Over 55s face retirement cash shortfall of almost £70k
Savers aged 35 and above have high targets for a cash savings pot to supplement retirement income but are failing to put enough away. In contrast, younger people are aiming low, but stand to accumulate larger pots if they keep up their good habits, according to HSBC.
After the age of 35 people fall increasingly short of their targets for a cash nest egg. The over 55s feel they need a large pot and are aiming to save almost £100,000 (£99,495) for their retirement, perhaps as they are more aware of the significant cost involved. However, at current rates of saving, they will only manage to accumulate £31,900, missing their goal by an average of £67,600 or 70%.
16 to 24 year olds are less ambitious, aiming to save only £48,400 - less than half that of the over 55s. However, with an average of 45 years to retirement, if they keep up their current good savings habits they will achieve more than double their ideal pot and even match the higher targets of the older age groups.
Over 35s playing catch up as savings dip
After the age of 35, savings habits dip, possibly affected by changing priorities and increased financial responsibilities such as the cost of raising children, mortgage repayments and higher debts. 35 to 44 year olds see annual deposits drop £100 to £1,400 as well as a fall in the value of their current savings pot.
While regular savings amounts pick up again towards retirement, with the over 55s making the largest yearly deposit (£1,990) in a bid to boost their final sum, savings pot growth has already fallen behind, suggesting people are also dipping back into their savings. At this late stage, people are unable to put away enough to achieve their higher targets given the number of years they have left to save.
Cash nest egg can boost standard of living
The benefits of building a cash nest egg to supplement retirement income are highlighted by State and private pension statistics. The full Basic State Pension for 2012 to 2013 pays out £107.45 per week or £5,587.40 per year, while the private pension pot for the average retiree (£27,207) provides an annual income of just under £1,400. These give a combined annual income of £6,987.
The average supplementary cash nest egg of £70,100 will add an extra £3,689 per year - a 53% increase.
Bruno Genovese, Head of Savings at HSBC, comments: "The increased financial responsibility that many people face around their mid 30s, such as buying a house, having children and taking on more debt, seems to be hindering long term savings habits, despite the good intentions. This divides UK savers between younger generations with the potential to meet their long term savings goals and older generations who have higher and more realistic aspirations but have often left it too late to achieve them.
"Retirement is expensive and people will appreciate having a decent cash savings pot to supplement any regular income. It is important that they start saving early and getting into a good savings habit, not just to meet short term goals but to help cover unexpected expenses and secure their desired standard of living later in life."
Women are less ambitious but see greater shortfall
Despite having slightly lower aspirations for cash nest egg savings than men (£86,700 vs. £97,800), women are likely to have a greater shortfall on retirement. At their current rate of saving, they are set to raise £53,800, falling £32,900 short of their goal, whereas men look likely to accumulate £94,800, leaving them only £3,000 under.
This discrepancy is down to women having slightly lower starting pots at £7,700 compared to £12,900 for men and saving almost £1,000 (£881) a year less than men at £1,300.