One in seven of us may never retire

21 August 2013

Women are falling behind men when it comes to retirement planning; research from Barings shows nearly half do not have a pension.

42% of women surveyed by Barings have no pension, an increase from 39% in 2012. In contrast, the number of men with no pension savings is falling; just 26% have no pension, down from 30% in 2008.

But perhaps that is because less people now envisage ever being able to retire. Barings has found that one in seven people don't plan on it, that's up from one in 10 people in 2011.

Of those who do plan on retiring, some 40% do not know when they will be able to.

The average expected retirement age has risen to 64, from 62 in 2009, although those who have already reached the ripe old age of 65 and are still working think they won't be able to stop until age 71. But 18% of those already past retirement age are still uncertain if they will ever be able to stop working.

Marino Valensise, chief investment officer at Barings, says uncertainty is increasing: "Significant numbers of people nearing traditional retirement age do not know when they will be able to retire, and the worry is that a lack of sufficient financial planning and pension provision combined with increased longevity is having a real impact on a large proportion of the population."

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However, the lack of savings could be explained by an increase in people relying on downsizing their homes to fund retirement.

Research from Prudential finds that more than a quarter of retired homeowners are planning to sell their home, with the average person expecting to raise £62,000 in the process.

The money will be used to boost income (23%), pay off debts (13%) or simply fund everyday living costs (8%).

Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential, says although wealth from downsizing can be significant "it is dangerous for people to assume that [it] can make up for a lack of retirement planning".

This article was wrirtten for our sister website Money Observer

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