Tamsyn Parker 's Opinion

Money Editor for NZ Herald

Tamsyn Parker: Did you research your rental?

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How much research did you do before buying a rental property?
How much research did you do before buying a rental property?

Kiwis seem to love buying rental property but I wonder how many people do their homework before they buy a property?

Diana Clement's piece this week has a great overview of all the resources available to rental investors here.

Outside of your own home or maybe your KiwiSaver retirement savings a rental property could be the biggest investment you make.

There's a strong belief that property prices just go upwards but that's not always the case.

If Labour are elected into Government and introduce a capital gains tax on property it will also make investors look harder at the yield on a rental rather than what they can make in 10 years time from selling it.

Auckland's high property prices are already encouraging some Kiwis to look to other cities for better rental property yields as revealed in a Herald article here.

How much research did you do before buying a rental?

What did you find most useful?

Timely Reminder
Would you say no to the Government giving you $20,000 over your working lifetime towards your retirement savings?

I didn't think so.

Yet many people have missed out on the annual $521 contribution which the government hands out to KiwiSaver members who have put in $1043 themselves for the year to June 30.

Both Helen Twose and Mary Holm have included timely reminders in their columns this week.

While the cut-off is June 30 it pays to sort it out before then.

Check with your KiwiSaver provider to find out how much you have contributed so far and if you need to top it up to get the maximum government subsidy.

This can be paid either directly to the Inland Revenue or your KiwiSaver provider.

If you turned 18 or 65 in the last year or joined KiwiSaver in the last year check out the KiwiSaver Q&A here to find out what you might be eligible to receive.

If you can't afford to top it up in the short time frame left think about making sure you get it for the next year.

It requires putting away around $20 per week.

Myth-busting challenge
Mary Holm also makes a valiant effort to bust some of the myths surrounding KiwiSaver in her column here.

KiwiSaver has been changed quite a lot since it was first announced - some people say we are now up to version five of the retirement scheme.

But most of the changes have been well-signaled.

Labour has made it clear this week that it plans to make KiwiSaver compulsory and increase combined employee and employer contributions to 9 per cent over time.

If you missed the announcement read about the details here.

If they get voted into Government at the election this is what people can expect to happen.

The National-led government has typically announced KiwiSaver changes as part of the Budget.

That took place in May and there wasn't anything signaled.

It's not easy for the average person to understand all the ins and outs of KiwiSaver.

For many it is the first time their money has ever been invested in a managed fund so it's not surprising that people get confused about where their money is going and who is looking after it.

Then there are always those people who are conspiracy theorists who will look for a reason to believe something will go wrong.

- 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.

Read more by Tamsyn Parker

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