Adding up retirement: phwealth

Retirement is inevitable for all of us, but some are more prepared than others.

The latest retirement expenditure report predicts that a couple living in Christchurch City will need $809,000 over and above NZ Super to live a retirement with “choices”. The figure reduces to $511,000 for a couple living in the regions.

For a “no frills” retirement, a couple living in Christchurch City will need $195,000. In the regions they will need $75,000, over and above NZ Super.

“For many, these numbers sound scary and unachievable, others will think, yes that’s about right or some think they will need more. Everyone’s number will be different,” says Shiree Hembrow, a Financial Adviser at phwealth.

With 25 years’ experience in financial planning advice, Shiree is there to assist clients with all aspects of wealth management and financial planning – from retirement planning to estate planning, budgeting to investing.

The annual retirement expenditure guidelines are there to inform, not scare people, she says.

“NZ Super will cover your basic living costs. It is okay if you own your own home and grow your own vegetables. Currently for a couple who both qualify, the weekly rate, net of tax at the lowest rate, is $672.22 ($34,955 per year). For a single person, living alone it is $436.94 per week ($22,721
per year).”

Shiree’s advice is to plan for retirement. To young people it is to get into KiwiSaver and use this to get on the property ladder as soon as possible, and then to use their KiwiSaver to help fund retirement.

“KiwiSaver has been around for almost 15 years and should make a difference to additional savings available in people’s retirement,” she says. “Generally, we are living longer and could be in retirement for 30 plus years. The principle of saving a little every month for a very long time is a great way to build wealth to protect your lifestyle in your retirement.”

Shiree’s tips:

  • Think of what you will need during retirement.
  • Start with a budget – a great information tool – and think about how much you will need in your 60s, 70s, and 80s and beyond.
  • Owning your own home will mean that, later in retirement, you can downsize and free up more capital to live on.
  • If you want more “choices”, the earlier you start to plan, the easier it will be to secure the lifestyle you envisage for yourself in retirement.

Call Shiree on 03 288 0499 or 027 289 1563, or email her at

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