We're incredibly hardworking, us Kiwis. We pull 60 hour weeks at construction sites. We slog away over keyboards every weekday until the sun goes down – we get the job done right. And good on us too, that's why we have such a competitive economy for a nation so small.

But what about our reward for all our hard work? For the majority of us, our salaries are not quite enough to live the life we want to while saving enough for retirement. That's why getting creative with your money and investing it the right way could prove a brilliant solution. Let's look a little closer …

The right investment could mean living a more comfortable retirement. The right investment could mean living a more comfortable life.

Make your money work for you

Your salary is a brilliant base to build upon when it comes to living the life you want too and retiring comfortably.

But for most it wont quite be enough. Statistics New Zealand has the average weekly income in the country at around $880, which works out to roughly $46,000 a year. Minus the average rent in the city according to TradeMe, and you'll be sitting on less than $20,000 for food, fun, bills and savings.

Put 20 per cent of that money aside for 40 years and you'll have less than five years of no frills retirement covered, according to Massey University's Retirement Guidelines.

Putting your money to work can be a lot more effective than working more yourself.

Sure, half of New Zealand will earn more than $46,000, and a good portion will earn considerably more, but we believe that everyone deserves to live and retire comfortably regardless of their circumstances.

Is the way to achieve this more hours? A better paying job? Everyone wants a better paying job, and to be paid for more hours, but more hard work is usually the last thing we need on our plates. Instead of rolling your sleeves up, why not pop some slippers on, relax and watch your money work for you.

Reap the fruits of residential property investment

Buying property in the current thriving market is not a one step solution to successful investment and a lavish retirement.

But, as part of a diverse and well thought out strategy, residential property investment can go a long way towards helping you lead the life you've worked for.

As an example of what capital gains alone can do for your funds, let's have a look at the changes in Auckland's median property value over the last two years up to November. In 2014, the median value was under $750,000, but since then it's increased over 40 per cent.

If you bought at the median and your property gained value at the average rate, you'd have around $300,000 in equity from capital gains alone over a two year period. That's $150,000 a year. The market was incredibly hot during that time, so you may not make a return quite that impressive, but you could certainly bolster your salary and start working towards retirement.

Buying property could be the way forward for your funds. Buying property could be the way forward for your funds.

As you can see, putting your money to work can be a lot more effective than working more yourself. Plus, once you have your foot in the property investment door, it's far easier to buy subsequent properties using existing equity than it is to purchase your first – maximising your investment income and really putting your money to work.

If you'd like to see a little more benefit from all your hard work, let the experienced team at Goodlife Financial Advice lend a helping hand. We've been guiding Kiwis to solid investments and comfortable retirements for decades now, and we can certainly help with yours.

Here's to your financial independence!

Daniel Carney
Authorised Financial Adviser / Investment Property Expert

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