We’ve been through a few ups and downs as a country recently, and so have our KiwiSaver funds. It can be tempting to switch fund types, decrease your contribution rate, or stop contributing altogether, but remember that KiwiSaver is an investment, and any changes you make now can affect your retirement down the track. So here are some KiwiSaver do’s and don’ts for times like these.
- Don’t lock in your losses. You might think that switching to a more conservative fund means your KiwiSaver funds will be safer, but this can mean that you’re locking in the losses and you might miss out when the market outlook gets brighter again.?
- Don’t make emotional decisions. It’s easy to get caught up in the uncertainty and the sometimes ominous-looking market updates, but if you’re going to make changes to your KiwiSaver, make sure you do your research and have realistic expectations. Avoid making rash, panic-based decisions.
- Don’t stop your contributions. Although many household budgets are feeling the strain right now, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of reducing or stopping your KiwiSaver contributions carefully. Any money you keep in your pocket now could mean less when you really need it at retirement.
- Don’t miss out on free money. Every year, the government contributes money (usually up to $521.43) into your KiwiSaver fund if you’ve been contributing regularly over the year. If you stop contributing, you might forget to start again, and you’ll miss out on this great initiative.
- Think about your goals. Whatever your end goal is, it’s important to keep it in mind when thinking about your KiwiSaver fund. If you made the decision to be in a certain fund before COVID-19 came along, it will likely still be the right decision for you when things settle down.
- Remember that KiwiSaver is an investment. KiwiSaver is primarily there to be used when you retire, and since this is usually quite a while away, you need to play the long game. There will likely be many downs before then, but there’ll be many ups too. Where there’s losses, there’ll usually be growth later on.
- Know your risk profile. Your risk profile is how comfortable you are with different levels of risk or market volatility. If you know you don’t want to take on too much risk, you can align your KiwiSaver fund to suit this. In the same manner, if you know you have a while until you’ll need to access it and you’re fine to ride the waves, you can choose a fund type for that too.
- Get some support. The balance of your KiwiSaver and whether you should change your fund type might be causing you a lot of undue stress and anxiety. It’s a good idea to chat through your options with an adviser – getting more information can help you feel more in control in deciding how you want to move forward.