One in three over 50s not financially able to retire

Nia Williams

November 15, 2010

The report titled ‘10 Years to Save Your Retirement’ highlights that only 26% of over-50s think they are heading for retirement in good financial shape, while 64% admit they either do not know or do not believe they will have enough money to fund a comfortable retirement including 32% with no savings.

MetLife warns the current generation of over-50s are the first to face a “toxic mix” of volatile stock markets, rock-bottom interest rates and plunging pension incomes which are threatening to destroy traditional retirements for them and the generations that follow.

However MetLife believes if individuals act now they can take control of their finances and has launched its report with a foreword by former Cabinet Minister and financial services expert Lord Hunt of the Wirral for independent financial advisers and savers.

It shows women are particularly vulnerable – on average over-50s women have just £34,500 saved in pension funds compared with the £68,800 that men have typically saved.

The average retirement income, including State benefits, that over-50s are aiming for is £18,100. People with a household income of £70,000-plus are looking for retirement incomes of £32,100.

Lord Hunt commented: “In the search for answers it is the current generation of over-50s who are leading the way for everyone else. There is a lot that people can do to ensure they achieve the retirement they deserve and independent financial advice is crucial but it is also essential that we all take on the challenge ourselves.”

Peter Carter, head of product marketing at MetLife’s UK Branch, said: “Planning for retirement is one of the biggest financial challenges of your life and the one you can least afford to get wrong. Savers need expert advice and guidance, whilst pension companies need to work closely with independent financial advisers to deliver solutions.

“Sadly the experience of the last two years shows that even those who have done all the right things have been left struggling. It is clear that we need new approaches to retirement planning and financial services companies need to work harder with independent financial advisers to provide retirement saving solutions which deliver what they promise.”

Independent financial advisers believe that just 25% of the individuals they see will achieve their retirement income aims and worryingly that 56% of them are banking on a strong stock market to deliver their retirement income.

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