Kiwi Saver, Mary Holm financial writer and columnist

  Independent and down to earth financial info you can trust
  from Mary Holm, New Zealand's most widely read investment writer

Archives

Read Mary's current Herald column on-line now, listen to recent radio broadcasts, or search the archives for previous subjects in her Herald and syndicated columns or broadcasts.


The following is a selection of articles and radio broadcasts mainly from January 2005 to the present. To explore this topic in more depth and access earlier columns, please use the search box.

Articles

NZ Herald 22 April 2017

Q&As: Couple in their 60s could still get back into home ownership - helped by KiwiSaver
- Rest home subsidy rule unfair, but not easy to fix
- Benefit helped reader turn around his life
- NZ Super recipient shouldn't pick on beneficiaries

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NZ Herald 15 April 2017

Q&As: Best long-term investment for entrepreneurial teen
- Reader aghast that beneficiary can keep savings
- Pictured foot is impressive
- Grateful reader's pension rises after reading column
- Free online booklet about investment risks
- Correction about internet link

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NZ Herald 18 March 2017

Q&As: Trusts may no longer enable well off elderly to get subsidy
- Possible trap for parents giving money to adult children
- What KiwiSaver rules would change when under National plan
- Partial KiwiSaver tax credit in year you turn 65 - or 18
- Good reasons for using a credit card

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NZ Herald 17 December 2016

Q&As: Many reasons why a winning active share fund won't stay on top
- Why do husband and wife's funds perform so differently?
- Offset mortgages more vulnerable than revolving credit loans
- No plans for 2 big banks to follow others with offset mortgages
- Do employers deserve praise for contributing to KiwiSaver?
- Update on proposal to raise NZ Super age

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NZ Herald 29 October 2016

Q&As: Why I won't publish list of top-performing share funds
- What happens to KiwiSaver at 65 ...
- ... but what if you've been in the scheme less than 5 years?
- Bad news for travelling teacher about NZ Super eligibility

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NZ Herald 15 October 2016

Q&As: Like it or not, retiree didn't directly contribute to NZ Super he now receives
- Buying leasehold property is for high risk takers only
- KiwiSaver first home withdrawal rules much less than grant rules
- Dividends beat bank interest, but riskier

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NZ Herald 8 October 2016

Q&As: Perhaps we should celebrate a young man's spending splurge
- Don't get rid of student loan, pay down mortgage
- Dodgy share advice given to elderly couple
- Think of NZ Super as insurance
- Pension info there, but reader may have been distracted

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NZ Herald 1 October 2016

Q&As: Retiree still wants to have fun in the markets
- Whose tax rate should be used on a joint bank account?
- Daughter should bring back house money from the UK gradually
- Which banks now require notice for term deposit early withdrawals?
- Should families get money if a person dies before getting any NZ Super?

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NZ Herald 24 September 2016

Q&As: 2 Q&As on keeping savings in KiwiSaver or term deposits during retirement
- Small-town landlords face bigger rate bills
- Is a reader envious of last week's correspondent?
- Alternative payment helps some recipients of foreign state pensions

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NZ Herald 17 September 2016

Q&As: What to do with spare proceeds from Auckland house sale
- Worrying about mortgage break fee is tail wagging dog
- Getting the most out of KiwiSaver and a work super scheme
- NZ Super too generous for recent immigrants?

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NZ Herald 10 September 2016

Q&As: Ethical investing can be effective - even if it's not done perfectly
- KiwiSaver tax credit continues if you're overseas briefly
- Deduction of overseas pension from NZ Super the only fair way

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NZ Herald 3 September 2016

Q&As: Should student earn interest while running up student loan?
- Freebies for shareholders left some the worse for wear
- Deduction of Canadian pension from NZ Super seems fair
- Another ethical KiwiSaver fund
- Show Me The Money Week about to start

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NZ Herald 6 August 2016

Q&As: Should couple sell Auckland rental now or keep it until retirement?
- How to contribute something other than 3,4 or 8% to KiwiSaver
- What happens when a KiwiSaver turns 65
- 'Good news' letter a reminder to the young
- Auckland too pricey? Try Dunedin
- Update on KiwiSaver HomeStart grants

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NZ Herald 19 March 2016

Q&As: Alternative for daughter trying to escape bad debt - pay up
- Is emphasis on total shareholder return justified?
- Inflation calculator shows what prices have risen, and what haven't
- Is this reader ready to retire?
- Struggling retiree questions wealthier reader's concerns

