People over 50 poorly prepared for their financial future new research shows

By Sue Whitbread
July 7, 2021
(IFA Magazine)

 

  • A third (32%) of all people over 50 worry they won’t have enough money to get by in the future
  • Just one in five (20%) are confident they can fund their retirement properly (and one in six (16%) have less than £100 in savings)
  • SunLife’s 2021 ‘Finances after 50’ report reveals people over 50s’ saving and investment habits, as well as top financial worries

New research shows that people over 50 are still worried about their financial future, as a third (32%) of adults across the UK admit concerns around not having enough money to live on in the future.

The ‘Finances after 50’ 2021 report, commissioned by SunLife, asked 3,000 UK adults aged over 50 about their savings and investment habits, and found a significant proportion of those in their later life feel financially insecure.

Despite many adults aged over 50 approaching retirement, the report found that only one in five (20%) are confident they have enough in their savings, pensions and investments to fund life after work. Although the proportion of people over 50 with a private pension has increased by three per cent since 2019 and the average pension pot has increased from £141,712 in 2019 to £166,579 in 2021.

A further quarter (25%) have no private or company pension to supplement their income during retirement whatsoever – with the majority either needing to rely entirely on the new state pension of £9,300 a year (£179 a week) as their main source of income, or plan to continue working to fund their golden years.

‘Not having enough to get by’ was cited as the main reason for financial worries in the future, followed by concerns over having a pension shortfall in second place, and fears around not being able to pay bills in third.

Finances after 50 also reveals that a sixth (16%) have less than £100 in savings – with no provision for a ‘rainy day fund’ in the event of an unforeseeable event such as a hefty household bill.

“The past year has impacted so many of us – but it’s also given many a moment’s pause to reflect on our finances and indeed our retirement prospects,’ said Ian Atkinson, SunLife’s marketing director.

“Our recent 2021 ‘Finances after 50’ report has revealed that a common trend among people over 50 is feeling financially unprepared for later life – with not having enough money to live on and a pension shortfall cited as the main causes for concern.

“Professional advice can be an option for anyone who wants to know more about the different opportunities available in regards to savings and pensions. A financial advisor may be able to discuss options such as equity release, funeral plans or life insurance to help provide a financial security blanket for those concerned about their finances. Everyone over 50 should have the opportunity to tick off what they’ve been looking forward to on their bucket list.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom – despite the pandemic, people over 50 have on average added an extra £3,854 to their savings and investments over the past two years. The majority of adults over 50 make low-risk savings and investment decisions, with eight in 10 (80%) stashing their savings in a savings account.

Most of this age group also managed to weather the financial storm throughout the pandemic – with almost three quarters (72%) of people’s finances remaining unchanged or even better off.

 

Ian added: “While it’s not uncommon to adopt a short-term view when it comes to saving, a large proportion of people could end up paying the price further down the line if not managed properly early enough. For those concerned, we would advise taking a longer-term and holistic view regarding their savings and investments, and ultimately to make use of financial support to be armed with the right tools when approaching retirement.”

 

Sources:

1 The full 2021 ‘Finances after 50’ report can be found here.

Fact file:

Headline stats Percentage Page in report
A third of over 50s in the UK worry they don’t have enough money to get by in the future 32% 18
Pension pots have increased by three per cent since 2019 from £141,712 to £166,579. N/A 15
One in five are confident they can fund their retirement properly 20% 21
A sixth have less than £100 in savings 16% 14
A quarter have no private or company pension to supplement their income during retirement whatsoever 25% 21
State pension salary of £9,300 a year (£179 a week) N/A 20
Pension shortfall is second top reason for financial worries 24% 18
Not being able to pay bills is third top reason for financial worries 11% 18
Over 50s have added an extra £3,854 to their savings and investments over the past two years N/A 14
Eight in 10 stash their savings in a savings account 80% 14
Three quarters of people’s finances remain unchanged or even better off as a result of the pandemic 72% 07
A quarter are worse off as a result of the pandemic 28% 07

 

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