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Planning Retirement Online

Retirement Survey Results          


Many thanks to everyone who completed the survey.

Happy over 50s in front of computer screenThe survey shows that 80% of you who completed the survey are enjoying your retirement or even think it’s fantastic. However 12% think it’s merely OK and 8% aren’t enjoying it or even hate it. So, overwhelmingly, you think that retirement is a great place to be and we hope that Laterlife is helping you to relish it.

For those who aren’t enjoying it (and those that are too) the LaterLife Guide to Planning Retirement may provide some useful food for thought. Also in the very near future we are going to be announcing something which we think is very exciting and which can significantly add to the enjoyment of retirement for all of us. So watch your email for that announcement.

Back to the results of the survey. You’re obviously a very active group as well: 42% are working part-time, with a significant number working in the voluntary sector, and 85% of you have set about improving your fitness in retirement. An active lifestyle is obviously very important to you and helping you to enjoy retirement.

Financially, a balanced picture emerged with as many reporting being better off than expected in retirement, as reported being worse off than you thought you would be.

Contrary to some popular thinking, only 5% reported a decline in retirement in the relationship with your partner, which reflects the fact that you’re enjoying life!

When we decided to do this retirement survey we set out to do something of general interest but because of our involvement in running retirement workshops we decided to ask a question to find out just how many laterlife newsletter readers had actually been on a workshop (just under 25% in fact). What was fascinating was the insight this has given into the impact of going on a workshop.

We discovered that the above percentages change significantly between those that have been on a retirement workshop and those that haven’t:

The survey showed a 30% increase in the level of enjoying retirement for those who have been on a workshop. In particular, you were much more likely to say retirement was fantastic, rather than just enjoyable, if you have been on a workshop. At the other end of the spectrum it was almost exclusively those that hadn’t been on a workshop who said they weren’t enjoying retirement or hated it.

In terms of relationships, 10% of you who hadn’t been on a workshop said that your relationship had deteriorated, whilst everyone who had been on a workshop said that their relationship was better or the same.

Financially, those of you who had been on a workshop got far fewer surprises than those who hadn’t; you found that your finances were much as expected. On the other hand, 25% of you who hadn’t done a workshop found that your finances were worse than you expected.

It does seem, therefore, that attending a Planning for Retirement workshop enhances retirement and has measurable positive benefits. At Laterlife, we’ve long believed that to be the case and it’s now confirmed!

Some of the specific comments

Best and worst things about retirement

The most used word in the comments about retirement was ‘freedom’. “The freedom to do what I want when I want”. This was often qualified by “but I don’t have enough time: I’ve never been busier”.

On the down side, even if people were enjoying their retirement, the most frequent comments were about the difficulties of living on a reduced income and having to watch the pennies much more.

Comments about periods of boredom and missing the social interaction with work colleagues also figured regularly.

A small selection of comments about the best and worst things in retirement:

The Best

Doing things at your own pace, not having to rush.
Doing loads of things I never had time for before
Time together and with our grandchildren
Time to meet friends
Lack of deadlines and performance pressures
Not having to cram all leisure activities into weekends
Lack of stress
Shopping in the week
Holidays in term time
No alarm clocks
Lack of pressure
Being able to please yourself
No more working by the clock
Not stuck in an office when the sun shines
Contacting long lost friends
Peace of mind
Free prescriptions
Not having to live life by Government targets
Good to avoid rush hour travel
No regimented rules and regulations
Being able to be spontaneous
Not commuting
I’ve been surprised at how well my husband and I get along
Hadn’t realised how wonderful it was to go away in the winter when no one else can
Best thing that has ever happened to me

The Worst

I no longer have any real purpose
Took some months to come to terms with solitude of retirement
Such a shame my husband isn’t alive to share new experiences
Life became meaningless, purposeless. I am now suffering from depression.
Miss purpose and direction of work
We are getting on each other’s nerves
Worst is just feeling older and sometimes feeling less valued by society
Not having a structured life, which makes me more disorganised
Finding where I fit in
As a widow the worst is weekend evenings when everything going on is for couples
and TV is boring
Missing the contact with work
Lack of mental stimulation

Mixed Views

Freedom but periods of boredom
Some weeks are enjoyably busy but others much less so.
Best thing is every day’s a Saturday! Worst thing is daytime TV!

We'll have some further analysis of the survey results next month. In the meantime don't forget to have a look at this month's Guide to Planning Retirement.

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