The latest report conducted by YouGov revealed that one in five adults (20%) who have retired in the last five years admitted to finding it difficult to adjust. The survey asked more than 1,000 people across the UK who had retired in the last five years, and more than 1,000 who are planning retiring within the next five years. It is part of a study by the Centre for Ageing Better and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK Branch (CGF) to find out how the process of retirement affects people and how to deal with this better in the future.
Claire Turner, Director of Evidence at the Centre for Ageing Better, said:
“Retirement is a major life change that most of us will eventually experience, yet little is understood about how it affects us. Traditionally it is viewed as a halcyon period of more time to enjoy travel, family and hobbies – and for many, that’s the case. But our survey shows that while some people flourish, but others find it a challenging time.
“If we are to help people make the most of this important stage of their life, we need a greater understanding of what can help people and equip them to make the most of their later lives and transition from work to retirement positively.”
The survey found that only around half of UK workers planning to retire in the next five years are looking forward to it, (56%), with 41% worried about managing their money, a third concerned about feeling bored (33%) and missing their social connections from work (32%), and nearly a quarter worried about losing their purpose (24%). Some 17% of workers are worried about being lonely in retirement. This latter comes in line with the latest studies and media coverage that loneliness is becoming an increasing problem with the elderly.
Despite the concerns, over half did not plan for retirement nor seek professional advice on how to prepare for such a life-changing event. 45% of UK workers who are planning to retire in the next five years haven’t made the necessary arrangements to adjust their working hours in preparation for retirement, potentially coming to a complete stop at the end.
Andrew Barnett, Chief Executive of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, said:
“The assumption that everyone is looking forward to retirement is untrue, as this research clearly demonstrates. That’s understandable given it can be a time of high anxiety, with little existing support for the enormous changes retiring can bring. This is worrying as research indicates a retirement prepared for and handled well could be a touchpoint to reduce future detrimental outcomes such as loneliness and social isolation.
“We’re heartened to see this evaluation showing that the pilot programmes we supported which offer pre-retirement support can lead people to a more balanced view of what it means to age and help people to make the most of this stage of life. However, there’s certainly further work to be done. We are interested in working with employers on how they can provide more effective support to their staff who are approaching retirement, and what mutual benefits that would bring.”
The report also highlighted the difference between public sector and private sector workers- those workers approaching retirement in the next 5 years the public sector are more worried about missing the social connections from work than those who work in the private sector (41% vs 26%), and were more likely to look forward to getting more involved in their local community in retirement (28% vs 19%).
If you are coming up to retirement age, be sure to have a plan in place in order to make the transition from working each day to none all together.