Pension Freedom  

Health and wealth top retirement fears

Health and wealth top retirement fears

Money and health fears play on people’s minds most prominently ahead of retirement, a study from Hargreaves Lansdown has found.

Of 1,516 non-retired people surveyed by the platform 48 per cent said they were worried about not having enough money in retirement, while 43 per cent were anxious about becoming ill and 38 considered losing their mental faculties the most alarming prospect.

Facing retirement alone was less of a concern, with 29 per cent stating they fear being lonely, although the proportion who put this in their top three fears dropped to 19 per cent among over 55s.

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The Hargreaves Lansdown research also revealed about 3 per cent of those who pack up work each year dread the prospect of spending more time with their partner, while 91 per cent expect to spend at least half of their time with their partner.

Travel emerged as the most popular pastime in retirement, with 46 per cent of those planning to stop work this year identifying this activity, closely followed by enjoying free time, at 41 per cent, and spending time with their partner, 31 per cent.  

Of other ways to spend retirement, 12 per cent of men are excited about spending more time looking after their grandchildren, compared with 17 per cent of women. Just 7 per cent of women said they could not wait to be free to watch more television and films, compared with 15 per cent of men.

Nathan Long, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "Running out of money is the number one fear when we think about retirement followed closely by a decline in both our physical and mental health. 

"You can help offset the fear of running out of money by getting a far better grip on what you have and how you can make it last. Very few people get to retirement bemoaning having saved too much, so make squirrelling away a little more every month your first step. 

"Discussing your retirement plans in advance will help ensure you are on the same page as your loved one and help you avoid joining the minority of people who are dreading spending time with their other half."

Tim Morris, independent financial adviser at Russell & CO, said: "Many people like pension freedoms because of the flexibility offered. This links in with the greatest concern for many, which is their health.

"Many clients tend to want to keep working and therefore being able to draw an additional income while working part-time is an increasingly common approach. Those with a mortgage will want to pay that off and free up income. Higher earners tend to want to boost their earnings and additional tax efficient income.

"These can both be achieved by drawing their 25 per cent pension commencement lump sum. Those in poor health tend to want to draw all of that to spend. The remaining pension fund can then pass free of IHT to their children, one caveat here is if they are terminally ill. While a power of attorney complements this planning - the nomination of pension death benefits is key to achieving this."