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

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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.


KiwiSaver

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 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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RNZ Radio 16 March 2017

Bonds - Most of us are in them. How safe are they?

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NZ Herald 4 March 2017

Q&As: Reader has same credit card trouble as last week's correspondent ...
- ... And last week's correspondent finds the remedy doesn't work
- Another reader has a suggestion on credit card limits
- And yet another one says 'Fire your bank'
- Thousands paying too much tax in KiwiSaver
- Know your rights when dealing with financial service providers

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RNZ Radio 2 March 2017

What savers and investors are entitled to

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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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RNZ Radio 16 February 2017

KiwiSaver - heading into retirement and after you retire

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NZ Herald 4 February 2017

Q&As: How much emergency money, and where should it be invested?
- When it's a good idea to keep your bank at arm's length
- Should young couple buy a home now, or wait and hope on prices and exchange rates?
- Best way to compare KiwiSaver funds

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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 24 December 2016

Q&As: When you can take diversification too far
- Where to invest in passive or index funds
- Book is older than I thought
- 2 letters from immigrants express their appreciation
- 15 years later, advice has proved helpful

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RNZ Radio 22 December 2016

KiwiSaver: Why some people aren't in it (Part 3), and listeners' questions about the scheme

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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 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 3 December 2016

Q&As: More pros and cons of KiwiSaver versus other investments
- Paying down mortgage very effective after tax
- Offset or revolving credit mortgage might suit reader
- Meaningful Christmas gifts

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RNZ Radio 8 December 2016

Why some people are still not in KiwiSaver, or are on a contributions holiday: Part 2

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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 19 November 2016

Q&As: NZ tops the world - so it might be better to wait to buy a house
- KiwiSaver tax credit still $521
- Share fund not so great - especially if you check what it's measured against

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NZ Herald 12 November 2016

Q&As: Risky to put all your money in a single share
- Reader recommends book and website about index funds
- NZ research on active v passive similar to elsewhere
- My maths is called into question
- A reader doesn't like debate in column...
- ... But another reader is happy
- KiwiSaver rules if you move overseas

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RNZ Radio 10 November 2016

Why some people are still not in KiwiSaver, or are on a contributions holiday. Part 1

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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 22 October 2016

Q&As: Should we be getting out of property and shares?
- Leasehold property not always a bad idea, but ...
- KiwiSaver tax credit numbers not quite right

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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 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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RNZ Radio 1 September 2016

How emotional thinking can get in the way of good investing

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NZ Herald 27 August 2016

Q&As: Who should add a windfall to KiwiSaver, and who shouldn't
- Reader gets fun out of direct share investment
- Was Rabobank included in recent stress tests?
- Is there any point in reader continuing pension contributions?
- Which KiwiSaver funds are 'ethical'

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NZ Herald 20 August 2016

Q&As: Borrowing to invest in shares raises risk - and rewards
- Buying shares directly versus using a KiwiSaver fund
- Reader shouldn't worry that KiwiSaver first home withdrawal will stop

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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 30 July 2016

Q&As: It's easy to check if you're eligible for a tax refund
- Former homeowners may be able to use KiwiSaver money to buy a home
- Most people using KiwiSaver first home help don't stop contributing

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NZ Herald 23 July 2016

Q&As: Should we bail out of bank accounts if house prices plunge 40 per cent?
- All bank accounts and term deposits affected if a bank fails
- Thanks but no thanks to a suggested video
- Share funds much safer than finance companies were
- 65-pluser should stick with KiwiSaver given employer's generosity

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RNZ Radio 21 July 2016

KiwiSaver rules, and how to make the most of the scheme

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NZ Herald 16 July 2016

Q&As: 'Laddering' term deposits has several advantages
- Riskier funds tend to do better, but fees hit reader's returns
- Get agent's advice on upgrading house before selling?
- Reader's first KiwiSaver tax credit a disappointment

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RNZ Radio 7 July 2016

Timing the housing market, and KiwiSaver first home help

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NZ Herald 2 July 2016

Q&As: A reader challenges my 2008 advice on term deposits
- Another wants to buy - not sell - UK shares right now
- Family should consider inner Auckland townhouse
- My motive is uncovered!
- Some lucky reading at McDonalds
- Corrections

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NZ Herald 25 June 2016

Q&As: Don't count on house price rises - and it may be better to keep renting
- Couple need to make up their mind about buying vs renting
- KiwiSaver providers occasionally slip up on claiming tax credits

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NZ Herald 18 June 2016

Q&As: Ignore misleading KiwiSaver salesman, but maximize your tax credit
- Change to contributions holidays just a suggestion
- 1970s house much more modest than today's houses
- Well done! - but take case about judging others' spending

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RNZ Radio 9 June 2016

Listeners' questions on KiwiSaver performance and timing markets

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NZ Herald 28 May 2016

Q&As: 'Ripped off' reader should shop around rather than dropping life insurance
- How to judge a KiwiSaver fund
- Start small, and keep going
- Help for woman with $100,000 in credit card debt

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RNZ Radio 26 May 2016

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RNZ Radio 19 May 2016

KiwiSaver performance, and timing markets

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Commission for Financial Capability May 2016: Podcast on KiwiSaver and Decumulation Q&A

Jane Luscombe of the Commission chats with Mary about what you can do with your KiwiSaver funds once you reach 65.

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NZ Herald 14 May 2016

Q&As: Steer clear of Hong Kong share pitch
- Hedging applies to most KiwiSaver investors
- A way to hedge an index fund investment

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NZ Herald 16 April 2016

Q&As: Employees not limited to 3,4 or 8% KiwiSaver contributions
- Should young couple get into rental property?
- An investment option for Muslims
- 2 ways to get into share investing
- Many prices have fallen over the years

Money column for April 16 2016

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Radio NZ 14 April 2016

Listeners' questions and comments about compounding and KiwiSaver

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Radio NZ 7 April 2016

KiwiSaver for people nearing and in retirement

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Radio NZ 31 March 2016

The magic of regular saving - both in and out of KiwiSaver

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Radio NZ 24 March 2016

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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 12 March 2016

Q&As: Judge interest rates against inflation
- Retired couple seek higher returns
- KiwiSaver provider drops fees on low balances
- Young home buyers weigh up fixed and floating mortgages

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NZ Herald 5 March 2016

Q&As: 5 steps to get a reader and daughter back on KiwiSaver ladder
- Could KiwiSaver fees reduce a low balance to zero?
- How to choose a non-KiwiSaver fund

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NZ Herald 27 February 2016

Q&As: Why daughter's KiwiSaver account didn't perform so well
- Getting the most out of KiwiSaver for children
- KiwiSaver tax credit in the year you turn 65
- Another great quote on investing
- Pros and cons of family life on a boat

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Radio NZ 18 February 2016

Listeners' questions on rental property and KiwiSaver

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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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Radio NZ 4 February 2016

Listeners' questions on setting financial priorities

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NZ Herald 19 December 2015

Q&As: Are Bonus Bonds a good place for retirement savings?
- How safe are Bonus Bonds?
- Another KiwiSaver provider that allows regular withdrawals in retirement
- Happy reader moving into new home - thanks partly to this column

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NZ Herald 12 December 2015

Q&As: Reader worries about borrowers on peer-to-peer lending site Harmoney
- Another possible meaning for "freehold"
- Should windfall go on buying a rental or mortgage repayment?
- Insurance advisers respond to critical report

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Radio NZ 26 November 2015

Are you in the best KiwiSaver fund for you?

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NZ Herald 21 November 2015

Q&As: Why it's better to sell a home before buying another one
- Reader alarmed by what I said about interest on bonds
- Do high dividends go with high risk?
- Another KiwiSaver provider offers regular withdrawals in retirement

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NZ Herald 14 November 2015

Q&As: Investing for dividend income okay for some, but has its risks
- Info outdated on ANZ's KiwiSaver cash fund holdings
- BNZ cash fund returns not so bad, but that's not the main point
- Reader challenges Kiwibank's KiwiSaver investing
- Interest paid on KiwiSaver money-in-waiting

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Radio NZ 12 November 2015

Two issues: Is home ownership the only way to go? And ethical investing

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NZ Herald 7 November 2015

Q&As: BNZ KiwiSaver scheme moving to change 'eggs in one basket' concerns
- KiwiSaver contributions move slowly into funds
- Tax break ideas for first home buyers have flaws

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Radio NZ 5 November 2015

KiwiSaver for children and younger people

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NZ Herald 31 October 2015

Q&As: 80-year-old is still spending up large
- What happens when bank KiwiSaver providers invest heavily in their own products?
- The complexities of buying an apartment
- Another KiwiSaver provider offers regular withdrawals in retirement
- Auckland housing market not a Ponzi scheme, but how about the Greater Fool theory?

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NZ Herald 24 October 2015

Q&As: Is greed behind Auckland house price rises?
- Apartment or unit? Go with what you prefer
- Rental property not a good way to invest her inheritance
- Individual shares or a share fund?

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Radio NZ 22 October 2015

Why every NZer under 65 should be in KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 17 October 2015

Q&As: How a woman who can't stop herself from spending could tie up an inheritance
- Extra house savings may be better outside KiwiSaver
- Saving in or out of KiwiSaver, and 55-year-old can still aim at home ownership
- More information about life expectancy
- Is ageism rearing its ugly head amongst pensioners?

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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 3 October 2015

Q&As: What are bonds, and are they a good investment?
- KiwiSaver instead of term deposits for retiree?
- Can you judge KiwiSaver fund by 2-month return?
- How tax affects Givealittle fundraising in memory of daughter

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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 19 September 2015

Q&As: Trying to time markets is a fool's game ...
- ... And picking a few shares to invest in isn't much better
- Where to buy shares, and a better suggestion for teen
- How come there are two monthly bills on one credit card bill?

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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 25 July 2015

Q&As: Couple's rental property plans riskier than they might think
- What happened at Milford, and how are KiwiSaver members placed?
- Bank adviser may regret lack of interest in man in his 90s
- Hard to be a young, independent adviser

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NZ Herald 11 July 2015

Q&As: Has reader discovered the secret to beating the share market?
- Could a bank failure lead to cuts in KiwiSaver funds?...
- ... And Bonus Bonds?
- A reader is happy with their adviser
- But another reader dumped the same adviser

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NZ Herald 4 July 2015

Q&As: Women's gifting circles look to be illegal, and ...
- ... they could lead to 'an abundance of hate'
- Shortish-term money shouldn't be in shares, despite adviser
- An advantage of regularly investing the same amount, whatever the market does
- One provider charges less for non-KiwiSaver funds

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NZ Herald 27 June 2015

Q&As: Government seeks your views on financial advisers
- You want an Auckland house? Go ahead and buy one
- Similarly, buy the bach now
- Where to save extra, over and above KiwiSaver ...
- And watch out for fee differences

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NZ Herald 20 June 2015

Q&As: Are "women's gifting circles" legit?
- Is bank financial adviser giving "best" advice?
- KiwiSaver tax credits don't cross the Tasman
- Tips on getting more from a revolving credit mortgage

Money column for June 20 2015

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NZ Herald 13 June 2015

Q&As: Reader uneasy about crowdfunding company's marketing
- Plans to time the share market with KiwiSaver are worrying
- Are the politicians complaining?

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NZ Herald 6 June 2015

Q&As: KiwiSaver has changed many times, but it's still worth contributing to
- Is it worth signing up a child to KiwiSaver now the kick-start has gone
- A novel way of valuing your friends

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NZ Herald 30 May 2015

Q&As: How should high-saving couple allow for emergency money?
- Will reader's children squeak through and get KiwiSaver kick-start?...
- ... And will another reader's partner?
- Some bank depositors' money at risk if bank gets into trouble
- Shouldn't borrowers be the ones who bail out a bank?

