Elderly residents struggling on fixed incomes are being forced out of city suburbs because of a shortage of affordable accommodation, Age Concern Tauranga warns.
And those who haven't saved for their retirement are faring worst as the cost of living bites.
"People phone and want to know how they can get affordable accommodation in the Tauranga area ... and there just aren't enough options," chairwoman Angela Scott said.
Figures obtained from Inland Revenue show that more than 115,000 Bay of Plenty workers have now signed up to the Government's voluntary KiwiSaver scheme to put money aside for their retirement.
At the end of August, more than two million New Zealanders had signed up nationally with more than $12 billion now invested.
Mrs Scott said elderly residents trying to manage on their superannuation allowances were struggling with accommodation costs, unless they owned their home.
Pensioners were having to shift to the city fringes to find two-bedroom properties in their price range.
"It doesn't have to be set up to be disability housing but they want to be somewhere they can walk to the amenities, where they've got shops and a medical centre ... or a nice cafe where they can meet friends and socialise."
Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan warned against relying solely on the superannuation allowance in later years.
"People that work should understand that unless they put savings aside themselves they could end up living off New Zealand super alone and that's really tough.
"It means fish and chips are a treat - and if you don't want life where fish and chips are a treat then you should start doing something early."
The KiwiSaver scheme was an easy and convenient way for employees to save for the later years, Ms Crossan said.
Workers have saved more than $5 billion since the scheme's 2007 introduction. Government contributions total $4.88 billion and employers' contributions total more than $2.7 billion.
Ms Crossan said planning for retirement was about weighing up current options with future pay-offs, such as those associated with the KiwiSaver scheme.
"There are times in your life when you have to make these decisions about how you manage your money differently. It might be worth going into debt to get an education, because your education will give you a better income in the future.
"It might be also worth going into debt to buy a house and get a mortgage ... because owning your own home is part of your retirement savings." About 8 per cent of New Zealanders aged over-65 lived in hardship, many of whom were renting their homes, she said
Other figures show about 250,000 people have opted out of KiwiSaver since it was introduced and slightly more than 5000 people have turned 65 and withdrawn funds for retirement.
More than 80,000 others had taken contribution holidays at the beginning of September.
- Bay of Plenty savers: 115,833 participants.
- Total savers nationally: 2,002,840 participants.
- 65-plus withdrawals: Just over 5000.
- Number of people on a contribution holiday: 86,468 as at September 5.
- Source: Inland Revenue