Real estate loans accounted for 87 percent of total individual debt held by New Zealanders in the year ended June 2015, according to new data released by Statistics New Zealand.
It also showed 1 in 10 people hadn't paid off their family home before retirement age
Half of all New Zealanders over the age of 15 have debt.
For those reporting debt, the average debt was $79,000. Compared with other age groups, people aged 35-44 had the highest average debt of $109,000.
Independent economist Shamubeel Eaqub spoke to Paul Henry about how we should be structuring our finances.