Two in five over-55s worry about cash running out in retirement

Published by Holly Black on 17 April 2018.
Last updated on 17 April 2018

Two in five over-55s worry about cash running out in retirement

More than four in 10 over-55s are worried their money will run out in retirement.

Research by insurance provider SunLife also reveals that one in five of those aged 55 and over feels worse off than they ever expected to be.

The study of 1,000 homeowners found that 43% are worried the money in their pension may not be enough to cover their retirement and are looking for alternative ways to increase their income in retirement.

The rising cost of living and poor interest rates on savings accounts are blamed for hitting their finances. The so-called ‘triple squeeze’ means savers are struggling to plan for retirement amid longer life expectancy, smaller pension pots and rising prices – not to mention having to bear in the mind the 90% of young people who think their parents are “spending too much of their inheritance”.

The average saver aged over 55 has a pension pot of around £105,500 and some £280,000 of equity in their home. Some eight in 10 say they are prepared to consider options such as equity release to access the cash tied up in their property.

Dean Lambie, chief executive at SunLife, says: “In some ways, there has never been a better time to retire – we’re living longer, enjoying healthier, more active lifestyles and have more freedom to spend out pension savings as we choose. But people are clearly worried they haven’t got a big enough pension to fund their retirement.”

Over-55s are estimated to have some £4 trillion of wealth tied up in their homes and are increasingly turning to equity release products to bridge the gap. These are products that let you take a loan based on the value of your home but remain living in the property until you die or move into care. Borrowers can repay their interest or let it roll up over the duration of the loan.

Mr Lambie adds: “Fewer than half of over-55s are planning on leaving their house as an inheritance, instead realising the potential of an asset that’s risen in value markedly over the years by turning to equity release.”  

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One area you may wish to

One area you may wish to consider explaining is the entitlement to the new state pension. My wife was recently shocked to find that despite having 38 years of "full" contributions (as detailed on her HMRC National Insurance contributions website), she has to work and contribute for another 6 years before she will be able to receive the full value of the state pension. This is something to do with SERPS, which is not clear.