Financial exclusion – it’s rife in NZ and it especially affects self-employed, independent earners, in a way most don’t know about.

What’s an independent earner? Someone who derives an income outside of the standard full-time PAYE salary working for someone else. This includes those small to medium-sized enterprises who employ about 97% of the Kiwi work-force and it also includes the many sole-traders that exist too.

The majority of Kiwi’s who are independent earners often miss out on the benefits the rest of the population enjoy interacting with financial services – specifically seeking credit, and investment opportunities.

Whilst this problem can be overcome through good cashflow management and determination, often independent earners are focussed on doing what they do best – earning. Often the work they have to do around tax planning, compliance and budgeting crowd out their focus in other areas. As a result, there’s not much left over to contribute to Kiwisaver or worse, their financials are a mess when they need to approach the bank.

It would be ideal for independent earners to be in a position which is just as good as their employed counterparts at time of retirement but this may not be the case. Often, due to the fact, there’s no employer matching their contributions, they feel less inclined to contribute towards Kiwisaver or even join the scheme at all – this is pretty sad as they still have the free $521.43 pa available to them from the government each year.

Ask any bank or mortgage adviser who the most difficult clients are – it’s those who are self-employed, and it’s not because they don’t earn good money! It’s because the way credit providers assess applications does not easily accommodate ‘non-standard’ (ie PAYE) income. Often it’s the self-employed who pay higher interest rates on credit due to this fact.

James Fuller started Hnry to attempt to solve this problem that independent earners have and in the process, he’s helping a huge chunk of Kiwis become financially included.

Where to find James?

NZ Everyday Investor Podcast:

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Where to find Darcy Ungaro:

Ungaro &Co (registered) financial advisers



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