Nine out of ten late 40s and early 50 year olds say they face financial barriers to saving for retirement

30th August 2016

More than nine out of ten people in their late 40s and early 50s say they face financial barriers to saving or saving more towards retirement.

Peoples’ late 40s and early 50s are often said to be both the peak earning years[1] and the key time to catch up on retirement saving yet 93% say they face barriers to saving towards retirement.

The most commonly cited reasons for not saving are the cost of living (63%) or insufficient income (39%). However, more specifically 36% of people say mortgage or loan repayments, followed by the costs associated with family (32%) are the main barriers, leaving little money left over to save.

Even at ages 55 to 60, just 12% of people said there was no barrier to them saving with over a quarter (27%) saying mortgage or loan costs were a major barrier, while almost one in five (19%) mentioned the costs associated with family. This highlights a generational shift towards mortgage and family commitments lasting much later into working life.

The barriers were even greater for women with only 9% of women, compared to 15% of men aged over 45 saying there were no barriers towards them saving more.

Steven Cameron, pension director at Aegon, which carried out the survey said:“Nowadays, whatever your age, you’re likely to face barriers to saving or saving more for your retirement. For those in their 20s and 30s, it may be tempting to put off retirement saving, hoping to become free of pressing financial commitments, but that day may never come, with mortgage repayments and family financing no longer just for the under 45s.

“Escalating property prices mean people are taking on larger mortgages which won’t be repaid until later ages. We’ve seen some mortgage providers[2] increase the age at which a mortgage can be repaid to 80 or later. People are also starting families later, and increasing tuition fees coupled with a challenging employment environment for younger people mean parents often face supporting their children for longer than previous generations.

“Deferring pension saving in the hope of a financial boost in your 40s is an increasingly risky strategy. Starting saving even modest amounts from an early age and regularly increasing this a little at a time can make a huge difference to achieving the retirement people hope for. For example[3], someone who starts saving £80 a month from their take-home pay at 25 could end up with a retirement pot worth £232,000 at age 65 versus a pot of around £52,000 for someone who starts at 45.”

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