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


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


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


NZ Herald 8 April 2017

Q&As: Is the family home an investment?
- You can get a benefit even if you have savings ...
- ... And having 1 or 2 boarders won't affect your benefit
- 2 letters on study options for last week's correspondent
- One way to save for retirement travel in Europe
- Should 'whingers' take care of elderly parents themselves?

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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 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 9 November 2013

Q&As: Boss's share strategy might work - but it's risky
- Should everyone grow their own veggies?
- Bankrupt couple should use their networks
- When "attributable" is not attributable
- A useful tip about grammar
- Strong feelings on grammar
- This topic is now closed

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NZ Herald 2 November 2013

Q&As: Bankrupt couple could make a new start in a small town ...
- And another reader has an idea for a job for them ...
- And yet another reader suggests trying the Australian outback
- How capital gains tax would work for family with two homes and trusts
- Younger reader asks for a stop to school marm comments about grammar

Money column for November 2 2013

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NZ Herald 26 October 2013

Q&As: Why a 5-year fixed mortgage rate might be better than a 3-year one
5 Q&As - Ideas for couple who have been through bankruptcy: take in students, do phone surveys, get a live-in position, write e-books, babysit
- Grammar granny strikes opposition
- Employers should respond to job applicants

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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 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 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 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 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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Syndicated column 22 October 2011 - Who needs money when you've got what New Zealand's got?

New Zealanders, it seems, are better off than people in any other OECD country when we look at non-financial measurements. The saying "money isn't everything" rings true in this country.

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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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Syndicated column 28 August 2010 - More losers than realised from income sharing

When I die, I hope that over my lifetime I've paid more in taxes than I've got back from the government. That's because people who do it the other way around - getting more than they've paid for - have often led tough lives, with long periods of unemployment, illness or disability.

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Syndicated column 30 January 2010 - Oh no, oh no, it's off to work we go

Returning to work after a holiday is rarely easy. Back when I was employed - as opposed to self employed - I remember always feeling as if I were in the wrong job on my first few days back at work.

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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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Syndicated column April 21 2009 - Sloppy thinking unfair to immigrants, 2-worker families

Every time the economy is looking iffy, people start saying, "Stop immigration," or even, "Send home the immigrants." Their reason: "They're stealing our jobs." This is sloppy economic thinking - not looking down the track at the consequences of a policy change.

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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 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 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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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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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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NZ Herald January 13 2007

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

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NZ Herald March 4 2006

Q&As: Eftpos v credit cards. And bank fees.
The investment outlook is gloomy, so save!
Wealth doesn't make you happy.

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NZ Herald December 10 2005

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

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NZ Herald December 3 2005

Q&As: Who gets the money when mortgage rates increase?
2 Q&As on whether the tax rate on second jobs is fair.

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NZ Herald November 12 2005

Q&As: The pros and cons of self employment and income splitting.
Comparing shares with property is tricky.
How movements in the dollar affect investment in international share funds.

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NZ Herald October 22 2005

Q&As: Several on how families are taxed.
Can property sellers and agents lie to buyers?
Protestor over tax on international shares gets stroppy.

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NZ Herald October 15 2005

Q&As: 2 on how families should be taxed.
Should middle-income families get child care support?

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NZ Herald March 26 2005

Q&As: Man in mid 50s can afford to drop out - but what about emotionally?
Is reader silly to stick with renting?

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