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Live to work or work to live?

Originally posted on CFFC.

Retirement. For some people, this word feels wonderful and rolls around the mouth – something we’ve been dreaming and fantasising about for some time. And yet for others, it’s something that we barely even think about – “Retirement, ha! Not me!”

Whether you’re in column A or column B is simply a matter of your own choices, your own personality, or your own circumstances. Neither choice is “better” than the other – and sometimes it’s not a choice at all.

For those who retire

motor bikeFor some, retiring at 65 (the time that NZ Super kicks in) is simply what we have been working towards all our lives. The big break, the big holiday. We take off in caravans, motorbikes and cars and traverse New Zealand with our partner, having amazing camping experiences where ever we go. We’ve saved hard to get to this point in time and we’re ready to enjoy it.

For others, retirement may not be the option we were hoping for, however, we need to as we need to care for a loved one, our job ends, or our health starts to take a toll.

And those who keep working

As a nation, we are working for longer than ever before. If you’re in that column B that we mentioned above, and not planning on retiring once you hit 65 (or 70, 80, perhaps?), then you’ll know that 65 ain’t nothing but a number.

Currently, the Commission for Financial Capability is conducting a survey regarding views towards retirement. The results as they stand so far indicate that if you don’t intend on retiring at 65, then you are certainly in the majority – 78% of respondents so far also intend on working past the age of 65!

9915-senior_workerSince our lives are getting longer and healthier, this makes sense. While the main reason that people are intending on working past 65 is due to financial reasons (51%), the other main reason is due to “value and satisfaction from work” (38%). If you aren’t planning on retiring anytime soon, which category do you belong to, or maybe both?

If you are currently still working and have concerns about the amount of money that you’ll have come retirement, then it pays to bump up personal contributions to your KiwiSaver account. Every dollar counts, no matter where you are in your savings journey.


We all retire (or don’t retire!) for various reasons. There is no right or wrong way to live your life. Whether you’re living to work or working to live, each of our journeys is different and uniquely “us”.


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