RetirementDrive - Will You Have A Happy Retirement With Enough Money To Last?

Your retirement

Retirement means different things to different people.  Is it when you receive your state pension, when you stop work for good or when you leave your full time job / end your career?

The historical view was that you work until you retire, which is a specific event, then stay retired until you die.  With people living longer it has caused the government to increase the age at which you get your state pension. This together with additional choices means that people are adopting alternative plans for retirement. 

These relate to their lifestyle choices and happiness as well as the financial need to have enough money to live comfortably. They can  include carrying on working, possibly part time or in a completely different job, or using hobbies, vocational work or other means to add value, enjoyment and income in retirement. 

Many people through their lives build value in their home and other property  and use that as a ‘pension’.  Some do part time work after stopping their main job.  Most people today will  need some form of private pension scheme or additional income which can come from a number of sources to bolster their money in retirement.

Retirement Facts


people in the UK are expected to retire at state pension age or older by 2020 (Pensions Policy Institute)

£ 1000

than men on average is what women get in pensions (Carey Pensions UK)


is how long a woman aged 65 in 2020 could expect to live on average (ONS)


is how long a man aged 65 in 2020 could expect to live on average (ONS)

What will you get?

First you need to think what you’ll need in retirement.  A rule of thumb says you’ll need 80% of your pre-retirement income, based on the fact your expenses will normally be less. You might have paid off your mortgage, and it’s amazing how much going to work costs!

It’s better to work it out.  Start with where you’ll get money from.  This includes your state pension , company or personal pension, and the money you’ve saved up and invested for retirement. Some people invest in housing, or building a business, or developing assets or hobbies that generate cash. The key to remember is – don’t put all your eggs in the same basket. You don’t want to get to 70 and your business crumbles. 

Then look at what you’ll be spending, and see how these compare. You can use the calculator below.

Pension Calculator

Money Advice Service have a calculator which shows you what you might expect to get in retirement.  This will involve you entering information about yourself and your current position. 

How can you save for retirement?

There are many ways to save for retirement – some have tax advantages, others score on flexibility.  RetirementDrive is aimed at giving you information to decide what’s right for you – whatever stage of life you’re at .  Which’s guide shows how to save at different stages of life.

It may pay to consider:

Augment your state pension by paying additional NI contributions or deferring payment.

Pay into a personal pension – if your company matches your contribution then this is a great way to save – you get an extra 100% plus tax benefits – see the calculator below!  

Workplace Pension

All employers now have to enrol their eligible employees into a workplace pensions scheme – unless they opt out.  Eligible means UK based, not already enrolled, 22 or over (but under state pension age) and earning more than £10,00 a year (2018-19). This was introduced to encourage people to save for their retirement – the minimum amount you have to contribute is 5% from you, 3% from your employer AND the government give you tax relief on your contributions.  

Money In retirement

The first general old age pension was established in 1909, and paid between 10p and 25p a week from age 70, on a means tested basis.  Life expectancy was low – under 50 for men, but bear in mind this measured how long a baby born then could expect to live, and this was skewed by high infant mortality (see chart below from the Office of National Statistics).  In any event, people weren’t expected to get their pensions for very long!  From 1925 the Contributory Pensions Act set up a state scheme for manual workers and others earning up to £250 a year, of 50p a week from age 65.

So you can look at the age at which you will get your state pension, which is increasing – to see when you can get yours click the link above.  The full pension is £164.35 a week, normally paid every 4 weeks into your account, depending on your National Insurance record.  You can opt to defer taking it, in which case you’ll get more. You can download the Government new State Pension Guide below.

But people aren't talking about it...

The infographic below from Actuarial Post shows some interesting facts.   One in five (19 per cent) couples over the age of 40 have avoided discussing their retirement plans in the last five years while one in 10 (11 per cent) have never discussed it, according to new research from Prudential.

couple in retirement infographic

People spend longer planning a holiday than their retirement!

LV= have an annual State of Retirement report, and the first chapter published in February 2019 showed some incredible statistics.

retirement 2017 infographic

LV= have some Top tips to help you make a retirement plan:

If you’re approaching retirement, LV= have put together some top tips to help you get organised and start planning for your retirement.

