How much more money?

Based on his calculations, Auckland financial adviser Simon Hassan says savers would need about $620,000 at retirement to rent a lower quartile three-bedroom home in West Auckland for 30 years, while those who own a home would spend about $110,000 on rates, insurance and maintenance over the same time.

That means saving about $510,000 extra to rent in retirement.

Moving outside Auckland could allow retirees to rent for much less.

Hassan says that at the moment it doesn't make sense to buy a house, as renting is so much cheaper, but things may not always be that way.

"What we are talking about could be a temporary problem," he says.

"In normal conditions we definitely encourage people to buy a house and pay off their mortgage as quickly as possible before retirement."

But right now, he says, the cost of buying - interest, rates and maintenance on top of a mortgage - is much more than paying rent.

"That's partly because rents haven't gone up as fast as property prices."

Hassan suggests that if you are serious about buying, think about the mortgage cost for a house where you want to live and try to put aside the difference between your rent and the mortgage.

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