Retirement really is likely to disappoint many Brits
2nd March 2012
Millions of Brits dream of a retirement they may never get to experience, a study from the leading health & wellbeing mutual organisation, Benenden Healthcare Society revealed yesterday.
Researchers found that most Brits have an idealistic vision of their golden years where they’ll enjoy glorious sandy beaches, rounds of golf, and glamorous city breaks on at least four holidays abroad a year.
The report found that along with golf club memberships and exotic breaks we’re also dreaming of countryside walks, regular spa visits and new cars. But in reality, just one in ten are saving enough cash to support a comfortable retirement.
Marc Bell, Marketing & Business Strategy Director at Benenden Healthcare, said: ‘We often see adverts aimed at those of retirement age with a sun-soaked hazy vision of glorious days spent in relaxation. The truth is somewhat darker with the reality being that, for many of us, retirement will be just as much a struggle as our working years – if not more so.’
‘Nearly of third of us are caught up in this dream of putting greens and Mediterranean cruises – a far cry from the reality where retired people can only afford two short UK-based trips a year.’
‘The ideal retirement appears to feature taking on new hobbies and doing what you always wanted to, yet is contradicted by the apparent realisation by nearly half of those taking part in the survey that they are probably not saving enough for the future. Staggeringly, a fifth of us are yet to even begin saving for our retirement.’
The study of 2,000 British adults determined how people expect their retirement to be, before measuring those expectations against results of those already retired.
- 30 per cent of Brits think that their standard of living will improve dramatically once they’re able to retire.
- Only one in ten reckon they won’t need any sort of employment in retirement and, incredibly, only six per cent think they’ll need extra income to support their pension.
- The majority expect at least four holidays a year in their golden years, but that’s a far cry from those currently retired who can afford two short breaks – normally in the UK – and living on less than £37 a day.
- More than half (52 per cent) intend to go on city breaks, 29 per cent look forward to cruises and 16 per cent will learn a new language.
- A quarter plan to swim regularly or go wine tasting and 55 can’t wait for holidays in the sun. A further one in eight plan to start artistic works, commence building projects or pick up golf.
Despite the majority of Brits expecting a comfy and relaxing retirement, 45 per cent admit they don’t think they’re saving enough for the future and remarkably, a fifth are saving nothing at all. Indeed, three in ten people confessed to a ‘live for the now’ approach to money, with little thought given to their pension or later years because ‘there’s plenty of time yet.’
- Less than a third can afford the holidays abroad that were a key feature of the ideal later life.
- Lack of time, money and health issues are also preventing retired Brits from carrying out what they want to do.
- Only one in five can afford city breaks and one in ten have been on a cruise. One in twenty have picked up golf and just eight per cent have started painting or carried out a DIY project. The same number have gone wine tasting.
- Just over one in ten head to their local swimming pool to stay fit and four per cent have tried to learn a foreign tongue.
- A fifth of people have a job in retirement to gain extra income and the average pensioner gets by on £257.86 per week, which equates to less than £37 a day.
- And while baking, reading and walking did prove a regular feature of retired life, one in four admitted they also worried regularly about money issues. In fact, a third said their pension barely covers their day-to-day living.
- Over a fifth of retired people said their lifestyle was dramatically impacted by health issues, which prevent them from carrying out the things they wish they were able to do.
- Furthermore, 35 per cent claim that retirement has seen their standard of living decrease notably and a tenth said retired life was not at all like they’d pictured it would be.
Nearly a quarter of those retired believe the younger generation have a misguided view that retired life will be easy and put off thinking about it where possible.
Only half of the sample was able to describe their retired life as comfortable, with worries about how their own declining health will affect their family, and concerns over healthcare costs taking their toll.
Marc Bell added: ‘It’s never too early to start thinking about your retirement years.’
‘Considering your possible circumstances, especially at a time when pensions are increasingly uncertain, can help alleviate those later worries when you are retired. You should also consider the rising costs of healthcare, whilst not having safeguards such as life cover could end up leaving loved ones to pick up the pieces and to try and deal with huge financial burdens.’
‘You can visit www.benenden.co.uk to find out more about products such as personal healthcare and over 50s life cover.’