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Friday 14 September 2018

Travelling the world tops Brits' retirement plans, yet nearly half worry they will lack the savings to fulfil their dreams 


  • New research from VitalityInvest has found that many Brits are looking forward to an exciting retirement, planning to travel the world and explore new places (47%), spend more time with family and friends (35%) and take time to relax (34%).
  • However, worryingly nearly half (44%) of UK adults do not think they will have enough money to enjoy their ideal retirement.
  • And it’s not just money worries that could affect people’s ideal retirement, nearly two-thirds (65%) say they could make healthier choices today to enable them to enjoy a longer, healthier retirement.

Whilst the ideal retirement looks different for individuals across the UK, there is no doubt that people, young and old, dream about how they’ll spend their golden years - well in advance of being able to turn their ambitions into reality.  

To coincide with Pension Awareness Day, new research from VitalityInvest shows that many people share the same retirement dream, with nearly half of non-retired UK adults (47%) wanting to travel the world and explore new places once their working days are done. Spending more time with family and friends (35%) followed closely behind, while a third of Brits are looking forward to simply taking the time to finally relax and chill out (34%). 

However, nearly half (44%) of UK adults are less optimistic when it comes to their retirement plans, as they don’t think they will have enough money to achieve their dream retirement.

Millennials are the most optimistic about realising their plans for later life, with just 39% believing they will not have enough savings to enjoy retirement. The middle aged are the most worried, with half (50%) of 35-54-year olds saying they do not think they will be able to fund their perfect later life.  

With the ONS* recently announcing that Londoners have the highest gross disposable household income, it’s no surprise they are the most positive about retirement planning. Almost two-thirds (61%) believe they will have the money to fund their ideal retirement. However, it’s a different story outside the capital with only 33% of non-retired people in both the North East and South West, 34% in the East of England and 39% in both Wales and Scotland, believing they will have the savings to enjoy their best later life. This further highlights the presence of a “London bubble” effect** when it comes to personal finances. 

The survey also asked individuals about their attitudes towards living a healthy life now to ensure a better retirement. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Brits think they could make healthier choices today to enable them to enjoy retirement more. Additionally, nearly a quarter (24%) of people would rather lead a hectic lifestyle now - including working late hours and not taking breaks - than look after their mental wellbeing in preparation for later life. 

This “live fast”*** mentality is most prevalent in the capital and in the young, with a third (32%) of millennials and more than a third of Londoners (38%) preferring a hectic lifestyle to looking after their mental wellbeing to help ensure a healthy retirement.

Commenting on the new research, Herschel Mayers, CEO of VitalityInvest and VitalityLife, said: “People are living longer and, as our research shows, they want to live full and active later lives. Yet many don’t start saving soon enough to fund those extra years or take the necessary steps to ensure they’re healthy enough to achieve their dreams. In fact, nearly half of the people in our study don’t think they’ll have enough money to enjoy their ideal retirement. Pension Awareness Day serves as a good reminder for us to start taking steps today to ensure a better outcome in later life.

“This is why we have launched VitalityInvest. Our new suite of investment products incentivises simple behaviour changes to encourage people to live healthier lives today while saving more for tomorrow.”

For more information on how VitalityInvest can help people achieve an ideal retirement, visit the VitalityInvest website


About the research

Vitality commissioned market research consultancy, Opinium, to conduct UK-wide consumer polling with 1,500 adults under 65 in August and September 2018. The research aimed to explore people’s retirement ambitions and how financially and physically prepared they are to fulfil them.


*Household disposable income and inequality in the UK: financial year ending 2017
**The “London bubble” effect
***The “live fast” mentality