Things aren’t the same nowadays when it comes to retirement and the over 65s! So what does retirement really mean to today’s over 65s?
Once perceived as a time to slow down and take stock, modern retirement has changed. Retirement is now about redefining how work fits into life rather than ceasing work completely.
A Post Office Money study exploring the changing lifestyles, aspirations and goals of over-65s, revealed six emerging tribes and the factors which explain why work has become so important to current retirees.
‘Work’ doesn’t always take the form of a full time job. Most see retirement as an opportunity to explore personal ambitions. The study found that for many, retirement is a time to travel or start a new business. A time to develop both body and mind, champion causes that matter and fall in love. The six tribes redefining mid-life and beyond echo this mixture of both personal and work ambitions shared by many retirees.
Naturally, the ability to finance goals and aspirations in retirement is critical and maintaining income is an important factor for the 46% returning to or continuing to work. As we are living longer, pensions do not always fully meet the cost of living and around 70% of total wealth is tied up in the home.
Retirement and the Over 65s
State pension is the sole source of income for only one third of over-65s; one in ten said they have or would consider re-mortgages, loans and equity release as a means to borrow money.
These changing circumstances have left many over 65s feeling under-served by financial services providers. One in five think there’s a need for more products tailored to meet their changing needs.
Of course, financial considerations are not the only factors driving the decision to keep working. Work is frequently linked to relevance in society and can give an enhanced sense of purpose. More than 58% of people felt retirement would affect their social status. They also think it could negatively impact how other people see them. Many also stated they simply enjoy their work and the personal satisfaction and fulfilment it provides. This may explain why almost 20% tried to retire once, before deciding to return to the workforce at a later date.
So we may need to challenge some of the assumptions about how older people in the UK want to live and what their goals are. Recognising and supporting their changing needs means they can continue sharing their invaluable skills and insight, whilst realising their goals and ambitions for retirement and beyond.
Chrysanthy Pispinis of Post Office Money
Responding to these varied needs, Post Office has recently launched an innovative new mortgage. Called Retirement Link, the mortgage will support customers who want more financial flexibility in retirement, enabling their lives and goals.