Money column for March 19 2016

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NZ Herald 20 February 2016

Q&As: Don't follow the crowd into property investment
- Apply for NZ Super early
- 2 readers object to last week's correspondent's attitude to mother of 10
- An honest assessment of life afloat
- One reader sees living on a boat as a retreat
- Another points out the fun side
- A landlord's kindness made all the difference

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NZ Herald 13 February 2016

Q&As: Universality of NZ Super annoys working couple
- Reader challenges AMP KiwiSaver funds' performance
- Accountant objects to my comments about landlords
- Bad luck with competitions? Keep at it
- Pluses of onboard life include decluttering

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NZ Herald 26 September 2015

Q&As: You can - and should - be in KiwiSaver as well as work super scheme
- Couple should get rid of rental property stress
- The big share gain that got away
- How to keep an inheritance out of relationship property

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NZ Herald 12 September 2015

Q&As: Risks of property investment - especially sections
- Owning modest home plus rental versus owning more expensive home
- Don't count on politicians' long-term promises
- Why the young of today might criticize NZ Super
- Another perspective on government rest home subsidy
- Coffins or shrouds?

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NZ Herald 5 September 2015

Q&As: KiwiSaver accounts very unlikely to go to zero, but nor are they guaranteed
- What happens to KiwiSaver money when the person dies?
- NZ Super is indeed paid from current taxes
- Have retired people paid towards their NZ Super?
- Reader challenges my comments about some people paying for their rest home care
- Some retirees need "permission" to enjoy spending their money

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NZ Herald 29 August 2015

Q&As: Retired couple paying for rest home now wish they had spent more earlier
- Are NZ Super recipients beneficiaries?
- Reader thinks it's bad to eat into capital in retirement
- How couple might set up a first home account

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NZ Herald 16 May 2015

Q&As: Could Auckland house price plunge cause a banking meltdown?
- Single mum can't get daughter into KiwiSaver because of missing father
- Employer shouldn't have signed up 15-year-old to KiwiSaver without parents' consent
- Living on just NZ Super is the high life for this reader

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NZ Herald 9 May 2015

Q&As: Too hard for some children to join KiwiSaver
- Why reader has two very different KiwiSaver balances
- Do 20-somethings have a 'sense of entitlement'? And will they get NZ Super?
- Advice for the young from a new retiree

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NZ Herald 4 April 2015

Q&As: How a young widow might get into home ownership
- Teenagers' "board" payments give them a kick-start
- Two readers ask more about tax deductibility of tertiary fees

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NZ Herald 6 December 2014

Q&As: Term deposit interest not so bad for people in retirement
- How much in savings to get income equal to NZ Super?
- Reader challenges my comment about landlords' tax

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NZ Herald 18 October 2014

Q&As: For the 17-year-old who has everything he wants: a course about shares
- A free budget tool for readers to try
- Woman on parental leave can still take part in KiwiSaver
- Fees on retirement scheme way too high

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NZ Herald 6 September 2014

A different style of column this week: Political parties' policies on KiwiSaver and NZ Super

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NZ Herald 16 August 2014

Q&As: How Labour's proposed capital gains tax would work
- Complications on withdrawing KiwiSaver money in retirement
- Reader's choice years ago affects his pension
- Second thoughts on Canadian pensions and NZ Super
- Why campaign calls for different tax on KiwiSaver and term deposits

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NZ Herald 9 August 2014

Q&As: Now is the time to buy a car, says industry expert
- Correction on how Labour would tax KiwiSaver
- Clarifying proposed tax change to KiwiSaver
- Could incentives go if KiwiSaver becomes compulsory?
- Employer contributions to KiwiSaver reduced by tax
- How overseas pensions funded by payroll deductions interact with NZ Super

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NZ Herald 2 August 2014

Q&As: Would Labour's capital gains tax affect KiwiSaver
- How KiwiSaver is taxed, and how that might change
- Another view on how fast new cars depreciate
- 2 Q&As about other criteria for choosing a new car
- Is NZ Super fair?

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NZ Herald 26 July 2014

Q&As: Insuring KiwiSaver against losses in last year an idea worth considering
- Disagreement on the rate at which cars depreciate
- A good car buying strategy
- Reader is confused about overseas pension and NZ Super
- What countries your spouse worked in can also affect your NZ Super

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NZ Herald 19 July 2014

Q&As: Tips from an expert on buying a car
- Splitting your KiwiSaver money between two of the provider's funds
- Might KiwiSavers see their NZ Super reduced?
- An idea on how to blend NZ Super and the German pension

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NZ Herald 12 July 2014

Q&As: Could money in a bank-run KiwiSaver be transferred to pay debt owed to the bank?
- No easy way out for reluctant KiwiSaver member
- Could long-ago OE in Australia mean Aussies pick up a New Zealander's pension tab?
- Reader's Australian pension amounts to $1 to $2 a week
- Keeping a list of your jobs is helpful when you later apply for NZ Super
- How to negotiate over buying a precious car

