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Is NZ Super Enough To Fund A Comfortable Retirement?

New Zealand Super Isn't Enough
Close up of unrecognizable woman using calculator while going through bills and home finances.

It is no secret that New Zealand has an aging population. As medical care improves, we’re living longer – on average, 80% of Kiwi men aged 65 can expect to live until they’re 90, and women until they’re 94.

A longer life means a longer retirement, and a longer retirement means more spending. But with everyday costs becoming more expensive, many are finding New Zealand Superannuation and their retirement nest eggs are not enough.

New Zealand Super is not enough to pay for retirement

Considering the rising cost of housing and food, increases in council rates, and the low-interest rate environment for savings accounts, it can be incredibly challenging for retirees who no longer have salaried income to live a comfortable retirement on NZ Super alone. Research from the Financial Services Council shows that as at June 2020, a retiree living alone receives $873.88 fortnightly (after tax), while a couple receives $1,344.44 total.

According to the New Zealand Retirement Expenditure Guidelines, a couple wanting to live a ‘no frills’ lifestyle in a major city would need $1,670.68 per fortnight – and a couple wanting the freedom to live more comfortably with some luxuries would need $2,846.78 per fortnight.

As you can see, funding a dream retirement lifestyle is no longer possible on NZ Super alone.

Unlock an unexpected source of wealth

When it comes to managing these financial concerns, the good news is many Kiwi retirees are lucky enough to be homeowners – and house prices have increased immensely, meaning there may be some good capital gains to be had. However, many people would prefer to stay in the family home rather than sell up – and this is where equity release options, such as a reverse mortgage, can be helpful.

A reverse mortgage allows people over 60 to access some of the equity in their home, giving them the freedom to relieve financial pressure and fund a more comfortable retirement. Importantly, with a reverse mortgage you continue to own and live in your home and community for as long as you choose.

Unlike a regular mortgage, you’re not required to make repayments, as the total loan amount (including accumulated interest) is repayable when you move permanently from your home.

By unlocking some of the equity in your home without needing to make regular repayments, you could access the funds you need to cover day-to-day expenses, consolidate debt, complete home improvements, or even just go on a once in a lifetime trip you didn’t think you could afford.

Heartland has helped over 19,000 Kiwis fund a more comfortable retirement. To find out more about how a Heartland Reverse Mortgage could help you take the stress out of increased living costs, get in touch with their customer care team on 0800 488 740 or to discuss your options.


Applications are subject to loan approval criteria. Heartland Bank Limited’s responsible lending criteria, terms, conditions, fees and charges apply.