A quick guide to financial capability

The Commission for Financial Capability is an autonomous crown entity which builds financial capability to equip the retirees of today and tomorrow.   We asked them to explain what financial capability is and why we should all care about it.

Senior hand using a calculator

Financial capability sounds like a dry concept, but it affects every single one of us.

It gives people choices, helps protect them from unexpected events, fraud and scams and enables them to have a voice as consumers and citizens.

It’s about having the knowledge, understanding and confidence to make effective decisions about how we use and manage our money.

The Commission for Financial Capability wants to improve everyone’s financial wellbeing, through better information and education.

Part of that involves helping the financially vulnerable. And by that, we don’t just mean people on low incomes.

Some can spend carefully throughout their lives, then lose their savings in retirement because of fraud, bad advice or an economic downturn.

Those people are particularly vulnerable because they have stopped working and cannot earn the money back.

The Commission has a role dedicated to understanding the needs of New Zealanders aged 50 plus, including investor education. The work includes questions around annuities, investment decisions and cognitive decline, an ageing workforce and more.

The future holds some challenges for our children and grandchildren too. They are our future retirees and it is never too soon for them to start thinking about their retirement.

We like to talk about ‘little and long’: saving a small amount over a long period so by the time they are ready to retire they will have accumulated the money they will need and can reach their 60s with choices.

To learn more about the work of the Commission for Financial Capability visit its website.