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When should you start planning for retirement in the UK?

According to the Office for National Statistics, the median age of the UK population increased from 30.96 years old in 2011 to 40.7 years old in 2021.

This gradual ageing of the population, combined with shifting work patterns brought about by COVID-19, has led to a rise in research on attitudes towards retirement.

The latest report to investigate such attitudes is Standard Life’s Retirement Voice 2023.

One of the topics it covers is the benefit of planning ahead for retirement – but what do people in the UK think about retirement planning, and when is the best time to start?

Which age groups are planning for retirement?

‘Retirement Voice’ is an annual survey carried out by pension provider Standard Life, which is now in its third year of publication. For 2023, the survey questioned 6,000 people between the ages of 18–80 years old about their plans for retirement.

According to the survey results, only 29% of respondents claimed to be doing a ‘great deal of planning’ to prepare for their retirement.

Those who sought professional financial advice and households with annual income over £100,000 were the most likely to say this, but not more than half of these groups.

Considering over half of current retirees reported wishing they had started saving for retirement earlier, it’s surprising that only around 1/5 of Gen X respondents (aged 42–57 years old) said they had undertaken significant retirement planning.

Meanwhile, 27% of millennials (26–41 years old) and 34% of Gen Z (18–25 years old) said they were already doing a great deal of planning for retirement – with Baby Boomers
(58–80 years old) the most confident age group at 36%.

With Gen X next in line to retire after the remaining Boomers, changing attitudes to retirement planning with better education about pensions and savings seems essential to ensure people are able to support themselves in retirement.

What is the best age to start retirement planning?

The survey results indicate that the average age at which people start to show a keen interest in retirement planning is 36 years old
– but is this early enough?

While Baby Boomers and Gen X started to take interest in retirement finance at 49 and 39 respectively, Millennials and Gen Z are starting younger, at 28 and 20.

It certainly seems to be the smart idea to start looking into retirement planning as early as possible, with 61% of keen planners feeling positive about the wellbeing of their retirement finances compared to 21%
of non-planners.

As only 37% of people believe they are saving enough to retire comfortably and 55% are concerned that their retirement funds will run out before they die, it could benefit them to seek financial advice and get their retirement savings on the right track.

We offer several types of financial planning services here at gbac, so if you need professional guidance to maximise your pension pot, why delay it any longer?

Reach out to our qualified Barnsley accountants
to find out how we can help you improve your financial wellbeing and build your retirement funds.