Wealth Beats Health In Retirement For The Over 50s

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The over 50s are keener to put wealth before health in retirement, according to a new lifestyle survey.

More prioritised enjoying retirement and having enough money to pay for travel, hobbies and a comfortable standard of living over keeping fit.

Almost half (48%) plumped for cash to fund their retirement activities, while just over a third (37%) considered their health was more important than money.

When asked about their money worries, the over 50s were slightly more concerned about having too little cash to last through their retirement (33%) than the whether the increasing cost of living would be a problem for them (30%).

The research was carried out by financial firm Retirement Advantage, which mainly sells annuities – insurance contracts that guarantee an income in retirement.

Over 50s want to have fun

“A clearer picture is emerging of how over 50s approach financial decisions,” said the firm’s pensions technical director Andrew Tully.

“They’re now looking to do their own online research ahead of getting professional financial advice. The recent change in pensions, coupled with the wider economic uncertainty, means professional advice is now arguably more important than ever.

“We know over 50s don’t just want enough to get by in retirement, they want enough to make their later years fun and fulfilling. Getting professional financial advice is vital to enabling people to achieve the best outcomes from the pension freedoms and get the right mix of certainty and flexibility.”

The research also looked at how the over 50s access financial advice.

Shunning flexibility

Most are more likely to research their finances online (43%) rather than consult a professional financial adviser (38%).

Looking at their retirement finances, the over 50s overwhelmingly look for income certainty (50%) in comparison to the few who want instant access (14%) and income growth (9%).

The number looking for income flexibility has also dropped a little – by 3% to 30% – since the Brexit referendum vote in June 2016.

“People still want to have some flexibility to cope with whatever the future may bring, it doesn’t always translate into practice,” said Tully.

“Whether it’s a natural reaction to economic fear, or simply people not looking for financial advice, we are seeing fewer over 50s realise their needs for financial flexibility in retirement.”

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