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NZ Herald 23 May 2015

KiwiSaver Kick-start ends
Q&As: Patience needed on new first home KiwiSaver withdrawal rules
- How to get around KiwiSaver guardian rules
- Reader skeptical about Reserve Bank statements

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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 2 May 2015

Q&As: How to persuade 20-somethings to stick with KiwiSaver
- An offer too good to not miss
- Get legal advice when lending to adult children
- Can bankruptcy distribution be undone?
- Last week's picture was misleading

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NZ Herald 25 April 2015

Q&As: Leave Auckland - and calculate how far your freed up money will go
- Transferring money early to Australia is not a good bet
- Court decision raises questions for KiwiSavers in financial trouble
- A way round the 3-month KiwiSaver wait, if you're a big contributor
- KiwiSaver scheme offers wide range of investments

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NZ Herald 18 April 2015

Q&As: How some can get round the single KiwiSaver provider rule
- Borrowing lots to buy rentals not the way out for reader's parents
- Should couple bring property money back from Australia or wait for a better exchange rate?
- Another provider offers unhedged KiwiSaver growth fund
- Lawyer not recommending against using a lawyer

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NZ Herald 11 April 2015

Q&A: Should parity with Aussie dollar affect investing?
- How currency movements affect KiwiSaver funds, and what you can do about it
- A good way to lend to adult children?
- Better to pay down mortgage or invest elsewhere?
Money column for April 11 2015

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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 28 March 2015

Q&As: 'No' on deductions but 'yes' on student loan for teen entrepreneur
- Clarification on KiwiSaver fees for children
- Doesn't performance matter more than fees?
- Give or lend to adult children when they need it, not when you die

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NZ Herald 21 March 2015

Q&As: How to make KiwiSaver work well for children
- Watch the fees particularly if you have a high KiwiSaver balance
- Further help for last week's provincial couple?
- Worried about your kids' inheritance? Bring them up well!

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NZ Herald 14 March 2015

Q&As: Provincial town dwellers better to stick with their house, despite falling prices
- Reader challenges the Reserve Bank's confidence in the banking system
- No you can't withdraw KiwiSaver money on maternity leave, and you should have known that!
- How lending or giving to family could come back and bite you

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NZ Herald 14 February 2015

Q&As: How to let both daughters in on the deal
- Did "holidaying" KiwiSaver miss out?
- Could KiwiSaver money be grabbed because hubby's running up debts?
- Student loan repayments can continue into retirement
- Some tips for last week's separated woman

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NZ Herald 7 February 2015

Q&As: Can 57-year-old separated woman on low income get a mortgage?
- Should move from term deposits to balanced fund be done all at once?
- Ditto for move to higher-risk KiwiSaver fund
- How to get independent advice - on paying down the mortgage

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NZ Herald 31 January 2015

Q&As: Kicked out of KiwiSaver for joining when too old
- Is now the time to get out of Auckland property and into shares? Who knows?
- Aspiring home buyer's plan highly risky

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NZ Herald 20 December 2014

Q&As: Couple gets a second chance for the KiwiSaver first home subsidy
- Where to get info on ethical KiwiSaver funds
- An ethical KiwiSaver fund with a difference
- Thanks to readers throughout the year

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NZ Herald 13 December 2014

Q&As: New Zealanders are 'all talk and no action' on ethical funds
- Don't try to time markets with your KiwiSaver account
- Why we need a capital gains tax
- Why rental property should be taxed like other businesses
- Landlords not necessarily admirable, but ...

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NZ Herald 29 November 2014

Q&As: Do landlords take advantage of others less fortunate?
- How KiwiSaver members are protected from losing their money
- Inland Revenue got it wrong last week about interest deductions on family loans
- Meaningful Christmas gifts

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NZ Herald 22 November 2014

Q&As: The pros and cons of investing in several rental properties
- An employer can contribute any amount above 3% of pay into a KiwiSaver account
- Who owns the shares when you invest through a nominee, and does it matter?
- Was I wrong last week about tax deductibility in a family loan?

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NZ Herald 15 November 2014

Q&As: Are older people greedy? Is this question worth worrying about?
- What does "return" mean in KiwiSaver
- Is interest on family loans taxable?
- Reality strikes after parents lend to student son

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NZ Herald 8 November 2014

Q&As: Early Brierley investment brings back memories of 1987
- Reader and I disagree on share market performance - and who reads this column!
- Family loan suggestion 1: put it in borrower's will
- Family loan suggestion 2: put it in lender's will
- Family loan suggestion 3: borrower should try elsewhere first
- Why KiwiSaver Fund Finder idea wouldn't work

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NZ Herald 1 November 2014

Q&As: Comparing KiwiSaver and similar non-KiwiSaver funds from the same provider
- A reader offers some tough rules for family gifts or loans to students
- Keep others in the know about family loans
- Misunderstandings about children and KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 25 October 2014

Q&As: Some rules for lending to family members
- KiwiSaver provider not taking Warren Buffett's advice about share trading
- A reader wonders where her KiwiSaver contributions have gone

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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 4 October 2014

Q&As: How to find out who your KiwiSaver provider is, if you've forgotten
- Concentration on just the Kiwi/US exchange rate leaves a traveller wondering
- Confusion over KiwiSaver first home help
- Can one partner get first home help when the other doesn't qualify?
- Is this a good time to buy a home in Christchurch?

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NZ Herald 27 September 2014

Q&As: Take a lot of notice of KiwiSaver fees
- Employees can easily contribute extra to KiwiSaver
- When is a 25-year mortgage really a 20-year mortgage?
- When can people who owe tax get away with not paying it?
- Online tax calculator now includes ACC levy

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NZ Herald 20 September 2014

Q&As: Gold fans no longer to be seen now price has plummeted
- Reader wishes she'd never heard of tax refund company
- Alternative to KiwiSaver for 67-year-old
- Is Buffett a better bet than an index fund?

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NZ Herald 13 September 2014

Q&As: How would Labour's proposed variable KiwiSaver contributions rate work?
- Labour's capital gains tax and.... shares
- ... public submissions before the tax is enacted
- ... how inheritances would be treated
- ... family homes and baches in a trust
- ... using part of the home for business
- ... its effect on house prices
- ... its effect on rents

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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 30 August 2014

Q&As: Lessons for investor after double whammy hits index fund
- Is now a good time to get into an index fund?
- Details of Labour's capital gains tax yet to come
- A tax idea that probably wouldn't work
- How did retired widow get such a big KiwiSaver balance?

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NZ Herald 23 August 2014

Q&As: Poor performance not a good reason to switch KiwiSaver funds
- The pros and cons of a capital gains tax
- Too little info on Labour's capital gains tax?
- Would the tax allow for inflation? Yes and no

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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 28 June 2014

Q&As: Car buying decisions not always rational
- Should young man invest in Fiji, buy a house, or neither?
- Why it takes so long to process KiwiSaver contributions
- When must self-employed make employer contributions to KiwiSaver?
- I will try to run more non-KiwiSaver Q&As
- Last week's picture offends a reader

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NZ Herald 21 June 2014

Q&As: Reader says column includes too much on KiwiSaver - which won't work well anyway. Also, new 'tool' duds retirees
- Is employer's way of getting employees to basically pay their own KiwiSaver employer contributions legit? ...
- ... Might such practices be outlawed? And how are political parties proposing to change KiwiSaver?
- Family Budgeting Services could be a big help to a couple

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NZ Herald 14 June 2014

Q&As: Talkback radio misguides a reader about KiwiSaver
- KiwiSaver hardship withdrawals far from impossible to get
- Move now to maximize your KiwiSaver tax credit

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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 31 May 2014

Q&As: Comparing the Government's Budget with a family budget
- 3 Q&As about apologies, "amazing", "awesome", and correcting grammar
- Should retiree add $500,000 of other savings to his KiwiSaver account?

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NZ Herald 24 May 2014

Q&As: How to easily learn more about your KiwiSaver investment
- Ask the boss to keep contributing to KiwiSaver after you gain access to the money
- When your employer keeps contributing, you should too
- Reader angered by comments about language

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NZ Herald 3 May 2014

Q&As: Do the banks tend to raise term deposit rates as much as mortgage rates?
- Some worries about compulsory KiwiSaver
- Did 'Mum and Dad' investors get a raw deal on Genesis Energy shares?
- An alternative to painting the house - for last week's correspondent

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NZ Herald 26 April 2014

Q&As: Single mum can't decide whether to renovate or sell
- How come some seemed to get more Genesis Energy shares?
- No I won't give info on gold savings plan
- What might be behind gold plan?
- How many employers stop KiwiSaver contributions at 65?
- Is employer playing fair with KiwiSaver contributions?
- Complications for some self-employed in KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 19 April 2014

Q&As: Gold plan will make us all rich - or will it?
- Do Chinese buyers of NZ houses get cheap mortgages?
- How KiwiSaver works for the self-employed

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NZ Herald 5 April 2014

Q&As: How to tell if an investment - beyond low-risk KiwiSaver funds - is fairly safe
- Should woman sell rental and enjoy the proceeds?
- Can reader use Dad's KiwiSaver for own benefit?
- Lenders may help with first home deposit timing problem

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NZ Herald 29 March 2014

Q&As: How about just paying tax, instead of moving house to avoid paying it?
- Beneficiaries can join KiwiSaver, and shouldn't feel they're not entitled
- Last week's lead Q&A overlooked costs of home ownership...
- ... and the limits to how KiwiSaver first home money can be spent

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NZ Herald 15 March 2014

Q&As: Think before investing in a rental with a relative, especially in your 60s
- A challenge to the banks about term deposit comparisons
- Is share brokerage deductible? Be careful what you wish for!
- Couple do really well in KiwiSaver, although it's partly good luck
Money column for March 15 2014

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NZ Herald 8 March 2014

Q&As: Laddering helps with term deposits, and we'll have to learn to live with rule changes
- High-quality bonds an alternative to term deposits
- Can an employee join KiwiSaver without employer involvement?

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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 22 February 2014

Q&As: Should family keep renting, or buy a home?
- Why Inland Revenue takes so long to process KiwiSaver contributions
- Employee must join KiwiSaver via their employer, but that's not so bad
- Adult children can't opt out of KiwiSaver, even though their parents signed them up

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NZ Herald 15 February 2014

Q&As: KiwiSaver not quite so marvelous over several decades
- But it's still worth being in
- The "buy a home before travelling?" question varies with the circumstances

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NZ Herald 8 February 2014

Q&As: Should young man buy house before doing his OE?
- Better to stay in the housing market than have time out
- How KiwiSaver first home help works for beneficiaries and student allowance recipients
- 2 Q&As about tax obligations of last week's spec home investor

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NZ Herald 1 February 2014

Q&As: Still hope for first home buyer with 10% deposit
- Profits from spec home best put into offsetting mortgage on own home
- How KiwiSaver fund finder gets around shortcomings
- Ideas for inexpensive family travel

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NZ Herald 25 January 2014

Q&As: Time for over-savers to spend on fun experiences - but still save some
- 65+ man's KiwiSaver plans overly optimistic
- All guardians must sign before children join KiwiSaver - which seems unfair
- How to judge a KiwiSaver fund's volatility using fund finder

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NZ Herald 14 December 2013

Q&As: Wisdom for bankrupt couple from one who has been there
- How to find ethical funds in the KiwiSaver Fund Finder
- Dangerous issue with last week's picture
- Stop tampering with KiwiSaver
- Last column of the year and thanks to correspondents

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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 30 November 2013

Q&As: Should people be forced to put some of their KiwiSaver money into an annuity?
- Highly leveraged property investing is risky
- An investor in both puts some perspective on shares versus property
- Meaningful Christmas gifts

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NZ Herald 23 November 2013

Q&As: Gear both or neither when comparing shares and property
- Tip for bankrupt couple: low-paid retail work has its rewards
- New KiwiSaver tool helps you work out your risk level
- Retirement date not the key factor in choice of KiwiSaver fund

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NZ Herald 16 November 2013

Q&As: New KiwiSaver comparison tool gets around problems with fees
- An acknowledgement, and a defence of my way of measuring share performance
- Sorry, but you can't deduct interest on your home mortgage


Money column for November 16 2013

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NZ Herald 19 October 2013

Q&As: Is there life after bankruptcy?
- Tax on KiwiSaver not as bad as portrayed
- Pay highest interest mortgages and other loans first
- One reader dislikes my comment on grammar, but three support it

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NZ Herald 12 October 2013

Q&As: A rule of thumb on which type of mortgage
- Don't take unnecessary gamble on house prices
- When is a capital gain really a gain?
- Some comfort for immigrant family on taxes
- KiwiSaver for a mum at home with children

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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 21 September 2013

Q&As: Dripfeed money when moving it from country to country
- Home exemption from capital gains tax applies to farmhouses but not farms
- Should people overseas be allowed to use KiwiSaver money to repay student loans?
- Is prostitution just another job?
- Sex worker's letter makes a reader weep
- Escaping the trap of over-valuing money

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NZ Herald 14 September 2013

Q&As: It's spending time for a man in KiwiSaver
- Sex worker wonders how to get an accountant
- How would capital gains tax allow for inflation?

