An open letter to your sons and daughters!

Its 7 years since Kaspanz launched as a consumer retirement income information site and as an aging owl that has been around the traps, here are my pearls of wisdom.KiwiSaver - Wise Owl

They are my opinions, not investment advice, just specific enough to be useful to all as a guide to financial choices!

  •  Be mortgage free prior to 60 years of age. Pay of that mortgage as quickly as dollars allow, paying off the mortgage, should be your primary savings approach.
  • Join Kiwi Saver, a low fee passive fund like Simplicity Investment Funds, making sure you pay enough to gain the annual Government Contribution $521.43, and in most cases chose a balanced or growth scheme. If your employer offers a subsidised Superannuation scheme, grab it, and the maximum contribution allowed.
  • Have some cash on call, earning some interest daily, an example would be Rabobank NZ or Heartland Bank cash accounts.
  • Don’t accumulate credit card debt. Pay all bills prior to any interest being accrued. If you cannot do that, chop up all credit cards you have, only use one card, and make sure it’s a low interest charge card. An example would be Low interest Westpac Master Card, or Low interest Kiwi Bank Visa card.
  • If an inheritance or lump sum comes your way, consider an annuity e.g. Life time Income for some of the money, put most on term deposit, the remainder in managed funds. Examples would be Harbour Income fund, Simplicity Balanced fund. Remember if the dollar return on any scheme seems too attractive, it probably is and avoid.
  • Remember universal NZ Superannuation is probably the best superannuation model around, and be very cautious, and challenge the assumptions of commentators wishing to make major changes. No attractive alternative system to the current has emerged, and it provides “a safety net” from the age of 65, has always been very beneficial for women (not linked to men’s work) and the less educated, whom generally have the least disposable income, and cannot afford to try and camouflage their true income.KASPANZ - be a wise owl!

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