As western governments continue to raise the State pension age, more people are realising that they will have to make their own arrangements for funding their later years. The benefits system in the UK currently pays more in pension credit, than the State pension, which is a nice bonus for many aged 65 plus. But for many in full time work, there is also the option of saving up a pot of money, plus building asset portfolios, to cushion the impact of dropping to part-time, or lower paid jobs after the age of 55.
More than two in five (44%) 55-64 year-olds plan to move into ‘semi-retirement’ before they reach 65, allowing them to draw on their pension savings while continuing to work part-time, according to new research from Aviva.
The research, from the fourth edition of Aviva’s Age of Ambiguity study, explores changing attitudes towards work and retirement accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Aviva’s findings reveal people’s changing emotional and financial wellbeing as they face up to post-pandemic professional uncertainty.
Positive impact of ‘part-tirement’
More than nine in ten (91%) people described themselves as “much happier” since reducing their working hours, suggesting that semi- or partial retirement – ‘part-tirement’ – could be the answer for more than half (55%) of workers who like the idea of continuing to work through retirement, giving them freedom in later life, while remaining part of the workforce.
As life expectancy continues to increase and more people than ever are living to 100 and beyond, retirement can form up to a third of an individual’s life. Recent changes in government policy, including the planned increase in the state pension age to 67 from 2028, has led people across all age groups to re-evaluate their plans for work and later life.
Almost three in five (59%) 18–34-year-olds say they plan to semi-retire before the age of 65, rising to 61% of those aged 35-44. The findings suggest that elongated working lives are encouraging younger people to think about a flexible approach to working in later life to maintain their career.
The Great Unretirement
Recent ONS data shows that 48,000 over-50s have recently returned to the workforce, as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt urges people who have already retired or are considering retirement to think about partial or full-time employment to help solve some of the UK’s labour shortage issues. However, Aviva’s research suggests people are in favour of staying in employment beyond their retirement age, suggesting that the problems the UK faces with workplace participation will not exclusively be solved by encouraging people to return to work. Four in five (80%) over-65s said they liked the idea of working through retirement, with at least two in five (41%) of every age group in favour of the idea.
The Lifestyle Funding Gap
Of course enjoying a nice lifestyle later in life can mean you need to have a very low, or fully paid off mortgage, plus savings, run a vehicle etc. In short, you need some regular income, plus assets worth selling, or generating interest later in life.
The stock market is high risk, ISAs and bonds are more reliable, but the yield is low – so you may need to keep working 20 hours a week.
What about buy-to-let? Many older people have bought properties in the last two decades and earn good income from renting them out. However that might be difficult to do in the future, as new rules on on renters rights become law in 2024 or beyond. Plus the UK government and Councils seem keen to buy up property to allocate free to migrants. The best way to do that cheaply is to persuade private landlords to exit the market by creating more safety compliance, strengthen tenants rights, cap rents and so on.
Investing in assets like classic cars, motorcycles, antiques, vintage watches and more is also a good way to build wealth long term. Again, it’s high risk – not every old car is worth as much as a mint Ford Escort Mexico. Plus you need storage facilities, which means overheads like security, heating, insurance etc.
What you need is a long term plan that generates income, which rises with inflation. Not easy.
Get Professional Advice
Michele Golunska, Managing Director for Wealth and Advice at Aviva said:
“In a climate where longer working lives are becoming the norm, semi-retirement is a chance to experience the ‘best of both’ which can benefit both employees and employers.
“We know retirement can look very different for everyone so we want to encourage conversations about retirement long before it happens,. Aviva’s Mid-Life MOT app provides a number of tools to help people between 45 and 60 think about themselves more.
“As people live longer, investing time in ourselves and considering every option available in later life is the best way to ensure we have the retirement we aspire to. Starting to think and plan further ahead is a small step that can make a big, positive difference in the long-term.”