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Used your KiwiSaver for a first home? Here’s what to do next

 

If you’ve recently purchased a first home and you used your KiwiSaver funds to help, it might be a bit depressing to see your balance so low. But now that you’re not going to be able to access it for a while, how can you build it back up to make sure you’ll have the retirement you want? Here are a few things you’ll need to consider to make sure your KiwiSaver is working for you.

Make sure you’re in the right fund type

While you’ve been saving for a first home, you might have had your KiwiSaver in a more conservative fund, or you might not even have looked at it at all. Now’s your chance to review just what kind of fund you’re in and how you can make the most of it.

Once you’ve withdrawn your funds for a first home, you likely won’t be able to use your KiwiSaver again until you retire. Because you now have a longer period of time in which to ride the ups and downs, the amount of risk you’re willing to bear might have changed too. It’s a good idea to sit down with an adviser to discuss the various fund types and figure out which is best for you.

Contribute what you can

Now that you have a bigger financial commitment in your mortgage, it could be tempting to take a break from contributing to your KiwiSaver fund altogether. This might seem like a good option now, but could mean you’ll be missing out on so much more come retirement.

Try to contribute as much as you can, particularly while you’re still working and your employer is contributing too. Even if you start at just 3% of your earnings, it’s better than nothing. You’ll also still receive the Government Contribution, which is definitely a bonus! Later on if you advance in your career or you pay off your mortgage, you could look at contributing more.

Re-evaluate your goals

Your goal for the past few years may have been to purchase a home, and now that you’ve done that, it’s a good idea to see what’s next. You might still be young, but saving for your retirement is an important goal that shouldn’t be overlooked.

This is why it’s important to make your retirement a part of your financial plan. Figure out exactly what it would cost to live the kind of retirement life you want, and work backwards to see what you need to save now.

It might seem daunting since you’ve just taken out a big chunk of your retirement savings, but putting a plan in place to keep you on track is the best way forward. You can check out our handy KiwiSaver calculator, or one of our friendly advisers can help you out.

 

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