“The issue of encouraging people to think ahead and prepare in advance is well known to solicitors in the field of Will writing,” said Frances Coulson, Senior Partner at Moon Beever. “Our research indicates that the problem is not restricted to Wills, but extends across pensions and planning for retirement.
"The changes that are taking place in the area of pensions mean that younger people are ill-advised to put off thinking about retirement until late middle age and that a generational shift in thinking is required.”
Responses to the survey indicate that nearly 60% of respondents did not start thinking about their retirement and life after working age until they reached the age of 55. Less than 5% started thinking ahead to retirement when they were 25 or younger.
The key considerations which influence people’s thinking about retirement andfa becoming older are the individual’s health and capacity for independent living, the value of the individual’s pension, and their dependents – children or grandchildren. Less important, but still mentioned, were the value of property and assets, the income expected to receive from an annuity and considerations of their spouse.
Associated with thoughts of retirement were considerations of inheritance issues. Nearly 65% of people connected their thoughts about their retirement and future with thoughts about inheritance. A similar percentage, 65%, had made a Will, although a third of respondents had not made one. Around a third of those who had written a Will had not updated it for at least five years and 14% had never updated their Will.
When asked about the new legislation which allows people to release their pension before retirement age, 43% had no plans to release their pension, while one in ten did have such plans. 5% were not aware of the new legislation.
The survey was carried out to gain an insight into retirement, pensions and inheritance planning. It was completed by visitors at London’s 50+ Show in July 2015 and in response to requests through social media at the time of the event. It is based on 165 responses.