For a lot of people, the thought of being able to give up work and embark on a long and happy retirement is something that can't come soon enough. But, according to research from MGM Advantage, it seems that not everyone has the same idea.
Some might feel compelled to work past traditional retirement age for financial reasons, but surprisingly, this isn't always the sole cause. In fact, in a lot of circumstances it's an active choice, with 1 in 10 of those surveyed saying that they never want to retire. This figure's even higher for those aged 65+, in other words those who could technically already retire, where around 1 in 6 would ideally never leave work.
These are surprising figures, completely going against the idea of people wanting to leave work so they can relax and enjoy their golden years. So just why do people want to stay in the workplace? Well, it might reflect the growing desire to have a more flexible approach to working in old age, while some people might simply like the chance to stay active and socially mobile.
It would suggest that a lot of people are actively planning to stay in work well into traditional retirement age – in some cases for as long as possible – while just 18% would ideally choose to retire before the age of 60. Early retirement isn't seen as so much of a goal for a lot of people, with flexibility instead seeming to be a far more aspirational choice.
But what could this mean for individuals, the retirement landscape and the economy as a whole? Andrew Tully, pensions technical director at MGM Advantage, comments: "Our research shows that we should perhaps look to retire the word 'retirement'. People today not only expect to be working longer, they want to, with a significant number hoping never to stop work at all.
"This trend will have a massive impact on UK employment. Currently well over 600,000 people reach the age of 65 each year, but if 1 in 10 of them, or 60,000, decide to continue in work in future years then the workforce will age considerably. Perceptions will change as employers recognise that over 65s are increasingly available as a source of skilled and experienced workers.
"It's clear that there's going to need to be a lot more freedom and flexibility in the pensions market to accommodate people who don't want to stop working, but still want to be able to access their pension savings without getting hit by a big tax bill."
Of course, not everyone would actively choose to stay in work unless they had to. Around 6 in 10 (56%) would still like to retire before they hit 65, while a despondent 69% think they'll need to retire later than that because of their circumstances. Figures from a separate study show that 33% of non-retirees' main priority is being able to afford to retire when they want to, which only goes to highlight the necessity of proper financial planning for the future.
The flexibility announced in this year's Budget makes it even more important for those approaching retirement to consider their finances for the long term, particularly as they'll be able to access their full pension pot should they wish. Being able to secure a meaningful income throughout retirement is vital to maintain financial security, meaning it's never been more important to get suitable advice – whether you actively choose to continue working or not.
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