency is a hobgoblin of little minds?

In the meantime I'll be a patriotic Kiwi - so glad our govt isn't telling us we should spend more for the good of the country.

1 Responses to “Kiwisaver (longish)”

  1. Liza Says:

    Hi Tina,

    I came across your blog from NCN Blogs and is really glad to know about this Kiwisaver policy. Your friend Linda is quiet right in US most of the people are spoiled. Anyways I would like to recommend your site to my community for review. Please mail me at your response.


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