Over 50s Personal Finance – The Benefit of Hindsight
Dec 3, 2013
It’s inevitable that as you go through your 50s you start to focus more on retirement. Can you afford to retire; at what age; how will you spend your days; will you still need or want to work part time?
Hopefully you don’t have too many regrets but as we get to a stage when our baby boomers are approaching retirement, it appears that a number of 50 and 60 somethings can’t help but think how different everything would be if only they had planned a little more.
But given the chance, what if anything would you have done differently?
Well according to AVIVAs latest Real Retirement Report, 50% of Over 55s said that with the benefit of hindsight, they would advise ‘saving more on a monthly basis’; a basic common sense approach that has been handed down through the generations but all too frequently gets lost within the enjoying yourself, buying a house and having children stages of life.
‘Monthly saving’ was closely followed by ‘making better use of savings products such as ISA’s’, difficult given the current economic climate but on the flip side much easier these days with our fingertip access to a whole world of information via the internet.
The remaining pieces of advice were all of a similar theme connected with pensions; ‘take out a workplace pension’, ‘take out a personal pension’, ‘contribute to both much earlier in life’. Oh the benefit of hindsight; wouldn’t we all be millionaires if we had such a talent?
The sting in the tale is that some of us 50 and 60 somethings are now starting to pay the price for our gung ho attitude in youth. Of course there are things we can do to make the best of what we already have in place, ways in which we can increase our retirement income but surely, as a nation things need to change so our young don’t grow up carrying the heavy burden of lack of foresight.
We are of an age where inheritance isn’t a given; it may still hold a level of importance to our older generation but the ‘boomers’ amongst us are quickly working out that our need is greater, even if that need involves helping the kids out financially!
The introduction of auto-enrolment pensions of course should help raise awareness but should we also be educating our young on ‘the meaning of growing old’? It seems to me that there are a whole raft of issues emerging as a result of the longer lives we now lead and the increased number of years we spend in retirement but what is the right age to start learning these valuable lessons and how will we make them listen; we didn’t did we?