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NZ Herald 7 September 2013

Q&As: Plans of 29-year-old daughter sound good so let her be
- Using KiwiSaver to repay student loans probably not a good idea
- Improvements wouldn't be subject to capital gains tax
- South African tax option not ruled out

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NZ Herald 24 August 2013

Q&As: 64-year-old should get rid of mortgage - and join KiwiSaver if she's not already in
- Capital gains tax valuation idea could cause problems
- How changes to the KiwiSaver first home subsidy would work
- Overseas grandson can't join KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 17 August 2013

Q&As: Young couple bonds over share investing
- Possible issues with capital gains tax valuation date
- 2 Q&As on retired farmer's low investment return
- Should KiwiSaver tax credit go to working 16 and 17-year-olds?

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NZ Herald 3 August 2013

Q&As: Reader's shareholding success probably more luck than skill
- There'll always be renters, but that doesn't mean we have to love landlords
- Property investors with big debt take big risk - and why do they brag?
- Older workers do take jobs from the young to some extent
- KiwiSaver contributions not taken from redundancy pay
- On quitting KiwiSaver to start a business

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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 6 July 2013

Q&As: Mother and son should probably go for the big trip
- Reader confused - although not unhappy - with student loan rebate
- Update on what's happened to gold and silver prices
- Type of mortgage would matter if bank defaults
- Property and shares more alike than reader thinks
- Diversification the best way
- 2 more KiwiSaver providers that tell members about tax credit

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NZ Herald 29 June 2013

Q&As: Will new OBR policy mean banks can take money out of our savings accounts?
- How risky are our banks?
- Why NZ doesn't insure bank deposits, and bank credit ratings
- KiwiSaver providers that alert members about tax credit top-ups
- Property prices can indeed plunge over mere hours - sometimes

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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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NZ Herald 15 June 2013

Q&As: Reader's message about international shares is good, but not his arguments
- How hedging international investments works
- How to be in KiwiSaver as well as another super scheme

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NZ Herald 8 June 2013

Q&As: One couple is happy with shares ....
- while another is happy with property
- P lab clean-up not a minor thing
- Why would anyone accept a low-ball offer?
- Seeing an adviser not always the answer
- In praise of KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 1 June 2013

Q&As: A reader likes property because he has more control than over shares
- Another reader prefers property for 7 reasons
- How to calculate your return if your KiwiSaver - or other investment - has doubled
- Now's the time to add to KiwiSaver to maximize your tax credit

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NZ Herald 25 May 2013

Q&As: Easier to borrow to invest in property than shares, but that's not always a plus
- Tax on international shares is different, but not necessarily worse
- Anti-KiwiSaver reader gives me all the more reason to write about KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 18 May 2013

Q&As: When are capital gains taxed?
- Should separated father's income count when applying for a student allowance?
- Too much in this column on KiwiSaver?
- The government's thinking on income in family trusts

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NZ Herald 11 May 2013

Q&As: Does rental property have tax advantages over shares?
- What happens if somebody wrongfully gets KiwiSaver tax credits while living overseas
- Does it work to set up a family trust so your kids can get student allowances?

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NZ Herald 4 May 2013

Q&As: Which is riskier, moving to a posher suburb now or waiting?
- Retired man's preference for shares may be riskier than he realizes
- You can't cash in KiwiSaver to buy Mighty River Power shares

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NZ Herald 27 April 2013

Q&As: Steer clear of foreign exchange trading
- Pensioner should also steer clear of finance companies offering high interest
- How you can avoid partial assets sales shares in KiwiSaver
- Not saying "I told you so" about investing in gold
- Buying a home still a good idea for couple in late 40s

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NZ Herald 20 April 2013

Q&As: Two readers warn about trying to control children's inheritances
- Do adult children expect an inheritance these days?
- A bit of confusion over KiwiSaver and tax
- Two readers' ideas on rethinking student loans

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NZ Herald13 April 2013

Q&As: Are Mighty River Power shares a sure thing?
- Is it good to get the kids into Mighty River Power?
- What to do when a trustee brother gets all the power

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NZ Herald 6 April 2013

Q&As: You can be regarded as being in a de facto relationship even if you don't live together
- Accountant gives bad advice on joining KiwiSaver
- Paying extra off the mortgage versus saving outside KiwiSaver
- 2 Q&As about young man who is NZ tax resident but still pays interest on his student loan
- Reader's student loan idea might work - depending on family dynamics

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NZ Herald 30 March 2013

Q&As: 2 readers tell of struggles for overseas students repaying student loans
- Another reader explains why he let his student children run up loans and then helped to repay them
- Confusion over changes to KiwiSaver employer contributions
- Will a pre-nuptial agreement do the trick?
- Can a parent draw up a Section 21 agreement for their adult child?

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NZ Herald 9 March 2013

Q&As: Your KiwiSaver account won't always grow, if you're not contributing
- Inland Revenue sticks to its guns about employer obligations around KiwiSaver
- 2 Q&As about trusts set up to protect inheritances from relationship property claims
- Some thoughts about relationship property problems, including help with difficult conversations

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Syndicated column 2 March 2013 - KiwiSaver about to move into high gear

KiwiSaver - which has lurched around a few sharp bends in its short life - is about to shift up a gear. From April 1, the minimum employee and employer contributions will both rise from 2 to 3 per cent of pay.

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NZ Herald 2 March 2013

Q&As: What happens if new employer doesn't take KiwiSaver contributions out of your pay
- Property relationship idea not as good as it seems
- How one reader contracted out of the Property Relationships Act

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NZ Herald 23 February 2013

Q&As: Relationship property - when does the clock start ticking?
- One way - plus a few others - that a mother could protect her daughter's inheritance
- Trusts not so cheap to set up
- Should people get access to their money when KiwiSaver changes?

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NZ Herald 2 February 2013

Q&As: Interest-only mortgages have major flaws
- Another - good - approach to reverse mortgages
- Are the banks ripping us off with reverse mortgages?
- Spending certainly didn't decrease for this new retiree
- KiwiSaver contributions flexible

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NZ Herald 26 January 2013

Q&As: Beneficiary can do well with KiwiSaver - with help from a Buddy
- Elderly couple shocked at how fast reverse mortgage is growing
- Should reverse mortgage interest rates be lower?

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Syndicated column 26 January 2013 - Let's not make KiwiSaver compulsory

The words "compulsory" and "KiwiSaver" seem to be appearing more and more often in the same sentence. I don't like it - but I seem to be in the minority.

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NZ Herald 15 December 2012

Q&As: The pluses outweigh the minuses when putting kids into KiwiSaver
- Some thoughts about reverse mortgages
- Alternatives to reverse mortgages
- An end of year message

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NZ Herald 8 December 2012

Q&As: Child's KiwiSaver account highly unlikely to shrink to zero
- Family could do its own "reverse mortgage"
- Some downsides of reverse mortgages

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NZ Herald 1 December 2012

Q&As: Reverse mortgages can work well, if you know what you're doing
- Where to get comparable info on KiwiSaver fees
- A parent's worries about KiwiSaver are probably unfounded

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NZ Herald 24 November 2012

Q&As: Lessons from a bad managed fund investment
- An older reader's tips on money and life
- Do parents commit their children to KiwiSaver if they sign them up?
- Meaningful Christmas giving

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Syndicated column 17 November 2012 - KiwiSaver thriving - especially among those in their twenties

KiwiSaver is thriving. Most people know by now that more than 2 million - over half the eligible people - are members. But a new report tells more. Far more people are now staying in the scheme after auto enrolment; many are switching from default schemes to something more suitable; and a full three quarters of New Zealanders in their early twenties are on board.

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NZ Herald 17 November 2012

Q&As: Is KiwiSaver the best place to save for a child?
- KiwiSaver is flexible in retirement
- 21st birthday money could be used to repay student loan - and get bonus
- Gains, taxes and prizes
- Another website offers info on banks
- Tell your KiwiSaver provider how well they communicate

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NZ Herald 10 November 2012

Q&As: Best websites for comparing banks
- "Frugal ways die hard"
- Winners of TV show may be in for a nasty tax surprise
- KiwiSaver may not be the best spot for 21st present

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Syndicated column 3 November 2012 - KiwiSaver's flexibility is a plus - up to a point

KiwiSaver is many things - mostly good. But I hadn't thought of it as a type of insurance policy until recently, when I was talking to an authorized financial adviser in Christchurch.

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NZ Herald 13 October 2012

Q&As: Make credit card repayment your top priority
- Why KiwiSaver tax credit is not as good as some people think
- Revolving credit mortgage could help some unhappy ANZ customers
- Reader bombs out on gold, silver, dollar forecasts

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NZ Herald 6 October 2012

Q&As: Is now a good time to buy a first home?
KiwiSaver versus mortgage repayment trade-off for self-employed and non-employees
2 Q&As about changes to ANZ mortgage conditions

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NZ Herald 29 September 2012

Q&As: A couple of concerns about buying shares in the company you work for
- Bank's mortgage changes don't look like profiteering
- New graduate shouldn't bypass KiwiSaver
- 3 Q&As about gloomy predictions and investing in gold

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NZ Herald 15 September 2012

Q&As: The big question: does the doom merchant use banks?
- Why NZ banks are not beloved
- How couple close to retirement might be able to get a mortgage
- When saving beats repaying a mortgage
- Low-income reader lives a good life
- Housing NZ offers help to retired people too

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NZ Herald 18 August 2012

Q&As: New research helps to answer whether couple in early 50s should worry about how much they are saving
- KiwiSaver funds won't be the next finance companies
- Should young man overseas repay his student loan?

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NZ Herald 11 August 2012

Q&As: The kids are off, the house is mortgage-free, now what?
- Couple are disillusioned by pathetic returns on managed funds
- What to do with a small KiwiSaver nestegg when it's your only savings
- Clarifying the rules about KiwiSaver withdrawal if you've moved overseas permanently

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NZ Herald 4 August 2012

This week we are publishing the second excerpt from a small book Mary Holm has written for the Reserve Bank called "Upside, downside: A guide to risk for savers and investors". It will be given away free to the public in September. This column will tell you how to get a copy then. Today we look at examples of risky investor behaviour. The normal Q&A column will resume next week.

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NZ Herald 28 July 2012

This week and next week, this column will publish excerpts from a small book Mary Holm has written for the Reserve Bank called "Upside, downside: A guide to risk for savers and investors". It will be given away free to the public in September. This column will tell you how to get a copy then. Today's excerpts include an overview and an example of one type of risky investor behaviour. Next week we will publish further examples.

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Syndicated column 28 July 2012 - KiwiSaver graduates face some choices

It's decision time for the first KiwiSavers "graduates" - those over 65 who have been in the scheme for five years. But there's no rush.

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NZ Herald 21 July 2012

Q&As: Repeated property do-ups unlikely to bring tax-free gains
- Are shares really better in the long term than property or bank deposits?
- Reader is confused over KiwiSaver first home subsidy price limits
- Sleepless nights over a charity donation

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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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NZ Herald 7 July 2012

Q&As: Tax rebates worth having - but are some charities greedy?
- Some health insurance might be too lean and mean
- KiwiSaver employees over 65 should ask the boss to keep contributing
- Is KiwiSaver balance likely to go backwards after retirement?

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Syndicated column 30 June 2012 - Angry readers react

I don't think I've ever received as many letters about this column as I did after the last one about KiwiSaver. A man is cross with me, a woman is cross with the government, and others are confused, curious, or want to make a point.

