22nd September 2021
Health and wealth issues are the top retirement concerns, according to a new survey of workers approaching retirement (age 50+).
The study, carried out by WEALTH at work – leading financial wellbeing and retirement specialist – found that more than two fifths (43%) of those surveyed are concerned about deteriorating health and over a third (36%) about declining mobility.
More than a third (35%) worry about not having enough money to enjoy themselves, nearly a third (32%) are worried about running out of money in retirement, and 29% are concerned about affording future care costs although this may be alleviated to a degree by the latest government announcement on care cost funding.
However, it’s not just health and wealth which has the nation worried when it comes to their retirement prospects. Interestingly, more than a quarter (26%) are worried about becoming bored, nearly a fifth (19%) about becoming lonely, and 14% say they are concerned about becoming depressed.
Jonathan Watts-Lay, Director, WEALTH at work, comments; “It’s only natural to have some worries about retirement. As people get older, deteriorating health and declining mobility are common concerns. Whilst many people are likely to live for twenty to thirty years past State Pension age, ‘healthy life expectancy’ (the number of years lived in good health) has remained much lower than life expectancy and is now 63.4 years for males and 64.1 for females.”
He adds; “Financial worries are also a top concern at retirement. Whilst some may worry about how they are going to cover unexpected expenses in retirement, for example car repairs or needing to replace the boiler, the reality is that most people are sensible in retirement and adjust their spending according to what they need.”
Watts-Lay explains; “It’s important for people not to bury their head in the sand and to actually think about how these issues could affect them in later life. Everyone’s experience in retirement is likely to be different but the sooner it is planned for, the better. A big part of this is to think about how much income you are going to need in retirement. This includes essential income to meet day-to-day living expenses (household bills etc.), and discretionary income for holidays, hobbies etc. People also need to consider how this income requirement may change over time. For example, research from the Pensions Policy Institute suggests that spending generally decreases over time during retirement, as recreation and other expenditure tends to reduce with age. But for some, spending could increase if extra care and support is required due to declining health.”
He concludes; “Retirement planning is a complex area and many will need help to talk through the issues. Age UK (www.ageuk.org.uk) is a good source of information to help you stay physically and mentally well. When it comes to your finances, MoneyHelper is a useful website (maps.org.uk/moneyhelper/) which offers guides for those starting to think about retirement, or at the point of retirement. It provides access to Pension Wise which offers free, impartial financial guidance for those age 50 or over about their defined contribution pension options. Those who have more specialist requirements may benefit from seeking regulated financial advice. As many people’s circumstances and plans will change throughout retirement, getting regulated financial advice on an annual basis can be worth its weight in gold.
Many leading workplaces offer their employees wellbeing support which covers areas such as financial and health & wellbeing issues in the years leading up to retirement. It’s always worth speaking to your workplace to see what support they provide.”
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