Over 50s less and less risk-averse – Retirement Advantage

Hannah Godfrey writes

The proportion of over 50s willing to take financial risk has grown over the past year while fewer retirees are concerned about certainty, research from Retirement Advantage has found.

The Retirement Sentiment Index Report – Expanding Horizons found despite an uncertain outlook due to Brexit and the unexpected result of the UK general election, the number of over 50s willing to take a reasonable amount of financial risk increased from 24% in August 2016 to 28% in June 2017.

Additionally, the proportion of those unwilling to take any financial risk fell from 29% to 26% over the course of the year.

The findings pointed to a narrowing gap between the desire for certainty and flexibility when people were asked about their priorities from retirement income.

The proportion of those wanting certainty has fallen marginally from 46% in 2016 to 45% in 2017, while the desire for flexibility has increased from 31% to 36%.

Retirement Advantage surveyed 1,006 UK adults aged 50 plus, with a pension but yet to retire.

Pensions technical director Andrew Tully (pictured) said: “We expected to see a significant decline in retirees willing to take financial risk – battening down the hatches and taking a more pessimistic outlook in terms of their aspirations for retirement. However, the opposite is true: retirees are looking for more flexibility in their retirement finances and are increasingly willing to take some financial risk. ”

Appetite for advice

Encouragingly, the number of retirees planning to seek professional financial advice went up 4% over the course of the year from 38% in 2016 to 42% in June 2017.

However, consulting a financial adviser still ranked third behind internet research (44%) and the government’s Pension Wise service (42%) when it came to finding help with retirement planning.

Meanwhile, the majority of over 50s (57%) said they intended to use their time to learn a completely new skill or hobby while one in four (27%) plan to turn their interests or hobby into a new business venture in later life.

Finally, Retirement Advantage found over 50s were equally concerned about being able to go on holiday in retirement as they were about managing to pay their bills.