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NZ Herald 30 June 2012

Q&As: How to reduce the cost of medical insurance - and other insurance
- Do tax and morality mix?
- Poor communications a good reason to skip a KiwiSaver provider

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NZ Herald 23 June 2012

Q&As: Taxes are everywhere. But let's not get carried away with the pessimism
- On taxation and morality
- 2 Q&As about how to handle KiwiSaver accounts in retirement

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NZ Herald 16 June 2012

Q&As: Why people shouldn't cheat in KiwiSaver
- A reader is irritated about slow tax information and the policy on PIR tax rates...
- ... While another reader sings the praises of Inland Revenue
- 3 Q&As about KiwiSaver tax credits for people approaching their fifth anniversary in the scheme

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Syndicated column 16 June 2012 - Many KiwiSavers contribute too much or too little

Some people are putting too much into KiwiSaver- arguably anyway. Meanwhile, others contribute nothing or too little to get the most out of the scheme, and would be rewarded for taking steps to change that in the next two weeks.

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NZ Herald 9 June 2012

Q&As: Having trouble with your tax return? Ask Inland Revenue
- More to come in this column on KiwiSaver, even if some readers don't like it
- Cheating on KiwiSaver if you're overseas, and how you might get caught
- 2 Q&As on the fact that everyone - including those who turn 65 - gets 5 years of KiwiSaver incentives
- Charity operates in Christchurch AND overseas

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NZ Herald 2 June 2012

Q&As: Should charity begin at home?
- Advisers may not be the best source on comparing KiwiSaver providers - so how should you do it?
- Can a landlord get KiwiSaver first home help?....
.... And can a son who buys an expensive home with his Dad?
- An accountant questions Housing NZ policy

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NZ Herald 26 May 2012

Q&As: Reader dislikes "user pays" attitude and has a message for last week's self-proclaimed bigot
- Volunteers sought for overseas work and adventure
- Why young person who has moved to Australia might want to keep contributing to KiwiSaver
- Rules flexible for overseas KiwiSavers wanting to return to NZ to buy a first home
- A bank seems to be listening

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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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Syndicated column 19 May 2012 - The older you are, the better the deal in KiwiSaver

Wake up and smell a more comfortable retirement, middle-agers! A survey released today shows that no-longer-youthful New Zealanders are less likely to be in KiwiSaver and more critical of the scheme. And yet arguably they get the best deal out of it.

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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 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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Syndicated column 21 April 2012 - Why a reader advises his son against KiwiSaver - and why I disagree

A reader's letter explaining why he's advising his 18-year-old son not to join KiwiSaver has not convinced me.

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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 7 April 2012

Q&As: Best ways to play the KiwiSaver game if you are an employee with a mortgage
- 2 readers argue - convincingly - with my comments last week on student loan repayment
- Why a reader changed her attitude to repaying her children's student loans

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Syndicated column 7 April 2012 - Slow and steady not always the way to win

Slow and steady isn't always best when it comes to regular investing. We'll look at making annual investments, to keep it simple. But the same principle applies to contributing to KiwiSaver or other investments in which you make more frequent deposits of the same amount.

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NZ Herald 31 March 2012

Q&A: Students get a good deal by world standards, and shouldn't dodge student loan repayments
How come the bonds in a balanced KiwiSaver fund report losses?
Winning the tax game if you have a home and a rental property
Where to get free budget advice

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NZ Herald 24 March 2012

Q&As: Is it better to go for the most expensive house you can, or the cheapest?
- Adult son in sheltered workshop should keep up with KiwiSaver
- Slight risk of holding back on using student loan repayment bonus

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APN Newspapers March 2012: A big year for KiwiSaver

In the annals of KiwiSaver history, 2012 will be notable for two things. It will mark the start of a two-year shift away from government input and towards more employee and employer input, and it will be the first year in which members can withdraw their savings in retirement.

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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 25 February 2012

Q&As: Government action needed to help out retirees withdrawing their KiwiSaver money
- No tax when you take money out of KiwiSaver
- KiwiSaver gets good and bad report cards, depending on your approach
- 2 readers explain how they financially helped their student children

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Syndicated column 25 February 2012 - Should KiwiSavers with mortgages keep contributing?

This year's changes to KiwiSaver make it debatable whether members with mortgages should keep contributing to the scheme.

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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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Syndicated column 11 February 2012 - A year of change for KiwiSavers - and would-be joiners

We're in for a mixed year with KiwiSaver. Contributions from the government and employers will decrease. Still, there's a good reason for employees who haven't yet joined the scheme to get in now. Meanwhile, some over-65s will become eligible - for the first time - to withdraw money in retirement.

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NZ Herald 4 February 2012

Q&As: Most people still get their money doubled in KiwiSaver, or close to that ...
- ... And no, KiwiSaver is not self-funded by members
- What happens in April 2013 to KiwiSavers who pay their own employer contributions
- Good and bad employers and KiwiSaver
- A little book that says it all - almost

Money column for February 4 2012

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NZ Herald 28 January 2012

Q&As: Are employers allowed to take their employer contributions to KiwiSaver out of employees' pay?
- How a KiwiSaver in that situation can stop employer contributions - although it won't gain her much
- Pluses and minuses of the suggested "life stages" KiwiSaver default funds
- Professionalism "the kiwi way" can be a winner in the tourism industry
- Motel owners don't tend to do it for long

Money column for January 28 2011

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NZ Herald 21 January 2012

Q&As: 2 Q&As suggest it's not always easy to go into the motel business, or other tourism or hospitality businesses
- Should couple stop health insurance and set up their own fund to cover medical expenses?
- Is KiwiSaver still worth being in, given changes that make it less attractive?

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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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NZ Herald 3 December 2011

Q&As: Is share buying just for the elite?
KiwiSaver first home buyer strikes a hitch - but all is well
60-ish couple could get into rental property
Did our couple blow too much on holidays?

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NZ Herald 19 November 2011

Q&As: The "who and how" of KiwiSaver withdrawals before retirement - including what happens if you go bankrupt
- Was the recent advice on tax for buskers correct, or is their income donations?
- Two readers suggest a short-term approach to employment for 60ish couple made redundant
- Meaningful Christmas gifts

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NZ Herald 12 November 2011

Q&As: Help needed for couple in early 60s who can't find jobs
KiwiSaver member really needs to get her money out - and she should be able to
It's always better if your KiwiSaver fund grows
Did Voltaire actually say it - and does it matter?

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NZ Herald 5 November 2011

Q&As: Teen busker should be filing a tax return
Reader shows how not to choose a KiwiSaver fund
Voltaire quote last week hit the spot
Researcher reports on surprisingly high chance of ending up in a rest home

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Syndicated column 5 November 2011 - Too many KiwiSaver non-contributors miss out on the good stuff

Not far from half of all members of KiwiSaver are not contributing regularly to the scheme - whether they be employees on a contributions holiday or non-employees who are simply not putting money in. What a pity.

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NZ Herald 29 October 2011

Q&As: Parents hoping to deduct payments to baby for "working" for them are dreaming
Tax dodgers and protesters aren't in the same camp
Couple in sixties should grab the chance to get their own home
Why returns are disappointing on KiwiSaver cash funds

Money column for October 29 2011

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NZ Herald 15 October 2011

Q&As: Is it wise not to save because if you do you'll lose some government subsidies - and to spend the money on cars instead?
- Our chances of ending up in a rest home. And could there be insurance to cover the costs?
- Last week's "oily ragger" should do her own thing
- No bargain is quite so good when you consider how much you really had to earn to buy it
- Update on a reader's predictions of NZ's exchange rate and gold and silver prices

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Syndicated column 8 October 2011 - Fees matter, especially for younger KiwiSavers

Too many KiwiSavers - particularly younger ones - are sitting in funds that are likely to grow less than other similar funds.

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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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Syndicated column 24 September 2011 - Harsh words worth listening to

I've been hesitant to write about a recent speech by Paul Mersi in which he told off New Zealanders for their attitudes to money.

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NZ Herald 24 September 2011

Q&As: Two Q&As on our recent sawmilling picture - and how they got the huge log up there
- Is it still worth it to set up a trust so you are eligible for the rest home subsidy?
- A suggested way to stop people using trusts to get the rest home subsidy - and are trusts fair?
- Angry reader talks quietly
- Couple in their 60s plan trip to Greece courtesy of KiwiSaver

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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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Syndicated column 10 September 2011 - Labour shows up National on retirement savings issue

Come on National, you can do better. In less than a year, the first New Zealanders will gain access to their KiwiSaver money to spend in retirement. They need help with how to handle that money.

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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 3 September 2011

Q&As: Are NZ banks really safe, given what happened in the Great Depression?
- Is it worth spreading your risk by using several banks?
- Credit ratings still worth bothering with, and some thoughts on why readers get angry about gold
- 32-year-old new KiwiSaver should get straight into growth fund

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NZ Herald 27 August 2011

Q&As: Fears about the safety of banks unfounded
- A good idea to spread the family around several KiwiSaver providers
- KiwiSaver member misunderstands why her provider moved her money
- Reader urges me to hold my ground on gold, and to encourage investment in small high-tech companies

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Syndicated column 13 August 2011 - Watched KiwiSaver funds boils too much

The internet can be a curse when it comes to long-term investments such as KiwiSaver. With many providers, you can log in and check your account balance daily. But while a watched pot might never boil, a watched KiwiSaver account can boil too much - especially at times like these.

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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 6 August 2011

Q&As: Am I flogging a dead horse over annuities?
Why annuities are not popular
Perhaps the government should provide annuities
Different types of annuities available
Would it be wise to get an annuity from a UK company?
How KiwiSaver changes will affect shareholder employees

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NZ Herald 30 July 2011

Q&As: Two questions to ask before trading up to a more expensive house
- A pilot joins the call for annuities for retiring KiwiSavers
- Mercer explains its alternative to conventional annuities
- A KiwiSaver provider gives children a break on fees
- A reader is taken aback over a headline about steady incomes - and I'm taken aback that she cares!

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Syndicated column 30 July 2011 - Adviser's enthusiasm for KiwiSaver is way over the top

KiwiSaver is a good deal. But I was astonished by the claims made for the scheme by an experienced financial adviser in a recent industry magazine - and by his lack of clear thinking.

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NZ Herald 23 July 2011

Q&As: Calling all KiwiSaver providers: Please let us know if you have plans to offer annuities or similar
- Other payout possibilities for retired KiwiSavers
- Couple who have returned to NZ but still own UK house should sell it, buy here and get on with enjoying life
- Dwindling children's KiwiSaver accounts possible but unlikely

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NZ Herald 16 July 2011

Q&As: Retired couple with house in Christchurch's red zone have several options to weigh up
- Three Q&As about KiwiSaver for children and grandchildren
- One adviser firm accepts pay-for-performance fees, at least to some extent

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NZ Herald 9 July 2011

Q&As: Reader wants to pay financial adviser according to performance, but advisers not so keen
- Adviser's reason for putting clients into finance companies is not good enough
- RFAs - registered financial advisers - must also operate under stricter rules
- Grandma might want to put conditions on financial help for student grandchildren

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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 25 June 2011

Q&As: Should KiwiSaver member move to a provider with better investment performance?
- Reader "gets it" on why KiwiSaver is so good
- Another reader is over-enthusiastic
- Is it wise to put more money into KiwiSaver?
- Index funds are well and good, but what if everyone invested in them?

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NZ Herald 18 June 2011

Q&As: Why chimpanzee can outdo professional stock pickers
- Reader might be able to beat the market in property investment, but he has little chance in shares
- Which KiwiSaver providers offer index funds?
- Do KiwiSaver changes favour those on high incomes? It depends how you look at it.

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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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Syndicated column 4 June 2011 - Winning the KiwiSaver game under the new rules

As the dust settles on the government's Budget announcements about KiwiSaver, how should the changes affect the way you play the KiwiSaver game?

