Welcome to the July 2017 newsletter from LIFE-TIME Financial Group.
In this month’s issue:
- KiwiSaver: 10 years old
- Market Update for June
- Tips for a Healthy Warm Home
- Hot interest rate – 9 months at 3.75 pa %
NZ’s Retirement Savings Scheme
New Zealand’s Retirement Savings Scheme celebrated its 10th anniversary on 1st July this year. To mark 10 years of KiwiSaver, here are 10 KiwiSaver facts:-
- KiwiSaver isn’t a traditional savings account; it’s an investment managed for you by a KiwiSaver provider.
- 55% of New Zealanders are KiwiSaver members (even though KiwiSaver is voluntary).
- KiwiSaver helps you save for retirement, however, you can withdraw money early if you are buying your first home, very ill or in financial hardship.
- There are over 2.4 million KiwiSaver members: 1.5 million are contributing to their KiwiSaver accounts.
- You don’t have to take out your KiwiSaver savings when you reach 65 – you can keep investing.
- The government contributed $728.3m in member tax credits (MTC) in 2016.
- KiwiSaver doesn’t replace the NZ Super – they’re completely different.
- Nine ‘default’ KiwiSaver providers are chosen by the government and there are twenty-five KiwiSaver providers in total.
- 26,569 people withdrew some of their KiwiSaver money in 2016 to help buy their first home.
- KiwiSaver members invested a total of $33.8 billion through their KiwiSaver accounts in 2016.
How has your first KiwiSaver decade been?
When making important financial decisions, you’re bound to have a few questions. We’re here to answer any questions you might have about KiwiSaver. You might just like an idea of what you’ll have in your KiwiSaver account on retirement?
LIFE-TIME Financial Group offer impartial evidence based advice on your KiwiSaver options. Give us a call on 09 418 5000 / 0800 LIFE-TIME to find out more.
June’s Market Update
June was a fairly quiet month for world share markets, with most investment funds relatively flat – although this capped off a solid overall first half of the year. Our own NZ share market was the stand-out, helping to offset the effect of a further 3% rise in the NZ Dollar on the value of overseas share investments. The NZ Dollar’s rise was in tandem with higher long-term market interest rates, as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi acknowledged that the European economy has been growing well.
On the US front, that “Russia thing” won’t stop causing trouble for Donald Trump; now its’s even hurting his ratings amongst Republicans. A recent CBS poll puts his approval rating at an all-time low of 36 percent, down from the previously reported low of 39 percent in late February, but what’s notable is the drop in favourability among his own party, from 83 percent in April to 72 percent in June.
Update on Brexit – the UK and the EU finally began official talks on 19th June and the key players have agreed to meet every four weeks and have established negotiating groups on Citizen’s rights, Financial Settlement and Other Separation issues. Unpicking 43 years of treaties and agreements covering thousands of different subjects was never going to be a straightforward task – the UK’s deadline for withdrawal from the EU is 29 March, 2019.
Back on the home front, the Official Cash Rate remained on hold at 1.75 percent.
June saw Auckland property prices respond to low sales numbers. The average sales price in Auckland was $913,606, a 3.1 percent fall on the average price for the previous three months, and only 0.6 percent higher than it was this time last year. While house prices invariably fall as we head into winter, June’s results confirm that prices in Auckland are definitely falling.
Keep Your Home Warm and Healthy
If you’re keen to reduce your power bill and have a healthy home, here are some simple tips from the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority you can start implementing right now:
- Turn off appliances at the wall when you’re not using them.
- Regularly open windows to remove moisture and prevent damp and mould. Don’t forget to open wardrobes and cupboard doors.
- Air your bedding, especially in winter. Duvets, pillows and other heavy bedding absorbs moisture over time, so air them outdoors when its’s sunny.
- Use draught stoppers (you can buy draught stopping tape to put around windows and doors…you’d be surprised at the heat loss from doors), tighten hinges, and replace damaged rubber seals around aluminium joinery to stop heat loss.
- Change your light bulbs to energy-efficient bulbs – each one you switch can save up to $20 a year.
- Check recessed downlights for air leakage.
- Dry clothes outside. Dryers cost around $1 a load and drying indoors can cause damp and mould.
- Draw your curtains in the evening to trap in the day’s heat.
- Use extraction fans or open windows when you’re cooking and/or showering to remove moisture.
- Reduce your shower time. A 15-minute shower costs around $1, whereas a five minute shower costs 33c – for a family of four that could be a saving of up to $900 a year!
- Use cold washes – unless you have an especially dirty load. Modern washing machines and detergents clean well using cold water. A hot water wash can use 10 times more electricity than a cold wash.
Hot Interest Rate
For a limited time only, we can introduce you to a hot interest rate of 3.75% for 9 months.
Give us a call on 0800 LIFE-TIME to find out more.