Investing in New Zealand’s financial knowledge
Last year Westpac also teamed up with Massey University to launch the Financial Education and Research Centre (Fin-Ed) to take financial education to a wider audience.
The Centre is working on the first longitudinal study of financial habits following a group of around 300 New Zealanders aged 18-22 years over the next 20 years. The study will attempt to gauge the level of financial education in New Zealand, how money habits change throughout our lifetimes and at what stages of life we have the greatest appetite for financial knowledge. It is the first project of its kind in New Zealand to benchmark knowledge, attitude and behaviour towards money, with the first results due out at the end of this year.
Fin-Ed is also working on a Personal Financial Educators’ Certification Programme to ensure the proficiency of those teaching on financial matters across the country. The scheme consists of three levels of certification, and is intended to help improve quality and access to personal financial education nationwide.
They’ve also launched research into New Zealanders in retirement, work which has already uncovered some sobering insights. The survey found that nearly half (47 per cent) of retirees did not feel they had adequate financial resources to meet their needs during retirement and nearly the same proportion (46 per cent) said retirement was not meeting their expectations. Overall, a third said they were dissatisfied with their retirement.*
“The connection between how well-prepared we feel financially for our retirement and the extent to which we enjoy that stage of life seems obvious,” said Wilson. “That’s why we think it is so important for everybody to get the help they need to prosper in the years to come.
“Our aim is to help New Zealanders become financially empowered to achieve a better quality of life, promoting both financial confidence and capability. And the partnership with Massey is an opportunity to meaningfully improve the financial education of New Zealanders for the long-term benefit of the country.”
“As a bank, this is one of the most relevant contributions to the community that we can make, and its development came about after our front-line employees identified gaps in customers’ understanding of money management and the escalating debt culture in New Zealand. It’s time to ask those difficult questions and work together to find the best answers.”