How to guarantee an income in retirement

C4T88N Retired smiling senior woman reading newspaper on the bed at home

New research shows on one in six people are worried they'll need to ask their kids for money during retirement.

Justin Urquhart Stewart, from Seven Investments, said: "It's astonishing when you think about the fact that actually most parents would be saying 'what can I provide for my children?' But of course it may well reverse

See also: Why the UK is the worst European country to retire in

See also: The cost of retirement revealed - do you have £420,500 to spare?

"Care homes, healthcare, all of those things are going to be much much more expensive."

At retirement you may be entitled to the new state pension of £155.65 per week plus a workplace pension you've contributed to while in employment.

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Here are three ways you can guarantee an income during retirement:

1. Get an annuity

This pays a fixed amount for life - this offers income certainty but you can't access your cash to withdraw of invest it.

2. Get a drawdown pension

This invests your money in the stock market but lets you take out lump sums to spend however you like on day to day things or a nice holiday! But 58% of people don't understand the risks

Urquhart Stewart says: "Suddenly you're tempted by having this large pot of cash, so I can go out and spend it all.

"But of course, the pot of cash has got to last you a long time.

"The other issue is going to be inflation and it can erode like acid the value of what you've saved."

3. Get a guaranteed drawdown

This offer can be the best of both worlds - it guarantees a level of income that can increase. You can access your money if you need it, although this will reduce your income.

How we spend our pensions
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How we spend our pensions

Figures from Saga show that the over 50s now account for the majority of money spent by Brits on travel and tourism. They have the time to spare, the money, and they are healthy enough to take on the world.

A poll from Abta found that in the wake of pension freedoms, 35% of people were considering cashing in at least part of their pension to travel. A separate study by Senior Railcard found that pensioners take an average of three holidays a year, plus two weekends away, and 17 day trips.

Research from Senior Railcard found that retirees eat out an average of three times a month. However, one in ten do so more than twice a week, and one in three people said that one of the first things they did when they retired was to go out for lunch with their friends.

Of course, just because retirees want to enjoy themselves, it doesn't mean they are happy to throw money away. The vast majority are keen to eat at lunchtimes, when a fixed lunch menu tends to be cheaper, and canny retirees are skilled at tracking down pensioner special offers too.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that on average nearly a fifth of the money spent by people aged 65-74 is on leisure. This includes everything from the cinema and theatre to golfing and gardening. They spent more on this than on food, energy bills and transport.

A report by Canada Life found that retirees are spending £4,279 a year on having fun - that’s more than £1,000 more than they spend on boring essentials, and is a 74% increase over the past ten years. It went on to predict that this trend was set to continue, and that pension freedoms would encourage people to spoil themselves a bit more in retirement

Pensioner property wealth is now over £850 billion, and all these family homes don’t look after themselves. The Senior Railcard survey put home renovations in the top 20 activities people got stuck into on retirement, and figures from ABTA found that almost a third of people who were considering raiding their pension pots under the new pension freedoms planned to spend the cash on their home. This seems like an eminently sensible investment - looking after what is undoubtedly their most valuable asset.

Unsurprisingly, while some pensioners are very well off indeed, others are struggling with debt. Figures from Key Retirement found that the average retiree has £34,000 of debt.

Most of this is mortgage borrowing - in many cases driven up by the number of people who unwittingly signed up to an interest-only mortgage. However, credit cards, overdrafts, and loans are also common. It’s why so many pensioners have used pension freedoms to access enough cash to pay their debts.

The day to day basics are swallowing up their fair share of pensioner cash too. On average, people aged 65-74 spend a third of their weekly income on essentials like food and bills - which is hardly living the high life.
The bank of gran and grandad has become an increasingly vital source of cash for families. According to Key Retirement, of those who release equity from their property, 21% of them use the cash to treat their children and grandchildren. This includes an average of £33,350 to help children get onto the property ladder, £6,000 to buy them a new car, £11,000 on family weddings, and £24,780 giving grandchildren a helping hand.

While retirees are quite rightly spending what they need to enjoy retirement, they are hardly all throwing caution to the wind, buying flash cars and spending the kids' inheritance.

Most expect to have something left over to pass onto their family after their death. Some 69% expect to leave property in their wills, and 75% expect to leave cash - according to - because while baby boomers know how to have fun - they also know how to save for the future.


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