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NZ Herald 4 June 2011

Q&As: Changes to KiwiSaver and NZ Super inevitable - and justified
- Negatives about KiwiSaver not so bad
- Reader loves KiwiSaver
- 3 Q&As on tax credit and timing of it
- Immigrants from UK lucky with their timing
- UK interest rates not so low

Money column for May 31 2011

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NZ Herald 28 May 2011

Q&As: Reader knows more about chemistry than savings schemes
- Yes, KiwiSaver does rely on government favours to be attractive, but that's okay
- Timing of the tax credits in the next KiwiSaver year
- Some KiwiSavers on total remuneration may want to take contributions holidays
- When to bring UK inheritance to New Zealand

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NZ Herald 21 May 2011

Q&As: Self-employed probably fare worst in KiwiSaver changes, but scheme still really hard to beat
- Likelihood of more government changes not a good reason to stay out of KiwiSaver
- Abolition of gift tax reduces paper work for family trusts, but doesn't eliminate it
- "Provincial perspective" on changes in house prices over the decades

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NZ Herald 14 May 2011

Q&As: Foreclosed property seminar reminds me of investment warning lists
- Government's proposed changes don't affect current KiwiSaver decisions
- Do banks lend more than their total deposits?
- Am I brainwashed, and perpetuating myths about family trusts?
- Fair enough that housing is not cheap here, says American who moved to NZ

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NZ Herald 16 April 2011

Q&As: You need to compare rental properties and share investments on the same basis
- How does KiwiSaver work for kids, and will the parents "trap" them into something they won't want as adults?
- Should we look at house prices versus household income, rather than individual income, when looking at affordability over time?

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NZ Herald 9 April 2011

Q&As: Bad experience with fund shouldn't put you off KiwiSaver ...
- ... Nor should low income
- Way of getting around high-interest fixed mortgage not without risk

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NZ Herald 5 March 2011

Q&As: Should couple sell their house, and buy again later?
- The high price of not organising your automatic payments well
- When you should and shouldn't repay your student loan quickly - and future prospects
- 2 Q&As on what happens to KiwiSavers when they retire

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Syndicated column 26 February 2011 - More reasons to get young into savings accounts

An article I read recently made me more convinced that it's good to sign up children into savings accounts.

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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 12 February 2011 - So much for the "can't afford to save" excuse

Practically all New Zealanders can save. If they want to. In the wake of the release of the Savings Working Group (SWG) report on February 1, various people have been saying that many New Zealanders just can't afford to save. I don't buy it - or should I say save it.

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Syndicated column 18 December 2010 - A financial gift for both the giver and recipient

Christmas or not, here's a way you can give to someone else and also gain yourself. Sponsor an adult who is struggling financially to make the most of KiwiSaver.

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NZ Herald 4 December 2010

Q&As: Bank's handling of a fee inquiry leads customer to switch banks
- One good proverb deserves another
- Should Gareth Morgan Investments be under more scrutiny?
- PLUS Meaningful Christmas gifts

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Syndicated column 20 November 2010 - How to get more out of KiwiSaver

About 40 per cent of people in KiwiSaver don't know what kind of fund - conservative, balanced or growth - their money is invested in. Many of those won't be in the best fund for them.

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NZ Herald 6 November 2010

Q&As: How to weigh up contributing to KiwiSaver versus repaying your student loan, now that there's a repayment bonus
- Gold investors should take care about who is storing their bullion
- How long should it take to process a KiwiSaver application?

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Syndicated column 6 November 2010 - Non-KiwiSavers' reasons don't stand up to scrutiny

Many New Zealanders who haven't joined KiwiSavers are missing out on their fair share of the government booty because they misunderstand how it all works. Meanwhile, others in the scheme are not getting as much as they could out of it.

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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 9 October 2010

Q&As: Can a reader foresee gold and silver prices, and foreign exchange rates? Time will tell.
- Eggs in baskets matter as much now as ever - plus the difference between active and passive fund management
- Can you invest with more than one KiwiSaver provider?
- KiwiSaver for New Zealand resident with overseas employer - plus how to choose a provider

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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 25 September 2010 - Are we bad savers, or was it a bad survey?

A recent report on New Zealanders' savings habits annoyed me - and not because it starts by saying that the Savings Working Group, of which I'm a member, "is likely to face a tough challenge". What got my goat was its misleading conclusion.

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NZ Herald 25 September 2010

Q&As: Bank securities not quite what a reader was hoping for
The closing of a KiwiSaver scheme hasn't gone as smoothly as hoped, but it's no big deal
First home buyers should invest conservatively in KiwiSaver - plus: a painless time to join KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 25 September 2010

Q&As: Bank securities not quite what a reader was hoping for
The closing of a KiwiSaver scheme hasn't gone as smoothly as hoped, but it's no big deal
First home buyers should invest conservatively in KiwiSaver - plus: a painless time to join KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald 18 September 2010

Q&As: The "I can't afford it" excuse for not joining KiwiSaver just went out the window - plus other points about kids and KiwiSaver
Are managed share funds a crock?
Here's hoping a recent correspondent is not a regular reader of this column!
A book, online tool and language trick for overspenders and their partners
You must be under 65 to join KiwiSaver, but can take part in the scheme after that age

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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 4 September 2010

Q&As: Looking after the pennies is more rewarding than we realised
Three Q&As on readers' suggestions on how a couple can better manage their money - including ideas on mortgages and software
Is it worthwhile trying to time a home purchase to make the most of market movements? - plus KiwiSaver first home assistance details

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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 21 August 2010

Q&As: Reader who has previously owned a home but may still be able to receive KiwiSaver first home assistance
Couple in similar situation may also get the assistance, even if they have too much in savings
More options for investing in emerging markets
Last week's reader is making progress in getting KiwiSaver contributions that her employer didn't send to Inland Revenue

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Syndicated column 14 August 2010 - Turbulent times lead to confusing KiwiSaver returns

Confused KiwiSavers are asking some probing questions about the returns on their accounts, and I can't blame them.

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NZ Herald 14 August 2010

Q&As: What happens when your employer doesn't forward your KiwiSaver deductions to Inland Revenue
Do I still recommend share investments after the Feltex case?
I shouldn't have said "nobody foresaw the downturn" in the last column
Queensland might be good to retire to, but is it a good place to invest?
A brickbat about BRIC funds

Money column for August 14 2010

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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 17 July 2010

Q&A: KiwiSaver works well for beneficiaries - and there may be a bonus for those who are unwell
Am I a financial adviser? And why it matters to you

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NZ Herald 10 July 2010

Q&As: Other ways in which gold is risky
The difference between term deposits and bonds
Why is ING's default KiwiSaver scheme cheaper than the very similar ANZ and National Bank schemes?
Readers offer some udder ideas on what to call Mum and Dad investors

Money column for 10 July 2010

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Syndicated column 3 July 2010 - Generous KiwiSaver first home help applies to many

The first of the KiwiSaver first home withdrawals and subsidies will be paid out shortly. But many people still don't realise just how good - and how widely available - the KiwiSaver first home help is. It is clearly the best place for any New Zealander to save for a first home.

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NZ Herald 26 June 2010

Q&As: Reader's golden suggestion for investing proceeds of a house sale is worrying
3 Q&As about KiwiSaver details - for people in other super schemes, children, and newly signed up KiwiSavers
More ideas on alternatives to "Mum and Dad" investors, including from a top government official

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Syndicated column 19 June 2010 - Too good to be true - but it IS true

It sounds like a too good to be true scheme that's bound to end in tears: "Earn 36 to 56 per cent a year on a low-risk investment!" But there is such an investment, and it's called KiwiSaver.

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NZ Herald 19 June 2010

Q&As: Reader better off holding on to Auckland house while moving elsewhere to care for mother
How to maximise the KiwiSaver tax credit - before June 30
Should non-employee KiwiSaver contribute more than $1043 a year, or put further savings elsewhere?
Four readers offer alternatives to "Mum and Dad investors", but none of their ideas is great
This column pleads "Not guilty" of sexism

Money column for May 29 2010

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NZ Herald 12 June 2010

Q&As: A way for couples on higher incomes to get KiwiSaver first home help
Man with terminal illness can probably withdraw all KiwiSaver money
KiwiSaver contributions holidays more flexible than reader realises
More thoughts on why house prices have outgrown rents
2 readers challenge the use of the term "Mum and Dad investors" - and we seek an alternative

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NZ Herald 5 June 2010

Q&As: 3 Q&As on the KiwiSaver help for first home buyers - why it's so good, but also why some people aren't eligible
A possible explanation for house prices outgrowing incomes

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NZ Herald 29 May 2010

Q&As: People in their early sixties are mad if they are not in KiwiSaver.
One reader says it's too hard to buy a first home in Auckland, but two others have suggestions on how to do it
The cost of building hasn't risen since the 1970s, but shortage of land has pushed up prices, says a reader.
Follow-up on last week's comment about a job vacancy in Wanganui

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NZ Herald 15 May 2010

Q&As: Why house prices must - at some point - come down further
Newly retired person loses out, for a year, on PIE tax
How a rising NZ Super age might affect KiwiSaver
Temporary workers in KiwiSaver at a disadvantage

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NZ Herald article May 2010: Reasons for not being in KiwiSaver rarely make sense

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Syndicated column 8 May 2010 - Set and forget KiwiSaver funds a great choice for many

I'm not really interested in what happens under the bonnet of my car, as long as it goes. In much the same way many people are not interested in what happens to their KiwiSaver accounts, as long as they grow.

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NZ Herald 8 May 2010

Q&As: Two readers' bright ideas on how to negotiate with real estate agents
Everything you need to know about tax on PIEs, which include almost all KiwiSaver funds

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NZ Herald 1 May 2010

Q&As: Real estate agent objects to my suggesting people negotiate with agents
Brian Gaynor's and my differing views on the best way to invest
Buy a KiwiSaver book for less than half price

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NZ Herald 24 April 2010

Q&As: Retiree stuck with a property investment that's gone wrong should sell her house and the rental
71-year-old wants to be in KiwiSaver, while younger New Zealander stays out for the sake of the country
Fees are not the only consideration when choosing a KiwiSaver fund

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NZ Herald 17 April 2010

Q&As: KiwiSaver fees - and how an article may have misled people
The range of KiwiSaver fees
Is bank cheating a customer on tax withholding rates?
Depreciation usually clawed back when a landlord sells - or is it?
More comments from and about landlords

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Syndicated column 10 April 2010 - Change KiwiSaver default funds - but educate too

All the wrong people are ending up in KiwiSaver default funds - or are they? That depends on their financial knowledge, temperament and home ownership plans.

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NZ Herald 27 March 2010

Q&As: Why do people pick on landlords?
What tax breaks do rental property owners get that others don't get?
Why some accountants' advice to repay mortgage before joining KiwiSaver is wrong.

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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 13 March 2010

Q&As: Mum will probably never embrace KiwiSaver, but there's hope for her son
What happens to KiwiSaver if you are made redundant
Last week's column left a reader confused about tax rates

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Syndicated column 13 March 2010 - KiwiSaver neither guaranteed nor ghastly

Recent news suggests New Zealanders are poles apart on KiwiSaver. Some think the scheme is safer than it is. Others are leaping to ridiculous conclusions about how unsafe it is.

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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 27 February 2010

Q&As: KiwiSaver trustee change raises questions about how much trustees protect members
Hazards of dealing with an overseas sharebroker
What's the difference between investing and gambling?

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NZ Herald 20 February 2010

Q&As: Paying off mortgage - and getting rid of badly undiversified portfolio - are two great ideas
KiwiSaver can work well for student
Laying out the details on KiwiSaver exit fees
Buying shares directly from overseas broker cheaper in short run, but may not be wise

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NZ Herald 13 February 2010

Q&As: Some active share funds will do better than passive index funds, but it's impossible to predict which ones
Don't go chasing high-performing KiwiSaver funds - here's how to choose your provider
Another index fund available in New Zealand
Fee-charging advisers don't gain from putting clients in higher risk investments than they should

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NZ Herald 30 January 2010

Q&As: Investing doesn't have to be a part-time job. There's still time for novel reading.
KiwiSaver calculation - far from being wrong - is correct to the cent.
How the lack of a tax credit for kids in KiwiSaver affects contributions to their accounts.
There's much more to financial advice than just investing.

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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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Syndicated column 15 December 2009 - Do KiwiSaver - but not to the max

At a recent KiwiSaver seminar I was surprised to find that many employee members were still contributing 4 per cent of their pay, rather than the 2 per cent permissible since April 1 this year. And an AMP survey confirms that is not unusual. "Few have reduced their contribution, though indicating in February they intended to," says AMP.

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NZ Herald 5 December 2009

Q&As: Adviser's advice is shocking - on three counts
Does it make sense to want your charity dollars to all go to the frontline?
When should you reduce your KiwiSaver contributions?

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WHICH ASSETS ARE FOR YOU?

