British Pensioners Unprepared

Pensioners in Britain are among the ‘worst in the world’ when it comes to preparing for retirement. A global survey by HSBC found that British would-be pensioners have only saved enough money to live comfortably for 37% of their retirement years. The survey looked at 15 nations in the developed and developing world included the USA, Singapore, Australia, UAE and Malaysia.

With the average retirement in the UK expected to last 19 years, the majority of people only have savings to last seven, thus leading to the possibility of financial difficulties in the latter part of retirement.

Despite the growing awareness of the need to save, many people are not prepared. Around two thirds of would-be retirees said they fear financial difficulties in their former years, and 31% saying they expect to have to work longer into their retirement. Moreover, 19% admitted to not having saved anything.

Christine Foyster, head of wealth development at HSBC UK, said this lack of planning may be due to a refusal to accept ‘the inevitable’ and make ‘cuts to their living standards in their twilight years.’ It appears that ones’ lifestyle is the main focus, as 57% said they put holiday savings ahead of retirement planning, and 14% have used their pension pot to supplement payment of school fees and property purchases.

Foyster recommends that ‘the earlier you start to plan, the better prepared you will be.’ For those looking to purchase a property and obtain a pensioners mortgage in later life, the importance of retirement saving is even more apparent.