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Money worries lead to a quarter of people putting off retirement

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Nearly a quarter of people who planned to retire this year have had to postpone the move as they cannot afford to give up work.

A new survey’s found that 22% have put off their plans to retire in 2016, while more than half of this year’s retirees are either already working past their State Pension age or would consider staying in employment after reaching this milestone.

It seems that a period of ‘pre-tirement’ – where people delay their retirement plans, change jobs or go part-time instead of giving up work altogether – has become the new norm, according to Prudential.

As part of its ‘Class of 2016’ study, it found that 29% of those working or considering working past the State Pension age would change employer.

Over a quarter (27%) would stay in their current job but reduce their working hours and 11% would stay on full-time in the same job.

The survey of nearly 10,000 people looked at the retirement finances and aspirations of those planning to retire in 2016 and it’s been running for nine years. This is the fourth year in a row that more than half would consider working longer if it led to a boost in their retirement income.

For those eligible to retire this year, they expect to be retired for an average of just over 20 years but nearly a third (29%) said they don’t believe that their pensions and savings will provide a sufficient income to support a comfortable retirement.

But while money worries may be the main reason for people working longer, for others, it is to “keep their mind and body active” while for 34% it is because they enjoy working too much to give it up.

One in six (16%) go one step further by saying they never want to retire at all. And the report also found that 7% who want to work longer said they would like to start their own business while 13% would like to earn money from a hobby.

Physical or financial reasons to continue working

Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “For everyone who can choose their retirement date there are some who have no choice because they physically can’t continue at work, and others whose financial situation forces them to stay on. Anyone looking to give themselves the greatest degree of choice of when to give up work should be trying to save as much money as possible as early as possible during their careers.

“Most people will have an idea of how they’d ideally like their retirement to pan out, and regular discussions with a professional financial adviser can help to make sure that retirement finances are sufficient to turn these ideas into reality.”