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The Complete KiwiSaver:
everything you need to know
You can buy Mary Holm's latest KiwiSaver book, published by Random House, at good bookstores, or buy it online:
Purchase from Good Returns Bookstore here.
UPDATES: For updates on material in "The Complete KiwiSaver", see the 'KiwiSaver Basics' page.
What is the book about?
With two popular KiwiSaver books under her belt, Mary Holm knows the retirement scheme inside out, and nobody else has done such comprehensive research on it.
"The Complete KiwiSaver" combines the best of her two previous books. It also includes:
Broadly, the book is divided into four "user-friendly" sections. There’s still widespread misunderstanding about the scheme, so first up Holm recaps on how the scheme works. The second section deals with how to get the best from KiwiSaver, and in the third section Holm looks at the most important decision: how to invest. Finally, she presents and analyses the results of a 100-question survey of all 33 KiwiSaver providers who offer funds to the public. All this is peppered with handy tips from Holm throughout.
- Extensive information on which providers offer what – and how to switch to a better one.
- Updates to reflect changes in the financial world.
- Advice on how to keep track of what’s happening in your KiwiSaver account, and on what to do if the records don’t look right.
- Information from the government’s first annual report on KiwiSaver.
- Answers to many questions and concerns expressed by readers of Mary’s columns and people attending her seminars.
- Advice for the risk-wary.
- Creative new ideas — from many New Zealanders — on how people in different situations can make KiwiSaver work best for them, while keeping risk to a minimum.
Everyone wants a comfortable retirement, and this comprehensive, totally independent and rigorously researched book gives New Zealanders sage advice on how KiwiSaver can enable them to do that.
There is still a lot of misinformation about KiwiSaver. Here are Mary’s key points to understand:
WHAT'S IN THE BOOK? Have a look through the contents below or read before you buy. Enjoy excerpts from Mary Holm's "The Complete KiwiSaver" in pdf format by clicking here. You can also read excerpts on the 'KiwiSaver Basics' page.
- All non-employees, including beneficiaries and the self-employed, can afford KiwiSaver. They can join some KiwiSaver schemes and put in nothing ever — and still get money from the government.
- Almost all employees can afford it. And after a year they can stop all contributions if they wish.
- Not all KiwiSaver account balances are volatile. In some, your balance is almost certain to always grow, never fall — like a bank savings account.
- You don’t have to pay tax to get the so-called tax credit. It’s given to all KiwiSavers aged 18 to 64.
- Many KiwiSaver investors will pay lower tax than they would on most other investments.
- If you don’t normally file a tax return, that won’t change because of KiwiSaver. Tax is taken care of in the KiwiSaver scheme.
- KiwiSaver is more flexible than many realise, allowing you to vary your contributions, and to invest in a wide range of assets, including property.
- If you stop working, you can stop contributing to KiwiSaver straight away.
- While on a contributions holiday, you can still put in any amount you choose, including $1,043 a year to maximise the tax credit.
- KiwiSaver schemes are not like finance companies. Take the advice in this book, and there is very little chance you will lose the money you put in.
- Drip-feeding into KiwiSaver makes it pretty painless — and also happens to be the best and least worrying way to save.
- When you die — before or after retirement age — your KiwiSaver money is paid to your estate, available for your heirs to spend.
- Distrust of the government is no reason not to join. There is nothing a government is at all likely to do that would make you wish you hadn't joined KiwiSaver.
- Other reasons for not joining hardly ever hold up to scrutiny.
Contents of "The Complete KiwiSaver"
Part One: Why KiwiSaver: How it has changed and why it’s still so good
Introduction: How’s it all going?
1: The KiwiSaver concept and rules
Who’s in and who’s out
Your contributions — and stopping them
Getting the money out
The good news about tax
Two employer approaches
Keeping track of the money – or trying to
2: What’s new?
Changes that affect everyone
Changes that affect employees
Changes that affect employers
Will the changes reduce total savings in New Zealand?
3. What makes KiwiSaver so powerful?
Should everyone — even those with debt — join KiwiSaver?
‘But I can do better in other investments’
How fast your KiwiSaver account will grow
4: ‘But I’m worried about risk’
Early KiwiSaver returns got bad press
Finance company failures worry KiwiSaver investors
Not all KiwiSaver providers will survive
5: What else is holding you back?
You don’t want to commit to future contributions
You can’t afford KiwiSaver
You don’t want to tie up your money until NZ Super age
You’ve saved enough for your retirement
You’re already in a good super scheme
The government — or another future government - might change it
You think managed funds rip people off
You’re planning to go overseas
But what about…?
Part Two: Creative ways with KiwiSaver: Getting the best from the scheme
6: The smartest ways to contribute
7: The young — and the not so young
Under-18s and turning 18
55 to 64-year-olds
8: Investing ethically
9: Home ownership, mortgages and other debt
Help with buying a first home
No longer own your own home
Borrowing to be in KiwiSaver — on a mortgage or otherwise
Diverting money to pay off your mortgage
10: A helping hand
Assisting family or friends
Sponsoring someone into KiwiSaver
11: Heading overseas
12: Issues for people with disabilities
13: Making the most of your work situation
Non-employees can get the first year over and done with
Self-employed — employ yourself?
Part Three: What type of investments?: Which assets and what risk level are right for you?
14: Types of assets
The big 4
15: The first thing to understand
Not a dirty word
16: Which assets for you?
The path to what?
17: Five ways to reduce investment risk
Stay for the long term
Invest regularly, rather than with lump sums
Use low or no gearing
Avoid riskier fixed interest investments
Last but perhaps most important – diversify
18: Go offshore
'But don’t the markets all move together?'
Why not offshore?
Will Australia do for my offshore shares?
19: Still can’t decide?
Part Four: Which provider? A guide to finding the best one for you
20: Who's who?
21: The right investments for you?
Varying risk levels
International diversification - a great idea
Single sector funds - if you know what you're doing
Special funds for first home buyers - is this necessary?
Risk adjusted for age - the low maintenance way
22: Ruling some out - or definitely in
Contributions - amount and pattern
'Why we’re the best'
23: Fees: a big and vexing issue
Active or passive?
24: How providers are managed
New Zealand owned?
Who manages the investments?
Unitisation (sorry about this ugly word!)
25: Services to investors
26: On the bandwagon?
The cheeky question
27: And the winner is…
28: Don’t muck around
29: When to change - and when not to