Over 55s are failing to include their families in retirement planning

Millions of over 55s are leaving their loved ones at risk by avoiding including them on retirement planning decisions, according to a new study.

Many over 55s who have a family want to keep their finances private, with 28% not having had a conversation about funding their retirement with their spouse or offspring, according to a report by Aviva. Nearly 64% of those surveyed said they had talked about their retirement plans with their spouse, but only 20% had updated both their spouse and their family.

Among those who have not discussed their retirement plans with their family, 51% said they felt it was a personal matter, and 25% said they felt they did not have a full enough picture of their finances. Just 59% of over 55s have a will in place (this rises to 76% in the over 75s), but 37% say that leaving an inheritance to provide for their loved ones is important to them. Only 22% say they have planned to provide for their spouse after they’ve gone. 15% wanted to provide for their family financially but felt they couldn’t afford to do so.

The survey also revealed the priorities over 55s have in place for how they plan to spend their retirement. 66% looked forward to having more time to do what they want, 45% wanted to spend time on hobbies, and 41% saw themselves travelling. These retirement ambitions only grew with age: for the over 75s, 70% wanted more time to do what they want, and 53% will invest time in their hobbies.

44% of over 55s also said that they wanted to live closer and spend more time with family in retirement - this was a higher priority for women (48%) than men (40%).

Clive Bolton, managing director of retirement solutions at Aviva, commented on the study:

“Retirement planning has many benefits including offering the opportunity to maximise income from savings and investments, and achieving the lifestyle you want for yourself and your family.

“These findings reveal a stark difference between what people want to do about their retirement finances in respect of their families, and what they put into practice. The reality is that failing to address the needs of those close to you could mean they may lose out.

“With the changes to retirement income announced in this year’s Budget, retirees are going to have far more freedom and choice in how they use their savings, and it’s important they consider all eventualities, including the needs of their family. It is matter of finding the right solutions with the help of professional guidance and having open conversations with everyone who could be affected by the choices made at retirement.”