Hindsight is a wonderful thing, especially if you’re the one learning from someone else’s experiences.
And when it comes to retirement, being able to learn from the experiences of others is particularly valuable.
HSBC has released their ‘The Future of Retirement’ report, which surveys the experiences of retirees and the expectations of those still working across fifteen countries.
The report’s findings have been described as ‘dire’ and ‘bleak’, yet those terms can often be interchanged with ‘realistic’ and there’s plenty of realism for those planning ahead.
Key points show that nearly 40% of retirees believe they haven’t prepared adequately for retirement and 54% of those people only realised it just before retiring.
For those still in the workforce, 55% aren’t saving at all for retirement.
While 47% of those say they can’t save because of day-to-day living expenses, other respondents’ reasons show a lot of ambivalence.
23% have ‘never really thought about it’ and 17% suggest ‘retirement is too far away’ to save.
And the result of ‘not thinking about it’ or ‘realising you haven’t prepared adequately’ won’t necessarily be offset by lower living expenses in retirement.
That’s a dangerous assumption, with 52% of retirees seeing no reduction in their living expenses at the same time 41% of retirees see their income reduce by more than half.
So what’s to be learned?
From those retired, the best piece of financial advice they ever received was ‘start saving at an early age’, closely followed by, ‘don’t spend what you don’t have’.
Further, there was a definite correlation between getting professional advice and having higher levels of retirement savings.
Those who didn’t do any retirement planning had an average of $112,668 in savings, those who didn’t use an adviser had an average of $252,818 and those who used an adviser had an average of $520,778.
Whether you take advice or not, this report shows retirement is never too far away to plan for.