Do you feel financially prepared for retirement?

3 MIN READ April 1, 2024
We all aspire to have a dignified retirement with a good quality of life, a choice of where we live and access to healthcare.


However, a recent study from the Financial Services Council New Zealand has found that many of us aren’t on track to achieve these aspirations.

The recent study “Money and You: The Perception Gap” found that 56% of New Zealanders (est. 2.3 million) aged 18 or over aren’t financially prepared for retirement, increasing to 67% among women. The reason this is so alarming is that preparing financially for retirement should start as early as possible to reach a long term savings goal.  

The study attributed the issue to the idea of a perception gap that exists between an individual’s financial confidence in making decisions and their understanding of financial concepts. The findings showed that 82% of respondents felt financially confident, however only 62% displayed a good understanding of basic financial concepts when responding to four financial trivia questions. 

One of the perception gaps they highlighted was knowing how best to invest for retirement through KiwiSaver and other investments. Understanding how you’ll feel seeing fluctuations in your balance, how long you have until you want to use your KiwiSaver (whether for a first home or retirement) and how comfortable you feel taking on risk for a chance at higher returns are all important factors when considering how to invest your KiwiSaver. Completing an online KiwiSaver Fund Finder can help get you started. 

The study also identified that the majority of respondents didn’t know how much they’d need to retire and those who thought they did the amount varied widely. A recent study by Massey University New Zealand Retirement Expenditure Guidelines identified that currently, assuming a life expectancy of 90, you’d need $197,000 saved for a “no frills” retirement and $831,000 for a “choices” retirement in a major city. These figures are in addition to the current pension payments.    

How much you contribute will impact how much you save in the long term but will depend on your income and your goals. For an employee contributing to KiwiSaver, you choose to contribute 3%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10%. The study found that 42% of New Zealanders only contribute the minimum 3%.  You can then use the KiwiSaver Calculator on our website to compare how much you could save with different contribution rates and fund types. 

So what can you do to improve your financial preparedness? 

A great place to start is speaking with a financial adviser. Consulting the experts can help you to better understand how schemes like KiwiSaver work and an adviser can provide advice and recommendations based on your situation. By understanding these ideas and the options available to you, you’ll be able to make better informed financial decisions. 

At Haven, we’re dedicated to helping our clients grow their financial confidence and wellbeing. Providing them with all the tools, advice and services they need to build a brighter future for themselves and their families.  


Money and You KiwiSaver at a Crossroads, 2023, Financial Services Council NZ

New Zealand Retirement Expenditure Guidelines, 2023, Massey University 

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