By Joe Taylor, founder and CEO at BetterSaver
What a year it has been. We all thought 2020 was about as crazy a life could get. Yet, somehow in 2021, we have learned to adjust to certain aspects of living with a pandemic that, two years ago, I could have never imagined.
As we approach the end of the year and reflect on what life looks like for us now, I see a lot of Kiwis just surviving day-to-day. So as we head into the holiday season, the team and I want to do our little bit to help.
For every KiwiSaver fund switch made with us until Christmas Eve, we’re donating $25 to The Salvation Army.
Covid has hit Kiwis’ finances hard
The impact of Covid on our financial well-being is clearly illustrated by datafrom Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission (formerly Commission for Financial Capability) after last year’s lockdown. (Since Auckland has just come out of lockdown, it’s a bit early to assess this year’s impact.)
During Level 4 in 2020:
- 34% of NZ households were in financial difficulty.
- 40% were at risk of hardship.
- 10% of households missed a rent or mortgage payment.
The Salvation Army gathered data in mid-2021 showing:
- From 2019 to 2020, applications for KiwiSaver withdrawal for financial hardship increased by 22%.
- The number of people putting a 12-month hold on KiwiSaver contributions more than doubled from 2019 to 2020.
The picture these statistics paint is one of current financial struggles that will continue to impact Kiwis into the future. By making hardship withdrawals from KiwiSaver funds, many are trading their retirement or first home funds to care for immediate needs. While your KiwiSaver is available for withdrawal in certain circumstances, it should be an absolute last resort to borrow from your - and your family’s - future.
How BetterSaver helps
Our mission is to help Kiwis get set up for financial success. We know this year has been hard, and a lot of people don’t have cash to give to the causes they care about this holiday season.
That’s why we are donating $25 to the Salvation Army for every KiwiSaver fund switch made with us by Christmas Eve. It’s our way of giving back to those experiencing financial difficulty.
Why is it so important to switch to the right KiwiSaver fund?
Sorting your KiwiSaver can mean the difference of tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) for your retirement. It can enable you to afford a deposit for your first home. The more people who choose the right fund for them and contribute regularly, the more Kiwis who will be better off financially. This impacts not only individual well-being but the financial status of our country as a whole, with rippling effects for all New Zealanders.
We make it easy to find the right KiwiSaver fund so you can make a difference to your future and give yourself headspace to focus on today - all while feeling good about helping someone in need.
Why do we support the Salvation Army?
The Salvation Army helps people in need by providing assistance with finances, housing, food, and life skills. But the reason we chose to donate to them is because beyond providing immediate aid, the Salvation Army helps empower people to take charge of their finances to make a better life.
They help people develop financial literacy through budgeting advice and the Good Loans program. They guide clients through their income and expenditures with a close look at the hidden costs of debt and how to approach repayment most efficiently. Continued financial education is available as well to help people get out of the debt cycle.
They want to help Kiwi families improve their financial position, and so do we.
Sort your finances today
While working in the financial industry, I became frustrated with the lack of transparency around KiwiSaver. It bothered me that something that could help so many Kiwis get on a better financial foot was fraught with confusion and questionable practices around ethics and fees.
I decided to take it upon myself to call out the BS where I saw it. Now, the BetterSaver team is here to help everyone easily get into the best fund for them. You can take our fund finder quiz and switch in less than five minutes. That’s how easy we make it.
On top of switching your KiwiSaver fund to the best one for you, the BetterSaver team has plenty of tips for getting on top of your finances.
Whether you need new ideas for saving, finding a budget that actually works for you, or want to get started investing, we are here to help. Having a baby? Read this. Questioning your partner’s spending habits? Check out our tips for having ‘the money talk.’
We are genuine in our mission to help Kiwis take steps to secure their financial future. Start with our fund finder quiz. Reach out to our team (actual humans here to talk to you) for a no-obligation chat. Browse our blog and follow us on our socials @bettersavernz to get fresh tips every day.
The BetterSaver team wishes you all a happy and healthy holiday season. Now switch your KiwiSaver fund and help someone in need - it really only takes 5 minutes.