Kiwi Saver, Mary Holm financial writer and columnist

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  from Mary Holm, New Zealand's most widely read investment writer

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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.


Debt Repayment

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 19 August 2017

Q&As: Warning to people on OE who are claiming KiwiSaver tax credit
- People overseas can still contribute to KiwiSaver
- Emergency money and paying off mortgage top priorities for reader
- Sign up disabled son for KiwiSaver?
- My KiwiSaver tax comment not strictly correct

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NZ Herald 27 May 2017

Q&As: Million-dollar savings goals do more harm than good
- Retirement expectations rise and so should saving
- Don't like one housing forecast? Here are some more
- Several NZ passive fund providers

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NZ Herald 11 March 2017

Q&As: Mum objects to teenager being offered credit card
- Newish Code places more responsibility on lenders
- Another reader has trouble extending credit card limit
- Help for people struggling to pay rates

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NZ Herald 25 February 2017

Q&As: Questions to ask before parents lend mortgage money to their children
- Determined couple pay down big mortgage fast
- Bank's reluctance to extend credit card limit is surprising
- Tax adviser thinks tax should have been mentioned last week

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NZ Herald 18 February 2017

Q&As: Which is better - a KiwiSaver share fund or KiwiSaver property fund?
- KiwiSaver investments don't change at 65, unless you're in a life stages option. What are they?
- No tax consequences of parents' gift to help pay off mortgage
- Bring UK shares over and pay down mortgage

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NZ Herald 11 February 2017

Q&As: The struggle of some beneficiaries
- If you don't like bank's interest payment policy, shop around
- Should couple put all their cash in house deposit, or invest in shares too?

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NZ Herald 28 January 2017

Q&As: Who earns the interest while money moves from bank to bank over holidays?
- What is investment risk? And how to reduce it
- Use savings to pay down mortgage

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NZ Herald 10 December 2016

Q&As: Couple should get into KiwiSaver, and changes proposed for the scheme
- Could the growing popularity of index funds mess up markets?
- My comments on Brian Gaynor's column about index fund investing

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NZ Herald 26 November 2016

Q&As: Better to put savings towards mortgage than emergency fund
- How to weigh up KiwiSaver versus other saving
- Reader not stuck with KiwiSaver provider, but costly to move
- Reactions vary on discussion about which indexes to use

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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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RNZ Radio 4 August 2016

Clever and not-so-clever moves with mortgages

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RNZ Radio 23 June 2016

Spending too little, spending too much

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NZ Herald 11 June 2016

Q&As: Adding to already huge mortgages is playing with fire
- It's not interest rates but mortgage size that matters
- Lack of family communication leads to big debt ...
- ... so do pushy credit card providers

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NZ Herald 23 April 2016

Q&As: Smartshares are a good way to get into share investing ...
- ... And they beat mortgage repayment for one reader
- Who worries more, rich or poor retirees?
- Retirement Commissioner seeks your thoughts

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Radio NZ 4 February 2016

Listeners' questions on setting financial priorities

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Radio NZ 28 January 2016

Setting financial priorities

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Radio NZ 15 October 2015

Mortgages

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NZ Herald 10 October 2015

Q&As: Calculators that measure your life expectancy more accurately
- Is it better to repay a mortgage or save?
- Don't overreact to worry that KiwiSaver retirement withdrawals could be limited
- Don't assume any interest rate trend will continue
- What would happen to members' savings if a KiwiSaver provider went bust

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NZ Herald 15 August 2015

Q&As: 70-year-olds should skip buying unit and spend their savings
- How to set up a regular income from bank term deposits
- One reader applauds my being tough on those with big credit card debt ...
- ... While another is incensed by it

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NZ Herald 8 August 2015

Q&As: Banks shouldn't favour new customers, but reader shouldn't have big credit card debt
- Gold doing OK in NZ dollars, but that's not the point
- Why advisers tend to favour low-risk investments and why they shouldn't
- Banks have a wide range of financial advisers

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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 7 June 2014

Q&As: Priorities for a family making a KiwiSaver financial hardship withdrawal
- Use savings to pay off mortgage
- Is KiwiSaver really tax-exempt?
- How to calculate KiwiSaver tax credit for the year in which you turn 65
- Older KiwiSaver goes for riskier funds
- Is there age discrimination in KiwiSaver?

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NZ Herald 22 June 2013

Q&As: What a reader should do with her money now that she's paid off her student loan
- Does your KiwiSaver provider offer this service?
- Share prices move faster than property prices, but does it matter?
- Some property investors overlook cash inputs

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Syndicated column 16 February 2013 - Financial misbehaviour disappointing

Ironically, a survey on New Zealanders' financial behaviour was released just days before Christmas - a time of much financial misbehaviour, when everyone's saying, "I don't care what it costs, I've just got to buy something for Uncle Fred."