This week, Mary Holm's Q&A column is replaced by an excerpt from her latest book, "The Complete KiwiSaver". The principles she discusses here apply not just to KiwiSaver but to investing in general. Her Q&A column will resume next week.

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NZ Herald 14 November 2009

Q&As: Couple struggling with rental property should put it on the market
Did the issuers of perpetual preference shares adequately warn investors that their value could fall considerably?
The choices for a KiwiSaver who moves overseas

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NZ Herald 7 November 2009

An invitation to attend a breakfast representing investors
Q&As: Independent fee-charging advisers - the ones readers should be able to count on - to be listed in this column
Are accountants obliged to minimise tax, and to not dob in their clients to Inland Revenue?
Contributing to adult children's KiwiSaver accounts a good idea, even if they end up losing some of it in a marriage break-up

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Syndicated column 3 November 2009 - Fund performance tables can do more harm than good

Some figures I saw recently strengthened my resolve to steer people away from KiwiSaver performance comparisons.

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NZ Herald 31 October 2009

Q&As: Tax agent and Inland Revenue differ on treatment of investors selling rental properties
Two big issues lead to bad financial advice results
Is this column dominated by KiwiSaver?
Generally, don't put lump sums into KiwiSaver

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Syndicated column 17 October 2009 - Long tie-up in KiwiSaver no big deal

A Canterbury reader is concerned about whether to recommend KiwiSaver to his daughters. "For someone in their early twenties, the monies invested in KiwiSaver - even if a contribution holiday is taken - will be tied up for some 40 odd years," he writes.

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NZ Herald 10 October 2009

Q&As: A reader challenges my advice last week about postponing a first home purchase for three years
How to get around the income cap on the KiwiSaver first home subsidy
How to get around the three-year requirement for KiwiSaver first home assistance
Another reader challenges me - on my advice on whether to sell a Mangere Bridge house or a Whangamata house
The merits of coin tossing
Maybe Lotto will make reader's decision easier

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NZ Herald 3 October 2009

Q&As: Couple wondering whether to buy a home now or in three years could gain thousands from joining KiwiSaver
You can't get in early on the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal and subsidy

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NZ Herald 26 September 2009

Q&As: Is it better to sell a Mangere Bridge property or a Whangamata property?
Reader who switched to riskier fund, and saw immediate loss, wonders if she should switch back
Share markets have performed really well lately
Two letters about KiwiSaver and "total remuneration", in which employees more or less pay their own employer contributions

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NZ Herald 12 September 2009

Q&As: One reader loathes KiwiSaver, while the next one loves it. But both don't fully understand it.
A former hippie gets a bit carried away

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NZ Herald 5 September 2009

Q&As: Delaying joining KiwiSaver can mean you'll miss out on many thousands of dollars
How retired person can get the best out of KiwiSaver
Couple should use PIEs to make the most of their savings

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NZ Herald 29 August 2009

Q&As: Just because a so-called financial expert is confident, that doesn't mean he or she is right
If you haven't worked for a while any time in the last five years, you may well be in for a tax refund
Don't delay joining KiwiSaver, even if you're worried that you could be made redundant
KiwiSaver tax credit lark for the newly retired is too good to be true

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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 1 August 2009

Q&As: Reader's sad story about racing tips company
Horse breeder and racer gives his perspective on tips companies
When is a KiwiSaver cash fund not a cash fund?

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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 18 July 2009

Q&As: Several signs that company offering racing tips is not the path to riches
Managers of Westpac's poorly performing KiwiSaver cash fund ask investors to be patient
Happy investor says "KiwiSaver rocks" - even though he's too pessimistic over the future of NZ Super

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NZ Herald July 11 2009

Q&As: KiwiSaver still great for children, even though the fee subsidy is gone
Now might be an okay time to get into a rental property - for family in the right circumstances
Should young retiree switch some savings into a share fund?
Two Q&As offer advice - on school fees and insurance - to woman with dying husband

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NZ Herald July 4 2009

Q&As: Mother seeks advice on financial steps to take after husband is diagnosed with terminal illness
Investor in KiwiSaver cash fund hasn't done as badly as he thinks
Happy landlord reaps rewards from treating tenants well
Advice from this column about loans within families has saved time for a reader time - and money for her parents

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NZ Herald June 27 09

Q&As: Many reasons why repaying home mortgage is better than investing in a rental property
Couple who haven't heard from their KiwiSaver providers need to take initiative
Accountant passes on his tricks about how to keep track of KiwiSaver contributions

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NZ Herald June 20 2009

Q&As: No use crying over split milk: Investor can still make use of 10-year rule
Not all landlords have a dream run with their tenants
How KiwiSaver returns are boosted
Do KiwiSaver contributions need inflation-proofing, and if so, how?

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Syndicated column June 16 2009 - Time to top up KiwiSaver to make the most of the scheme

Mid-June is top up time for many people in KiwiSaver. If you don't take action in the next week or two, you could miss out on up to a thousand dollars or so from the government.

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NZ Herald June 13 2009

Q&As: Another - much happier - take on being a landlord, compared with last week
2 Q&As on how KiwiSaver works for a 64-year-old and a young man turning 18
KiwiSaver member who is trying to time markets should give up on attempting the impossible

Money column for June 13 2009

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NZ Herald June 6 2009

Q&As: Are rental properties the low-risk way to invest?
How to find out which financial institutions are covered by the government's deposit guarantee scheme
Getting rid of KiwiSaver mortgage diversion was a mercy killing

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Syndicated column June 2 2009 - Nyah nyah to Morningstar

One aspect of the recent Morningstar report on investors' experience of managed funds - in which New Zealand came bottom out of 16 countries - got little coverage in the news media. Ironically, it's about media coverage.

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NZ Herald May 30 2009

Q&As: "Gambler" with foreign currency movements had better get out of the casino before he loses more than his shirt
2 readers object to what I said last week about managed funds - but are their comments fair?
The fun continues over classic cars and whether they make good investments

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NZ Herald May 23 2009

Q&A: Don't let international survey put you off investing in managed funds
Reader challenges comments about classic cars

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NZ Herald May 16 2009

Q&As: Reader has an offer for the young man in last week's column
Classic cars are not the great investment many think they are
Online info helps you keep track of your KiwiSaver money
Is a possible future government "swoop" on KiwiSavers a reason not to join?

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NZ Herald May 9 2009

Q&As: Should fun be the deciding factor for 20-year-old's savings?
2 Q&As about topping up KiwiSaver accounts to get the maximum tax credit
Plus: Survey finds top KiwiSaver gripe is lack of information

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Syndicated column May 5 2009 - Non-KiwiSavers miss out because of misinformation

Sometimes it's not so much what you don't know but what you misunderstand that hurts you. That came through loud and clear in my recent reader survey about KiwiSaver.

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NZ Herald May 2 2009

Q&As: When investing in four funds is not necessarily better than investing in one
How employees can go about topping up their KiwiSaver contributions
Plus: "Too many providers" and other gripes of non-KiwiSavers who took part in a survey

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NZ Herald April 25 2009

Q&As: It's top-up time for many people in KiwiSaver
More ideas for couple having trouble affording their first home
3 Q&As on the government's new student loan repayment bonus

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NZ Herald April 11 2009

Q&As: Tips on how to ease back into investing in share funds.
Have I been too upbeat about the outlook for shares?
If the Dow Jones index is so bad, how come so many in the news media highlight it?
Auckland couple on $60,000 could buy a home if they really want to.

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Syndicated column April 7 2009 - KiwiSaver change should please many + book giveaway

The most significant of the April 1 KiwiSaver changes is the lowering of the minimum employee contribution from 4 per cent of gross pay to 2 per cent.

The change affects three groups of employees:

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NZ Herald April 4 2009

Q&As: First home buyers should be prepared to buy a "dump".
2 Q&As on KiwiSaver help for first home buyers - including new information for non-employees and people going overseas
KiwiSaver book giveaway - be in to win!

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NZ Herald March 14 2009

Q&As: Changes to the KiwiSaver first home subsidy rules.
Subsidy could suit couple well.
Where to invest if you plan to go for first home subsidy.


Money column for March 14 2009

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NZ Herald March 7 2009

Q&As: Don't try to time markets. Stick with your regular retirement savings, although you may want to modify where you save.
Teen's worries are unfounded about how Dad's income would affect KiwiSaver first home subsidy - but other subsidy issues still undecided.
Tax-wise, it's better to borrow for taxable activities than to buy a family home.
Plus: Clarification on the taxation of interest on loans between family members.

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NZ Herald February 28 2009

Q&As: Couple approaching retirement should spend most of their savings on paying off their mortgage.
Yes, you can get KiwiSaver tax credits as well as NZ Super.
Reader who distrust government confuses KiwiSaver with NZ Super Fund
Was this column wrong last week about withholding tax on interest paid on a loan within a family?

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Syndicated column February 24 2008 - Good fairy turbocharges lower income people's savings

You're struggling on a low income, as a part-time or full-time worker. All this talk about saving is fine for those making plenty, but you feel you can't spare anything. Fair enough.

Enter the Good Fairy. "How about a deal?" she says. "If you can set aside just a few dollars a week, I will multiply your savings five-fold, eight-fold, thirteen-fold - the lower your income the more I will boost your savings. It will really help you get ahead in the long term. Interested?"

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NZ Herald February 21 2009

Q&As: Terminally ill reader should get his money out of KiwiSaver and eat, drink and be merry.
Reader on invalids benefit can benefit from joining KiwiSaver - and an obliging friend could make it work better for both of them.
Many employee KiwiSavers will be better off reducing their contributions to 2 per cent after April 1 - but not all.
Lending within the family can get complicated when it comes to withholding tax on interest.

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NZ Herald February 14 2009

Q&As: The possible perils of parents lending a mortgage to adult children.
Tips on mortgage reduction from a mortgage broker.
How mortgage borrowers could unite to force interest rates down.
2 Q&As on what happens to KiwiSaver money in retirement.

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NZ Herald February 7 2009

Q&As: Some great ideas for reducing your mortgage.
Non-employees are also eligible to join KiwiSaver.
The KiwiSaver tax credit has nothing to do with tax.
Once you're in KiwiSaver, you can't get out again - but should you want to?

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NZ Herald January 31 2009

Q&As: Several options for 20-year-old who worries that the state of the world makes KiwiSaver iffy.
5 Q&As about reader who was offered a mortgage deal that was too good to be true.

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NZ Herald January 24 2009

Q&As: Advisor's mortgage offer looks too magical to be true
Children more likely to be angry because their parents didn't sign them up to KiwiSaver than because they did
Too much on KiwiSaver in this column?

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NZ Herald December 13 2008

Q&As: Government's KiwiSaver changes include a big improvement on their pre-election plans.
New taxation of KiwiSaver employer contributions is fair enough.
Plus - readers' views of my political leanings vary widely.

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NZ Herald November 29 2008

Q&As: Repaying a mortgage - on a home or rental property - almost always better than saving with term deposits.
KiwiSaver works well for children.
3 Q&As on charitable Christmas giving.

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NZ Herald November 22 2008

Q&As: Does charity begin in the home country? Salvation Army programme looks good.
List of overseas charities with Christmas gift offerings.
National's KiwiSaver changes could discourage single Mum trying to get ahead - but there's hope they will be altered.
The whole KiwiSaver mortgage diversion issue will be much easier for many under National's changes.
Plus: Readers on KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald November 15 2008

Q&As: 2 Q&As on National's proposed changes to KiwiSaver
Plus: Meaningful Christmas presents
Readers' views on KiwiSaver

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Syndicated column November 11 2008 - To hedge or not to hedge?

There are two key questions around investing overseas: Should you do it? And if you do, should you hedge your investment, so it's not affected by movements in the New Zealand dollar. The first answer is "Yes". The second is trickier.

