Memories Over Money: New Zealanders’ changing attitudes toward legacies
Media release June 2023
The face of intergenerational wealth in New Zealand is changing, with new research released today revealing legacies are more likely linked to connection and values, than money or property for Kiwis.
Although 71 percent of people surveyed say they want to leave a financial legacy, there are more, 85 percent, who want to leave an emotional legacy.
One in five people (20 percent) feel they don’t have enough wealth to worry about protecting it and 39 percent say their biggest concern is having enough for their own retirement.
With almost half of New Zealanders reporting a level of financial discomfort, our ability to plan for the future is diminishing. Additionally, as we live longer, we leave less financial security as a legacy.
But it matters; leaving something behind helps people and communities thrive – 71 percent claim emotional benefit from receiving a legacy which supersedes the reported benefits of financial legacy.
“We believe planning is critical and getting documents such as a will in place offer a level of comfort for the future as it enables people to fulfil their desire to provide both financial and emotional legacies for their whānau,” says Glenys Talivai, Public Trust CEO.
The research reveals an increasing interest in and value placed on ‘emotional’ legacy which is less about finances and more about passing on values, taonga and heirlooms:
85 percent of people surveyed want to leave an ‘emotional’ legacy; values to live by, happiness, good upbringing.
77 percent of those surveyed received emotional factors as a legacy and, of those, 91 percent want to leave the same.
71 percent of individuals surveyed want to leave behind a financial legacy; money, property and education.
and 42 percent of individuals want to leave behind both.
“It is the combination of financial and emotional legacies that carries through the generations – the mix of values, connection and assets that creates security,” adds Glenys.
Public Trust NZ is celebrating 150 years of helping Kiwis. Born out of a desire to help society’s most vulnerable people, it is now New Zealand’s largest provider of estate planning and management services. As the organisation moves into a new era, this research and insights will help inform the strategy to ensure New Zealanders are provided with products and services that best serve their needs.
About Public Trust Public Trust, which marks its 150-year anniversary this year (2023), is a Crown entity employing over 400 people across our corporate offices and network of customer centres.
Our purpose is to empower all New Zealanders to build and protect their legacies. We do this through our work as New Zealand’s largest provider of estate planning and management services. We are also one of the country’s largest charitable trust administrators and advisers, helping more than 420 charities to set up trusts and distribute funds back to our communities.
Our investment team manages around $1.2bn of funds, primarily for charities, estate beneficiaries and students (through our Fee Protect service). Public Trust’s Corporate Trustee Services offer some of Australasia’s best-known institutions a full range of trustee services and we supervise a number of KiwiSaver and superannuation scheme providers.
About the research To better understand and quantify New Zealanders attitudes and actions around intergenerational wealth, Public Trust commissioned a quantitative survey of more than 1,000 Kiwis 18 years and over.
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