Are the Baby Boomers ready for retirement?

Are the Baby Boomers ready for retirement? Is it the end of the ‘Saga’ view of retirement?

2012 year saw a record number of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age – an unprecedented rise of 30% in a single year.

According to the Office for National Statistics 169,000 more people reached their 65th birthday in 2012 compared to 2011 and estimates suggest that there will be well over 600,000 people reaching retirement age each year until at least 2018.

So with over 720,000 people reaching the retirement age this year, how will they cope in this new age of austerity?

Well according to findings from our Future of Britain study, 29% of those aged 65+ feel pessimistic towards the future of Britain versus only 12% who feel optimistic.

The state of the economy and the general rise in the cost of living are naturally the areas of most concern, but as waves of ‘baby boomers’ slowly sleepwalk into penniless old age their worries towards their children’s future prospects and the value of their home continue to be a growing concern.

42% of those aged 65+ in our Future of Britain study said that they are very concerned about their children’s future prospects. In an age of struggle, can parents rely on their children for financial support? Should they?

And ‘home’ is no longer the security blanket it once was as prices continue to fluctuate. With almost 1-in-5 retirees concerned about the value of their property, is a man’s home still his castle?

As our relationship with the welfare state changes, the 65+ age group are increasingly looking at other ways to supplement their income.

Equity release schemes have grown for a second year as the economic pinch continues to bite. According to the Equity Release Council, the average value of an equity release plan in 2012 rose nearly 7% to £52,268, bringing the total funds released across the market to £961.41 million.

Our study revealed that 28% of pensioners expect the economic downturn to last at least another 5 years, so has the age of the ‘Saga’ generation ended and is our dream of a peaceful, comfortable and financially secure retirement still a realistic one?


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  1. Baby boomers are rejecting not just SAGA’s view of retirement, but the whole concept is being turned on it’s head. The economic issues which introduced uncertainty are only part of the picture. Those who are entering retirement today are going to live, on average, a third more than their grandparents. That is plenty more time on this planet. People may be economically retired however with so many ways to remain active, useful and socially-engaged, there is no need to find one self in a traditionally “old-age home”, lonely and depressed. Active Retirement Holiday Living Communities offer ways to experience new things and meet new people. Organisations such as Age UK offer a whole plethora of opportunities to reinvent oneself and make this stage of life, not just livable but wonderful.

    • Paul Skennerton on

      Thanks for commenting Gil. It’s true that, as with many aspects of modern British life right now, people will have to find their own interpretation of what it means to be ‘retired’. Rather than “entering retirement” it’s probably more accurate to view the change as “leaving work”, opening up possibilities rather than shutting them down.

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