Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

I was on the telly a week ago for Money Week, and I’m glad to say I didn’t make a mup­pet of my­self. I’m not brag­ging though.

Even though I didn’t stut­ter, swear, or sweat pro­fusely, I com­mit­ted the car­di­nal sin of money writ­ers: I spread fear, not hope.

I was on TV3’s The Cafe hosted Mel Homer and Mike Puru.

They were awe­some, and beau­ti­ful in the way only TV peo­ple are.

Even af­ter the make-up ladies had done their best, I felt dowdy in Homer and Puru’s pres­ence.

They had their easy, vi­va­cious way in the front of the cam­era.

I had to re­ally crank up my en­ergy so I didn’t sound like I was suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion.

It all started well.

Sat on The Cafe couch, I ran briefly through the emo­tional cost of not be­ing in a good place with your money.

I spoke of the roughly six in ten peo­ple who were con­cerned or ex­tremely con­cerned they’d be De­spair paral­y­ses

Ev­ery dol­lar saved im­proves your lot

Hope plus ac­tion equals a bet­ter re­tire­ment

broke in re­tire­ment, and roughly the same pro­por­tion who couldn’t go on pay­ing the bills for more than a cou­ple of months, if they lost their job.

That was me pre­sent­ing the dark­ness be­fore the dawn.

The dawn was to be me lay­ing out the strate­gies to get con­trol of your fi­nances.

And then the seg­ment was over.

I hadn’t made all my points. I thought I’d have more time.

Homer closed the seg­ment say­ing I’d fright­ened her.

I didn’t mean to,’’ I blurted out in re­ply.

‘‘Yes you did,’’ she said, or words to that ef­fect.

I’d ac­ci­den­tally bro­ken one of my car­di­nal money man rules: Don’t be a fear mon­ger.

I hate fear-mon­ger­ing money writ­ers, the ones who write ar­ti­cles say­ing you need a mil­lion dol­lars or you’ll spend your re­tire­ment rot­ting in a silent agony of poverty.

But that was how I had come across. I was told as much to my face by a beau­ti­ful TV per­son.

I’ve al­ways tried to be the guy who says: ‘‘Hey, you may not be in a good place, but here’s how to get to a bet­ter one.’’

Ev­ery­one can make things bet­ter. Ev­ery­one can do the lit­tle things that month by month, im­prove their lots, re­duce their debts, and lift their sav­ings.

I was go­ing to tell peo­ple not to panic, and that we have a won­der­ful sys­tem in NZ Su­per.

It’s ef­fi­cient, easy to un­der­stand, and is the envy of other coun­tries.

It means you won’t starve in re­tire­ment. It also means ev­ery


Mike Puru and Mel Homer from TV3’s The Cafe.

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