“Track down your lost pensions – If you’ve lost track of your pensions, whether it’s an LV= pension or non-LV= pension, go to our lost pensions page and fill in the relevant form.
Consider consolidating – If you have more than one pension pot, why not bring them all together? You could get a better investment performance. .
Check your other assets – If you make a list of your other savings and investments, this might help you understand how much you have to fund your retirement.
Financial advisers – Why not consider speaking to an authorised financial adviser? Regulated financial advice is the best way to help you make the most from your savings.
Review the state pension – It’s unlikely that this will be enough to see you through retirement on its own, but it will help – so keep up to date with the state pension.”

Happiness In retirement

Research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown that 65 to 79 is the happiest age group for adults – see BBC News item.

In November 2010, the Measuring National Well-being (MNW) programme was established. The aim was to monitor and report “how the UK is doing” by producing accepted and trusted measures of the well-being of the nation. Twice a year ONS report progress against a set of headline indicators covering areas of our lives including our health, natural environment, personal finances and crime.  

The article Measuring National Well-being: Quality of Life in the UK, 2018 from the Office for National Statistics released on 25 April 2018 had the following comments on age:

The age structure of the UK’s population is changing, with many people having fewer children, and living longer lives. As a result (like many other countries) the population of the UK is getting older. Latest estimates show that there were 11.8 million UK residents aged over 65, representing 18% of the population. 25 years ago, this was 15.6% and in 25 years’ time it is projected to make up a quarter of the UK population. This demographic change will affect everyone and have implications for many different areas of life such as the provision of services, the economy and society.

Overall, from about the age of 65 until at least our mid-70s, levels of personal well-being look very positive. People in this age range give higher ratings that the things they do are worthwhile and higher happiness ratings on average than younger age cohorts. Specifically, looking at responses to the four personal well-being questions between October 2016 and September 2017:

  • a higher proportion of those aged 16 to 19 and those aged 65 and over reported a high level of life satisfaction (9 to 10 out of 10) than those aged 20 to 24 and 30 to 59
  • a higher proportion of those aged 65 to 79 reported a high level of worthwhile (9 to 10 out of 10) than those aged 16 to 64
  • a higher proportion of those aged 65 to 84 reported a high level of happiness (9 to 10 out of 10) than all those aged 16 to 64
  • a lower proportion of those aged 16 to 24 reported a low level of ‘anxiety yesterday’ (0 to 1 out of 10) than those aged 65 to 89

How does Retirement link to happiness?

So being retired seems to indicate a greater propensity for mental well-being – this correlates with the risk of mental illness.   This derives from a focus on mental wellbeing, a lack of which creates risk for mental illness and is a determinant of physical health.  

This is from the  research the ONS use for measuring wellbeing is from WEMWBS  or Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale.

What life goals do older people have?

Legal & General have an infographic based on research of 2,000 homeowners aged 55 and over to ask them about their goals and aspirations for the future.

life goals of over 65s

Many of us have common goals
Travel and self-improvement featured heavily in respondents answers, however there were a number of ambitions that might be seen as slightly rebellious. Buying a new sports cars or motorbikes, getting a tattoo, volunteering and even mountain climbing were mentioned. Being older no longer means being less active.

The top 10 life goals

  • Travel more
  • Visit Australia
  • Learn a foreign language
  • Retire
  • Drive along Route 66 in America
  • Move abroad
  • Downsize your home
  • Go to more gigs and concerts
  • Pay off the mortgage
  • Eat in a Michelin-starred restaurant



80-odd years of Happy

Sixty residents and staff at the Diana Isaac Retirement Village in Christchurch combined all their considerable talents to come up with this tribute, 80-odd years of happy. The residents wanted to show their children and grandchildren just what they’re made of!

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
fred rogers
Fred Rogers
US musician and television presenter

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See what other things can help

More information

In which country can people expect to have the longest time in retirement?

Guardian article on having a long and healthy retirement

Saga provide a list of 10 ways to make money in retirement

Sixty + Me provide 60 creative ways of making money in retirement

This is Money shows 7 crafty ways of boosting income without paying increased tax

The Money Advice Service have some excellent information on retirement options

The Money Advice Service also give a lot of information on saving for retirement

Mental Health Foundation make some good points about ageing and mental health

What works wellbeing have a briefing on retirement and wellbeing that will surprise you – click here to download it.

The Government have a guide to the new State Pension – click here to download it.

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