Too poor to retire - a summary

A summary of our research report highlighting why younger generations will have to work more, save more or spend less

Stagnating pay, higher housing costs, decreasing home ownership, rising student debts, unfunded government pensions and lower investment returns mean younger generations are less likely to retire at the same age as their parents. Meanwhile, the responsibility for a financially secure retirement has shifted to the individual and the state is not in a position to be much help.

Younger generations simply aren’t saving enough. In this summary of our full research report, we highlight some uncomfortable truths. Notably, the large savings gap younger generations need to bridge in order to retire. That’s disconcerting because we believe there are many reasons why they may need to save even more just to enjoy the same level of comfort as their parents. 

Don’t bet the house on a comfortable retirement. Can we unlock cash from property to support us in retirement? This is unlikely to be an option for many millennials, and helping children or grandchildren to get a foot on the housing ladder may not be the best way to support them financially.

There are options. Without a jump in pension contributions, a comfortable retirement is likely to be unaffordable for many, and an entire lifetime spent working could become the reality. But by planning ahead, it is possible to meet your retirement objectives. The main choices are work for longer, save more today or spend less in retirement.

Big pensions gap = big investment implications. As investors we need to consider whether people will be able to maintain the consumption levels of previous generations. How would lower growth and consumption impact retailers, consumer goods and services companies? Could the financial services sector benefit from increasing savings?

Let’s talk retirement. We want everyone to ask if they or their families are saving enough for retirement. We hope this report encourages helpful conversations between different generations about investing for the future.

Read our report

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