Retirement experience among over 55s

Money, or lack thereof, a significant driver of overall retirement satisfaction

Given the ongoing economic pressures of rising living costs, over 55s were asked how they find the overall retirement experience. The research found that four in five (79%) of over 55s who have retired did so without the help of financial guidance or advice, preferring to opt for a DIY approach to managing their finances[1].

This comes as nearly one in three (29%) of the same group admit they are not experiencing the retirement they dreamed of. Two in five (39%) are enjoying their retirement more positively.

Unmet financial expectations
One in ten retirees (11%) did not anticipate how much money they would need in retirement and found life after work more difficult than expected. They wished they had planned properly. More than a third (36%) of retirees said they had experienced unexpected health challenges; however, 27% mentioned that although they weren’t living the retirement they’d planned, they were still very happy.

Economic pressures affecting retirees
Money, or lack thereof, is a significant driver of overall retirement satisfaction for the over 55s. Inflation and the cost-of-living crisis are hurting retirees, with one in five (21%) saying they hadn’t factored rising costs into their plans. Additionally, preparing for unexpected costs has caught retirees off guard, with 13% receiving bills they weren’t expecting.

Savings and retirement planning
One in ten retirees (12%) cited a relative lack of savings, saying they didn’t have enough money to live the retirement they had planned. Similarly, some people over 55 (11%) did not anticipate how much money was needed to fund retirement. This insight clearly shows that people’s retirement experiences vary widely. Later life varies for each individual, but generally, people go through four key financial stages: beginning retirement savings, assessing their progress, utilising their savings, and planning their legacy.

Navigating retirement challenges
While a lack of retirement funds and the impact of rising costs are clearly issues facing the current generation of retirees, unexpected health issues often trump both, leading to the dreams of many being shattered due to these unforeseen circumstances. Planning your retirement and ensuring it is flexible enough to navigate the many challenges you will face is vital to feeling in control and enjoying your later years.

Source data:
[1] Research conducted by Opinium among 663 over 55s who said they were retired, with fieldwork conducted between 19th – 22nd March 2024.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE TAX OR LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH. TAX TREATMENT DEPENDS ON THE INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF EACH CLIENT AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE IN THE FUTURE. FOR GUIDANCE, SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE.

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