Cost of living crisis could delay retirement plans for older employees relying on pension savings

A new ‘wealth and wellbeing monitor’ report has discovered that over-55s are most likely to be worried about the rising cost of everyday living including food, energy bills and housing payments.

The findings from LV= followed a quarterly survey of 4,000 people across the UK and showed there are also signs the cost of living crisis could be hitting some retirement plans, as fewer people approaching pension age are feeling confident they have saved enough to live on comfortably .

Across all age groups, a third (33%) are worried about everyday living costs increasing, up from 27 per cent in September last year.

Women (40%) are also generally more likely to be anxious about rising prices than men (26%).

People over 55 are the most likely of all age groups to be worried, with 36 per cent voicing this concern.

The latest survey also found 41 per cent of people aged 55 to 64 who are not retired are confident they have saved enough for a comfortable retirement – a decrease from 44 per cent who felt this way a year earlier.

Women are also much less likely than men to be confident about their retirement prospects, however, people with significant assets bucked the general trend of falling confidence.

The study found that retirement confidence among “mass affluent” people – those with assets of between £100,000 and £500,000 excluding property – has increased.

Some 71 per cent of mass affluent consumers are confident they have saved enough for a comfortable retirement, up from 60 per cent a year earlier.

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Previous research from the LV= wealth and wellbeing monitor found that a large proportion (84%) of this group has saved money during the Covid-19 pandemic – and around one in five said their household has saved more than £10,000.

This group is also more likely to have funneled their additional savings into a pension, at eight per cent versus five per cent of people generally.

Commenting on the report findings, Clive Bolton, managing director of savings and retirement at LV=, said: “One likely reason why over-55s are more worried about inflation is that they typically have a larger proportion of their savings in deposit accounts that are not keeping pace with rising prices.

“Wealthier households are probably more confident because they tend to have a large proportion of their investments in real assets such as equities and property, which have risen in value over the past few years.

“Rising inflation poses a dilemma for cautious investors. They are generally uncomfortable with the volatility that investing in stock market-based funds can bring but are also concerned that their savings fail to keep pace with rising prices.”

He continued: “One option for them is a smoothed fund that invests in a wide range of assets but which helps to smooth out the ups and downs of the stock market.”

“A qualified financial adviser will be able to help clients choose the most suitable investments and create cashflow models to ensure and their retirement income is secure.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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