Family Fortunes Stop Over 50s Retiring On Time

Millions of pension savers may have to put off their retirement because they are working to bale out children and parents who are financially dependent on them.

Around a fifth of workers over 50 years old admit they have less retirement money than they expected because they have put the financial needs of their families before their own.

A third felt this means they must work past the age when they wanted to retire, says a retirement report from pension firm Aviva.

The company estimates 1.9 million workers over 50 are facing difficult decisions about helping their families by sharing their cash or looking after themselves and retiring.

Savings sacrificed for parents and children

The study revealed:

  • 22% agreed that they had sacrificed a more comfortable retirement in favour of supporting adult children
  • 12% were spending money they had earmarked as retirement savings on their children or parents
  • 32% said helping their parents financially was the only reason they were still working

Researchers spoke to more 3,300 over 50s and found 1,800 were still working, but 43% were worried about their ability to continue working while holding down a job.

Of those who had a retirement date pencilled on their calendars, 62% had put back the date and 43% blamed the delay on not having enough retirement savings.

Retirement dilemma for families

But 40% confessed that they preferred to stay in a job rather than retire because they enjoyed their work and social interaction with colleagues, not because they had pressing concerns about money.

Aviva savings and retirement managing director Lindsay Rix said that children staying with their parents for longer and relatives living longer meant many over-50s put family financial needs ahead of their own.

“Many are facing a dilemma over if they should delay their retirement, while others are struggling to maintain their retirement savings habits,” she said.

“Workers of this age are in a key stage of retirement planning and would benefit from saving as much as possible to ensure a comfortable retirement, but are facing unprecedented hurdles to do so. Employers and government, as well as individuals, have important roles in helping to make saving a reality.”

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