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Great news! Claim your KiwiSaver government contribution

It’s that time of year again; time to ensure you receive up to $521* from the Government in Government Contributions into your KiwiSaver account.

It’s easy, the Government pays 50 cents for every dollar you contribute annually, up to a maximum payment of $521.43. To receive the full amount all you need to do is contribute at least $1,042.86 into your KiwiSaver account before 30 June.

If you are a regular contributor there’s a good chance you have already reached, and exceeded your contribution requirement, but if you’re not sure you might want to take a closer look at your contributions.

KiwiSaver contribution examples:

  • If you're earning at least $35,000/year and contribute the minimum 3% for the whole year should receive the full $521
  • If you earn less than $35,000, or you're self-employed, or you've taken a contribution holiday, you might like to think about making a voluntary lump sum contribution so you can receive the Government Contribution

If you don’t already have your KiwiSaver with an AdviceFirst KiwiSaver Specialist, feel free to get in touch, one of our team would be happy to help make all the complicated KiwiSaver stuff a lot simpler.

*If you're contributing and are eligible, the Government makes an annual contribution of up to a maximum of $521.43 a year to your KiwiSaver account. To be eligible you must be between the ages of 18 and 65 and mainly reside in New Zealand, unless you are a Government employee working overseas or in limited circumstances a volunteer working overseas.

Happy healthy retirement

A common question for people approaching retirement is “Should I keep my health insurance?”

AdviceFirst Financial Adviser James Polson says people are concerned about the cost of their premiums but also worried about not having cover.

It’s true that the cost of health insurance increases as you get older. But you may not need to cancel, tap into retirement savings, rely on family or even sell assets in the event of ill health.

Instead, it could be about taking a close look at the policy and making changes to excess levels and other areas to help monitor the premiums, and preserve insurance that covers bigger health events that cost more.

James says: “We check the affordability of your policy and try to fine tune it to help lower your premiums, while still covering the more costly treatments”.

Health insurance can be seen as pre-paying for future health expenses, says James.

“You may be paying a couple of thousand each year in premiums, but it can be a small amount when it comes to covering treatment at claim time,” he says.

Health insurance is also important for people with an asset / wealth protection plan. If a health event happens where you’re unable to work and can’t pay into your retirement fund, health insurance can help you get private medical care.

James sums it up with this analogy: “If the price of petrol goes up, you don’t sell your car. Instead, you find ways to be more fuel-efficient”.

Get advice about your health insurance from the experienced team at AdviceFirst. Call now on 0800 438 238 or click here to send an email.

B’n’B careful

You may have heard of the new generation of ‘sharing businesses’ which let people list, find and rent accommodation or holiday homes for a fee. It all happens online.

AirBnB in particular is becoming very popular with home or bach owners who see it as a clever, easy way to let their properties to visitors. Opening their homes can earn extra cash, and add to their income during retirement.

The idea of signing up to become an AirBnB host is tempting, yet there are few things to watch for - in particular, you must be very mindful of how it will change your insurance situation.

Tabloid horror stories of guests damaging homes are thankfully rare. But it’s important to protect yourself against the everyday risk that comes with renting out your property. Be sure to read this helpful advice from AMP.

Undercover operations

Disclosure isn’t just the title of a 90’s thriller starring Demi Moore; when it comes to personal insurance, it’s hugely important to disclose any current or prior medical conditions. In fact, it’s a requirement when your policy is issued, benefits increased or policy is replaced.

Failure to provide complete and accurate disclosure could result in a claim being declined and/or your policy being cancelled or avoided. This may also impact your ability to take out insurance in the future.

Most policies are underwritten, but beware of those that aren’t.

Highly experienced Authorised Financial Adviser Peter Chote says: “Many of those handy, off-the-shelf policies fall into this category. They might seem easy and tempting, but often they are not underwritten until claim time, so they may not cover any conditions that were pre-existing when the policy was taken out.”

Here’s another important consideration. If you replace a policy with a new or updated policy, you may find that you lose some benefits but gain others. Remaining with the same insurer can sometimes be good idea, as it’s possible that they may pass on certain benefits, or wording, from your previous policy. This can be an advantage at claim time.

If you have any kind of insurance policy, it’s vital to understand exactly what it covers, under what conditions it will pay (and when it won’t), and what you can expect if you make a claim.

“Problems can arise when the person who is insured doesn’t fully understand the scope of their policy,” says Peter.

To help you get the policy that’s right for you, be sure talk to an expert financial adviser. Call us now on 0800 438 238 or click here to send our team an email.

A word from our colleagues at AMP Capital

ESG – Busting the myths

Responsible investment is gaining in popularity in New Zealand as investors seek to align their investment choices more closely with their values. Central to the investment decision-making process is taking into account Environment, Social, Governance (ESG) or ethical considerations. As one of the longest-standing managers of responsible investment funds in New Zealand and Australia, AMP Capital has more than a decade of experience in integrating ESG research across the investments they manage.

In this article they break down a few myths surrounding ESG and outline how ESG analysis, or a responsible approach to investing, can lead to better investment outcomes.

You can find out more about AMP Capital’s market-leading range of responsible investment funds here.

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