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Some need to know, with a bit of WealthDesign nice to know thrown in.

Use apps to kick smoking for touch!

Recently I had a client in my office who has given up smoking. The great news is, it keeps him healthy and saves him money.

Not only is he saving money on the smokes he was buying, but after 12 months, his insurance bill has dropped by 50% – no medicals, no questions. As long as he can honestly say he hasn’t smoked a cigarette for 12 months, the monthly life insurance bill is halved.

He showed me the app on his iPhone that tracked his savings – over $6,000 in 12 months! It’s a neat little reminder that helped him beat an unhealthy habit. This wasn’t the only thing he used to support him on his journey, he also used nicotine patches and other tools.  But hey, technology can definitely help along the way!

If you are a smoker and need a little financial prompt, check out the website below – lots of help at a time when you need all the help you can get!

Quit smoking with


John Barber
WealthDesign – a life well planned

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Welcome to the first instalment of ‘Budgeting with Wilson – advice from an ex-uni student’ (insert theme tune). Today’s topic?  Sky TV, and how to get more TV for less.

The rise of the internet has 100% led to the death of Sky TV. It’s now expensive and can be a bit of a money pit. When you consider other options out there, Sky TV probably ranks right down near the bottom in terms of value for money, and content.

So what does the ex-uni student recommend? The answer is one that has come off the back of illegal streaming and downloads. It’s on demand tailored content that gives you exactly what you want, and lots of it, for nowhere near the hundreds of dollars you would spend on Sky TV.

In terms of that on demand content, there is a plethora of options in the New Zealand market with Netflix being king. Watch it on your TV, your phone, your laptop, or tablet, there are literally thousands of movies and TV shows to watch, with more being added weekly. Netflix will cost you $10 a month. Cheap, right?

But you what about sport, I hear you ask? Once again on demand streaming has options. Whether its golf though PGA Tour Live, basketball through NBA TV, baseball on MLB TV, or the football though Premier league Pass, there are a crazy amount of options, for a ridiculously low price.

The only stumbling block to my amazing budgetary advice surrounding your TV viewing habits is the rugby. World rugby hasn’t quite caught up to the revolution. However, I have a solution, and that’s going to the pub and having a few pints with your mates instead – problem solved (and much more social)!

Compared to Sky TV at over $120 a month, any streaming option or options will cost you far less. That means more money for you to spend on beer, holidays, or more sensibly, building your savings. Plus your family will think you’re so technologically savvy when you bust out Netflix, and work it like a pro.

Wilson O’Fee
Your friendly WealthDesign, financially savvy, ex-uni student!

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Good and bad debt – know the difference!

Money makes the world go around! Today, money has never been cheaper – for example BNZ have announced their lowest two year fixed rate ever recently, of 4.39%. Awesome! But before you rush out to go borrow some, there is a trick. You need to understand the difference between good and bad debt.

Bad debt is money borrowed on depreciating assets. It is debt paid out of tax paid dollars. And the very worst bad debt is money borrowed to spend on consumption (I can feel some people’s hearts sink!).

Good debt is tax deductible debt used to buy appreciating assets and with historically low interest rates, you can borrow money to make money.

An example of bad debt we often see is property investors with personal debt on their homes and free hold rental properties. A little smart planning could save these people heaps on their taxes. With a little planning we can transform bad debt into good debt.

We often see people who could increase their monthly mortgage payments by as little as $20 a week and save thousands of dollars in interest over the term of the loan.

If you have debt and you need to discuss how you can save money or plan smarter, give WealthDesign a call.

A little time invested today could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.


John Barber
WealthDesign – a life well planned

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We told you in May and now it’s our last reminder before the cut-off date. 

Each year, the government will contribute 50 cents for every dollar you save in your KiwiSaver, with the maximum contribution being $521. To get the full amount of $521 you need to have contributed $1,043 in the twelve months prior to the cut-off date of June 29th 2015.

Even if you haven’t contributed the minimum of $1,043 up to this point, you can add a lump sum prior to the cut-off date to take you over the threshold – this will give you the full contribution of $521.

It may not seem like much, but it’s what being a ‘kiwi’ who is saving is all about!  For example a  24 year old in KiwiSaver,  who is over the threshold of $1,043 yearly (and therefore receiving the full $521 contribution), could end up with as much as $50,000 more in their retirement fund, when they reach 65. 

Be the optimal ‘kiwi’ saver by giving us a call.  We’ll help you to save smart – easily and relatively painlessly

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DIY Wills – not such a good idea

There are many things in life that you can DIY – and many that you cannot, or at least, really shouldn’t.  Wills fall into the second category.

You can easily go and buy a DIY Will Kit from the post office or a news agent, but unless you are an expert in Wills yourself, that’s where the ease stops. 

  1. At best, a DIY Will Kit is only good for a “simple Will”. What that really means is a simple family situation, where you are a couple or single person with only a few beneficiaries and you all live in absolute harmony. Or you only have a limited number of possessions such as some household goods and a few bank accounts. So if you were able to time-warp yourself back to the 1950’s, you might be okay. But the moment you have more than this, such as superannuation – and these days that’s everybody, then the Will Kit won’t cut it!
  2. Families will have no way of really knowing if the DIY Will is suitable, because there is no advice. Sure, there may be lots of information provided with the kit, but how do you apply it? And how do you even know if it is correct?
  3. Also how good is the kit in the first place? You can be guaranteed that it has not been prepared by an “expert” (even if it says so on the packaging) – because a real expert would never let anyone do their own Will!
  4. Even if you managed to put a “proper” Will together, there is the big issue of getting it signed correctly without legal assistance. The Courts are littered with cases of DIY Wills that were not signed correctly and the resulting problems of beneficiaries fighting for control of the estate.
  5. Finally, at the end of the day you have to acknowledge that “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Without the help of a properly qualified and experienced lawyer, you may not realise the issues that you are missing in your “simple” family situation. For example, how do you deal with non-estate assets such as superannuation or assets held jointly (especially your own home) or a family trust? Or children/other beneficiaries with special needs, or who are still young when you die? Or families with second spouses and children of previous relationships – there are so many unique situations we live in.

Get an expert to help you. Don’t be tempted to save a few dollars now with a DIY Will Kit, because you may end up risking your entire estate later – and at a time when your family can least afford it! If you want to be referred to a lawyer, just give us a call and we can point you in the right direction.

John Barber

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