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NZ Herald November 8 2008

Q&As: PIES have many more pros than cons, with tax breaks and, in some cases, a government guarantee
Single parent with three rentals might want to sell one - but not for the reason she suggests
Plus: readers' views on KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald November 1 2008

Q&As: There's plenty of hope for worried KiwiSaver in 30s - on the home ownership front and elsewhere.
National's plans for KiwiSaver make mortgage diversion much less attractive for many.
Plus: Readers' comments on KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald October 25 2008

Q&As: Does KiwiSaver allow for earlier withdrawal for someone with Down syndrome?
Would having savings in KiwiSaver affect entitlement to benefits?
Does it make sense to look at productive and non-productive KiwiSavers?
Some property investors stand to gain from the current climate.
Plus: Readers' comments on KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald October 18 2008

Q&As: Everything you need to know about the government's new deposit guarantee scheme.
Under the new scheme, should we move our money from banks to covered finance companies?
Will KiwiSaver still be good for self-employed 62-year-old if National wins the election?
Plus: Readers' views on KiwiSaver

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Syndicated column October 14 2008 - The facts on KiwiSaver plans - PLUS book giveaway winners

Forget the rhetoric; let's look at the facts. The National Party's plans for KiwiSaver would leave some better off, some worse off, some weighing up pros and cons - and more people in the scheme.

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NZ Herald October 11 2008

Q&As: How flexible are KiwiSaver providers about moving money between their funds?
Why are KiwiSaver tax credits so slow to come through?
Plus: Reader views on KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald October 4 2008

Q&As: A happy share investor, and how you might get out of shares if you need to in the current market.
How does KiwiSaver mortgage diversion work for someone with a "2 + 2" contribution arrangement?
Plus: Winners of the Herald book giveaway

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Syndicated column September 30 2008: Tax cuts bring KiwiSaver into reach for many

The "I can't afford KiwiSaver" excuse is about to get weaker for many New Zealanders. Tax cuts come into effect from October 1, and many families will also benefit from changes to the Working for Families tax credit and income threshold. The extra money will cover at least half of many people's KiwiSaver contributions, sometimes more.

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NZ Herald September 27 2008

Q&As: Why KiwiSaver mortgage diversion is such a good idea.
Should the government intervene to stop house prices from falling?

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NZ Herald September 20 2008

Q&As: Disgruntled KiwiSaver has actually done really well
Mortgage diversion finally available - soon - to most KiwiSavers

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Syndicated column September 16 2008: Retirement payments likely to make a comeback

Annuities - which are typically monthly payments to retired people, over and above NZ Super - may be on their way back onto the New Zealand scene.

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NZ Herald September 13 2008

Win a book
Q&As: KiwiSaver ethical investments options vary widely
Options for KiwiSavers who have gone overseas
A provider challenges my advice on a family spreading its KiwiSaver accounts around

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NZ Herald September 6 2008

Q&As: Family of five should go with several different KiwiSaver providers to compare them.
Last week's look at the effects of gearing was deliberately simplified - and it probably didn't make too much difference.
Two poetic reactions to last week's poem.
Parliament move ends wait for woman not wanting to sign a work contract that treats KiwiSavers differently.


Money column for Sept 6 2008

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NZ Herald August 30 2008

Q&As: A poem from the past shows how our attitudes to debt have changed. Will they change back again?
Reader wonders how long she has to wait for the government to change the law about employer KiwiSaver contributions

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NZ Herald August 23 2008

Q&As: 64-year-old can't believe how good KiwiSaver is for him
KiwiSaver providers give wrong info to a would-be investor
Retired man questions my advice about bonds

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Syndicated column August 19 2008: KiwiSaver more flexible and generous than commonly thought

Two lesser known features of KiwiSaver make it more user friendly than many people realise. They could entice non-joiners into taking part in a scheme which - after all - they are helping to fund, as taxpayers.

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NZ Herald August 16 2008

Q&As: Advice on investment during retirement has worked for these readers
KiwiSaver contributions holidays will be easy to take
Reader dislikes last week's answer on KiwiSaver fund performance

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NZ Herald August 9 2008

Q&As: Reader wants a list showing how KiwiSaver funds have performed, but I won't oblige.
Why farmers mingle their work and personal expenses.
More reasons why taxing families as one unit might harm more than it helps.

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NZ Herald August 2 2008

Q&As: 3 Q&As on whether New Zealand should raise GST and reduce income tax - including how some farmers cheat on their taxes, and whether we want to encourage people to work longer hours.
Why KiwiSaver providers are highly unlikely to suffer the same fate as many finance companies.

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NZ Herald July 26 2008

Q&As: Would it be better to raise GST and lower income tax?
Possible raising of retirement age not a good reason to stay out of KiwiSaver.

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NZ Herald july 19 2008

Q&As: Stop worrying about money, says former spendthrift, now in his seventies.
Employee KiwiSaver can do very nicely thank you if she or he has several employers.
Let's list the KiwiSaver good guy employers, rather than the others.
Employer is confused by government's planned KiwiSaver changes.

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NZ Herald July 12 2008

Article and then two Q&As about the Government's proposed changes to prevent employers from paying less to KiwiSaver employees than to other employees.

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Syndicated column July 8 2008: Older KiwiSavers get the best deal

Several readers aged 55 to 64 have asked what KiwiSaver holds for them. The answer is "heaps". The scheme is particularly attractive for this age group for two reasons:

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NZ Herald July 5 2008

Q&As: Average Joe Bloggs, sick of the rich and poor ripping off the system, seeks tax breaks.
"Fair Go" television show overlooked three important points when criticising KiwiSaver for children.

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NZ Herald June 28 2008

Q&As: Why older people get a better deal from KiwiSaver, but younger people should nevertheless still join.
Do interest-only mortgages qualify for mortgage diversion?

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Syndicated column June 24 2008: Hope and help for first home buyers

Things are looking up for would-be first home buyers, left out in the cold in the recent house price boom. The numbers are finally getting better, and government assistance is increasing.

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NZ Herald June 21 2008

Q&As: 2 Q&As on whether homeowners should sell and be renters for a while, to cash in on falling house prices?
Should 62-year-old buy a rental property or join KiwiSaver?

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NZ Herald June 14 2008

Q&As: KiwiSaver naysayer is the one who is "light on fact".
Self-employed KiwiSaver must contribute 4 per cent of pay when he takes a job - but he won't starve.
Inland Revenue "clarifies and expands" its position on mortgage interest deductions after a family home is rented out.

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Syndicated column June 7 2008: Take action now to get full KiwiSaver tax credit

June is the month of reckoning for KiwiSaver members who want to be sure they get as big a tax credit as possible from the government. But judging from reader emails and questions at seminars, there's a fair bit of confusion about it all.

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NZ Herald June 7 2008

Q&As: Many KiwiSavers double the money they put in the scheme, and some triple or even quadruple it.
Act now to make sure you get the full KiwiSaver tax credit.

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NZ Herald May 31 2008

Q&As: 2 Q&As on how the self-employed can make the most of KiwiSaver.
More to come on tax deductibility of mortgage interest when you rent out your former home.

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NZ Herald May 17 2008

Q&As: 61-year-old struggling to pay off mortgage considers renting out her house and becoming a tenant elsewhere.
Self-employed man wants to get back "over payment" into KiwiSaver

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NZ Herald May 10 2008

Q&As: Grandma will help grandson more by opening her own KiwiSaver account and giving him the savings.
Ultraconservative KiwiSaver funds are as safe as bank accounts, and bring much higher returns.
Is lack of self control more prevalent now than in the past?
Government bonds have their place for the ordinary investor.

Money column for May 10 08

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NZ Herald May 3 2008

Q&As: Measuring movements of the Kiwi dollar against the US dollar can be quite misleading.
Last week's boss responds to my response to him!
KiwiSaver tough on small businesses.
Many reasons to use Indian labour rather than NZ labour.
NZ workers not so bad.

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Syndicated column April 29 2008: Ethical investing likely to catch on here

Ethical investing - which has been increasingly popular in other western countries - is likely to catch on in New Zealand now that KiwiSaver providers have to state in their investment documents whether they offer this option.

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NZ Herald April 26 2008

Q&As: KiwiSaver the last straw for employer of "whinging, incompetent" New Zealanders
Reserve Bank offers some reassurance for reader worried that NZ banks could be caught up in their foreign parent's woes ...
.... But if you're still worried, consider the safest investments of all, government securities.

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NZ Herald April 12 2008

Q&As: Monkey story a great yarn, but it's not about the share market.
Reader's concerns about banks' exposure to foreign exchange risk are unfounded.
61-year-old should think hard before selling her house and enjoying some of the proceeds.
Man about to retire can still get plenty from KiwiSaver.

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Syndicated column April 15 2008: 3 ways that KiwiSaver just got even better

This month is a big one for KiwiSaver, with several changes taking effect that make the scheme more attractive - including a little publicised tax break.

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NZ Herald April 12 2008

Q&A: 3 Q&As on whether New Zealand banks are safe, whether it's best to spread your money around several banks, and bank credit ratings.
Should entrepreneurial types stay out of KiwiSaver?

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NZ Herald April 5 2008

Q&As: The best KiwiSaver fund for a 23-year-old depends on her house-buying plans.
Angry Blue Chip investor muddles my opinion with a reader's opinion.
A reader suggests why online tax payments sometimes go wrong.

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Syndicated column April 1 2008: In defence of writing lots about KiwiSaver

No journalist likes to be accused of doing PR for the government. So when the editor of one of the newspapers that runs this column recently suggested I was "championing" KiwiSaver, it got me thinking.

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NZ Herald March 8 2008

Q&As: A landlord's threats are perhaps a little hasty - but he has a point.
A KiwiSaver misunderstands the ups and downs of the market.
Are property shares a good option for young man saving to buy his first home?

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Syndicated column March 4 2008: What a difference a year or two makes

Most people have lists - either written or in their heads - of things to do, and certain items never seem to make it to the top. If one of those is to join KiwiSaver, push it to Number One promptly. Delay is probably costing you much more than you realise - unless you are 60 to 64.

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NZ Herald March 1 2008

Q&As: Five Q&As about employers contributing extra to KiwiSaver, at no cost to them:
· An employee can take advantage of this in more than one job.
· Employers are reimbursed for voluntary as well as compulsory contributions.
· Why even mean employers might go along with it.
· Employers can contribute any amount.
· How salary sacrifice works, and how higher employer contributions can boost it.

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NZ Herald February 23 2008

Q&As: A middle-of-nowhere section might not be the best choice for a 25-year-old's savings while he studies.
Have delays in processing KiwiSaver contributions hurt savers in the recent tumultuous markets?
How to top up your KiwiSaver contributions so you get the full tax credit.

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Syndicated column February 19 2008 - Mortgage diversion well worth it for many

The term "mortgage diversion" will be on more and more lips as KiwiSaver approaches its first anniversary in July.

It's not too early to think about whether this feature of the scheme - available after 12 months membership - would work well if you are already in KiwiSaver, or could attract you into the scheme.

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NZ Herald February 16 2008

Q&As: Bonus money in KiwiSaver for most employees - if they can get their bosses to play along.
When you need to top up your KiwiSaver contributions to $1043, to get the full tax credit.

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NZ Herald February 9 2008

Q&As: Calculator tells reader to stop saving and live it up a bit.
Reader who finds KiwiSaver nauseating has a scary list of things that could go wrong....
...But another one applauds KiwiSaver, while sitting on the home ownership sidelines.

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Syndicated column February 5 2008: Share plunge arguably good for KiwiSaver

Despite some irresponsible reporting, the low returns on many KiwiSaver funds in their first few months are no reason not to join up. I'd even say the rough start was good in some ways.

The one big worry is that people have read a few headlines and decided to stay away from KiwiSaver without understanding what's really happening.

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NZ Herald February 2 2008

Q&As: Does the share price slump disprove standard investment advice? And should advisers make economic forecasts?
KiwiSaver member is doing superbly despite the slump - as are all other members.
A reader objects to the idea that KiwiSaver is a gift from the government.

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NZ Herald January 26 2008

Q&As: 3 Q&As about recent negative Herald articles about KiwiSaver returns in the early months - and why they are misleading. We also discuss how KiwiSaver membership forecasts are made - with an apology to Michael Cullen and Peter Dunne - and how repaying a mortgage fast is a type of saving.

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NZ Herald article January 17 2008: Perspectives article on poor KiwiSaver performance

Earlier Herald article criticising KiwiSaver is misleading for two reasons.

