Over 50s juggle supporting families with retirement plans

27 September 2017

One in five (19%) over 50s faces pressure to work for longer due to juggling their children’s or parents’ financial needs with their own retirement prospects, a new report has found. 

According to the findings of insurer Aviva’s latest ‘Real Retirement Report’, almost two in five (36%) over 50s workers with dependents say they will retire later than they expected because their children are still financially dependent on them.

Almost a third of those with dependents (32%) say their adult children’s financial needs are the only reason they’re still working.

Lindsey Rix, managing director of savings and retirement at Aviva, says: “With children flying the nest later and later, many over-50s are shouldering the responsibility of putting their families’ financial needs ahead of their own for a prolonged period of time. As a result, many are facing a dilemma over delaying their retirement, while others are struggling to maintain their retirement savings habits.”

But it’s not just children causing financial pressure. Aviva says the need to help parents financially is also prolonging over 50s’ working lives. It found that more than one in 10 (12%) workers aged over 50 with financial dependents say the only reason they are still working is to support the financial needs, including healthcare, of their own parents or their partners’ parents.

Having financial dependents is also affecting people’s career opportunities in later life. One in six (16%) over 50s workers say their responsibilities to younger family members have limited their future career prospects beyond their current age, while 13% say their responsibilities to older family members have had the same effect.

Two in five motivated to stay in work by job satisfaction

However, it’s not all doom and gloom; Aviva’s research also found that two in five (40%) over 50s are motivated to stay in work by job satisfaction and fulfilment rather than financial reasons – rising to over half (53%) of 65- to 69-year-olds and two thirds (66%) of over-70s.

Among those retiring later, one third (34%) are doing so because they enjoy the mental stimulation of their job.

Longer working lives are also bringing new employment opportunities. Almost two in five (39%) over 50s workers have made a significant job change since turning 50, while one in seven (14%) have become their own boss post-50.

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