Retirement savings no longer possible for many Brits

Published:  21 Nov at 6 PM
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A new survey has shown retirement prospects for huge numbers of Britons are poor due to ever increasing costs, low returns on savings and increases in mortgage rates.

The study, commissioned by a leading financial giant, gives scant hope of a comfortable retirement for British citizens on average wages, as it shows there’s not enough cash left after everyday expenses have been paid to even make a dent in a pension fund. Just 12 per cent of those surveyed said they put a proportion of their earning into a pension plan, with the rest relying on luck in some form or another to help them through their retirement years with only a state pension.

Around 25 per cent of respondents are expecting to sell their home at a good enough price to be able to retire comfortably after paying off their remaining mortgage, with the same number hoping relatives will bail them out if they’re in financial difficulties after they retire. Some 20 per cent said their savings plans had been wrecked by having to pay their relatives’ bills, with some two million workers admitting they had children or ageing parents to support, leaving no room for savings.

The over-50s group earning higher than average wages were spending their spare cash on new cars, home extensions and expensive holidays overseas, and another two million workers admitted they don’t take the issue of pension savings seriously. About 40 per cent said they had no idea of how much they should be saving for retirement, nor how much they would actually need to maintain their present lifestyles without paid work.

Insurance companies are urging workers at 50 years old or older to seriously consider putting more away for the proverbial rainy day expected to dawn at the age of 65. However, negative publicity as well as shrinking returns on investments are disincentives for the average earner as regards putting a proportion of his or her hard-earned cash at risk by lending it to companies often regarded nowadays as scavengers. It’s no wonder that retiring as a permanent expat in a warmer, far cheaper country is becoming almost a rite of passage to a stress-free life in later years.
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