Retirement meant nothing to me, but buying a home meant everything
KiwiSaver has played a massive role getting me onto the property ladder and ended up really changing my life.
Starting her first professional job the same month KiwiSaver was launched, Lucy knew she had to sign up straight away purely because it would enable her to buy her first home.
After years of study, travel and work in the hospitality industry, Lucy was drawing her first salary after a decade of average wages and student living. A real bonus for Lucy was the structure of KiwiSaver so that she never saw the money in her bank account, and therefore she never missed it. Having these savings topped up by her employer as well as the government contribution really boosted her savings.
"I am notoriously bad with money, so my family encouraged me to do anything that would help me save. Buying a house had always been my dream but I hadn't been able to get myself in a great financial position to do that much about the dream.
"The last thing I was thinking of as I entered the professional workforce working in a tech start up in 2007 was my retirement. Even when I went overseas to live and work in London for a year, my KiwiSaver account was making money for me even though I wasn't contributing at the time. A year or two after arriving back in Wellington, I was earnestly looking at houses to buy and found out I was also eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant.
"I had managed to set aside some other money but after more than five years in KiwiSaver I was able to withdraw the full amount less the government kickstart. On top of that, the government kindly gave me another $5,000 via the HomeStart grant. This put me in the position to put an offer on a house in Berhampore in Wellington which was accepted and two months later I moved in. KiwiSaver has played a massive role getting me onto the property ladder and therefore changed my life. My future feels more assured and I'll be forever thankful."