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NZ Herald article December 19 2007: Concern over remarks on old-age support largely unwarranted

People should not be put off joining KiwiSaver because entitlement may eventually occur later

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NZ Herald December 15 2007

Q&As: Courses and grants help beneficiaries set up their own businesses.
Big earner is wrong to think KiwiSaver is not for him.
Why KiwiSaver money sits around at Inland Revenue for several weeks - although at least it earns interest.

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Syndicated column December 11 2007: Can't afford KiwiSaver? That's unlikely

A reader protests that, despite my suggestion that everyone under 65 should sign up to KiwiSaver, "reality has it that not many of us can afford it!"

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NZ Herald December 1 2007

Q&As: In defence of so many questions about KiwiSaver - and a challenge to readers.
Getting the best out of KiwiSaver for a non-earning wife and college kids.
Getting the best out of KiwiSaver for an early retiree on a low income.

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NZ Herald November 24 2007

Q&As: Eggs in baskets don't really apply to term deposits, but there's another way to diversify.
Taxing options if you take flatmates in to help you pay the mortgage.
2 Q&As on how to make the most of KiwiSaver if you are in and out of the work force.

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NZ Herald November 17 2007

Q&As: Why don't banks lend money for share investment?
2 Q&As on how you can best help your grandchildren (or children) into KiwiSaver
Christmas gifts for those who really need them

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NZ Herald November 10 2007

Q&As: Is now a good time for a 36-year-old to buy a house? And if so, should it be a bigger house, so she can take in tenants?
Four Q&As on how KiwiSaver works - or doesn't work - for those living overseas or planning to live overseas.

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NZ Herald November 3 2007

Q&As: Why does the price of our milk rise when overseas demand goes up?
How and when to take a KiwiSaver contributions holiday - for children and adults.
Two Q&As on KiwiSaver tax credits and timing.

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Syndicated column October 30 2007: Can't afford KiwiSaver or saving elsewhere? You should still join

Close to half of New Zealanders 18 and over who haven't yet retired say they are unlikely or very unlikely to join KiwiSaver, a recent AMP survey shows. But a glance at their reasons for not joining suggests they don't yet understand the scheme's flexibility. They are missing out needlessly.

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NZ Herald October 27 2007

Q&As: Twenty-eight-year-old with two rental houses wonders if this is a good time to buy a rental apartment.
Difficulties finding a KiwiSaver provider to accept tiny contributions from low-paid worker.
Saving kiwis.

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Syndicated column October 16 2007: KiwiSaver survives readers' challenges

It must be the noisier people who criticize KiwiSaver on the grounds that they don't trust the government.

Such mistrust has been a common theme in readers' letters. And yet a recent AMP survey of non-retired people 18 and over shows just 3 per cent of those unlikely to join KiwiSaver say it's because they don't trust the current or future government.

I was surprised, too, that only two readers responded to the challenge in my last column "to come up with a government change - that's at all likely to happen in a democracy - that...

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Syndicated column October 2 2007: Big bad government unlikely to spoil KiwiSaver

Every now and then, someone says to me, "The government must be paying you for all that favourable publicity about KiwiSaver". It's not, of course. And in any case, my coverage has been far from totally positive.

As I've often said, KiwiSaver distorts savings decisions, because you can save only in certain types of vehicles.

Also, the government - in other words the taxpayers - is paying many KiwiSaver members thousands of dollars to do saving they would do anyway. True, other members will save more because of KiwiSaver, but whether the whole...

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NZ Herald September 22 2007

Q&As: KiwiSaver totals over the years should be adjusted for inflation - but let's not get carried away.
People receiving ACC payments or Paid Parental Leave have a choice in KiwiSaver.
Early retirement plans won't be harmed by membership in KiwiSaver.

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Syndicated column September 18 2007: Combining kids and KiwiSaver

Every New Zealander under 65 will benefit from joining KiwiSaver, including newborns. But the rules - and how to make the most of them - are different for children, and many readers have questions about that. Here are a couple:

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NZ Herald September 2007

Q&As: Should a couple with 3 children move to a bigger house in town or take a bet on a coastal property?
Are KiwiSaver bond funds as conservative as they seem?

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NZ Herald September 8 2007

Q&As: Join KiwiSaver even if you are already in another super scheme - but no double dipping!
Can an employee get around the 4 per cent minimum contribution to KiwiSaver?
Is KiwiSaver for government employees too good to be true?
Choosing between KiwiSaver and another work scheme

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Syndicated column September 4 2007: Ins and Outs of KiwiSaver tax credit

Judging by readers' questions, confusion reigns about the government's KiwiSaver tax credits, which match members' contributions up to $20 a week or $1042.86 a year.

The tax credits are paid to every contributing KiwiSaver member 18 and over until they reach NZ Super age (currently 65) or five years after joining, whichever is later. For example, if you join at age 63, you will continue to get the credits until five years later, when you are 68.

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NZ Herald September 1 2007

Q&As: How the typical KiwiSaver investment fund differs from a finance company
Would it work for the government to sign a contract that it wouldn't change KiwiSaver over the years?
More winning entries for the KiwiSaver book

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NZ Herald August 25 2007

Q&As: Following last week's first Q&A, a reader suggests another way to bring overseas money to New Zealand.
Who's right, Gareth or me, on tax credit start dates?
We find eight providers who will accept one-off payments into KiwiSaver.
More winners of books.

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Syndicated column August 21 2007: KiwiSaver bringing out the best in many

One aspect of KiwiSaver that I'm enjoying is the way people are helping one another understand it. This came through in several entries to our giveaway of my book "KiwiSaver: How to make it work for you."

Entrants had to say in 40 words or less why they should win one of 30 copies of the book. Some wanted it book to help their children, some their parents and some their workmates.

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NZ Herald August 18 2007

Q&As: Man lives in NZ but his savings are in the US. When should he bring the money here, in light of the dollar's fluctuations?
3 Q&As on when the KiwiSaver tax credit begins - depending on when you join and/or start making contributions.
More winners in our giveaway of "KiwiSaver: How to make it work for you".

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NZ Herald August 11 2007

Q&As: KiwiSaver is just right for 30-year-old son having difficulty saving for his first home.
Why sign up a one-year-old for KiwiSaver?
Also: Some winning entries in the "KiwiSaver: How to make it work for you" giveaway.

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Syndicated column August 7 2007: Misunderstandings about KiwiSaver abound

Predictably, given that KiwiSaver is new, complex and not yet fully formed, there are many misunderstandings about it.

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NZ Herald August 4 2007

Q&As: How can employees get around the KiwiSaver restrictions on them, and how much should you contribute for your children?
A mother worries about whether she should sign up her children in KiwiSaver.
Also: Some winning entries in the KiwiSaver book contest.

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NZ Herald July 28 2007

Q&As: KiwiSaver providers that are offering ethical investment funds.
More on ethical KiwiSaver funds.
Will the KiwiSaver kick-start be around for a while?
Could the government take KiwiSaver money to repay student loans?
Oops! Too much haste.
Sack adviser who recently recommended Bridgecorp.

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Syndicated column July 24 2007: Sack the inaccurate journalists

A reader reports that she and her family "were quite astounded to find you recommend (KiwiSaver) so unreservedly."

"I've read several articles recently by other journalists, who have pointed out that one's savings could well be handled - in the interim before one retires - so poorly that there could be none left to collect on retirement.

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NZ Herald July 21 2007

Q&As: Are the 65-pluses getting a raw deal?
One reader thinks richer superannuitants are already spoilt.
Self-employed reader doesn't realise what a good deal he's on to.
KiwiSaver options for small business couple.

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NZ Herald July 14 2007

30 talented readers will win copies of KiwiSaver book
Q&As: How the KiwiSaver tax credit is calculated, and details for self-employed people.
KiwiSaver and taxation, plus more for the self-employed

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Syndicated column July 7 2007: No tricks behind KiwiSaver doubling of money

A reader has "one or two problems" with my last column, in which I said people are silly not to sign up to KiwiSaver.

"Your comments that 'twice as much comes out at retirement' and 'triple the money in, triple the money out'... make one huge assumption - that the provider the investor chooses over time does not lose any money - a highly unlikely scenario surely!", says the reader.

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NZ Herald July 7 2007

Q&As: What happens to KiwiSaver accounts in a divorce?
How KiwiSaver might affect NZ Super, and what you should do about it.
A source of basic KiwiSaver information
The NZ share market index that includes dividends has been misleading in the past. How much does it matter?

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NZ Herald June 30 2007

Q&As: Three Q&As about KiwiSaver - reimbursement of employer contributions; is daughter overseas eligible?; when is mortgage diversion helpful?; where can you get the information that was in the three Herald supplements about KiwiSaver?
Rental property running costs mount up over the years.

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Syndicated column June 26 2007: KiwiSaver - be in to win

Ever since the government announced its added incentives to KiwiSaver last month, everyone is talking about the retirement savings scheme. And well they might.

While I still have reservations about the distortion of savings decisions, and while many employers are angry at being forced to contribute, practically all individuals will be better in than out.

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NZ Herald June 23 2007

Q&As: Nearly 65-year-old should grab chance to join KiwiSaver. People over 60 do particularly well out of it.
Why dividends should be included when we look at the performance of the NZ share market.

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NZ Herald June 16 2007

Q&As: A big fan of property investing scares me with his lack of knowledge.
I'm accused of hypocrisy and bias.
In praise of boring old index funds and learning about them.
KiwiSaver: Will the kick-start be around for a while? What happens when an employee gets a lump sum? A clarification about access to the money in bankruptcy.

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Syndicated column May 29 2007: Back to the creepy stuff

Well, he did it. Despite my impassioned plea in this column in February last year, Finance Minister Michael Cullen took away our chewing gum tax cut in the recent Budget. And we're much bigger losers than most people realise.

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Syndicated column May 15 2007: Readers respond on KiwiSaver tax breaks

Three readers were unhappy with my last column, in which I said the KiwiSaver tax breaks expected in the upcoming Budget will benefit only some people, at the expense of New Zealand as a whole.

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Syndicated column April 28 2007: Think again about those KiwiSaver tax breaks

Many readers were no doubt pleased to hear of Winston Peters' recent hints that the May 17 Budget will include tax breaks in the KiwiSaver retirement savings scheme. But only some will benefit - and it will be at the expense of others, and the country as a whole.

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NZ Herald April 14 2007

Q&As: A tax on house sales, to subsidise first home owners, is a lovely idea that wouldn't work.
Renting and saving elsewhere can leave you better off than home ownership.
Semi-retired couple who sold their home and rent are probably doing fine.

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Syndicated column March 20 2007: KiwiSaver enticing enough already

KiwiSaver, the new retirement savings scheme starting July 1, is coming in for criticism that is doesn't include more tax incentives. But I'm glad of that.

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NZ Herald March 3 2007

Seeking your questions about KiwiSaver
Q&As: Are home equity release (HER) schemes - which lend to retired people with homes but little income - a rip-off?
Sentinel defends its HER schemes, but they are still expensive compared with possible alternatives.

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NZ Herald February 24 2007

Seeking your questions about KiwiSaver
Q&As: Woman in mid 50s, who is renting, explores options for buying a home
2 Q&As about the $50,000 threshold in the new regime on taxation of international shares

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NZ Herald October 14 2006

Q&As: Why I won't do research on an Aussie resource index fund.
Too little time to study the new tax plans for international share investments.

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Syndicated column July 18 2006: Owning your home not always the best option

Most New Zealanders grow up expecting to own their own home, but soaring house prices have made it harder for people to get into the market. Does that matter? Is home ownership all it's cracked up to be?

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Holm Truths autumn 06

Stuff and happiness: Buying things you don't really need

Also in this issue: From the Mailbox - Should a young man buy himself a house?

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NZ Herald August 6 2005

Q&As: 18-year-old should wait a bit before buying a house.
Saving for the grandchildren - how much risk is good?
Rental property depreciation risks.

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NZ Herald June 11 2005

Q&AS: Paying extra for using a credit card.
Distortions when considering how good an investment your home is.
First home buyers should probably wait.

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Syndicated column May 31 2005: How KiwiSaver will work for you

How you might react to the KiwiSaver programme in the recent budget depends on your circumstances.

Under the programme, scheduled to start in April 2007, employed people, the self-employed or beneficiaries can contribute 4 or 8 per cent of their income to a saving fund.

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