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Planning Retirement Online

Goodbye geriatric, hello geri-active

October 2004                                                                 


Is this you? A new survey from the Prudential
puts over 55s in the picture

  • 7.8 million over 55s want to become 'gap-year grannies and granddads' by travelling the world and taking more holidays

  • 8.0 million over 55s would like to eat out more frequently and socialise more often

  • Nearly 1.3 million over 55s dream of writing a top selling novel and 2.1 million intend to put their creative talents to good use by painting

  • Baby-boomers set to give bingo, bowls and knitting the flick in retirement

  • ….However, when it comes to retirement, the big thing is still gardening

New research from insurance company Prudential reveals that far from taking life at a slower pace when they retire, the baby-boomer generation plan to become 'geri-actives', busting the retirement cliches.
The research reveals that the over 55s are gearing up for an active retirement with the top six plans for 'life after work' being gardening, socialising, travelling, golf, painting and writing novels.

However, Prudential warns that the 'geri-active' dream has a price - those nearing retirement will have to find an extra ?5,000 to fund this new lifestyle.


Amazon Book - From the Garden to the Table: Growing, Cooking, and Eating Your Own Foods Gardening tops the list of 'must do' activities for the over 55s, with over half (8.8 million) planning to spend more time in the great outdoors post-retirement. And more socialising is on the cards - eating out, visiting friends, dinner parties and spending more time in the pub are high on the agenda with 8.0 million over 55s intending to step-up their social lives once they give up work.
When it comes to sport, the over 55s are keen to get on the greens and perfect their swings with 1.6 million over 55s (three times as many men as women) planning to devote a lot of time to golf when they retire.


Amazon Book - Unforgettable places to seeThe research also revealed that escaping to the sun and seeing the world will be a high priority for baby boomers, perhaps inspired by the travel exploits of their children and grandchildren. 7.8 million over 55s would like to holiday and travel more once they retire, sparking a new trend of 'gap-year grannies and granddads'. And it's not necessarily a two-week jaunt we're talking about. Forty-five per cent of Brits have an appetite to live abroad permanently in retirement with the top five hotspots being Spain, Australia, France, Canada and USA.

Creative juices

It looks like these new horizons are also set to provide plenty of creative inspiration:

  • 2.1 million over 55s plan to take up painting as a hobby in retirement

  • Nearly one in ten - the equivalent of 1.3 million people - have aspirations to be the next 'blockbuster' author by penning a novel in retirement

  • Perhaps surprisingly, crosswords and knitting, along with bingo and bowls have been given the heave-ho

Ali Crossley, Director for Prudential's Equity Release plans, comments: "Many of the so-called baby boomers will probably have seen their children travel the world and enjoy many of the opportunities they weren't able to in their youth. Therefore in retirement they will be wanting to make up for lost time by enjoying new experiences and making the most of the 'freedom' they've worked so hard for. The issue for many, however, is making sure they have the funds not only to live comfortably in retirement, but also the additional ?5,000 or so needed to fulfil their new retirement lifestyle.

"A solution for some of these baby boomers could be equity release. We estimate that the current generation of 50 to 60 year olds have ?570 billion equity in their homes and releasing some of this could provide them with that vital boost to their retirement income that they need to fulfil their dreams."
For further information on the Prudential Home Equity Release Plan, visit

Research was conducted by CIAR Consumer Omnibus amongst 576 non-retired adults and 268 adults aged 45+ retired or planning to retire in 2004.



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