KiwiSaver gives you wings
In the three years since I have retired, my passport has had a real workout, all funded by my KiwiSaver account.
At some stage, all of us will stop and dream of what we want our retirement to look like. For Helen Lacey, retirement meant the freedom to travel and explore the world. KiwiSaver has played a big part in helping Helen take flight in retirement as she explains.
"When KiwiSaver was announced as a savings plan, I decided it would be a 'no brainer' to join. At the time, I was almost 60 years old and my aim was to travel when I retired. My partner was already retired and no longer wanted to travel, so my priority was to have a savings account that would not interfere with our joint account. I saw KiwiSaver as my ticket to adventure.
"Even if I only saved $1,000 per year, with the annual Government top up, I would have $10,000 in five years. Nowhere else could I get an instant 100% return on my savings.
The design of KiwiSaver also helped a great deal. Helen was able to nominate a higher percentage of her wage, plus reap the benefit of employer contributions that really accelerated her savings.
"When 65 rolled around, I was still enjoying my job so I carried on working for another couple of years and kept contributing to my KiwiSaver account.
"In the three years since I have retired, my passport has had a real workout, all funded by my KiwiSaver account.
"I have built houses in Nepal and Vietnam with Habitat for Humanity, travelled around England for six weeks, cruised the Mediterranean, taken a Cosmos tour of Northern Europe, the Baltic States and Russia, visited my daughter in Niue and cycled the Paradise Trail from Queenstown.
"Accessing the money in my KiwiSaver account couldn't be easier. It's comforting to know that it effectively works like an on-call bank account in retirement and I like the fact it is diversified away from simply sitting in the bank.
"Fortunately my well-managed fund is still making enough money for me to plan several more trips and the only thing holding me up is the fact that my partner is not keen on me going away for too long now!
"I am very happy I made the decision to join KiwiSaver; it's proving to be a faithful travel companion!"