Between 2001 and 2013, home ownership among people in their 40s fell from 71.5 per cent to 60.8 per cent.
For those in their 30s, it dropped from 56.6 per cent to 43 per cent.
Currently, about 40 per cent of over-65s live off New Zealand Superannuation alone.
Another 20 per cent live off NZ Super and a small amount of savings.
But as more of those non-homeowners reach 65, that may not be so easy in the future.
Claire Matthews, a Massey University expert on financial literacy and the cost of living, believes the old strategy will need a re-think.
"I think it does need to change," she says.
"The reality is, we are going to have increasing numbers getting into retirement that do not own a home and some will have a mortgage."
One solution is to save more money, to cover renting in retirement.