How do Britons want to spend retirement?


MoneyPlus Features Team

21st July 2015 at 3:08pm

Whether planning ahead carefully or dreaming about the future, most people have some sort of idea of what they want to do when they retire.

For some it’s about keeping busy and exploring new things while others are more inclined to switch off from work and relax. But, mostly, our ideas of what we want to do when we retire aren’t really that different.

Here’s what’s top – and bottom – of our wish list, according to our research.

We want to travel the world

Whether it’s a few weeks in the sun or a full-scale move abroad, half of us say we want to go on holiday or travel when we retire – no doubt enticed by the prospect of better weather and the chance to experience new destinations, or spend time in places we’ve had memorable holidays.

More family time, please

Many people spend years working long hours, sometimes away from home, leaving little free time and putting a strain on family relationships. So free time during retirement can be a welcome opportunity to spend more time with family or a partner. Around half of us share this view although, interestingly, the over 55s are less likely to want to. Perhaps there can be too much of a good thing, after all.

Take up new hobbies

Winding down during retirement isn’t for everyone, particularly during those first years of post-work freedom. Learning a new skill or improving a hobby – and having the time to do so – can be particularly appealing to those who don’t want to wind down too much.

Here’s our bottom three…

Here’s what bottom on our wish list. Relaxing didn’t even come close to being a top choice of what most of us want our retirement to look like.

Start a new business

Only a small number of the over 55s want to set up their own venture. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it seems that the most ambitious in their post-career plans were those aged 25-34, with around one in five saying they would like to start up a business during retirement.

Go back into education

It seems that dedicating the time to learning a new language, boning up on history or understanding the intricacies of psychology aren’t what many of us have in mind for our retirement. And fewer than one in ten of the over 55s consider returning to college or university to study.

We don’t want to work – or relax

Just a small number of us want to work during retirement or relax and be pampered. And if we did want to work, unpaid charitable work or volunteering might appeal more than earning.

How much will you need during retirement?

The question is, how much are you likely to need to fund the lifestyle you want?

A two-week holiday each year, health club membership, a concert once or twice a month, shopping trips, home improvements and a car which you renew every five years are likely to cost around £23,000 a year, before tax. Factor in the average 20-year retirement, and you’d need to save close to half a million pounds to really be able to live your life the way you want to.

Unsure how much you’ll need to live the life you want during retirement? Our online calculator shows you how much money you might need to make those dreams a reality.

All figures are from Opinium. Total sample size for the survey was 3,009 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken in February 2015. The surveys were carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+)

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The information in this blog or any response to comments should not be regarded as financial advice. A personal pension is an investment. Its value can go up or down and may be worth less than you paid in. Laws and tax rules may change.