Steps to improve financial wellbeing

Plan for the future

It’s the perfect time to start building up savings for future you. Long-term savings and investments can help grow your money for big goals like your first home or a comfortable future.

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How future planning helps your financial wellbeing

Everyone’s plans and needs are different. None of us have a crystal ball to predict the future. You don’t have to map out exactly how much money you'll need. But a financial nest egg can help future you feel more secure. It’ll help you manage the unexpected and live comfortably, whatever that means for you and your whānau.

Tip 1. Start small – but do start

If you’re already saving for your future, you’re one step ahead. Your money can earn money over time.

If you haven’t joined KiwiSaver, the best time to join is right about now – if you’re eligible and can afford to make contributions (remembering these will be locked until you’re 65 or ready to buy your first home). 

If you can’t afford to put money into some form of long-term savings now, make a date in six months or a year to reassess your situation. 

Future you will thank you – a dollar invested today has the potential to grow, thanks to time and interest or investment returns.

Tip 2. Get free money with KiwiSaver

Contributing to your KiwiSaver savings can get you extra money from the Government – and your employer if you have one. If you’re an employee making KiwiSaver contributions from your pay, your employer usually contributes at least 3%.

If you’re eligible, the Government will contribute 50 cents for every dollar you contribute to your KiwiSaver account, up to a maximum of $521.43 each year. This is paid directly into your KiwiSaver account. For example, an eligible person putting about $87 monthly into their KiwiSaver account ($1,042.86 a year) can get the full Government contribution.

KiwiSaver basics

Hear about the key features of KiwiSaver, including contributions, free money from the Government, funds and more.

[Text on screen: Ask an ANZ expert, how KiwiSaver works. Sam, KiwiSaver Expert – ANZ]

Sam: Wondering how KiwiSaver works, but don’t know who to ask? You’ve come to the right place. 

[Text on screen: KiwiSaver basics]

Sam: Let me guess, you’ve been enrolled in KiwiSaver a little while. You’ve set how much you want to contribute and your contributions come automatically out of your pay each month. 

[Video: Two mugs on the table in front of Sam. One labelled KiwiSaver, the other labelled Pay. The Pay mug has a pen in it. Sam puts two more pens into the Pay mug and one pen into the KiwiSaver mug]

[Text on screen: Not literal. Illustrative props only]

Sam: The amount you contribute from your pay is your call, and you can change it up or down any time. Your employer usually contributes 3% too.  

[Text on screen: 3% contributions, 4% contributions, 6% contributions, 8% contributions, 10% contributions]

Sam: Self-employed? You can make voluntary contributions. 

[Video: Sam puts another pen into the KiwiSaver mug]

Sam: Contribute a minimum of $1,042.86 each year, and the Government will give your balance a $521.34 top up. 

[Text on screen: $1042.86, $521.34]

Sam: KiwiSaver savings capitalise on one thing, time. It’s a long-term investment, so starting your savings young means you can really take advantage of returns on the money you’ve put in.

[Text on screen: Think long-term]

[Video: The KiwiSaver mug has many pens in it]

Sam: You can shift between growth or more conservative funds at any time.

[Text on screen: Text scrolls from ‘Conservative’ up to ‘Balanced’ up to ‘High Growth’ then down to ‘Balanced’ then up to ‘High Growth’]

Sam: Speaking of life events, you can also use your KiwiSaver savings for your first home.  

[Text on screen: KiwiSaver first home withdrawal]

Sam: It pays to review the fund you’re in every now and then. We have seven to choose from, so we’ll have one to match your circumstances. 

[Text on screen: Text scrolls up through ‘Cash Fund’, ‘Conservative Fund’, ‘Conservative Balanced Fund’, ‘Balanced Fund’, ‘Balanced Growth Fund’, ‘Growth Fund’ and ‘High Growth Fund’]

Plus, we’re always here to help you as well.

[Text on screen: ANZ logo. ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited is the issuer and manager of the ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme. PDS available at]

Tip 3. Watch out for investment scams

If you’re offered an investment opportunity that seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

Investment scams aim to trick you into investing in a fake business opportunity or financial product. Scammers usually promise high or fast returns, low risk, and exclusive insider information.

Tip 4. Think about your timing

When do you need money for a big goal like a dream holiday or retirement? This can be a good guide to whether you choose a savings option with a shorter fixed term or one that’s locked in, such as KiwiSaver.

As your life changes, remember to reflect on your savings goals and time before you’ll need the money.

Types of savings or investments

Whether you’re saving for a big goal or investing for the first time, it’s important to consider:

  • How much time until you start using that nest egg 
  • The savings or investment options that meet your situation and goals.

With savings accounts, term deposits and PIE funds, your money grows thanks to compound interest. 

Investing in KiwiSaver or an investment fund is a way to build your wealth over time. They’re riskier than savings accounts, term deposits and PIE funds, as the balance can go up and down. But both have the potential to grow your money more over the long term, thanks to time and compound returns.

What are compound interest and compound returns?

In short, earning interest on your interest, or earning returns on your returns.

