A new report says superannuation isn't enough to cover even a bare-bones retirement.
Massey University's Fin-Ed Centre says a couple living rurally would need to save $492,000 by age 65, and those in a city would need $785,000.
Lead author Dr Claire Matthews says this would deliver a retirement with choices.
"No-frills is a fine lifestyle - you're gonna get by. But... you're just not going to have the choices and the ability to have treats and luxuries."
The analysis found virtually all couples over 65 spend more than what the pension gives them.
Even a no-frills lifestyle would need $263,000 saved for a couple in the city and $13,000 in the provinces.
But Dr Matthews says she doesn't support an increase in superannuation, saying it's designed to only be a "solid base".
"If you want to have a nice retirement, that's on you."
Dr Matthews says the answer is to start saving early, and pay off your mortgage before turning 65 - the earlier the better.
"I would argue that the moment you start your first full-time job, is when you need to start thinking about retirement."