A third of retirees wait more than five years for their partner to retire

19 September 2016

Just 7% of couples retire at the same time, according to new research from Saga Investment Services. A third wait between three and five years before their partner retires, while a very patient three in 10 have to wait for five years or more.

One partner wanting to remain in work longer was the most common reason for staggering retirement dates at 50%.  Less than a third (31%) said it was because they couldn’t afford to retire together, while a similar number said they were waiting for one partner to reach state pension age.


However while few couples are retiring together – only one in 10 of those to retire first felt lonely or bored. According to the survey, 83% said they either volunteered or took up a new hobby. The most popular pastimes were DIY, gardening, and helping out with the grandchildren, followed by exercising and spending more time with their four-legged friends.

One survey respondent spent time volunteering in a chicken farm, while a number joined choirs. Several had an eye on law and order and reported becoming magistrates.

Commenting on the results, Gareth Shaw, head of consumer affairs at Saga Investment Services says: “It’s not surprising so many people find themselves retiring without their partner joining them on their new journey after work. While these gaps are caused by a historic gulf between state pension ages and earnings differences between genders, our findings suggest that the desire to carry on working is also a motivating factor.


“Given that so many retirees face years waiting for their partner to retire, funding the activities to fill their time could require some additional spending. It’s vital, therefore, to make sure that people have their retirement savings working as hard as possible so that they can enjoy themselves while they wait and have enough so that both they and their partner can eventually enjoy an active retirement together.”

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