Money is the biggest retirement worry for over 50s

The Momentum UK Team 23 September 2013

The majority of people aged 50 and over think that 60 is the ideal retirement age, but many are worried about money according to a survey by Engage Mutual.

The survey considered the financial, emotional and recreational needs that determine a person’s ideal retirement age, with most of those expressing a wish to retire at 60 in order to make the most of their retirement before health problems arise. Two thirds wanted to spend time with the grandchildren, and almost 80% citing plans with their partner as a reason for wanting to retire.

A spokeswoman for Engage Mutual said:

“We're seeing a varied and fascinating picture around people's attitudes to work and retirement, against a backdrop of significant changes to the state pension age.

“With the default retirement age now abolished, people can work beyond the age of 65, and some do want to. But state pension changes may take the choice out of older age working for many.”

Indeed, it appears that concerns about money could mean that more and more people choose to work past the state retirement age - earlier this year, the number of people working past retirement age reached 1 million for the first time. The survey found that money was the biggest worry around retirement, with 60% of over 50s worrying about being able to afford to live, and 54% worrying about how they will pay unexpected bills and costs.

Of those who decided that past 65 was the ideal retirement age, most felt positive about staying at work; 80% say that they still have a lot to offer the workplace while 71% enjoy the companionship that work provides.

Of the 13% of 66-70 year olds who are still working, 41% of them aren’t looking forward to retiring. One in ten are concerned that their children will become more dependent on them for childcare if they retire, while a fifth worry that their partner will drive them mad!

The spokeswoman for Engage Mutual continued:

“For some it can be a bit of a shock to go from a full working life to a life of leisure. Which might explain why the transition between working life and non-working life is becoming more blurred.

“Reduced or part time hours, voluntary work and public service roles are already providing an important retirement halfway house for those who feel they still have a lot to give.”