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Saving for retirement based on guesswork

Over half of Kiwis are basing their retirement savings on pure guesswork without any professional support to ensure they and their families have the money they will need for their retirement years.

Monday, October 16th 2006, 7:21AM
The figures, from an AMP survey, show that 54% of Kiwis are assessing the funds they will require in their later years based on ‘back of envelope’ calculations and advice from (often unqualified) friends and family.

The results show that just 21% of Kiwis are seeking professional help solely from financial advisers, accountants or from need calculators.

A further 20% of respondents said they relied on both professional and personal sources for their advice.

“To think that over half of Kiwis are basing their retirement savings plan on such haphazard estimations is really quite alarming,” AMP general manager savings and investments Roger Perry says.

“While the data does not tell us the accuracy of those so-called ‘back of envelope’ calculations or any of the investment decisions that may be made from them, it just reinforces the need for further education on the importance of saving for retirement in this country.

Otherwise, that 54% is running the risk of a huge shock come retirement.”

The data showed that those people who drew upon both professional and personal input for their calculations of retirement saving tended to have a well diversified portfolio.

“Clearly those who add professional advice into the mix, adopt a more diversified approach to investing, which as a general rule spreads the risk and is more likely to deliver better long-term investment performance," he said.

Of those who exclusively drew on professional advice for their retirement savings plan, this group was less confident about the availability of government pensions when they retire, (just 12% compared with 30% overall), have lower expectations of what they can do in their retirement regarding holidays/travel (64% compared with 81% overall), fewer expectations of recreation/leisure pursuits upon retiring (59% versus 79%) or replacing household appliances (55% versus 76%).

« Site for pension discussion launchedSecond survey shows drop in KiwiSaver awareness »

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