Babyboomers are redefining pension investment

Michelle McGagh
Save money for old age
Save money for old age



Investing for retirement used to be able putting your money away in sensible investments that would produce a regular income and keep you ticking over.

But as life expectancy increases, the need for growth is starting to dominate retirees' investment plans.

Four months on from the introduction of pension freedom, which has given those over 55 greater access to their pension as cash and also more say on where it's invested, Hargreaves Landsdown has given some insight into where that money is being invested.

It has crunched the investments favoured by those in drawdown, where a pension pot remains invested and an income or lump sums can be taken as needed.

The online stockbroker found that there was a large bias towards investing for growth when it came to fund picks and investment trusts, although the most popular shares were predominantly steady dividend payers such as BP and Vodafone.

The lean towards growth and away from a more traditional income-generating portfolio of investments is good news. Yes, investing for growth is historically more risky than investing for income but why is risk a bad thing for a 55 year old to take, or even a 65 year old?

Living longer

The fact is we're all living longer and retiring at 65 could still mean 30 years in retirement. That's three decades that a pension has to stretch, and unfortunately most pensions aren't going to be very big.

What we lack in size we can make up for in risk because 30 years is certainly enough time to ride out any bumps in the road.

Of course, you may not want to take too much risk and throw all your money at emerging markets or biotech businesses, because you could find yourself skint if your investments don't work out. However, following the old investment pattern of reducing equity exposure in favour of fixed interest as you near your retirement date can be just as dangerous; if your investments aren't returning enough to fund your income then you are eating away at the capital in your pension and are equally at risk of running out of money.

Let's hope the shift towards growth identified by Hargreaves Lansdown is the beginning of a new way of looking at retirement. We already have people shunning the traditional pipe and slippers image for old age in favour of working and setting up businesses. The babyboomers are redefining retirement already, let's hope they redefine investing in retirement.

Read more:

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Pensions freedoms: one in eight will take it all out

Crackdown on rip-off pension freedom fees

Pensioners Withdraw £1bn from Pots in Two Months
Pensioners Withdraw £1bn from Pots in Two Months