30 March 15
With the NZ Super weekly rate for individuals rising to $411, a question comes to mind: how can anyone pay rent with that amount and still have anything left over for living expenses?
NZ Super seems to do a good job of keeping people out of hardship – if you don’t have high housing costs. And KiwiSaver can help you get on the property ladder sooner and pay off a mortgage well before retirement.
As of this week, the amount of your KiwiSaver savings you can withdraw to buy a first home is increasing.
Now even what we call “the big five hundy” – the $521 you can get from the government each year – can be used. So you can take out all but the $1,000 kick-start that you get when you join.
There's also the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant, which means that, depending how long you’ve contributed to KiwiSaver, the government will give you:
Taking into account housing prices these days, you can use the HomeStart first home buyer's grant for houses that cost up to the following amounts in these areas:
As always, there are conditions for this first home buyer's grant, so for the details try kaingaora.govt.nz/home-ownership/first-home-grant/, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0508 935 266.
The new KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal amounts and HomeStart grants can give you a boost if you’re buying a first home – it’s worth looking into to use them to your advantage.