Retirement: one of our most emotionally challenging milestones

Although the majority (62%) enter retirement feeling happy, new research from FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) confirms suspicions that it is one of the most emotionally impactful times of our lives.

In new research of retirees between the age of 55 and 75, asking about their experience and recommendations for future retirees, almost a quarter (24%) ranked retirement as a point in their life that had a big impact on them emotionally, the third most common response after having children and getting married.

Some found the transition to retirement worse than they expected, due to boredom (40%), or finding the lack of structure (38%) and amount of time spent at home (38%) difficult. Of those who found the transition worse than expected, women (50%) were almost twice as likely to cite loneliness compared to men (28%).

Despite the majority having felt positive entering retirement, almost a quarter (23%) chose to take up a part-time role or volunteering after retiring from full-time work. When asked why, some cited feelings of wanting to ‘give something back’ and having the opportunity to meet new people, while others said they were struggling for money.

John Sergeant, journalist and broadcaster, said “Retirement can be difficult to prepare for, as it almost creeps up on you. For me, it was important to avoid a “big bang” moment, with the shock of going straight from full-time work to retirement. The key thing is to keep busy, try new things, and do your best to tick off your ‘one day I’ll do that…’ list.”

Most retirees point to planning early as the key to a successful transition to retirement. Almost two-thirds of retirees (63%) recommend planning your finances early, while just under half (45%) recommend being prepared to change your lifestyle and over a third (36%) recommended taking up new hobbies.

Caroline Rainbird, FSCS's CEO, said “The transition to retirement can be difficult for many, and this research shows the value retirees place on planning. As well as thinking about how to use your time, it’s important to think about your finances too – those new hobbies won’t pay for themselves!

“Whether it’s your pension, investments or savings - retirees, and those planning for retirement, should consider where they are putting their money. By taking advantage of FSCS protected products, you can add one less stress to the transition to retirement and spend more time doing the things you love - all in the knowledge that your money is protected.”

This research is part of a new campaign launched by FSCS to highlight the challenges people face as they transition to retirement, and the importance of checking new and existing pensions and investments are FSCS protected.


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Notes for editors
Read more about the remit of FSCS on our Notes for editors page.