If you're approaching retirement age, you may -- like many people -- be planning to carry on working. But it's important to be prepared in case things don't work out as you planned.
Across Europe, UK workers are least likely to want to immediately stop working when they reach retirement age, new research from pensions and investment firm Aegon reveals.
With retirement more likely to be viewed as a transition rather than fixed date, less than a third of UK workers (30%) said they want to stop working altogether at state retirement age, compared with 57% in Spain, 49% in France and 40% in Germany.
However, half of retirees already end up retiring sooner than they planned to, and the challenges brought on by Covid-19 could mean that figure increases significantly over the next few years, Aegon warned.
Leaving paid employment earlier than anticipated can force people to consider turning to savings earmarked for their retirement -- increasing the risk of running out of money during retirement, or even before planned retirement age.
The impact of coronavirus on the jobs market shows people need to make allowances for unforeseen circumstances and have a backup plan to provide an income in the event they are unable to continue working.
It could make all the difference in sustaining financial security before and during retirement -- yet only 30% of UK workers have such a backup plan.
"Increased life expectancy, greater flexibility and a desire to remain active and mentally astute are all factors driving a desire among UK workers to choose both the timing and the way in which they retire," said Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon.
"However, people's plans and their choice of how and when they retire is susceptible to a number of factors, including their own health, the need to care for others and unfortunately, ageism in the workplace. Currently, just one in three workers in the UK (36%) feel they work in an age neutral workplace, recognising employees of all ages.
"Unfortunately, it may be for many, what they'd hoped would be a gradual transition could turn into a sudden departure from work as the impact of coronavirus proves to be an employment game changer.
"Anyone whose retirement plans have been disrupted by an unexpected loss of employment in later life should consider seeking financial advice to explore their options."
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