Self-managed funds; If Money Didn't Matter; Burn out or career change?; How to earn more in 2013; A UK expat's view of NZ

 By Amanda Morrall

1) Self managed funds

A while back, in a nod to personal finance geekdom, I started a discussion forum for KiwiSaver on Linkedin. For the past year it's gone mostly ignored with the exception of occasional comments from my colleague Craig Simpson and Chris Douglas from Morningstar New Zealand.

Well, the past week this forum has seen a flurry of activity with financial planners commenting on the pros and cons of transporting super funds from Australia. (See also Simpson's piece exploring the merits of portability here).

This is in the wake of last week's story about the TransTasman Portability Agreement finally becoming law allowing (effective July 2013) both New Zealanders and Australians to move their super funds across with them if they should find themselves working on either side of the pond.

The strongest argument in favour of repatriating super savings has to do with consolidation and hypothetical savings on fees as well as the ease of administration having your money domiciled in one place. There are numerous arguments against which could nullify this advantage. One of them is losing the ability to self-manage your retirement if you're bringing money over from Australia.

We don't yet have a self managed option in KiwiSaver however it's a hugely popular and growing facility abroad.

The Financial Standard recently did some research on performance of self-managed funds and rated the experience of investors, 40% of whom check in on their funds more frequently than a fortnightly basis.

Wow, fancy that level of interest here.

2) If money didn't matter

What would our world look like if money didn't matter? It's become such an integral part of our way of life that it's beyond imagination really.

Forget about that big picture equation for a moment and ask yourself instead what you would do personally and professionally, "If money didn't matter."

Perhaps this is the question that should be asked of all graduating high school students in their final examinations before they set out on their journey into adulthood.

The video below speaks to this issue and how misdirected our educational system has become. 

"Forget the money because if you say that money is the most important thing you will spend your life completing wasting your time.You'll be doing things you don't like doing in order to go on living that is to go on doing things you don't like to doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of doing what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.''

3) Burn out vs career change

My favourite Valley Girl Marie Forleo, in her latest video blog, explores the murky question that eventually catches us all up; whether it is time for a career change or simply a holiday. Forleo, suggests there are four key questions that will help you arrive at the answer. I like No.1 "It's the law.'' The test is asking yourself what you would do if the law declared your occupation or business dead. Would you a) jump for joy; b) take on the law in a fit of outrage; or c) submit quietly and move on. Your answer to this question alone should be telling.

4) Earning more in 2013

It's been a while since I checked in with I Will Teach you to be Rich guy Ramit Sethi. For those of you looking to establish multiple income streams in 2013 or simply wanting to grow your income, Sethi this week is offering two free webinars. Follow the instructions on his blog to register. The window might have closed for one of the sessions but Thursday's (our Friday) on how to make more in 2013 is still open.

5) UK expats view of NZ

Hilary Osbourne, writing for the Guardian, offers a U.K. expat's view of life in New Zealand and all its offerings. Interesting that Auckland should be regarded as affordable for a one-income family. I was also intrigued to discover that more New Zealanders die each year from lawn bowls than scuba diving and that we have one of the highest number of bookshops per capita in the world. Not sure if this is still the case with more people transitioning to tablets but one of the best by far is located outside my doorstep in Herne Bay. You can find Novel on Facebook and its owner planted on the bench directly outside.

To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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#3 After 6 years IT contracting in London I was kind of over it, and started another business. But after a year or two I kind of missed it, and one day my bank manager wondered out loud why I was going to all this effort and risk to earn less than I could get in IT, and I kind of wondered if I'd made the wrong choice.

So here we are back in IT, getting paid over the odds for not doing much at all really. But as much as I like going to work I find that the whole grind of western world living gets to me after a while and need a few months to recharge and get some perspective back.

So maybe it's not so much a career change or a holiday that is needed, it's just a fresh perspective on life every now and then and a chance to stop and appreciate what we already have away from the constant bombardment from media that unless we have this car or that smartphone or a house in this suburb we can't be satisfied.


I chose the perspective, it's only life after all.

sometimes the perspective can get lost amid the relentless battering to conform. I love living in the city but it's the noise and the advertising that gets to me. Eventually I need some peace and quiet where no-one is trying to shove the latest consumer totem to show the world you have made it down my throat

There is a gulf of difference between being alive and living a life just as the difference between having sight and not seeing what is right in front of you.
Most people will begin with the plan to work hard toward securing the time to live their life.
Most people will become a slave to that very idea and expend the better part of their energy servicing the plan....notwithstanding life's responsibilities to provide security and direction for offspring, often sending them signals in sharp contrast to our own desires. 
 Most people will either no longer have the energy they once devoted to the plan or simply run out of the time to implement it.
 Were they not working so very hard to secure the time to enjoy..?
When you have time, take a moment and appreciate it, there is always a chance it will be one of your last.

#5 I'm re-printing this verbatim from the comments section. I think the author summed it up quite nicely...
The second thing that potential migrants from Europe should be aware of is that New Zealand people are generally incredibly parochial, especially if you venture outside of Wellington and the inner areas of Auckland. You'd be surprised how ignorant, ill-informed and bloody-minded New Zealand people can be. Put it this way: you'll have to get used to a lot of nodding and smiling and feigning ignorance just to get by. The newspapers are excerable and the television so bad it has to be seen to be believed. Having said that, there is a thriving underground scene in every NZ city and town, but I don;t suppose that's why people migrate there from Europe.
The third thing is that, if you don't make a lot of friends quickly , New Zealand can be a lonely, lonely place. Apart from central Auckland, central Wellington and the South Island ski resort of Queenstown, there is not a lot going on. Whilst towns such as Hamilton and Dunedin are quite sizeable by UK standards, they are dull and lifeless places by European standards, kind of like modern suburban sprawl but without the lively civic centre you might expect. Moreover, these are among the largest "cities" (actually towns) in the country and there is nothing else within driving distance of any interest whatsoever. Don't even think of settling in other "cities" in New Zealand such as New Plymouth, Hastings or Invercargill. You'll be dead from boredom within the year.
The final thing I would warn people about is the distance and isolation. Do not be fooled by the idea that the world has shrunk in the last few decades; when yuo aer actually there, one is acutely aware of how far New Zealand is from Australia (the same distance between the UK and Poland), let alone how far it is from South America, Asia, Southern Africa, and don't even think how far Europe is away.

OMG the comments below that one are even more scathing!

Excellent. One of the wonderful things about NZ is the absence of a seething, pressing mass of desperate humanity.

He obviously  didnt go to the 'Flying Jug' in Ngaruawahia on a friday night.

Cripes. That's a bit harsh.

2) Money.
If you set your heart toward it, it will destroy things in life that matter.
Nothing of any true value can be purchased with it.
If you dam up the supply of it in your life, it goes stagnant like water.
If you're afraid of being without it, it already has you enslaved.
Leaving it to your children can be a curse.
Worry of it is a thief who steals the moment you are living in.
If you die with lots of it you don't win anything.

If you set your heart toward it, it will destroy things in life that matter.
Nothing of any true value can be purchased with it.
If you dam up the supply of it in your life, it goes stagnant like water.
If you're afraid of being without it, it already has you enslaved.
Leaving it to your children can be a curse.
Worry of it is a thief who steals the moment you are living in.
If you die with lots of it you don't win anything.

It's a song by Pink Floyd.

Amanda  re #5  I used to work with Ben, and in no way would he be on anywhere near an average salary, probably at least 3 times that.... plus would have bought that house in 01' before the bubbly aucks market really got going, so not going to be a struggle on one salary.
and also 43yo? he always was a bit of a joker !