Retirement isn't generally associated with splashing around mega-bucks and living the high life. However, research has revealed that plenty of people will find themselves doing just that. Around 1.7 million Brits will spend more than £1 million in their retirement years alone.
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Tilney's Cost of Tomorrow Report discovered that in fact 6% of people aged over 65 will have this kind of cash, and devote it disproportionately to the finer things in life. They will spend around £410,000 on entertainment, holidays, restaurants and cars in their remaining years – this is around the same amount of money that the average retired household will spend on absolutely everything.
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One key difference for this group is health and personal care. Not only are they more likely to devote resources to private medical treatment, but since their later-life care costs are means-tested, they must also fund these, should they need them, without support from the state.
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It demonstrates just how much of the UK's wealth is in the hands of its retirees. The Resolution Foundation identified in 2015 that their wealth had overtaken that of the under 45s, and while younger households are dealing with the issues of shrinking wages, older people have fast-growing assets like property, and at least some of their income is guaranteed to rise with inflation - including the State Pension.
However, life isn't all sunshine and rainbows for all pensioners. While the richest quarter have an enviable lifestyle, there are still plenty of retirees who are struggling to make ends meet. Around 14% of pensioners on the UK live in poverty (on less than 70% of the average incomes) A further 1.2 million pensioners have incomes just above the poverty line, and women, single people, and older pensioners are at particular risk.
The question we all need to face is what kind of retirement we are establishing for ourselves. Most people have no idea of the answer to this question, but the dramatic gulf in the possible retirement lifestyles is a clear demonstration that it's time we all delved a little deeper to understand what retirement holds in store for us.