August 29, 2022

Inflation “stoking fears” about retirement among Brits: study

The decades-high level of inflation is driving a wave of “retirement anxiety” in the United Kingdom, a new study has found.

The study is covered in an article in The Independent, posted on the Yahoo! site.  

The study, carried out for arbdn, an asset manager, found that “54 per cent of over 40s already feel anxious about retirement,” and that those aged 40-44 are even more worried about retirement, with 61 per cent experiencing anxiety.

What are they worried about?

The article cites general worries about “rising bills, inflation, and not having enough in their pension pots.” Other concerns about retirement included “being labelled ‘old’ or losing their identity when they stop working.”

“Retirement anxiety is an emotion of concern or worry, experienced by people yet to retire, about the prospect of retirement,” psychologist Dr. Linda Papadopoulos tells The Independent. “This could be a concern about how they will fill their time, financial worries or perhaps feeling a loss of identity.”

The article suggests that inflation – which is higher than in Canada, having crashed through the 10 per cent barrier there – is driving the wave of anxiety.

Next, the article offers up some things that folks in their 40s can do now to help address the new problem of retirement anxiety.

First, The Independent reports, is the need to plan.

“No matter how many years or decades you are from retiring, it’s never too soon to start planning,” the article suggests. In the story, Dr. Papadopoulos suggests people start thinking about the financial health the way they think about their physical health.

“It’s interesting that when it comes to our finances, we don’t take many steps to help protect our future self,” she states in the article. “I’d encourage people to think about their new beginning (in retirement). What do they want to learn, what might they have not focused on due to work that they could now focus on?”

Other steps the article suggests are seeking the help of a professional financial adviser, and also to “focus on the positives” of retirement.

“Often people are afraid about getting old, feeling lonely and struggling to make ends meet, but there are so many positives to retirement too,” states psychotherapist Lindsay George in the article.

“You will have more time to explore new hobbies, try new things and reconnect with old friends. Rather than seeing retirement as cutting off your possibilities, you could look at it as an opportunity for you to make more new opportunities in your life,” she tells The Independent.

The article concludes by suggesting that continuing to work past usual retirement age – or working part time – is a way to address fears about having enough money. Another important step is to talk about your retirement fears, either with friends or family or a mental health professional, to help address any “irrational thinking” your anxiety may have created.

It goes without saying that the financial side of retirement needs to be addressed. If you are among the minority of Canadians with a workplace pension plan, you are ahead of the game on the retirement income front. If you don’t have a plan, and are facing the prospect of saving and investing on your own for retirement, consider the Saskatchewan Pension Plan. SPP will help you grow your savings through low-cost professional investing, and at retirement, you’ll have the option of receiving one of several lifetime annuity options. Check out SPP today!

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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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