New Zealanders often seek property investment advice when they realise that their retirement plans don't quite match up with their current lifestyle. It's all very well to want a comfortable retirement with the odd holiday thrown in, but without thorough financial planning, this will be a dream rather than a reality.

Auckland's burgeoning population makes residential property investment a smart option. Demand for housing is leading some would-be buyers to rent rather than buy. Investors can capitalise on this shift by offering quality rental properties located close to transport links. If you're looking for a long-term retirement strategy, property investment could be a smart approach.

What's the retirement age?

Individuals are entitled to receive superannuation payments once they turn 65 years old. This is otherwise known as the age of entitlement.

Of course, that's not to say that the age couldn't rise in years to come. As the population ages, it's possible that the entitlement age could rise. If you're currently in your 20s, 30s or 40s, you might have to contend with a higher retirement age when your golden years roll around.

What am I entitled to?

Want to retire earlier? Fair enough – after decades and decades in the workforce, you might want to spend a good whack of time enjoying your older years. Alternatively, you might continue to work part- or full-time once you turn 65.

At April 1 2014, the weekly pension rate after tax was $366.94 for a single person living alone. For a married, civil union or de facto couple, the rate drops to $282.26 per person (or $564.52 for both people).

Think about it – just under $370 per week for a household of one or $566.52 for a couple isn't a lot of money to get by on. Having an alternative income source is therefore highly desirable.

If these figures make you panic slightly, you might not be financially prepared for retirement. Get clued up on how you can build wealth for a comfortable future.

Here's to your financial independence!

Daniel Carney
Authorised Financial Adviser / Investment Property Expert

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