Wellingtonian Duncan McDonald retired some years ago and often jokes he needs to go back to full-time work to get some spare time back.

“We have a busy and fulfilling lifestyle, and want to keep it that way,” he says. His wife Valerie retired in January 2012 from her role as a senior administrator in a top law firm. They enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

Duncan and Valerie are now preparing to downsize and release some capital, planning to live on their NZ Super of $617 weekly plus around another $200 per week.

Their idea is to sell the large house they own in a desirable Wellington suburb, which they hope will give them around $200,000. There is also Duncan’s life insurance policy, which will pay out $100,000 when it matures in two years, and a bank fixed-term deposit that pays out $200 each month.

Saving for retirement was never high on the McDonald’s priority list. After 10 years working overseas, the McDonalds returned to New Zealand and bought their first house, when Duncan was 41. As a deposit they used money they had invested in the pension scheme Duncan belonged to while working in the Middle East for the United Nations.  

“We have relied heavily on property investment,” Duncan says, “which of course is dependent on the state of the housing market.”

Comments (3)

Gravatar for Mike


6:38pm | 11 Nov 2019

Am I eligible for NZ super if I have a self managed super fund in Australia?

Gravatar for Jeff


12:27pm | 20 Jul 2019

I will retire in 3 years time at 65....my wife is 11 years younger than me, will my wife be eligible for the NZ pension when I retire (she won't be working)....

Gravatar for Murray Smith

Murray Smith

1:01pm | 2 Mar 2019

Hi There,
Do you have any idea what the NZ Superannuation rate for a Married couple will be after the 1st April 2019 ?