10 Jul 2017

Renters told to save twice as much for retirement

2:02 pm on 10 July 2017

Renters in the city will need to save nearly twice as much as home owners to have an active life when they retire, new figures show.

Bills, stress, couple

Photo: 123rf

According to Massey University research, couples in urban areas would need their pensions plus savings of $486,000 to have the kind of lifestyle labelled in the report as: "Metro - Choices".

To raise that sort of money they would need to put aside $608 a week if they started saving at the age of 50.

But the authors of this report said this figure was based on the fact that most elderly people owned their own home.

If people aged 65 were renters they would need $876,000 - requiring savings of about $1000 a week.

The research is based on figures from Statistics New Zealand, and covers the 12 months until June 2016.

Massey University academic Claire Matthews said there could be real problems in future.

"At the moment you have got among your retirees baby boomers and a generation of high home ownership," Dr Matthews said.

"But we know that the generation coming through have lower levels of home ownership and there is no indication that that is going to improve."

Leroy Beckett, a spokesman for youth lobby group Generation Zero, said a whole generation risked being priced out of home ownership, which would make life very hard for them when they were older.

"No one should need more reasons [than there are already] that we should act on the housing crisis," he said.

"But this is another reminder of the long-term effects of not building more houses in Auckland.

"It is going to shut out a generation from the housing market, which means we will have to save more for our retirement, which will in turn put more pressure on social services."

David Boyle from the Commission for Financial Capability - the former Retirement Commission - said the problem could be eased by people working after 65 and saving money before 65.

If they did not the problems could be serious.

"The message is obviously that if you are not going to be a position of having your own home ... this is the time to start building your savings."

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