The Economy And Cost Of Living In New Zealand

The cost of living in New Zealand is moderate compared to the United States and Europe. Although the cost of eligibility for retiring to New Zealand is high, most residents find housing and necessities at reasonable prices. Taxes in New Zealand are considered high and due to the country’s isolation, many goods are imported.

Cost of Goods in New Zealand

Groceries are equal to or more expensive than goods in the United States. For example, a dozen eggs in New Zealand is about $3 and a gallon of milk is about $3.50. For one person to eat at an inexpensive restaurant usually costs about $15, while a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant may cost between $40 and $50.
New Zealand is known for the locally produced food and wine available throughout the country. Locally grown and harvested foods like lamb, poultry and seafood are generally inexpensive.
Taxes in New Zealand are high, and most goods are subject to a 15 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST). This tax is included in the value of most goods.
Clothing and electronics are similar to western prices. A pair of jeans or a dress, for example usually costs between $50 to $100.
Museums and entertainment costs in New Zealand are very reasonable. Many museums have free admission or a small, suggested donation.

Cost of Housing and Retiring in New Zealand

It’s possible to live on a budget in New Zealand, however if you have the financial means required to obtain a Retirement Visa in New Zealand, you probably don’t need to. To be eligible for the Retirement Visa, you must invest $750,000 and have an additional $500,000 financial cushion. Unfortunately, a real estate investment is not an eligible investment for obtaining a retirement visa. You don’t, however, need to be a permanent resident to purchase real estate in New Zealand. (Inland Revenue, 2011)
Housing costs are typically comparable to affordable prices in the United States. It’s possible to rent a one bedroom apartment for about $500 per month, but in downtown Auckland and other major cities, rent is closer to $800 for a similar unit.
Whether you choose to live in downtown Auckland or Southland, Otago, and Canterbury, New Zealand, retirees have many housing available housing options.