"Retirement can seem a long time away, but saving early and regularly will never be something to regret.
"My father's advice to 'adjust your spending to meet your savings goals' was the best counsel he ever gave me."
Mark Ryland, CEO, Milford Asset Management.
Money. It's the driving factor behind many life choices, but is it the be-all and end-all?
'Me and My Money' is a regular feature that investigates Kiwi attitudes towards money and what drives the choices they make. We also explore if COVID-19 has changed peoples' money habits and how.
Newshub spoke to Milford Asset Management CEO Mark Ryland about starting retirement savings early, getting value for money from a treadmill and where money fits in the quest for happiness.
1. Are you a saver or a spender?
I'm a saver at heart. I began saving small amounts when I first started work and have carried on that discipline ever since.
I need to be saving something to feel comfortable spending the rest. I also like to know I have something there for a rainy day, even if it's not a large amount.
2. Has COVID-19 influenced your attitude towards money?
It's made me reflect on family situations from a worst-case scenario and encouraged me to focus on achieving goals faster.
3. Post lockdown, have your spending habits changed and if so, how?
They haven't changed much. But being in lockdown confirmed how much can be frittered on coffee, food, and weekly transport.
4. Your mobile phone dies - what do you think is a reasonable amount to spend on a new one?
A mobile phone is an essential item these days. I'd look at a decent model that's been in the market for at least six months. There wouldn't be much change from $1300.
5. Give an example of a recent purchase that you consider great value for money
A treadmill for the garage. It gets a lot of use, is reliable and it enables me to have a jog early in the morning. It also helped my recovery from a couple of knee operations.
6. What was your last impulse or 'fritter' purchase and how did you feel about it afterwards?
An outdoor fireplace. I felt surprisingly good, as it helped create a more appealing space for family and friends to get together.
7. If you have spare cash to invest, what's your preferred form of investment and why?
Managed funds. I like the diversification away from property, which a lot of people are exposed to through their main home anyway.
Less hassle, good liquidity, and the funds themselves are well-diversified. You can pick and choose to suit your timeframe and attitude to risk.
8. Do you use a credit card and if so, do you pay off the entire balance by the due date?
Yes, and (generally) yes!
9. Does having more money increase happiness?
I see money as valued more in a negative sense: money will take a lot of worries and stress away but won't necessarily make you happy.
10. The best money advice someone's ever given you?
How many people retiring at 65 say they saved too much?
Retirement can seem a long time away, but saving early and regularly will never be something to regret.
My father's advice to 'adjust your spending to meet your savings goals' was the best counsel he ever gave me.