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Stopping with Work? What Next?

Retirement planning

Have you ever stopped to consider what you’d like to do when you stop working? And if you want to stop reading because retirement seems so far down the track it’s not worth thinking about yet, think again. It’s when it seems so far away that it’s the perfect time to start planning for it.

Maybe you like the idea of just putting your feet up and relaxing, or perhaps an active lifestyle is more your thing. Whichever it is, it helps to start laying the financial groundwork as early as possible.

Travelling overseas is high on many retirees’ wish list. When you’re no longer bound by four weeks’ annual leave, you have time to explore the world at your leisure. Back in 1999, around one-third of Kiwis aged 65-69 took a short trip overseas (Khawaja, 1999) and we wouldn’t be surprised to hear that figure has risen since then. But will you have the funds to take you where you want to go?

Aside from travelling, maybe you want to spend more time gardening or golfing? Or take up another hobby? Retirement is often the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with your favourite pastime or develop a new one.

At this moment in time, you might not be sure exactly what you want to do so think instead about how comfortable you’d like to be. How do you envisage your life? Ask yourself questions such as whether you want to remain in the family home. Downsizing can have its financial advantages. Do you want to move from city to country or vice versa?

To live comfortably in retirement, a study from Massey University suggests that a couple would need to have around NZ$400,000 in savings. These Retirement Expenditure Guidelines also suggests that many retirees experience a significant superannuation shortfall so having additional funding will certainly add to your level of comfort.

The next thing to consider is when would you like to retire? What is the appropriate age to retire? Some suggest the best time is when you can fully support yourself financially.

With our aging population, we are working longer, but we are also living longer. In a study about the employment and transitions of New Zealanders aged in their 60s, NZ Stats reported: “Overall, most people did not stop working at their 65th birthday: rather, they stopped working at a wide range of ages.” Many also transitioned from full-time to part-time work prior to retiring fully.

If you want to choose when you retire and how comfortably you’ll be able to live, then take control and do what you can to prepare yourself financially for the time when you are no longer working in paid employment.

How we can help

At NZ Advice Group, our Authorised Financial Advisers, Reagan and Stacey, like to help you set and reach your savings goals. To discuss a plan for your retirement or to ask questions about KiwiSaver, give Stacey a call on 027 538 1018, 0800 230 235 or email her at

You might also like to read:

When Should You Start Saving for Retirement?

Life Expectancy in New Zealand