Compound interest means you’re paid interest on both:

  • Money you put in a savings account or term deposit
  • The interest that money already earned.

Compound returns apply to investments, e.g. KiwiSaver and investment funds, which earn returns on assets like shares and bonds. Your returns are reinvested so you’ll earn returns on both:

  • Money you put into your investment – for KiwiSaver, this includes any contributions from your employer and the Government
  • The returns your investment already earned.

Compound interest and returns add up over time and can potentially make a big difference to your financial future. 

Example of how compounding returns work ($10,000 earning 5.5% p.a. over 30 years)

Disclaimer: graph is for the purpose of illustrating the concept of compounding returns only, and does not account for inflation or any possible fees, taxes, contributions or withdrawals. Returns are not guaranteed, will depend on many factors and may be negative as well as positive.

Horizontal axis shows years, starting at zero and ending at 30. 

Vertical axis is labelled 'Investment value' and shows values from zero to $50,000. 

Lines for the two investment examples start at $10,000. 

A line marked ‘Non-compounding’ finishes at $26,500 after trending steadily up. 

A line marked ‘Compounding’ finishes at $49,840. It trends upwards, with significant acceleration.  

Ideas for investing

Don't panic if your balance drops

It can feel uncomfortable to see the balance drop on your KiwiSaver account or investment fund, but don’t panic. Markets can and do recover and rise, although it may take time. In the meantime, if you continue to contribute, you’re buying shares and other assets at reduced prices.

If you switch to a lower-risk fund because the market has fallen, you lock in those loses and won’t benefit as much from any rebound. But this depends on your situation – you may need the certainty of lower-risk options, e.g. if you’ll soon retire or buy your first home.

If you’re unsure what to do, one of our free ANZ Investment Advisers can help.

Automatically invest the same amount regularly 

Putting in the same amount of money at regular intervals, irrespective of how the market is going, can be a good way to invest. 

This approach, sometimes referred to as dollar-cost averaging, can:

  • Make it easier to deal with unpredictable markets
  • Lower your average cost per share
  • Reduce the impact of volatility on your savings
  • Remove the time and effort involved in trying to buy at the best prices.

If you’re aged 60+

Consider how you can protect your nest egg from market falls to give more certainty about how much money you’ll have at retirement (this also applies if you’ll soon make a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal). 

When you retire, your income can come from NZ Super, your KiwiSaver savings, and any other savings and investments. Your money will need to last throughout your retirement, so you’ll have some choices to make.

Living costs and NZ Super

For a retired couple living in a city, a comfortable standard of living has yearly spending of $86,632, according to Massey University’s annual New Zealand Retirement Expenditure Report (October 2023). For a single person, it’s $60,476. For people living in the regions, living costs are usually lower.

For one person

For two people

Weekly NZ Super (after tax)

$370 to $519

$563 to $799*

No frills weekly budget



Choices weekly budget



*If you both qualify for NZ Super.

Numbers correct at publication June 2024, sourced from: 

Consider getting advice

Financial advisers are licensed to help you plan what to do with your money. They consider your income, goals, lifestyle and appetite for risk to help create a plan that works for you. 

One of our free ANZ Investment Advisers can help get the right investment strategy to suit your needs. To talk to an ANZ Investment Adviser, call us on 0800 269 238.

Protect your assets, income and loved ones


Insurance can help reduce the financial impact should the unexpected happen and support you and your whānau in times of need. Types of insurance include:

  • Cover to protect your home, contents or car from damage, theft or accidents
  • Life insurance
  • Critical illness cover
  • Income protection, which helps pay the bills if you can’t work due to illness or injury. 

Before you buy insurance, read the policy to make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered. If anything’s unclear, ask an insurance adviser. Their advice is usually free.

Make a will

A valid will is the only way to make sure your assets (e.g. bank accounts, car, your home) will be distributed the way you want them to be. 

Dying without a will means grieving loved ones face a longer and more complex process. Depending on the value of your assets, they may have to go to court. 

Steps to financial wellbeing

Our financial wellbeing programme can help. Try one step or two, or work through the programme's six steps in any order.

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Important information

This material is for information purposes only. Please talk to us if you need financial advice about your situation and goals or about our products and services. See our financial advice provider disclosure (PDF 39.9KB).

ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited (ANZ Investments) is the issuer and manager of the ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme, the OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme and the ANZ Default KiwiSaver Scheme (together, the schemes). The ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme guide and product disclosure statement are on ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme documents and forms and the OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme guide and product disclosure statement are on OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme documents and forms. The ANZ Default KiwiSaver Scheme is closed to new members and important information is on Documents and forms.

ANZ Investments is not an authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) under Australian law and investments in the scheme aren’t deposits in or liabilities of ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, or their subsidiaries (together ANZ Group). ANZ Group doesn’t stand behind or guarantee ANZ Investments. Investments in the schemes are subject to investment risk, including possible delays in repayment, and loss of income and principal invested. ANZ Group won’t be liable to you for the capital value or performance of your investment.

Past performance does not indicate future performance. The actual performance any given investor realises will depend on many things, is not guaranteed and may be negative as well as positive.

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