Financial literacy once again under the spotlight in New Zealand

The Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income (CFLRI) has launched a new initiative to improve financial literacy and wellbeing for Kiwis.

With the CFLRI reporting that only 17 per cent of 25- to 34-year-olds have long-term financial plans, it's clear more can be done to improve the future financial prospects of New Zealand citizens.

However, the good news is that past research has shown Kiwis are predisposed to possessing basic financial literacy.

In fact, New Zealanders beat out people in 14 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries when it came to answering basic money questions, according to the 2013 Financial Knowledge and Behaviour Survey.

The trouble is they weren't the best at following the advice they already knew.

"The survey shows there is a gap between what Kiwis know and how they behave – the two don't always go hand in hand," said CFLRI Executive Director David Kneebone.

"For example, when it comes to budgets, we found 85 per cent of New Zealanders understand what a budget is, and 73 per cent believe that everyone benefits from having a budget. However, only 61 per cent of Kiwis currently have a budget. We also found that while 91 per cent of adult Kiwis believe it's important to have a will, only 59 per cent currently have one."

So while NZ may have beat out the likes of Germany and the UK when it comes to financial literacy, data indicates Kiwis could use a helping hand at turning their knowledge into action.

From investment property in New Zealand to estate planning, the process of getting your financial future sorted can be made much easier by working with qualified professionals.

Financial advice from experienced and knowledgeable professionals can streamline everything from reducing debt to choosing life insurance.