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The Best Age to Retire in the UK, according to a study

Updated: May 21, 2022

Everyone’s retirement plans will be different, but the answer to the question When is the best age to retire? will likely vary from person to person.

To get some data on the topic, financial research company Fidelity Investments recently surveyed 2,000 UK adults aged between 25 and 75 years old about their retirement planning and expectations.

Not surprisingly, their findings were quite diverse based on several factors including gender, age, income, and employment status.

To see what Fidelity found when it came to that all-important question of how old you should be when you retire in the UK, read on...

The best age to retire in the UK

Top findings from the study

The findings are based on data collected from interviews with 1,000 retirees across Britain conducted by think-tank Policy Exchange.

The average age people expect to stop working is 59 and not everyone plans on leaving their jobs at a fixed point of time.

The majority of respondents (86%) said they would quit when they felt old or not needed at work and 69% wanted to leave work before getting too old.

But there are some differences between men and women – 71% of women plan on retiring at 60 or before compared with 58% of men.

The research also found that there is no single common reason for wanting to retire early. Instead, multiple factors were important to different people.

For example: being able to spend more time with family was most important for 36% of those surveyed while 24% want to be free from work commitments so they can pursue other interests.

And nearly one in five (18%) want to retire early because they don’t like their job anymore.

The results suggest that many workers will continue working beyond state pension age if they can afford it and feel able to do so physically and mentally.

However, among those who currently have an employer pension scheme, only 18% plan to keep working after reaching state pension age.

The main reasons given for continuing to work past retirement age are financial necessity (cited by 41%), enjoying their job (39%) and having something to occupy them during retirement (37%).

It seems many people still value workplace friendships as a factor in deciding whether or not to retire early.

A quarter of respondents cited colleagues as an important influence on their decision about when to call it quits. While 17% said socialising with colleagues was an incentive for staying put at work longer than planned.

The 7 factors that affect when you retire

Getting older. Women spend about 30 years of their lives retired, compared with about 25 for men. Children. Most people want to be close to their kids as they grow up. Workplace culture and working conditions.

If you're an overachiever at work and you hate what you do, it's probably time to get out while you can still enjoy life outside of work. What your pension will be like.

In 2022, almost half (48%) of retirees said that their main source of income was from a state or private pension. How much money you have saved up.

The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more money you'll have when it comes time to stop working. When others around you are retiring.

You might feel pressure to join them—or not retire until they do—if everyone else is doing so at once. Financial security: if your savings aren't enough or if there's no one who can support you if something happens, then retirement might not be right for now.

What happens if you delay retirement?

A new report by accountancy firm Deloitte has revealed that Brits who delay retirement until they're 67 years old can expect an extra £162,000 ($231,000) over their lifetime. The research also found that pushing back from 66 to 70 would offer another £63,500 ($85,500).

Even if you can't wait until age 70—and you shouldn't unless you have an enviable nest egg—delaying your retirement for even one year could make a big difference.

This will especially be true if your employer offers benefits such as subsidized healthcare and/or free gym membership.

See how much you could be missing out on

One of Britain’s biggest pension providers has conducted research into when is ‘the ideal time’ for people to retire.

To find out when your pension pot is likely to be at its largest - and therefore provide you with a more comfortable retirement - Prudential recently conducted research which was published by Opinium Research.

The research indicates that if you are hoping for financial security in your old age then it might be worth holding off from retiring until you are 70!

This is because it will help ensure that your pension payments last longer and enable you to save money on potentially expensive care fees if these arise later in life.

Prudential state that its aim was to identify how long clients need their savings and investments to last for during retirement.

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