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Retirement – Is the Glass Half Full?

Andrew Sullivan reports on Prudential's latest survey of retirement intentions 

In its 7th annual review of the attitudes and aspirations of those due to retire shortly, Prudential finds that the ‘Class of 2014’ are, all in all, a pretty energetic crowd.

Headline findings include:

  • ·       23% aren’t ready to stop work entirely
  • ·       13% have delayed retirement already
  • ·       54% will consider working past State Pension Age

Of this latter group, 23% would consider full time employment while 31% would opt for part time. The preferred option would be reduced hours in a currently-held position.

So, have the grandparents of today been caught up in an epidemic of workaholism? Probably not – as Prudential points out, the carrying on work strategy is part of an attempt to make their final retirement more financially comfortable.

And considering this is one of the last generations to enjoy externally-funded (at least in part) pension schemes as a routine element of their remuneration packages, this may well raise an anxious eyebrow or two amongst those who have ten more years at the coal face to go.

 As Stan Russell, retirement income expert at Prudential puts it, “What is important is that people plan ahead for retirement and do as much as possible to ensure a comfortable retirement by consulting a financial advisor or retirement specialist well ahead of their planned retirement date.”

It's Not All About Money

But it’s not all about financial pressure; this year’s research reveals impressively positive attitudes to later life. Of those who are happy to work on,

  • ·       57% want to keep mentally and physically fit
  • ·       40% simply enjoy working
  • ·       39% just aren’t ready to retire yet

As for those who are happy to embrace retirement (and nearly 30% of them say they have no worries or concerns and are really looking forward to it), they’ve already made plans –

  • ·       53% intend to do more exercise
  • ·       37% intend to socialise more
  • ·       36% intend to take up charity or voluntary work

And maybe improved healthcare, diet and safer working environments all contribute to a fitter, more energetic older generation. Certainly, the days of the presentation carriage clock are numbered.

Prudential’s Russell reminds us that “for many people retirement is now a gradual process rather than a watershed where you simply stop working one day and become retired the next, and that is reflected in the attitudes shown by our research. It shows growing numbers of people wanting to carry on working because they enjoy it and because it keeps them stimulated mentally and physically. Increased life expectancy and improvements in general health are changing how we think about retirement.”

So, is the glass half full? It would certainly seem so, with many very keen indeed to top it up.

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