Getting money advice

Find the right person to talk to about your money

Whatever your money question – there's someone you can talk to.

Managing money can be challenging, and not all of us have the time to sort out the more complicated details. That’s when it’s time to call in the experts and get some help. 

A financial mentor or financial adviser can be a great help, whether it’s with day-to-day budgeting, getting out of debt or setting up a mix of investments.

I need help with...

Budgeting

A financial mentor can help you set up a budget that works! 

MoneyTalks offers free, confidential money advice. You can contact a financial mentor through their free helpline 0800 345 123, email, or live chat.

They can help you to set up your budget using the Sorted budgeting tool.

Repaying debt

The first step is to start the conversation – the sooner the better​. 

A financial mentor can help you see the bigger picture and make a plan to get on top of your debt. Whatever stage you're at, they'll be able to help.

MoneyTalks offers free, confidential money advice. You can contact a financial mentor through their free helpline 0800 345 123, email, or live chat.

Buying a first home

Find a financial adviser who specialises in mortgages. Here's how:

  1. Head to Financial Advice NZ and narrow your search by location and mortgages.
  2. Choose several to reach out to, to find one you feel comfortable with. 
  3. Check they’re licensed as a Financial Advice Provider or working for one – you should be able to find them on the Financial Services Providers Register.

Mortgage brokers may save you time, but may also only offer limited choices.

KiwiSaver

First of all, it will help to work through Step 2 to make sure you know the right type of fund for your situation.

If you want some support talking through your options, you might want to find an adviser who specialises in KiwiSaver. Here's how:

  1. Head to Financial Advice NZ and narrow your search by location and KiwiSaver.
  2. Choose several to reach out to, to find one you feel comfortable with. 
  3. Check they’re licensed as a Financial Advice Provider or working for one – you should be able to find them on the Financial Service Providers Register.

You can also contact your current KiwiSaver provider to ask questions about funds, fees and services. 

Investing

When you're thinking about investing, it's helpful to find out your investor type in advance.

You can also look for other financial advisers who specialise in investing. Here's how:

  1. Head to Financial Advice NZ and narrow your search by investing.
  2. Choose several to reach out to, to find one you feel comfortable with. 
  3. Check they’re licensed as a Financial Advice Provider or working for one – you should be able to find them on the Financial Service Providers Register.

If you're not quite ready to talk to a financial adviser, give Money Talks a call on their free helpline. You'll be able to speak to a financial mentor, and talk through your options to get started with investing.

Legal help

Free legal help

Community law gives one-on-one legal help to people who don’t have much money. Find out if you're eligible.

Legal advice

Head to the New Zealand Law Society website and search by the type of lawyer you're looking for and your location​. 

It’s a good idea to reach out to several lawyers in your area to make sure you choose one you’re comfortable with. 

 

Insurance and wills

Insurance is complicated and can be set up in many ways to suit you, so consider speaking to a financial adviser rather than using an online comparison site. Look for a financial adviser who specialises in the insurance you’re looking for (like life insurance).

For car, home, contents or travel insurance

  1. Head to the Insurance Brokers of New Zealand IBANZ website and narrow your search by location.
  2. Choose several to reach out to, to find one you feel comfortable with. 
  3. Check they’re licensed as a Financial Advice Provider or working for one – you should be able to find them on the Financial Service Providers Register.

For disability, health, trauma and life insurance

You might want to speak with a financial adviser, here's how:

  1. Head to Financial Advice NZ and narrow your search by location and insurance.
  2. Choose several to reach out to, to find one you feel comfortable with. 
  3. Check they’re licensed as a Financial Advice Provider or working for one – you should be able to find them on the Financial Service Providers Register.

Wills and enduring powers of attorney

Online platforms such as Public Trust and LawHawk can offer low-cost options for wills and enduring powers of attorney. You can also find planning help at Te Hokinga a Wairua.

Reaching money goals

Free help

A financial mentor can help you reach your money goals. MoneyTalks offers free, confidential money advice. You can contact a money mentor through their free helpline 0800 345 123, email or live chat.

Help for a fee

Find a financial adviser who specialises in financial planning. Here's how:

  1. Head to Financial Advice NZ and narrow your search by location and financial planning.
  2. Choose several to reach out to, to find one you feel comfortable with. 
  3. Check they’re licensed as a Financial Advice Provider or working for one – you should be able to find them on the Financial Service Providers Register.
Tax help

Tax help

  1. Head to Financial Advice NZ and narrow your search by location and tax.
  2. Choose several financial advisers to reach out to, to find one you feel comfortable with. 
  3. Check they’re licensed as a Financial Advice Provider or working for one – you should be able to find them on the Financial Service Providers Register.

Financial mentor or financial adviser?

What's the difference?

Financial mentors

Financial mentors provide more than budgeting. They provide a one-on-one service focusing on empowering people to get control of their money. They work alongside a person, their family and whānau, building trust and taking into account the complexity of their needs.

Financial mentors have a non-judgemental approach and sound financial knowledge. They support people to make connections with local networks and social services to ensure they get the right support at the right time.

Working with a financial mentor is free in New Zealand. You can find one via the MoneyTalks helpline.

Financial advisers

Not just anyone can call themselves a financial adviser. These professionals have to meet a certain standard of competence and treat you ethically. They need to put your interests before theirs.

A financial adviser is a qualified expert who can:

  • Advise you on products like mortgages and insurance, and investments like KiwiSaver
  • Draw up a savings and investment plan for you to reach your goals in life, like saving and investing for a home deposit, or long-term goals like retirement.

How to find good advice

Good financial advice should focus on your individual goals and current financial situation, and balance your needs for the short, medium and long terms.

It helps to be clear on the type of advice you're after. For financial advisers, ask friends, family and colleagues for recommendations and interview several candidates. It's time to ask the tough questions – there’s real money at stake. Checking references and talking to their former or existing clients helps too.

And, if you're thinking about investing, it's helpful to find out your investor type in advance.

Financial advisers need to be licensed by the Financial Markets Authority, and you can check whether they are before you talk with them. All financial advisers must either hold a licence themselves or work for someone else with one. They need to be registered as a financial adviser and tell you the name of the licence holder they work for. You can check whether they are by searching them up on the Financial Service Providers Register.

What it costs

Advice from financial mentors is free.

Advice from a bank is typically free as well; however, it will relate to just their own set of products and services.

Financial advisers can be free at first too, or charge as much as a few thousand dollars for a comprehensive financial plan.

They must tell you how they are paid. Generally, advisers are paid either directly by you for their time and service, or indirectly by the company whose product they are selling – typically a commission or bonus. Feel free to ask them to explain.

Remember, a financial adviser is a member of your team, your 'support crew'. They should be working for you. A way to make sure they are working for you is to look at how they’re paid. When they are paid by a company to sell, the adviser has a conflict of interest. They might, for example, be more focused on selling and less on whether what they’re selling is right for you. When there is a conflict though, financial advisers are now required to tell you up front and put your interests above theirs.

Accountants, lawyers, and wealth or money coaches usually charge by the hour, but their advice may be very general, as there are rules around them providing financial advice on specific products.

If things go wrong, there's help

All financial advisers are accountable for their actions and must have a complaints process.

The Financial Advice Provider they work for must also belong to an approved dispute resolution scheme.

There are four:

When you contact the dispute scheme that the adviser belongs to, they will investigate your complaint and make sure you're treated fairly.

If you feel an adviser is not behaving professionally or not putting your interests first, you can also complain to the Financial Markets Authority.  

Don’t know where to start?

Check out our 6 steps Get Sorted programme to get you on track.

Head to the 6 steps