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Retirees can expect 18-year ‘time bonus’

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04/02/2008

Research by AXA has found that the difference between the average age when retirees stop working and the age at which they consider themselves ‘old’ is 18 years.

The global study was commissioned to examine the perceptions and realities of retirement among both workers and retirees, and revealed that UK workers think they will retire at the age of 62, and consider themselves ‘old’ at 72 – meaning they anticipate only 10 years of an active retirement.

However the reality is very different – retirees tended to finish work at age 60, but don’t consider themselves to be ‘old’ until the age of 78. This is in stark comparison to Hong Kong and China, where the age of “oldness” is 63 and 66 respectively.

The research also shows that many British retirees enjoy retirement with 40% saying they are “very happy” compared to 32% of those currently working. In addition, 80% have positive associations with retirement putting retired Brits ahead of their counterparts in a number of countries including the US (55%), Italy (39%) and Portugal (36%).

Financially, the picture is better too – just over half of all workers (57%) think they will have enough to live on in retirement, but almost two in three (64%) retirees say their current retirement income is sufficient – up from 57% last year.

Steven Folkard, head of pensions and savings policy at AXA, said: “Retirement is generally seen as a new, golden era. There can be some feelings of trepidation and a suspicion that life might not be as fulfilling and exciting as it was when working, yet this study dispels those myths. For people in Britain in or approaching retirement, they have never had it so good with many enjoying the retirement experience more than their peers in other countries.

“Of course there are exceptions to every rule, and this peace of mind comes with careful forward planning. Although the majority of retirees say that their retirement income is sufficient people should be aware that having 18 years of a happy retirement could be costly, so it’s important that people plan ahead in order to make the most of their bonus time.”

 

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