When it comes to retirement, it’s your choice

When it comes to retirement, it's your choiceMy father retired at age 65 after a working life that can best be described as manual labour.

For his generation retiring at age 65 was pretty much the norm.

It coincided with the State pension age and employment law was such that there was no real right to work for longer in your job, even if you wanted to.

The Pensions Minister Baroness Altmann has made the point that in the 1950s the grandparents of the post-war Baby Boomer generation retired, on average, at age 67.

This is compared with the current average of 64.8 today.

I think she misses the point. We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves with previous generations because frankly so much has changed so quickly.

Similarly, we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves with others full stop.

As a Financial Planner I am asked from time to time “How does my pension pot compare with other clients of yours?”

Whilst I can answer that question and tell the questioner whether their pot is bigger or smaller than the average, what is the point? It simply does not matter.

What matters is whether it is enough (together with all their other financial resources) to enable them to live the retirement life they want, when they want it.

Baby Boomers may well be living longer and retiring earlier than previous generations but that is one of the benefits of working and saving hard. It should come down to choice.

Retire if you can and want to. Work on if you want or have to.

It’s about personal choice in an aspirational society.

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