KiwiSaver and local body elections: more similar than you realise
By Fisher Funds
10 October, 2016
You can't turn on your TV, read the paper or go for a drive without someone pitching for your vote in this year's local body elections. But what does this have to do with KiwiSaver? Quite a bit actually!
Over half of New Zealanders don't bother voting in local body elections despite all the marketing and election promises. Yet we care deeply about how our local Council will improve our roads, remove our rubbish and ensure we have clean water. We pay a lot of attention to how our rates are rising and how the council spends our rate money, yet we care relatively less about who the councilors are who will be spending our money and determining our rates!
There are lots of similarities with KiwiSaver. We all want to see our savings grow, so we can enjoy the retirement lifestyle we want or buy our first home. However, many New Zealanders don't take enough notice of what's happening with their KiwiSaver account. While we certainly care about how much of a nest egg we'll have in the future and that we'll have enough when the time comes, we don't take the time now to ensure we're making the best decisions to benefit our future.
Shortly, you'll be receiving your six monthly KiwiSaver account summary. It contains lots of useful information about your KiwiSaver account including your current balance and what fund or funds you're invested in. Just as in local body elections, you do have a choice! We encourage you to check out your account summary and make sure you're happy with how your nest egg is growing. We are happy for you to contact us if you have any questions about it, or just want to make sure you're making the most of your KiwiSaver account.
So what should you be looking for?
- The power of KiwiSaver — the summary statement on page one demonstrates how the combination of your contributions and those from the Government and your employer (if applicable) really makes a difference. Make sure you're maximizing all of these.
- How have your savings grown? Markets can go up and down, but your account will have tracked well over the long term. The graph at the top of page two shows the growth in your balance since you joined Fisher Funds. If they're not growing fast enough for your liking, perhaps you need to consider if you are in the right fund or combination of funds.
- How is your money invested? The mix of funds your money is invested in has a big impact on the growth of your savings. If you haven't reviewed this for a while or ever, talk to your adviser or take our simple questionnaire.
- Are you on the right tax rate? You wouldn't pay more rates than you had to; make sure you're not paying more tax on your KiwiSaver account than you need to.
- Where is your money invested? See where in the world and in what type of assets your money is invested, plus the top ten investments. It is important that you have at least a broad understanding of how your savings are invested.
- Track your account online — see your balance and transactions online at any time, update personal details and keep track of how your nest egg is growing.