British are worst prepared for retirement

20 February 2013

British workers are the worst prepared for their retirement in the world, according to a new league table compiled by HSBC.

The UK tops the global savings gap league table with research suggesting today's workers will run out of savings just seven years into their retirement - and that two-thirds of Britons are not preparing adequately for later life.

The bank's study found the average pensioner lives for 19 years after retirement, but the average retirement savings will only last for 12.

As a percentage, the British have only saved for 37% of their retirement, a figure that ranks us at the top of the global table, with Egypt in second with 45% and France in third with 47%.

HSBC predicts the situation is only likely to worsen as life expectancy continues to rise around the world and people fail to make up the shortfall while they can.

Putting off the inevitable

Christine Foyster, head of wealth development at HSBC UK, said: "People are living longer, through tougher economic times, but their expectations about their standard of living in retirement remain unchanged.

"They are putting off the inevitable, which is the reality of significant cuts to their living standards in their twilight years after their savings run out."

She added that workers should start saving as early as possible to prepare for retirement.

HSBC offers savers the following advice:

  • Work out a realistic budget and make sure your need for long-term savings is not being overlooked. Ring-fencing even a small amount of monthly income can help make a major difference in the future.
  • Be aware of how major life events, such as unemployment or illness, might affect your saving.
  • Make a plan for the future, whether it is an informal to-do list or a detailed written plan to be reviewed regularly.

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