Nearly half of retirees realize belatedly that they need more money than they expected to enjoy old age, new research reveals.
One in five found they needed “significantly more” money than anticipated, while 94 percent said their ultimate retirement dream was lasting financial security.
People who stopped working when they were 50 were more likely than older retirees to have difficulty surviving on their pensions and other assets, according to the Legal & General Retirement Reality and Ambitions Survey.
Retirement dreams: taking vacations, moving house, doing renovations, and pursuing hobbies
The findings follow previous research showing that people determined to retire early have to accept a significantly lower income or risk having their pension fund depleted.
However, some people have been inspired in recent years by the ‘financial independence, early retirement’ or FIRE movement to seek retirement as soon as possible through a combination of frugality, maximizing income and investing aggressively.
> What to do with your retirement pension: A five-step guide to generating a comfortable income for your old age
Legal & General found that the ability to afford a desired lifestyle and financial security ranked highest among people’s top retirement goals.
Some 90 percent said spending time with family was important, 81 percent hoped they could pay for care if needed, and 73 percent wanted to pay for major family events like weddings. Travel was cited by 72 percent as important and financial support for family by 69 percent.
When people were asked to identify what specific plans they had before retirement, vacations were top of mind, followed by hobbies, DIY and renovations, and caring for grandchildren.
Time to travel: Top retirement ambition was to go on holiday, survey finds
L&G analyzed how this matched up with reality after retirement and found that people were less likely to have gone on holiday, but more likely to have spent time on hobbies, fixing up their homes and looking after children.
The company surveyed 2,000 retired people over the age of 50 from across the UK, but the survey was not weighted to be fully representative in terms of income, age and geography.
Therefore, the distribution of pension funds shown below is indicative, but does not truly reflect what people retire with. In this case, it averaged just over £185,000, but L&G says that’s quite high and the Office for National Statistics put the UK average at around £107,000 in 2020.
How much does it cost? A fifth of people surveyed by L&G had between £0 and £49k in their pension fund at retirement
Research by the financial industry group, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, previously looked at how much people need to save for a basic, moderate and comfortable retirement.
See below to find out what kind of lifestyle a single person or couple can expect in old age, based on how much they manage to save, but keep in mind that the figures exclude housing costs, so you’ll need more if you’re renting or still paying a mortgage in retirement.
Retirement Income Needs for Singles
Retirement Income Needs for Couples
Lorna Shah, Managing Director of Legal & General Retail Retirement, says: ‘There’s a lot you can do to help you live your ideal retirement when you finally get there. Start by imagining it!
‘Outline your later life hopes and dreams. Then you can see if you’re saving enough and making the right pension fund decisions to support them, and take action if you’re not.’
How to plan ahead for a comfortable retirement
L&G provided the following tips, and you can also read our guide to getting your pension on track.
STEVE WEBB ANSWERS YOUR PENSION QUESTIONS
1. The first thing to do is calculate how much you will need. Think about the type of lifestyle you would like and what you will want to do.
Cover all the basics first. Then plan for everything from taking the grandkids out once in a while to an annual vacation at your favorite hot spot.
2. The cost of living crisis is driving up prices. So if you’ve already calculated your ideal retirement income, keep in mind that it may no longer cover as much as you’d like.
It might be time to review your calculations and see if paying a little more in your pension each month is worth it.
3. Once you have an idea of your ideal income, you’ll need to make sure you’re saving enough to achieve it. Start by reviewing your pension fund. ask yourself:
- How much money do I have right now?
- How much am I saving each month?
- How much could I have by the time I retire?
When you’ve figured that out, you can see what kind of retirement income you could get.
4. Add your state pension, which in 2023/24 is £10,600 a year if you qualify for the full rate.
Consider getting retirement advice from a financial advisor. You will have to pay for his advice. The larger your pension fund, the more useful help from it could be.
How to get around your pension if you fear it is falling short
1) If you are concerned about whether you have saved enough, research your existing pensions. Generally speaking, you should outline the following questions.
– The current value of the fund.
– The current transfer value – because there could be a penalty for moving.
– If the pension is based on the last salary or defined contribution. defined contribution Pensions take contributions from both the employer and the employee and invest them to provide a source of money at retirement.
Unless you work in the public sector, they have now mostly replaced the more generous gold plated ones. defined benefit – Average or final salary – Pensions, which provide a guaranteed income after retirement until you die.
Defined-contribution pensions are leaner, and savers bear the investment risk, rather than employers.
– Whether there are guarantees, such as a guaranteed annuity rate, and whether you would lose them if you moved the fund.
– The projection of the pension at retirement age. You can use a pension calculator to see if you will have enough; they are widely available online.
2) You need to add the forecast figures to what you expect to get in state pension, which is currently £203.85 a week or around £10,600 a year if you qualify for the new full rate. Get a state pension forecast here.
3) If you are tempted to merge your old pensions, read our guide first to make sure you won’t be penalized.
4) If you have lost track of old pots, the The free government pension tracking service is here.
Be careful when you search online for the Pension Monitoring Service, as many companies using similar names will appear in the results.
They will also offer to look up your pension, but they will try to charge you or whip you for other services, and they could be fraudulent.
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