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NZ Herald 5 July 2014

Q&As: Should young NZer in Middle East send savings back home now or later?
- Another factor to consider about foreign investing, but don't be put off
- Hassle when applying for NZ Super if you've lived in Australia
- When you can and cannot get two pensions
- Don't leap to conclusions about man buying new car

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NZ Herald 1 March 2014

Q&As: More can be in KiwiSaver than commonly thought
- Banks no help when comparing deposit rates
- Are New Zealanders out of step about the security of home ownership?
- Don't rush to move house when the kids leave home
- Are KiwiSaver fees tax deductable?

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NZ Herald 7 December 2013

Q&As: The problem with do-it-yourself annuities
- Employee super schemes still offer annuities
- How new tool helps you choose a KiwiSaver provider
- 3 Q&As give advice to bankrupt couple from those who have been there

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NZ Herald 5 October 2013

Q&As: How fortnightly mortgage payments can help
- New rules and info on KiwiSaver first home help
- Pros and cons of bringing super to NZ from Australia

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NZ Herald 10 August 2013

Q&As: Retiree needs patience, but also needs to ask his adviser some hard questions
- How assets would be valued if capital gains tax is introduced
- Share investor's success not quite so impressive when you look at how the whole market has performed
- Raising NZ Super age would affect some more than others

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NZ Herald 27 July 2013

Q&As: Do older workers pinch jobs from young ones? And would new retirees spend up to avoid means testing?
- Might a government force annuities onto KiwiSaver members?
- How two landlords took a "nasty fall"
- Is sexism raging in KiwiSaver?

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NZ Herald 20 July 2013

Q&As: How one couple might pay no tax, and how that might be changed
- A long-term perspective on shares and property
- How compulsory KiwiSaver might - and might not - work

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NZ Herald 13 July 2013

Q&As: Our population is getting older, but not as fast as a reader fears. How will it affect house prices?
- Means testing of NZ Super not given high priority in new report

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Syndicated column 15 December 2012 - Tricky questions to ponder on the beach walk

Summer holidays - a time to look beyond what's happening in your life over the next week or so. How about the next 40 years?

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NZ Herald 8 September 2012

Q&As: Time to check a reader's challenge about banks and gold
- And let's hear it from the reader himself
- Why 1-person retiree households spend so much less than 2-person households
- Should NZ Super be more for older retired people?
- Income manipulation to get student allowances is now curbed
- Not every reader agrees with aggressive ones

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NZ Herald 19 May 2012

Q&As: KiwiSaver first home help flexible - including the maximum income rules
- Teacher should be in KiwiSaver even though he doesn't get employer contributions
- A bigot confesses
- Banks label NZ Super - and help superannuitants - in different ways

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NZ Herald 12 May 2012

Q&As: NZ gets good value from many NZ Super recipients
- How parents might help their adult children with the two items that cost more now
- Last week's correspondent should leave the country, or change their thinking
- How to calculate KiwiSaver tax credit in your first year in the scheme
- Some KiwiSaver providers help members with tax credit
- A welfare payment by any other name ...

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NZ Herald 5 May 2012

Q&As: Reader could do with a re-think
- Economist calls for in-depth look at NZ Super
- Easy way to make KiwiSaver contributions
- Should we use KiwiSaver money to repay student loans?
- How about starting to charge interest on student loans?
- 3 readers remember what tertiary tuition fees were like in their day

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NZ Herald 28 April 2012

Q&As: Reasonable and unreasonable expectations about NZ Super and people's retirement savings
- People need to think beyond their own needs, says reader
- Better or worse then or now? Just different
- Just how high are - and were - tertiary fees?
- Oops! I got it wrong about foreign exchange and interest rates

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NZ Herald 21 April 2012

Q&As: One retired reader is fed up with a younger person's attitude to superannuitants ...
- While another is amused, and thoughtful
- Effect of a mortgage rate rise on house prices being underplayed
- An overseas landlord must, by law, have an agent here
- Bank gives wrong info on deposits into KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 14 April 2012

Q&As: Should reader buy a NZ house now - while still overseas - or later?
- 3 readers' varying views on student loans
- 2 readers seem to be a bit muddled about the new KiwiSaver tax credit

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NZ Herald 10 March 2012

Q&As: A reader's 10 rules on property investment make good sense
- 3 Q&As on the fairness of wealthier people using student loans
- Was the word "renter" misused in last week's column?
- Research centre is looking into issues about overseas pensions and NZ Super

