While holidays and adventure top the over 55s retirement wish list, new research from Mintel reveals that for many, this could be no more than a pipedream, as just two in five (42%) over 55s feel they have saved enough for a comfortable retirement.

The latest research from Mintel highlights high levels of concern about financial security among Britain’s over 55s. While an average of two in five (42%) Brits believe they have made sufficient provision for a comfortable retirement, this figure falls dramatically among those aged 55 to 64, only one third (34%) of whom believe they have made sufficient provision. And although 65 -74 year olds are more confident about their savings than the younger 55 to 64 year olds, nearly half (47%) of this group feel they have sufficient future savings.

What is more, there is a stark contrast in how adequately the nation’s men and women believe they are financially prepared for the future. Indeed, while half (48%) of men over 55 feel they have made adequate future provision, this declines to less than two in five (37%) women of the same age.

Concern over the cost of future care is also high, with one third (34%) of over 55s expressing concern about the future cost of care for themselves or their partners.

Far from enjoying a future life of leisure, for a core group of over 55s, a work-free life is not on the horizon. Today almost one in 10 (7%) retirees say they plan to go back to work or find a job in retirement, rising to 13% of men aged between 55 and 64.

Overall, the top three things consumers would like to do in retirement are travel around the world or visit new countries (46%), spend more time with their family or partner (45%), and get fit or do more exercise (33%). Another three in 10 consumers would like to learn a new skill or take up a new hobby (30%) and get involved in the community or volunteer or do charity work (30%).

7% of retirees say they plan to go back to work or find a job in retirement

Ina Mitskavets, Senior Consumer and Lifestyles analyst at Mintel, said:

Retirement at the age of 65 is no longer a given, with Brits increasingly expected to work longer into their twilight years to supplement their pensions. This will be especially true as many people today do not save enough for their retirement, either because they are not able to or because they underestimate how much they would need. Lower purchasing power in retirement would prevent pensioners from enjoying their life to the fullest. This is a message that financial institutions should continue to put out in an attempt to steer people towards giving more thought to the kind of retirement they would want.”

Furthermore, Mintel research shows that there appears to be a disconnect between today’s over 55s and the advertising industry as approaching one in five (18%) over 55s say they like seeing older models in fashion, rising to one quarter (26%) of women in this age gruop. And it’s not only the advertising industry where the over 55s are looking for maturity: nearly one in 10 (9%) say they prefer to speak to customer service assistants of a similar age to themselves.

Today, it seems that there is a general lack of interest in new fashion amongst the over 55s. Some 41% of over 55s say they don’t buy new fashion items unless they need to; meanwhile just 11% say they like to keep up with the latest fashions.

“Our research shows that the notion that the over 55s are set in their preferences and only buy clothes when they absolutely have to appears to be true on the surface. This utilitarian attitude towards clothes and accessories purchases could partially be a reaction to the lack of older models in advertising. Using age appropriate models could be the first step in capturing the attention of older customers and increasing their interest in fashion brands.” Ina continues.

Today, more than two in five (41%) over-55s are either single, divorced, separated or widowed, and when it comes to finding companionship later in life, it seems pets trump partners. Around one in 10 (11%) single over 55s say they would like to find a new partner in retirement, while just one in 20 (6%) widowed, divorced or separated over 55s are looking for new companionship. But for many, a pet is more preferable as 14% of widowed, divorced or single over 55s say they would like to get a pet or more pets.

Press review copies of  Mintel’s Lifestyles of the Over-55s UK 2016 report  and interviews with Senior Consumer and Lifestyles analyst Ina Mitskavets are available on request from the press office.

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