Could you live on $20k a year?


Yes, $20,000 a year is the new NZ Superannuation amount you get once you reach 65 years old. That's $385 per week.

If you are a couple heading into retirement, it doesn't double, it's $30,700.

According to the website, the level of NZ Super is set by the Government each year as the cost of living and wages inflation is taken into account.

The after-tax super rate for couples who both qualify is based on 66 percent of the "average ordinary time wage" after tax. For single people, the after-tax NZ Super is around 40 percent that average wage.

Not according to research by Massey University's Financial Education Centre. It publishes a study of how much people are spending on their retirement, based on figures from Statistics NZ.

It splits what retirees are spending into a 'no frills' lifestyle and a 'choices' lifestyle.

A 'no frills' lifestyle for one person in the cities costs about $490 a week. In the provinces it's $419.

A 'choices' lifestyle in a city will cost one person about $754 per week, and $782 in the provinces.

The figures are a little better if you are in a relationship.

The 'no frills' metro lifestyle will cost $523, and $678 in the provinces.

The 'choices' city-based lifestyle needs $1,092 a week, $1,012 in the provinces.

As the numbers reveal, NZ Super for a couple ($592) is only 'enough' if you live a no-frills lifestyle ($523) in a city.