Tamsyn Parker 's Opinion

Money Editor for NZ Herald

Tamsyn Parker: What would make you take on more risk?

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Car parks are notorious places for having accidents. Photo/Richard Robinson.
Car parks are notorious places for having accidents. Photo/Richard Robinson.

Kiwis seem to be a conservative lot when it comes to money so it's probably no surprise that a lot of people are in conservative funds for KiwiSaver.

Sure there are those people that get put in a conservative default fund when they start a new job and are auto-enrolled in the scheme but a large number have also chosen the lower risk option.

Just look at ASB Bank's conservative default scheme which is the largest single scheme in the market.

But as adverse as we are to taking risks with our money evidence shows that over a longer time frame, such as more than 10 years, it pays to take on more risk.

Over 40 years of saving for retirement that extra risk taking can add up to a lot of extra returns and a lot more lifestyle choices in our golden years.

The Government has left it up to KiwiSaver providers to convince those in conservative funds to consider taking on more risk with all default providers now required to provide some form of financial literacy.

But another option being proposed by industry group the Financial Services Council is for savers to take out insurance to protect themselves against a big drop in their balance before taking the money out either to buy their first home or for retirement.

Mary Holm explores this proposal in her column this week and points out alternative ways to protect against financial downsides.

Are you still hanging out in a conservative KiwiSaver fund despite having decades until retirement?

What would convince you to move?

INSURANCE PITFALLS
Most of us see car insurance as a necessary evil.

I've been paying for car insurance for close to 15 years and have yet to make a claim.

But I still pay up every year in fear of that accident which could see my car written off or, let's face it, someone else's much more expensive car wiped out by me.

Diana Clement explains the pitfalls of misleading your insurer this week in her piece and the importance of checking the policy details.

It's worth checking out the comments as well with readers responses ranging from the view that insurance companies are just "banksters" to those who blame people who lie to their insurance companies for pushing up the costs for everyone else.

UK PENSION TRANSFER
When I was working in the UK during my OE saving for retirement was probably the last thing on my mind.

I was more concerned about paying for my next trip to Europe and paying for rent.

But that was before KiwiSaver was launched and people had the option of transferring money from a UK pension back home.

Plenty of employers in the UK offer access to company pensions and if they are prepared to put some money in you may as well make the most of it.

It could come in handy if you end up staying in the UK more permanently or it could help boost your nest egg on return to New Zealand.

But as Helen Twose's KiwiSaver Q&A explains this week transferring the money is not necessarily a simple decision and there are costs involved.

- 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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