Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Retirement Lifestyle


New Zealand's Massey University's latest Retirement Expenditure Guidelines strike me as nonsense. The message they send out is "If you don't fancy the idea of budgeting and cost-cutting in your old age, you had better get saving". They claim people living a frugal lifestyle are spending more than they get from NZ retirement benefit. NZ Super is just $374.53 per week for a single person.

The author of this report, Claire Matthews, said it was clear New Zealanders needed more than the pension to live on. A 32 year old with no savings would need to save $59 a week over the rest of their working life to achieve an acceptable amount for retirement.

First up the more elderly of today are quite familiar with budgeting and cost cutting. They grew up doing it. Secondly, the rate quoted is in the hand so all yours to spend. Third, couples get $576.20 in the hand per week. Fourth, if a 32 year old has saved nothing, I think their budgeting skills are so poor that they need help. If they cannot save anything at a time they probably had no dependants, then they have no chance of saving anything like $59 per week, ever.

I can only assume Claire is either scare mongering or doesn't know that budgeting isn't a dirty word. It can be something that brings satisfaction controlling your finances, as you learn fiscal success is more about what you spend rather than what you earn.

Of course this indulged generation coming through today have been taught they are entitled. Entitled to having their cake and eating it too. I would rather have a more simple life that is free from monetary cares than worrying for years of how I can afford a right royal retirement. There is nothing wrong hitting retirement in a strong monetary situation if that is what you achieve. However, stressing about it when you will have enough to live on - thanks to the NZ social welfare system - is bonkers.

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