1 May 2024

Under pressure: 70% of Kiwis worried about money

10:09 am on 1 May 2024
Generic, stressed worker.

File image. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

More than two-thirds of households are suffering from financial stress amid job insecurity, increasing debts, high inflation and interest rates.

The Financial Services Council's (FSC) latest Financial Resilience Index tracker indicates 70 percent of New Zealanders were worrying about money either daily, weekly, or monthly.

The FSC said some of the economic decisions made since the start of the pandemic were hitting households.

Chief executive Richard Klipin said: "This latest research shows many New Zealanders are increasingly under pressure, making dealing with the daily stresses and strains of the cost-of-living crisis extremely difficult."

  • Majority concerned about inflation at 90 percent and interest rates at 76 percent.
  • Confidence in job security at 85 percent, down from a high of 89 percent in 2023.
  • Personal debt up 6 percent percent on last year.
  • Nearly 60 percent of renters finding it somewhat or very difficult to cover their living expenses.
  • About 20 percent of retirees have enough savings to maintain their current lifestyle for less than a year.

Klipin said the research indicated most homeowners were keeping their head above water, while renters were finding it more difficult to pay their bills.

"Whilst homeowners are under stress with mortgage rate increases, we are still seeing the younger generations and renters disproportionally bearing the burden of this economic cycle."

He said the sector was ready to help people suffering from financial stress.

"The sector stands ready to help, and we urge anyone that is in difficulty to speak to their providers, a financial adviser or one of the many helplines available who will be able to help."

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