To work or not to work? Life beyond 65

Financial Planning News

According to new research, almost half of us plan to help fund our retirement by... not retiring! A survey of more than 2,000 people that was commissioned by BNZ found that more than 18% of us are committed to a full-time job past the current pension age of 65, while a further 30% of us intend to work part-time.

Most people chose to continue some form of work for reasons that aren’t purely financial. A sense of purpose and satisfaction, maintaining social contacts and wanting to keep using their life-long skills are just a few examples.

Jean, a key member of our team who has passed “normal retirement age”, has kept working for reasons just like these.

“I have been with Britannia for just over 10 years and have picked up quite a bit of historical knowledge that can be valuable at times in helping our members. So all you retirees who are coming up to 60 or 65, hang in there and say ‘age is just a number’ – you are still valuable and able to contribute.”

Money, though, can’t be ignored as a major factor in retirement choices.

People who have already retired can give us a good indication of what pre-retirees will soon face. More than half the people surveyed who were over the age of 65 used employment to pay for non-essential things like travel, while 31% said they needed the money to pay essential bills.

When asked what advice she would give retirees, Jean said, “If you are able to keep working it can provide you with extra disposable income for play and spending on the grandchildren. Also the stimulation you receive from your work mates, plus overworking your brain to try and keep up with new things can be challenging but also rewarding when you get it.”

Aside from paid work, the BNZ survey found the majority of New Zealanders expected superannuation savings, either old-school workplace schemes or KiwiSaver funds, would be their back-up plan to support an above pension-level lifestyle. Another 34% had income outside super, such as rental properties or shares, while about a quarter expected to generate retirement spending money by downsizing their homes.

US financial giant JP Morgan suggests that retirees can manage both spending and income uncertainty, by matching “dependable income sources with fixed retirement expenses, while coordinating other investments with more discretionary expenses”. They list annuities as one way to lock in a ‘dependable income source’. In New Zealand, our Lifetime Retirement Income Fund offers certainty around having an income for life.

Paul Carter, BNZ director of retail and marketing, said the bank’s recent survey highlights that the “gap between those who choose to work in retirement and those who have to is too high”. However, he also offers an optimistic take saying, “There’s a real opportunity for people to narrow that gap by being more proactive about planning their finances.” 

Whatever your age and circumstances, start thinking about what you want later on in life and start planning how to achieve it. Give us a call at Britannia on 0800 500 811 or email us at and we’d be happy to give you some advice.


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Disclosure Statements for our Authorised Financial Advisers are available on request and free of charge. The Product Disclosure Statement for the Britannia Retirement Scheme is available from Britannia Financial Services Limited.

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