Deciding where to live in retirement

Senior couple on city trip

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Ever thought about living somewhere different when you retire? Whether it’s moving across the city, the country or to the other side of the world, there’s plenty to consider before making any move.

New Zealand’s Commission for Financial Capability describes 65-74 as the discovery years.
So while mind and body are still sharp, there might never be a better time to experience life in an entirely new land or simply move to a sunnier spot.

Senior couple on city tripStaying in New Zealand

While around 5%* of Kiwis entitled to New Zealand Super live overseas, there are some very good reasons to stay here.

Recognised as a highly desirable international destination for lifestyle, Auckland, in particular, ranked among the top 10 cities worldwide in Mercer’s 2016 Quality of Living rankings while New Zealand cities were noted as some of the safest.

As well as being safe and providing good quality of life, the benefits of being able to qualify for NZ Superannuation and get free access to good quality healthcare should never be overlooked.

If you want to reduce your cost of living or go somewhere warmer, consider the benefits of our sunniest, smaller centres like Kerikeri, Tauranga, Nelson or Whakatane.

Going to Australia

If sunshine really is your thing, then plenty of Kiwis have found it on the Gold Coast which has around 300 sunshine days every year. Apart from the weather and a relatively similar culture which makes integration easier, there are financial reasons why Australia has become the preferred overseas destination for Kiwi retirees.

New Zealand and Australia have a reciprocal agreement which means Kiwis over 65 may be eligible to receive NZ Super for up to 26 weeks while in Australia. After that, they might be eligible to apply for the Australian Age Pension.

If you’ve got KiwiSaver and moving permanently, Trans-Tasman retirement savings portability provides a way to move your money into an Australian complying superannuation scheme. Of course, once you’ve turned 65 and been contributing for five years you can withdraw your KiwiSaver savings at any time.

Going further afield

Looking for a completely different experience? Malta features as a top 10 destination in International Living’s 2017 best places to retire. It’s also one of several countries where you may be eligible to get up to 100% of the full NZ Super.

However, wherever you’re thinking of exploring or staying, it’s important to see how any exotic sounding international destination stacks up against a range of factors like cost of living, safety, how you’ll fit into your new environment, climate, entertainment, amenities, availability and cost of healthcare, infrastructure, visa and residency requirements and how close you want to be to family – particularly in your later, less independent years.

Start your planning today

No matter where and what you’d like to do in your discovery years and beyond, early planning and smart investing will be key to getting the retirement lifestyle you want.

Find out how New Zealand superannuation and KiwiSaver specialist, Mercer can help by calling the Helpline team on 0508 637 237, 9am to 7pm on all business days.

The Mercer KiwiSaver scheme is issued by Mercer (N.Z.) Limited. For information about this product, please refer to the product disclosure statement which is available free of charge here. This information has been prepared by Mercer (N.Z.) Limited.




Past performance should not be relied upon as an indicator of future performance.

The information contained on this page is intended for general guidance only and is not personalised to you. It does not take into account your particular financial situation or goals. Before making any investment decision, you should refer to the product disclosure statement or consult an appropriately authorised adviser.

*Based on the Ministry of Social Development Statistical Report 2012.

© 2017 Mercer (N.Z.) Limited. All rights reserved.