No More Pipe & Slippers

Posted on: 14 August 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Do your retirement plans include a round the world trip or a new career?

It's been a long time since retirement meant receiving your carriage clock and settling down to a pipe and slippers lifestyle.

People reaching retirement these days are likely to take up a different career, start a new hobby or set off on a world trip.

When we asked you what would be on your 'bucket list' of things to do before you die, at the top were travel adventures. From the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall Of China, the Northern Lights to the Great Barrier Reef, 50connect members want to see the world.

Now a report from pensions company AEGON shows that more than a fifth of 50-65 year olds plan to use their retirement for a holiday of a lifetime. 14 per cent of all those surveyed said they wanted to take a long-haul touring trip, 15 per cent fancied travelling around Europe and 7 per cent were after an adventure or action holiday.

Is visiting far flung destinations what you want to do with your retirement? Where's top of your travel list?

Or are you planning to carry on working? Is this because you want to, or will you have to in order to make ends meet? Would you change career in your 50s or 60s? Maybe you want to start your own business?

The survey reveals that 56 per cent of 50-65 year olds expect to carry on working in some capacity after they reach retirement age and, for most, not because they have to.

More than one in ten said 'love of the job' made them want to stay in the work force while 14 per cent argued that they were simply 'too young' to retire. Interestingly, 12 per cent said they would like to try out a completely different career in their retirement.

86 per cent say they would at least "get by" financially if they were to stop working at retirement age. However, 14 per cent say they would struggle to cope financially.

Rather than continuing to earn, a good number of 50connect members want to use their retirement to study subjects from law to yoga, write or volunteer. Nearly a third of AEGON respondents saw retirement as the chance to do all the things they've wanted to do 'but never had the time', and a quarter plan to use their free time to take up new hobbies and leisure activities.

Is there something you've always wanted to do or study? What charity would you volunteer for? Or do you in fact simply want to put your feet up?

The report calls retirees 'grandad-olescents'. Is retirement in the 'noughties' becoming a second adolescence? Do today's over 50s have more in common with their teenage grandchildren than their own parents?

Are you looking forward to taking full advantage of improved health and increasing life expectancy? Despite the average life being longer, health is a bigger concern than wealth for over 50s.

87 per cent of respondents say securing a guaranteed income during retirement is most important to them. Yet only 22 per cent fear running out of money in retirement, while over a quarter of respondents state their biggest fear in retirement is not being able to take care of themselves.

42 per cent think they will be better off than their parents in retirement and 32 per cent think they will be better off than their children. Do you agree that today's over 50s are in a financial position that's better than any previous generation? Will you be able to afford to do what you want when you retire?

What would you use a windfall for? 21 per cent of respondents say they will use the tax-free cash sum from their pensions to pay for the holiday of a lifetime. 15 per cent say they will use the money to pay off their mortgage and 14 per cent will use it to support their children financially.

The report highlights a significant knowledge gap when it comes to planning, as 42 per cent of respondents have no clear idea about how much income they will have in retirement. Of the remainder, 44 per cent expected to get an income less than £15,000 a year and only 14 per cent thought their pension savings would produce over £15,000 a year.

Interestingly, 33 per cent are relying on their pension alone, with no other savings or investments and more than half admit that they could have been better prepared had they thought about planning sooner. Are you prepared for retirement?

What's Your View?

You can share your views by leaving a comment below or discuss retirement in the 50connect forum.

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