Today there are close to 750,000 New Zealanders over the age of 65. By the middle of this century that figure will almost double.

Retirement always seemed so far away, but here we are now with a growing number of New Zealanders preparing for this next chapter of life. We know that the concept of planning for retirement can seem less important than the priorities of today, but the numbers are clear – the earlier you start saving for retirement the better off you will be during as much as 30 years post-work. 

The information here is specifically designed to help you consider how to manage and plan for this period of your life. At the Commission we think there are three broad stages of retirement. These stages relate to your circumstances, your activities, your health and your needs.

They are sometimes known as the early, middle and late stages, but we’ve renamed them in a way we think reflects them better, as Discovery, Endeavour and Reflection.

One vital lesson we want to pass on is that it's never too early to start preparing for retirement later in life, when your working situation and income levels will change.

It's all about choices. The earlier you start the more choices you set up for yourself later in life. KiwiSaver is a great example of a tool that will enable choices for the kids that are enrolled in it from a very young age. With parents setting up KiwiSaver accounts for kids in their first year, they should have over 65 years of contributions and compound interest to support more choices later in life.