Money trumps health as top retirement concern

Concerns over money dominate the thinking of pre-retirees, according to new research from Retirement Advantage. Conducted by YouGov, the study finds almost half (49%) of over 50s are worried about not having enough money in retirement to do the things they want to do, compared to just over a third (37%) who are concerned about health problems.

Financial worries dominate responses, with just under a third (31%) of the over 50s saying they are concerned about the cost of living in retirement, with the same proportion of people saying they are worried about not having saved enough for a comfortable income in retirement.

Andrew Tully, Pensions Technical Director at Retirement Advantage, said:

“Our findings are stark. Money troubles are what soon-to-be retirees fear most. When they should be planning for a long and enjoyable retirement, the over 50s are instead fretting that they won’t be able to pay the bills.

One of the first things people should do is shop around the market for the right annuity, drawdown plan or a blend of the two. Early signs indicate that since the pension freedom changes were introduced in April, less people are actually shopping around for their retirement income. This is not good news and if people aren’t shopping around then it is quite possible they may well be receiving poor value from the products they buy.’’

Asked about what was important when thinking about retirement finances, seven in ten (70%) of the over 50s said the ability to pay their bills, with more than half (56%) saying the ability to go on holiday was important to them.Andrew Tully added:

‘‘It is hoped the changes in pensions will increase the amount people are saving for retirement. It’s too early to see the impact of that yet, but helping people to understand how their savings and assets can translate into income in retirement is a big part of effective financial planning. Given the concern people show over paying for life’s essentials, it’s vital they speak to a professional financial adviser to understand how to get the best deals and maximise the income they get from their pension savings.’’

The research was conducted by YouGov Plc. The survey was carried out online between 20 May and 25 May 2015. The total sample size was 1,009 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all those aged 50+ with some form of DC pension and not in retirement (aged 50+).