Making your retirement planning work – at 55 and over

Successful retirement planning is a key part of being prepared for life after work. The comforting news is, it’s never too late to take action. Of course, the later you start in life, the more challenging it is to support the lifestyle that you want.

If you’re over 55, and belong to KiwiSaver or have your own business, there are ways to give your nest egg a helping hand – and get the most out of your savings after retirement.

How close are you to retiring?

Effectively managing your KiwiSaver is always important, regardless of your age. But depending on your risk appetite, and how close you are to your last day of work, your decisions in terms of risks and returns can vary.

Bear in mind that the closer you are, the lesser time you have to weather the ups and downs of the market. If you’re set to access your KiwiSaver money within the next 10 years, then lower-risk funds may be your best option – unless you’re willing to take a higher financial risk (and potentially higher losses) in the hope of a bigger and quicker return.

Regular income or lump sum?

According to a recent global report, New Zealand’s pension system is among the world’s top 10. But there’s room for improvement – for example, by increasing the focus on getting an income from retirement savings rather than a lump sum.

This is certainly a valid point. Managing your nest egg so that it lasts can be challenging, and definitely takes advanced planning. If securing a regular income works best for you and your long-term needs, keep in mind that KiwiSaver can help you. Although funds can be accessed after the age of 65, there’s no obligation to withdraw all of your savings in one go. You can stay in KiwiSaver for as long as you like, and draw your funds gradually over time.

And if you’re a business owner…

Your business is one of your biggest assets, and something you’ve worked hard to build. Have you thought about what will happen to it when you retire? Would you close it, sell it or pass it on to your family? Whatever the future you’re envisioning, it may be time to draft a strategic business plan and discuss it with all parties involved. Once again, you might want to retain some ownership and continue to receive part of the earnings, or you may go the way of selling it entirely and take home a lump sum.

Get some help from the experts

As KiwiSaver experts, we can help you plan for your retirement and work out with you how your savings will fund it. Don’t forget that having an expert in your corner can make all the difference, whatever the life stage you’re at.

And on this note, if you (or anyone you know) are keen to make KiwiSaver work for your needs, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Please note: This article offers generic advice rather than personalised advice and should not be relied upon as personalised advice.

An Adviser Disclosure Statement is available free and upon request.