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NZ Herald 14 July 2012

Q&As: Use accessible KiwiSaver money to repay credit card debt, and probably mortgage too
- What exactly does growth in GDP mean?
- 3 readers are unhappy with charities asking for more ...
- And a fourth points out how complicated it can get
- An error last week about donations to St Johns?
- Reader happy with his healthcare insurance

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Syndicated column 2 June 2012 - Let's educate our way out of 500%+ loans

When I first saw "Annual interest rate 547.50%" on a New Zealand website offering loans, I thought there'd been a mistake. But no. That's the rate for a small, short-term cash loan from www.savemybacon.co.nz.

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Syndicated column 24 March 2012 - How to join the new debt cutting trend

We're all living through three "great transitions", said the keynote speaker at a recent conference. One transition is from West to East - with the growing emphasis on China and India, another is from analog to digital, and the third is from debt to saving. Let's look more at that third transition.

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NZ Herald 17 March 2012

Q&As: No clear-cut answer on whether's it's better to slash debt or save for Christmas
- The best way to make use of the student loan repayment bonus
- Student loan holder living overseas is foolish to ignore his loan
- What's the point?

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NZ Herald 10 December 2011

Q&As: Three readers offer advice to early 60s couple looking for jobs - go and look around the country; check out motels; try a B&B
- AMP responds to a KiwiSaver's concerns about returns
- A Christmas message
- More letters from readers giving advice to couple seeking work

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Syndicated column 3 December 2011 - Columnist is wrong - mortgage repayment is well worth it

Contrarian investing - when you put your money into investments that most people are getting out of - sometimes works well. Such investments are usually cheap. But should we extend that to borrowing when most others are repaying debt?

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Syndicated column 16 July 2011 - Cries of indignation, shock and fear from Credit Card Land

Three readers coming from three quite different perspectives responded to my last column about repaying credit card debt. One slightly indignant reader always pays his credit card bills in full, another was shocked at what happened when he didn't one month, and the third has run up a $7000 credit card debt.

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Syndicated column 2 July 2011 - Have I got a deal for you?

Pssst, want a fantastic deal? I may be able to get you into an investment with returns of just under 20 per cent a year, every year, after fees and tax. And it's risk-free....

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NZ Herald 2 July 2011

Q&As: How to find a good financial adviser
- Difference between an adviser and a fund manager, and how they charge
- Adviser should always make high-interest debt the top priority
- 70-year-old KiwiSaver's plan for her grandchildren

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NZ Herald 11 June 2011

Q&As: Should couple with iffy job prospects sell their shares to slash their mortgage?
- Young KiwiSaver with an eye on first home help should move to a lower-risk fund
- One KiwiSaver doesn't appreciate how good his deal is ....
- And another is sick of whingers over the scheme
- Did my comment about people's inability to pick investments cover advisers?

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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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NZ Herald 11 December 2010

Q&As: Earthquake victim faces an old question: whether to invest spare money or repay a loan
- Reader escapes "an endless loop" of credit card payments after using an internet Q&A service
- A "me too" letter raises questions about a bank's policy on fees

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NZ Herald 30 October 2010

Q&As: What happens to your money when it seems to disappear for a few days in the bank?
- Flexibility an issue when deciding how to go about repaying a mortgage quickly
- Would gains on the sale of gold or silver be taxable?
- The pros and cons of holding on to gold coin gifts

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NZ Herald 23 October 2010

Q&As: With extra to pay off a mortgage, should you add to principal repayments or shorten the term of the loan?
- Graph of gold price history tells some interesting stories
- Transferring money from UK to New Zealand to take advantage of higher interest rates here could be risky
- Under what circumstances can Inland Revenue take money out of your KiwiSaver account?

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NZ Herald 2 October 2010

Q&As: KiwiSaver is not guaranteed by the government - but that doesn't mean you shouldn't join
Is it wise to have your KiwiSaver account with your bank?
Banks said to be "stealing" KiwiSaver members from other providers
Does a reader who is speedily repaying her mortgage need a savings account?

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Syndicated column 11 September 2010 - Grab your big chance to painlessly boost your wealth

In the next few weeks, every New Zealand wage or salary earner will get a chance to considerably increase their wealth - painlessly.

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NZ Herald 28 August 2010

Q&As: How can a woman persuade her partner to stop spending more than the couple earns?
Retiree's share buying hobby turns ugly - but he hasn't given it a chance
Why splitting this column into KiwiSaver and non-KiwiSaver columns is not a good idea
It won't always be quite this good for KiwiSaver enthusiast

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NZ Herald 7 August 2010

Q&As: Does it make sense to try to pick where Baby Boomers will retire and buy property there?
How KiwiSaver works if you move from employment to self-employment
Should couple use lump sum to repay a commercial mortgage or for other investment - and how KiwiSaver affects this?
Some alternatives for investing in emerging markets

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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 October 20 2007

THE OTHER B WORD

Budgeting is rather like eating healthily or exercising. Some people like to do it, but for others it's a chore. And for many it's a source of guilt. They think they should do it, but they don't.

