Dec 27: BEST FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE

December 27, 2021

What if there never is a retirement party?

A new study from the U.K. suggests – that for an estimated one million Brits – there will be no life after work.

The study, carried out by Canada Life, is covered in a recent article in Professional Advisor. The article notes that 17.1 million Brits plan to work beyond the normal state pension age.

Why the focus on working well into retirement age?

The article says 43 per cent of those planning to work longer “consider their pension to be inadequate to retire fully.” A further 22 per cent, Professional Advisor continues, are concerned “about how long their retirement savings will last,” and 10 per cent fear that unless they continue working, they won’t be able to afford their current lifestyle.

And it’s not like people are eager to work into their late 60s and beyond, the article reports.

Thirty-four per cent of those surveyed feared a longer career at work because they are “concerned about being unable to enjoy their older age,” the article notes. Thirty-three per cent worry that working longer will “take a toll on their health,” and 27 per cent said that even though they want to work longer, “deteriorating health” will make it harder to do so.

“Digging beneath the surface, there are a variety of reasons for working beyond state pension age, or not retiring at all,” states Andrew Tully of Canada Life in the Professional Advisor article. “For some people the social side of work would be missed, but for others, financial considerations are a key driver. As an industry, we need to find ways of encouraging better engagement in long-term financial planning as a way to ensure that people are confident that they are building sufficient savings for retirement,” he states in the article.

Tully also says that the pandemic is having a big impact on people nearing retirement age. Many are “re-evaluating how they want to live and what they want to in later life.”

This article raises some important questions. Clearly, those who – as the article suggests – feel they don’t have a good enough pension, or that they will outlive their savings, don’t have much of a choice about whether to keep working. But, as the article notes, age can catch up to you and can begin to limit how much work you can take on. This would seem to be particularly true for those of us in physically demanding lines of work.

If retirement is a long way off, you have time on your side, and can take steps to avoid funding yourself with inadequate retirement savings. Be sure to join any pension arrangement your workplace offers as soon as possible, and contribute at the maximum rate if you can afford it. If you don’t have a workplace pension plan, or want to augment the one you have, check out the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. The plan can be your personal retirement system – you can contribute up to $7,000 per year towards your future retirement, and SPP will grow that money for you with professional investing at a low price.

Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.

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