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NZ Herald 3 March 2012

Q&As: How to plan retirement savings if you don't want to own a home
- Family in last week's column must have muddled their language a little
- If you've lived in Australia, applying for NZ Super may not be straightforward

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NZ Herald 18 February 2012

Q&As: How much financial support a reader gives their student son
- Two banks offer mortgages that get around problems with revolving credit loans
- An accountant's offer boosts reputation of the profession
- Two Q&As about means testing of NZ Super in some circumstances, and how KiwiSaver fits in
- Yes, there are plenty of companies that don't pay dividends

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NZ Herald 11 February 2012

Q&As: A disadvantage of revolving credit mortgages - it can be hard to keep track of your money
- Should John Banks and co. have shared the profits on the sale of their KiwiSaver scheme with members?
- The one situation in which NZ Super is affected by your KiwiSaver account
- A call for info about student spending

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NZ Herald 1 October 2011

Q&As: Are corporate boxes at the rugby tax deductible, and is that fair?
- A quick easy way to see how far a retirement nest egg will stretch
- Does the average retiree get a good deal from NZ Super? Does it even make sense to ask that?
- The best type of fund for a KiwiSaver in his 60s

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NZ Herald 17 September 2011

Q&As: What a good ad about KiwiSaver growth should and shouldn't include
- Bank ad doesn't always quite work
- Should 65-year-old worker feel guilty about getting NZ Super?
- Missing pit in last week's picture
- 2 Q&As about KiwiSaver tax credits in the last year of receiving them

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NZ Herald 10 September 2011

Q&As: Older workers don't take jobs away from the young
- There are ways around timing problems with annuities
- Last week's angry correspondent apologises, and asks another question about how safe NZ banks are
- Two readers respond to last week's outburst
- One more "set and forget" KiwiSaver fund

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NZ Herald 20 August 2011

Q&As: NZ stock performance over last 10 years - after adjusting for tax, inflation and, perhaps, index changes
- Is the gold price bubbly?
- Confusion over NZ Super when one partner is under 65

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NZ Herald 13 August 2011

Q&As: Should reader move to lower-risk KiwiSaver fund? Putting share plunge in perspective
- Don't try to time markets
- Gold fan checks in after gold price soars, but what of his other predictions?
- The one situation in which NZ Super is affected by KiwiSaver savings

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NZ Herald 19 February 2011

Q&As: Repaying debt should be Number One priority - with one important exception
- Money can't buy the most important things in retirement
- Last week's numbers on NZ Super were incomplete - sorry
- Let's demystify share trading, and share holding
- One more advantage of owning shares

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Syndicated column 27 March 2010 - Wanted: better insurance against outliving our savings

Imagine you're heading into retirement. You'll get NZ Super, but you also have savings in KiwiSaver or elsewhere. You would like to spend that money over the rest of your life and leave the house to the kids. But - not knowing how long you will live - how can you decide how much to spend each year?

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NZ Herald 20 March 2010

Q&As: Why it wouldn't work to make tax changes for rental property apply only to people who buy property after a certain date
Landlord retaliation probably won't last long
Holding people accountable for giving bad KiwiSaver advice - and lining up a partner to also get the first home subsidy
How might people with private pensions be compensated for rise in GST?

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NZ Herald 6 March 2010

Q&As: How will superannuitants fare under proposed tax changes?
Should young couple invest their savings in a rental property while overseas?
Two Q&As about children and the KiwiSaver tax credit

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NZ Herald 23 January 2010

Q&As: Should couple repay mortgage with redundancy money, or invest it in KiwiSaver or elsewhere?
Big KiwiSaver provider should know better about first-year tax credits
More information available about investment advisers - and are hourly or percentage fees better?
Less room for trouble if people make their own investments after seeking adviser's recommendations

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NZ Herald 22 August 2009

Q&As: Wealth doesn't have to equal filth - New Zealanders' attitude to money may leave them more worried about financial issues
Take your pick between share fund managers who try to outperform the market and those who don't
Members of work super schemes can do well by also being in KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 25 July 2009

Q&As: Steps a middle-income family can take towards buying their own home
Scams not always easy to spot
The presence of family trusts could prevent governments from means testing NZ Super
Has the worst already happened for kids in KiwiSaver?

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NZ Herald January 13 2007

Q&As: Options for a newly retired couple with $200,000 and no home include part-time work, buying a home with a flat attached, an interest-only mortgage and equity release.
Two Q&As on which investments are affected by the new tax law on international shares, and how it will work for investors.

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NZ Herald April 23 2005

Q&As: Is it better to repay your mortgage or invest in a work super scheme?
Website with interest rate info.

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