Step 1: add to ks
step 2: manage ks
a) who’s your provider – choose a low-fee provider, because on average nobody’s beating the market in Kiwisaver, and so minimising fees maximises your return.
b) what’s your fund – there are many factors that go into this, so don’t take the following as gospel but only as a guideline.
(i) planning for a first home withdrawal in the next year or two
(ii) in significant financial hardship and going to try for a hardship withdrawal soon
(iii) retiring in <5 years, and will be at or over 65 when you retire
go with a moderate fund, switching to conservative once you get within about 6 months to a year of your withdrawal timeline.
Otherwise, your timeline is long enough to sit in a growth fund.
step 3: withdraw ks for use
In short: you can withdraw your Kiwisaver freely after you turn 65 (unless you’ve joined between 60-65, in which case it’s 5 years after joining). Other reasons to withdraw are to buy a first home, or due to hardship. Technically, if you’re buying a house with it, the MTC is supposed to remain in your Kiwisaver; but if you changed Kiwisaver providers at some point, they don’t necessarily keep track that way and you can possibly get it out.