7 October 2011

Financial decision guide for Canterbury red zone residents

A financial decision guide for Canterbury red zone residents has been launched by the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income (formerly known as the Retirement Commission) today.

The Commission has been funded by the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust to develop the tailored information for red zone residents who have received offers from CERA, on behalf of the Government, to buy their house and land.

The Commission’s ‘Financial Decision Guide’ booklet is designed to help people make their financial decisions about the CERA offer and what to do with their settlement payment.  It also gives guidance on who to talk to and where to get financial advice.

Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan said red zone residents shouldn’t rush their financial decisions.

“People who are being made an offer by Government to purchase their house and land need to make some of the most important financial decisions of their lives. They have nine months to make that decision. It’s important that they take time to consider all the implications of their choices. What people decide now could have a lifetime impact.  

“Our tailored information is designed to help them work through the decision making process. 

“As CERA suggests, red zone residents need to discuss their position with their bank, insurer and lawyer to ensure they fully understand the offer and what it means for them.  And, if people are looking for financial advice, they need to make sure they are dealing with a properly qualified professional financial adviser,” Ms Crossan said.

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trustee Dr Rod Carr said the decisions red zone residents need to make about the CERA offers could have a life-time impact.

“We saw a need for better information on how to go about making these choices.

“The Commission is known for providing free, independent and trusted information on its Sorted website.  The Trust saw the Commission as well placed to fill this gap and approached them to produce tailored information for red zone residents.

“It’s important that red zone residents make the right decision for their own situation, and I strongly encourage all red zone residents to use the financial decision guide launched today to help guide them through their decision process,” Dr Carr said.

The booklet is available online on Sorted, on a special landing page for red zone residents (www.sorted.org.nz/redzone).  This page has tailored information, in the form of a checklist, to give red zone residents some guidance on what to start thinking about and doing, and who to talk to. 

The booklet will also be available in hardcopy from CERA earthquake hubs and other community organisations in Canterbury within the next fortnight.