Each week the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB's Cooking The Books podcast tackles a different money problem. Today, it's whether it's worth draining your retirement savings to buy your first home. Hosted by Frances Cook.

Scraping together a deposit for your first home can be a fraught exercise. House prices are through the roof, and in some areas, only getting worse.

Take the latest data from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

Last month it revealed that finding an affordable home was getting harder for first-home buyers.


It's particularly bad for those who live in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, or Tauranga.

So, the vast majority of the country's young people.

The solution held up to this is often to use KiwiSaver. Your savings go out automatically, and get boosted by a 3 per cent employer contribution, as well as $521 a year from the Government.

But the problem is that your KiwiSaver is meant to be for retirement.

There are plenty of personal finance experts who argue you should leave it alone, and save for your house in other ways.

I called up Dr Aaron Gilbert, associate professor for AUT's Business School, to discuss the dilemma.

We talked about how to supercharge your KiwiSaver savings, the pros and cons of using that for a house, and what other options there are for a person to get into their first home.

For the interview, listen to the podcast.

If you have a question about this podcast, or an idea for the next one, come and talk to me about it. I'm on Facebook here, Instagram here and Twitter here.

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