Many people dream of an idyllic retirement, spending more time with the grandchildren, longer holidays, more time in the garden or on the golf course, but a new survey reveals most people are unprepared for their ‘golden years’ and many have never even discussed retirement with their partner.
The Prudential surveyed nearly 2,000 adults, over the age of 40 and the results were frankly alarming:
- 1 in 5 women over the age of 40 will rely on their husband’s income in retirement, compared to just 5% of men relying on their wife
- 53% of couples have made no arrangements to ensure that when one partner dies, enough income will continue to the surviving partner
- Even worse, 28% of couples have failed to discuss the impact on their retirement income the death of one of them would have
- Shockingly 41% of people have never discussed how they will turn their pension pot into an income when they retire and are therefore likely to have no idea what income will be available to them when they finish work
- 1 in 7 people don’t even know what their main source of income in retirement will be
The survey reveals a shocking gap in the amount of planning most people have done for their retirement.
Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, commented: “For couples looking to enjoy a comfortable retirement, organising and agreeing their income options should be a priority, long-term financial planning can be even more important than managing day-to-day-finances.”
“Our research shows that even those couples who have discussed their retirement finances have still made decisions that could leave one of them without an income if they outlived their partner.”
“Having open and frequent conversations as a couple about your retirement planning is definitely an important first step. However, making the right decisions on the best retirement income options, including what happens when one partner dies, can be daunting. That’s why seeking advice from a retirement specialist or financial adviser is just as important. There is also plenty of free information available from independent organisations such as the Money Advice Service and The Pensions Advisory Service.”
Talk pensions with your partner
As Vince Smith-Hughes says, talking to your partner about retirement planning is vital.
In the years leading up to retirement, also known as the ‘accumulation years’, it’s vital couples talk to each other about the type of retirement they would like and how much it will cost. Couples then need to ensure enough money is being put aside, in the right places, to fund the retirement they want.
For those people who have reached retirement, also known as ‘decumulation’, it’s hugely important that both partners are involved with the decisions which need to be made. Whilst it might seem unnecessary for a wife to be involved in the discussions over he husband’s pension, or indeed vice versa, the decisions taken at retirement, especially if an Annuity is bought, will affect both people, especially if one dies sooner than the other.