This article could be yet another telling the laggards how they will be much better people if they keep track of all their spending. But that's hardly likely to make any more difference than other such articles.

As poet Robert Frost wrote: "Nobody was ever meant, to remember or invent, what he did with every...

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NZ Herald April 7 2007

Q&As: A year-old letter shows the danger in trying to predict what the Kiwi dollar will do
"Plodders" wonder how to match the investments of their landlord friends
Traders in shares beyond Australasia no longer pay the old tax on capital gains
How about taxing rental property the same way as international shares?

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Syndicated column March 6 2007: Digging your way out of the big hole

You're never in debt so deep that you can't get out again. At least one reader of this column will be reassured by this message from Raewyn Fox, chief exec of the Federation of Family Budgeting Services.

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Syndicated column February 3 2007: Help for those in debt

Repaying high-interest debt is sometimes called the best investment. And there's a way to do it that, I suspect, many people don't know about.

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Holm Truths summer 06-07

The other B word: While some people find it easy to follow a budget, others struggle. Here are some tips for the latter group.
Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Couple who sold their house save heaps by renting. But should they wait for a price fall before buying again?

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Holm Truths Spring 06

Mortgage moves: How you can make the big loans work better for you
Also in this issue: From the mailbox - Is it a good idea to increase your mortgage and invest the money elsewhere?

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Syndicated column March 28 2006: What we don't know CAN hurt us

One of the first things journalists are taught is to make the first sentence of an article a "grabber", something that will perhaps surprise readers and make them read on.

So this column is officially starting now: Every New Zealander over 65 gets NZ Super, no matter how rich they are.

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NZ Herald February 11 2006

Q&As: Couple should spend less?
Wealth isn't always money.
How last week's correspondent made his millions.
Making extra payments on fixed mortgages without penalties.

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NZ Herald January 28 2006

Q&As: 27-year-old overseas doesn't need more than 4 rentals in NZ.
Should more conservative 26-year-old get revolving credit mortgage?

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NZ Herald December 17 2005

Q&As: Should newly separated woman buy a house or rent?
Our total tax rate depends on whether we spend or save.
End of year message.

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NZ Herald December 10 2005

Q&As: $29,000 rental in Gore not the thing for a risk-averse man.
More on tax on a second job.

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Syndicated column November 29 2005: The student loan lark - what students can and can't do

Student loans are back in the news. And there's some confusion about how students will be able to use - or abuse - the system when all loans become interest-free next April.

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Syndicated column November 15 2005: Borrowing is not all bad - it depends why we borrow

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard has been telling us off because we keep raising our mortgage debt. But, from the individual's point of view, how bad is that? It depends on why we borrow.

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Syndicated column November 1 2005: Borrowing tricky between family or friends

A quote recently caught my eye. "The easiest way to teach children the value of money is to borrow some from them," it said.

But that applies not only to children. Adults, it seems, take much more notice when someone has borrowed from them than when someone has lent to them.

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Holm Truths spring 05

Kids, cash and cards: Help your children learn about money

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Saving for the children's future

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NZ Herald August 20 2005

Q&As: Should a youg woman put her savings into her rental mortgage or diversify?
How to get through to Inland Revenue.
Take care when depreciating rental property.

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Holm Truths winter 05

Seize the chance: A great way to boost your savings

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Investment as retirement approaches

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NZ Herald May 7 2005

Q&As: A letter to give a spouse who is mean with money.
Where to get info on interest rates.
Returns on share funds, and debt repayment.

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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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NZ Herald April 9 2005

Q&As: Where should a 13-year-old put his regular savings?
Extra repayments on a fixed mortgage.

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NZ Herald March 19 2005

Q&As: Tips for a 12-year-old on how to save.
A revolving credit mortgage might be just the thing.
One way to spot a leaky home.

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NZ Herald February 5 2005

Q&As: Where to from here for 56-year-old rental property owner?
Should rich people be writing this column?

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Holm Truths summer 04-05

Scattering the seeds: By diversifying, you reduce risk but not returns

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Some people over-save for retirement

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Holm Truths spring 04

Investor beware!: How to spot a rip-off or scam

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Plans for single mother of 41

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Holm Truths autumn 04

'His & Hers' investment styles - How gender affects the way we invest

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Borrowing to invest, eg in a rental property

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Holm Truths autumn 02

Burrowing into borrowing: Buying goods and services using credit cards or hire purchase can hurt your wealth

Also in this issue: Great Debate: Credit cards v EFTPOS

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Holm Truths spring 01

Taking on the world: Spread your share investment money across the world

Also in this issue: Great Debate - Investing v repaying your mortgage

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