When’s the perfect age to retire?

When is the best time to retire? It’s never an easy decision as there are so many factors to take into consideration – finances, health, family, etc. Even when you do decide, there can sometimes be a nagging doubt that you might have been better off doing it differently.

UK’s Engage Mutual Assurance did a survey last year of 1,500 people (average age of respondents was 59) to find out the answer. Most people (93 percent) agreed that retirement should happen after the age of 50. The answer that most people gave as the perfect retirement age was 60. Said Engage Mutual, “This fits with the current retirement age for women, but is younger than that for men – and significantly out of step with Government plans to raise the retirement age to 67 by 2028.”

Working longer is popular for some

The study also found there was a significant number who would be happy to work for longer than the age of 60 – 11 percent thought 65 was better to retire, while five percent thought the ideal age to stop working would be 70. There were some very positive reasons given for choosing a later age to retire. Eighty percent said this was because they still felt they had a lot to offer at work and 83 percent said they just didn’t feel they were old enough to retire.

People seem to still feel they will enjoy working into their 60s and are actively choosing to do so. Of respondents aged 66 to 70 a large number, 13 percent, were still working themselves and 41 percent said they weren’t looking forward to retiring. Sixty percent said they were actually planning on working and delaying retirement for as long as possible.

There were a few less positive reasons given for wanting to work longer. People worried about the change in circumstances that not having the daily routine of work would mean to them and their relationships, 22 percent were concerned that they and their partner would drive each other mad after years of not seeing each other as often. Nineteen per cent were worried about loneliness – with work offering regular human contact that perhaps might be harder to find for some in retirement.

Finances a factor

There were also some, understandably, concerned about finances and this influenced people’s choice of retirement age. A significant 60 percent gave concerns about being able to live for the next 30 years, if they retired in their 50s. Fifty-four percent gave unexpected bills as their motivation, while 69 percent admitted that their decision on the perfect retirement age was down to whether or not they could afford it. For some people, the financial aspect extended to children with 28 percent putting off retirement until after their 50s when their children had settled in their jobs.

50s & 60s not seen as old

The survey also gave some interesting insights into people’s attitudes toward age. In the past, people in their 50s have typically been considered as getting on a bit, and those in their 60s as old. But survey respondents rejected this stereotype, with 93 percent thinking that you’re still young in your 60s.

Said Engage Mutual: “This does seem to be in line with what’s happening in society in general. With so many high-profile older role models around who show no signs of slowing down, or even of ageing, the concept of ‘old’ seems to be moving ever backwards. Now even people in their 70s seem to defy being categorised as old.”

(** PHOTO CREDIT: Engage Mutual Assurance)




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