Survey: Brits are falling alarmingly behind on retirement savings

Over 40 million Brits are postponing retirement goals for later, only to face severe disappointment during retirement

A new survey finds that the most insisted upon advice from financial planners regarding retirement goals has been falling on deaf ears.

Sanlam UK, a financial services firm, conducted a survey among 1,000 adults for its latest report, “What’s Your Number?” only to find that over three-quarters (77%) of UK adults do not have set goals for retirement.

When taking into account the recent data from the Office for National Statistics, these figures represent 40 million Brits out of 52.4 million, the total population of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Only 18% of the respondents in 45-55 years age group said they had defined retirement goals. Going by these figures, more than 8.2 million British adults will be financially ill-prepared for their later years.

The survey also revealed that men (29%) are marginally more aware than women (18%) when setting goals for retirement, and nearly 39% of the adults don’t find it essential to set defined targets for their financial planning.

Alarmingly low

The chief executive of Sanlam UK, Jonathan Polin, says that while the question – “What’s Your Number?” –

is quite simple, its answer is often complicated. Most people shockingly underestimate their expenses during retirement and end up setting lower targets.

The survey further undermines the effectiveness of the awareness campaigns run by the financial industry, especially regarding long term savings.

Polin suspects a new generation of people who will arrive at retirement with unrealistic expectations only to be hit by reality pretty soon.

The answer to this crisis is relatively simple. All one must do is set defined targets and develop a strategy to reach his/her goals.

Retirement goals

According to the findings of Sanlam’s report, roughly 55% of Brits doubt their ability to save sufficient money for their retirement at the desired age. It is crucial to understand that only 12% of UK adults under the age of 55 have a target pension pot size.

Despite having a clear understanding of their challenging financial realities, only a handful of adults are ready to face their problems.

The lack of seriousness concerning retirement is evident from the fact that only 3% of adults remember their target pot size amount in comparison to 11% of adults being able to recall their lottery numbers.

Sanlam also added questions relating to the retirement aims of the respondents in the survey.

Not worrying about money (38%) ranked first, followed by maintaining the present standard of living (34%), and being free from debt (30%) coming third.

Unfortunately, very few adults currently have a strategy to make these goals a reality.