Following hot on the heals of their new population projections, the ONS have now published a Wealth and Assets Survey.
This survey painted a reasonably positive picture; British households are feeling happier about their finances, more confident about their future retirement income and less burdened by their debts.
They interviewed 40,000 households to track their economic wellbeing, with the focus of this latest survey being on saving for retirement and paying household bills.
We often hear concerns that people are not saving enough for retirement, but initial analysis of the ONS data found the number of people ‘very confident’ or ‘fairly confident’ their income in retirement would provide an expected standard of living was up from 41% in the two years to June 2014 to 52% in the year to June 2015.
The data did however find that many continue to pin their retirement aspirations on property.
44% of those surveyed said property was the method of saving for retirement which was likely to make the most money.
Commenting on the findings of this survey, Mark Till, Managing Director at Aegon UK explained why people should not assume property outperforms a pension:
“We’re a nation obsessed by property prices and as an investment, many people’s homes will have performed very well for them over the years.
“As the latest ONS data highlights, almost 45% of us see a property as the best retirement investment, followed by a quarter who think it’s a pension. This is despite the fact that a pension is seen as the safest way of saving.
“When you look at the figures however, a typical pension fund has returned 2308% since 1983 while residential property has returned 644%.
“As with so many things in life, it’s better not to put all your eggs in one basket and property should be seen as just one of the ways in which you build your wealth up to retirement.
“Buy to let property can form a part of people’s retirement planning, but it’s much harder to view your main home in the same way given the emotional attachments people build to where they live.
“We believe the pension freedoms have boosted people’s interest in retirement and one in six say they’re saving more as a result of the increased flexibility.”
Are you putting your retirement eggs in the property basket or do you have greater confidence in your pension to provide the lifestyle you want in later life?