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Kiwis lag behind Australians in savings

Monday 20th September 2010

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New Zealanders have a pitiful rate of savings compared to Australia, where retirement saving is compulsory, but have become more concerned about the security of the investments, according to a RaboDirect survey.

Some 46% of New Zealanders are not saving, the TNS Conversa survey of 1,038 people, taken between August 13 and August 20, shows. By contrast, just 9% of Australians aren’t saving for their retirement.

“People are paying off debt, spending or they simply don’t have any money left over at the end of the month – this is true for 30% of New Zealanders,” Mike Heath, RaboDirect general manager, said in a statement.

The survey, conducted over the past four years, also showed changing priorities for investments. Before the global financial crisis, in 2007, high interest rates were the highest priority for savings and investments.

In the survey taken last month, security of money was the top priority, followed by high interest rates, fees and charges and access to money. The reputation of the provider ranked fifth in importance, the survey showed.

Still, participation in the government’s retail deposit guarantee ranked just eighth of 12 factors, even though it ensures eligible investors get their money back, and an institution’s credit rating ranked 11th.

Of those that are saving, the biggest group at 21% was for holidays, followed by rainy day/emergencies at 17% and large purchases (12%). Retirement saving came in at 12%.

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