How to manage money in your 60s

For many people in their 60s, the emphasis has moved from saving money and paying down debt to spending money and maximising their retirement years. Managing your money does change as your life stage changes. We’ve previously discussed managing money in your 20s, managing money in your 30s, managing money in your 40s, and managing money in your 50s. Good personal finance management throughout adulthood will ensure that your 60s and beyond are a time to enjoy life and experience a life beyond work. 

Being in your 60s, or retiring doesn’t mean that personal financial management is a thing of the past. You’ll continue to earn income, from New Zealand Superannuation, part-time employment or income from other investments. You may have a rental property, or interest or dividends from investments and share portfolios. Your 60s should be a time to plan your retirement, assess your future health needs and secure your financial independence, so that your 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond can be financially stress free. A handy retirement calculator can be found on the Sorted website.

Age Concern has a useful retirement resource that explains the key phases of retirement planning. For some people, they may have three or four decades of retirement ahead of them, so it makes sense that you might approach your retirement differently at different ages or stages.

  1. The Discovery stage – easing into retirement, you may be working part-time, and dabbling in retirement activities such as new hobbies, travelling more and spending more time with family. It’s likely this phase could be the most expensive stage of your retirement.
  1. The Endeavour stage – hobbies and travel may need to be scaled back at this stage as you get older, and your family home may feel like too much work. This is often a downsizing phase, into a smaller home, a retirement village or similar. Having savings set aside for health needs, or support around the home can become your financial focus or priority.
  1. The Reflection stage – often the focus of this final stage is on spending time with loved ones, focusing on your health and enjoying the little things in life. This can be a phase where your weekly expenses are fairly light, unless you have high health needs.

How to spend less

Your 60s is typically a more expensive first phase of retirement, where you are likely to be maximising more free time to travel, visit friends and family and explore new hobbies. Hopefully you are debt free, so the income you do have coming in can be spent on your monthly expenses, and possibly continuing to invest for the future.

One of the biggest financial concerns for people in their 60s is inflation – an external economic factor that is outside our control, and can wreak havoc on a carefully planned retirement budget. Although we can’t plan for inflationary price increases, keeping close to your expenses can help you to assess what is a necessity, and what you could potentially cut down on or stop purchasing. We recommend setting a monthly budget for your retirement, and regularly checking on it.

To support the more expensive early phase of retirement, you may wish to access your KiwiSaver investment. Once you reach the age of 65, you will have access to KiwiSaver. It’s important to understand that you have options when it comes to accessing your KiwiSaver:

  • You can set up a regular withdrawal, so it acts like additional regular income, while the untouched fund continues to earn investment income,
  • You can choose to withdraw lump sums whenever you want – perhaps to repay the last of your mortgage, finance a big trip, renovate your home  or purchase a new car,
  • You can choose to withdraw all your savings in one go. You then have more flexibility over spending and saving portions of your KiwiSaver – perhaps you’d earn more interest in a Term Deposit if interest rates are high.

Maintaining your household budget rules into your 60s will ensure your retirement planning stays on track, and there aren’t any nasty surprises.

How to save more

The good news is that people in their 60s have the largest savings or nest eggs compared with younger people who are managing the paying down of debt and running large households. Many people in their 60s aren’t quite ready to retire either, as they’re keen to maintain the social and mental connection that continuing to work can bring. This can be helpful to save more money for your later years, and keep up with KiwiSaver contributions and other investment plans you may have.

The most important thing you can do to save more money is to pay off any outstanding debt, especially your mortgage. In recent years, there has been a trend where fewer people over 65 now own their own homes. Paying off your mortgage is the single most important thing you can do in your 60s to save more for your retirement.

Your early 60s is a great time to assess your KiwiSaver investment strategy and the amount that you’re contributing. As you near retirement, you may wish to swap to a more conservative investment strategy, and free up more of your take home pay by reducing the amount you contribute to KiwiSaver. 

Your 60s is also a time when you might decide to free up more cash to finance your retirement, such as downsizing your family home, selling an investment property or cashing in share portfolios.

How do singles in their 60s manage their money?

If you haven’t eliminated your debt, this should be your focus for your 60s, even if it means working a few extra years, or continuing in your job part-time for a little longer. Managing your budget will be important, as you don’t have another income earner in your household to rely on. Be realistic about what health care you will need in the future, and how you will manage this with a partner not able to assist with your care. 

Balance budgeting with spending your hard earned savings on those retirement dreams, and living your retirement to its fullest.

How do couples in their 60s manage their money?

The earlier you make a retirement plan, the sooner you’ll be on the same page with how you want to spend your golden years together. Prioritising travel or downsizing and moving closer to the grandchildren are common decisions couples make in their 60s. A big move can be much easier in your 60s than in your 70s, so it’s important to have those conversations early on. Continue to chat regularly about your short, medium and long term retirement goals so you have plenty of time to plan and reorganise your finances as you need to.

Agreeing your health care plan is important too – what can you support each other with, and when might you need external support? Will you move into a retirement home, or would you prefer to live independently and outsource healthcare and maintenance tasks when they become more onerous?

Personal finance advice

Unsure of how to manage your money? You can access free personal finance services or pay for professional personal finance advice. The Financial Markets Authority provides useful information on seeking financial advice.

How much can you borrow with a personal loan? 

With Nectar you can borrow unsecured up to $30,000, or as little as $2,000. Use our loan repayment calculator to find out how much you could get. We offer debt consolidation loans to simplify multiple debt repayments, and emergency or urgent  loans to meet your cash flow needs.

Getting started with Nectar

Do you need a great rate on a personal loan? We’d love to help with your personal loan requirements. Find out how much you could borrow and learn more about our personal loans. You can get started with Nectar and get a personalised loan quote online which will include your interest rate, maximum borrowing amount and repayment options. Borrow better, faster today!*

*Nectar’s lending criteria and responsible lending checks apply.