Pension warning as couples could be ‘incompatible’ for retirement – check your savings

Pension planning will be important to millions of people who hope to retire and leave the workforce in the future – whether this be nearby or later down the road. However, an issue many fail to take into consideration is how to match their retirement plans with that of their partner. Research from Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) has shown men and women often have different plans and ideas when it comes to planning their retirement.

These are often to do with age, the process of retirement, and how people wish to spend the time.

But with these issues often only considered at the last minute, it could create chaos when it comes to couples securing the retirement of their dreams.

The HL survey showed men often wish to retire earlier with 45 percent of men saying they expect to retire at 65 or earlier, compared to 36 percent of women.

Indeed, women also prefer the idea of a phased retirement, gradually giving up working responsibilities, with 25 percent opting for this in comparison to only 16 percent of their male counterparts.

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Nathan Long, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented on the matter.

He said: “You might be perfectly suited to your partner right now, but what about in retirement?

“Are your retirements compatible, or are you set for a nasty shock?

“A third of your life could be in retirement, and for many couples, half their relationship could be spent as retirees.

“So it’s essential couples discuss their plans properly. Otherwise, they could be in for a shock when they stop working.”

But with gender differences, there may be an imbalance to redress when it comes to saving.

The gender pay gap, and thus the gender retirement gap may have some bearing on the decisions couples make. 

Mr Long continued: “There is a wide disparity in how men and women are planning for their retirements. 

“Some couples may find their retirement plans are not compatible, and their aspirations for later life are worlds apart.”

However, this is not an issue simply about the money individuals have saved within a pension pot.

One person may wish to travel the world in retirement, while another person may wish to remain closer to home.

As a result, these two retirements are likely to have vastly different costs, aims and goals.

These need to be considered in equal measure to the money put aside for retirement.

Consequently, there may be a series of questions worth asking within a couple to determine what kind of retirement both are looking for.

These questions are likely to revolve around when people wish to retire, whether a couple wish to retire together, and how they want to give up work.

Focusing on where to live, expenses to budget for, and whether to earn any income in retirement will also be key.

Do you have a money dilemma which you’d like a financial expert’s opinion on? If you would like to ask one of our finance experts a question, please email your query to [email protected]. Unfortunately we cannot respond to every email.

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