Retirement Dreams Shattered

Posted in: Research

Forget the stereotype of grandparents happy to settle down at home in retirement. One in two Britons plan to travel the world when they finish working – and one in three hopes to up sticks and move to the sun – according to new research by Engage Mutual Assurance.

With the Turner report highlighting the importance of starting to save earlier for retirement, Engage Mutual Assurance asked a representative British sample of 2,200 people about their expectations and experiences of retirement. The results show stark contrasts between people’s plans and the realities of retirement.

The SKI Generation*

With an emerging trend in ‘denture venture’, more than half of workers (53%) are planning to spend their kids inheritance on travel in retirement; a third (36%) hope to buy property abroad and one in ten (10%) will spend time on the slopes, skiing and snowboarding.

Retirement Relaxation

Seeing retirement as an opportunity to escape the rat race, Britain’s busy workers look forward to relaxing in retirement, enjoying the simpler things in life, 44% look forward to reading more and over one in three (39%) hope to spend more time pottering in the house and garden.

A Good Cause for Retirement

Seeing retirement as an opportunity to give something back after many years at work, a third of workers plan to do voluntary work in retirement (33%) or spend time looking after their grandchildren (31%).

The Reality of Retirement

Unfortunately retirement does not always match up to expectations. The majority of workers planning foreign adventures for when they retire are likely to be disappointed by the reality; just 23%, less than half those aspiring to travel, will go overseas in retirement and fewer still (7%) will sign a foreign property agreement.

However, those looking forward to spending time relaxing or helping in the community are more likely to fulfil their aspirations. Pottering in the house and garden (56%) and reading (46%) are Britons’ top retirement pastimes, and almost all of those planning to volunteer in retirement will follow through their good intentions (31% compared to 33%) with more than a third (39%) spending more time with their grandchildren.

Karl Elliott, 3GB spokesperson for Engage:

“With people living longer, retirement is becoming a time when we look forward to new experiences, learning a new skill and relaxing with family. However, with the average state pension paying £82.05 a week, financial limitations often prevent Britons from fulfilling their more adventurous aspirations in retirement. Retirement savings need to go beyond the traditional pension. Saving little and often well in advance, and making use of tax-efficient opportunities with ISAs and Guaranteed Equity bonds, is a simple and easy way to top up a retirement provisions pot.”

Percentage and Ranking of Retirement Aspirations of Workers and Actual Experiences of Retirement (Base sample: 2,221 (1,696 working and 404 retired))

 Experience  Working (%)  Retired (%)
 Go on a World Cruise/Travel extensively  53  23
 Spend more time reading  44  46
 Potter around the house/garden  39  56
 Buy a house abroad  36  7
 Do voluntary work  33  31
 Take care of my grandchildren  31  39
 Spend more time gardening  27  42
 Move to the country/city  26  18
 Learn a language  22  1
 Extend/decorate my house  15  29
 Play golf  12  7
 Buy my dream sports car  12  3
 Spend time skiing/snow boarding  10  1
 Learn to scuba dive  10  2
 None of these  8  8
 Go back to university  8  5
 Go bungee jumping  3  1
 Live with my children  2  1
 Learn to DJ  2  0

Engage Mutual Assurance is exclusively offering a market leading participation rate Guaranteed Equity Bond, provided GEB specialists Abbey:

120% of the growth of the FTSE 100

No cap on returns

Can be taken as Cash ISA

Minimum investment of £1000

Full capital guarantee providing the bond is held to maturity



*The SKI Generation is used to describe a growing generation of people Spending their Kids Inheritance.