A retiring couple need a nest egg of $785,000 to live a “choices” lifestyle in a city, but if they are in regional New Zealand they only need $492,000.

Massey University’s annual Retirement Expenditure Guidelines, which are now embedded in many KiwiSaver calculators, shows the estimated nest eggs retirees need to fund the spending gap between what NZ Super pays for, and “choices” and “no frills” retirement lifestyles.

Because NZ Super is not enough for most people to live on, even a no frills retirement requires savings for a two-person couple of $263,000 for city retirees, and $13,000 for regional retirees.

“Of those aged 50 to 64, 52 per cent report still having a mortgage, while 79 per cent of the respondents who had reached retirement age were mortgage-free,” report author Claire Matthews from the university’s Massey Fin-Ed Centre says.

“If greater proportions of retirees have mortgage debt in future, it will become of more concern.”

Just 40 per cent of pre-retirees believed they were well-prepared for retirement, she said, and 57 per cent considered retirement to be a concern.

The findings confirmed New Zealand Superannuation was not sufficient to fund the retirement most people want, Matthews said, but most retirees said they were satisfied with their level of retirement income.

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