Tamsyn Parker 's Opinion

Money Editor for NZ Herald

Tamsyn Parker: How will you spend your nest egg?

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The average KiwiSaver account balance of $9300 won't stretch far over a 25 year retirement. Photo/ Mark Coote, Bloomberg.
The average KiwiSaver account balance of $9300 won't stretch far over a 25 year retirement. Photo/ Mark Coote, Bloomberg.

Helen Twose's KiwiSaver Q&A has some very practical advice on the options available to those who turn 65 and can access their KiwiSaver money this week.

Depending on your provider you can leave it in, take all or some of it out or take a regular payments option.

But the real question remains - if you do take the money out what should you do with it?

Research released by FundSource this week revealed the average balance held in KiwiSaver accounts is now around $9300.

That's not going to go very far in retirement, especially if you live for 20 to 25 years past finishing work.

It's easy to see why some are being tempted just to spend their money on a holiday, new car or boat.

Not many financial advisers will be keen to provide advice on where to put less than $10,000.

The message to save for retirement is definitely getting through - more than half of Kiwis have now signed up to KiwiSaver but there's a cliff at the end where people are being left to their own devices.

You've turned 65, here's your money, good luck with that.

How will you decide what to do with your money?

Business investment better than property?
When Diana Clement wrote a piece several weeks ago about two young people who had ventured successfully into property investment she received criticism for encouraging people to put money into a non-productive sector.

Readers suggested investing in a business would be a much better proposition.

But the nay-sayers have swung the other way this week in response to her piece on good business blowing property out of the water.

Brokers have suggested investing in a business could return 25 to 30 per cent a year - much higher than the yield on an investment property.

But readers have questioned the likelihood of that kind of return in business and many - some of whom are business-owners as well - say property is more likely to do better and is less hands-on than running a business.

KiwiSaver and capital gains tax
As the election creeps ever closer the scaremongering around different parties' policies is reaching new highs.

One that has been doing the rounds of late is fear that Labour's proposed capital gains tax will hit KiwiSavers when they take their money out.

That is definitely not the case as Mary Holm points out in her column this week.

If you are worried about how different political parties could change KiwiSaver if voted in keep an eye on the Your Money section over the coming weeks as we cover what their plans are.

If you have any money questions or burning topics you want to know more about please let us know.

Email tamsyn.parker@nzherald.co.nz.

- NZ Herald

Tamsyn Parker

Money Editor for NZ Herald

Tamsyn Parker is the NZ Herald's Money Editor. A business journalist for ten years, she has worked in the UK and NZ for the New Zealand Herald, the National Business Review and a specialist publication on investment products for financial advisors. She is passionate about helping readers learn more about to make their money work for them.

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