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Looking ahead as you invest

What makes investing different to saving, and what are the risks if you need to access your money early?

Investing vs saving

A savings account means your money is available at any time, whenever you need it and is a low-risk option.  But, suppose you’re putting aside more money in your savings account than you would need in an emergency. In that case, your money is likely to earn a lower return.

Investing has a higher risk, but you can also get a higher return on your money. Before you decide to invest, it’s a good idea to do some research so you understand the benefits and risks and what would happen if you need to get your investment out early.

Know your investment options

When you put your money into an investment, the value of your investment will go up and down.


For most people, KiwiSaver is a long-term investment. But, if you’re going to withdraw money from your KiwiSaver to buy your first home, or because you’re turning 65, it's a good idea to move your money from a high-risk fund to a low-risk one. 

If you qualify, you can take out all the money in your account except $1,000 to buy your first home. You may also qualify for a First Home Grant of up to $5,000 for an existing home or $10,000 if you’re buying a new home, or land to build on.  

Check the Kāinga Ora website for eligibility criteria.
Once you turn 65, you can take out some or all of your KiwiSaver money whenever you want to.  You can also continue to make contributions or stop contributing. If you’re not planning on spending your KiwiSaver money for a while, leaving the money in a higher-risk fund is a good idea as you’ll get a better return. 

Talk to your KiwiSaver provider to discuss what option works best for you. 

You may be able to access or withdraw some or all of your KiwiSaver savings early if: 

  • you’re experiencing significant financial hardship 
  • you become seriously ill, injured or disabled
  • you’re moving overseas 

Talk to your KiwiSaver provider to check if you qualify. 

Want to learn more?