How long do you think you’ll be retired?

10 years? 20? 30? Our life expectancy continues to increase.

Making your money stretch

Making your money stretch

In 1880 women’s life expectancy was 57; men’s 54.

Today’s retirees can expect to live into their 80s.

Most of our children will live into their 90s.

If you retire at 65 that’s a lot of years to fund. NZ Super will cover the basics, but if you want to have choices, you need savings.

Many of us are building those through KiwiSaver and homeownership – the idea of downsizing from the family home to a smaller place to free up cash for retirement might be an option, and we can get hold of our KiwiSaver fund at 65.

But then what?

How do we make that money stretch through the remainder of our lives?

We could blow some on a cruise and then hope for the best.

Invest the lump sum and try to live off the interest.

Figure out how to draw down a bit at a time so that our savings last as long as possible.

Or sort out a combination of all three – use some money for fun, some to invest long term, and some to pay the bills day to day.

And then there are things called reverse mortgages – what are they, and are they a good idea?

There doesn’t seem to be much advice on any of this, and as the KiwiSaver balances of retirees get bigger the longer the scheme is in place, there’s the added risk of retirees becoming a target for scammers trying to steal their nest eggs.

Do you think there needs to be more education for New Zealanders in how to stretch their savings through retirement?

And should banks and KiwiSaver providers offer advice and products such as drawdown accounts to help with this?

What should be the role of government, if any?