Retiring at 60: is it achievable in today’s economy?

May 3, 2024

We all know the toll the last four years have had on the economy. The country’s poor financial and economic situation has scuppered many personal and business plans—but what about pensions? Is that dream of retiring at 60 still realistic?


Is retiring at 60 realistic?

Research has shown widespread changes in retirement behaviour, with 68% of polled advisers saying their clients are staying in work for longer or not accessing retirement savings for longer.

Indeed, inflation increased during 2021 and 2022 due to a number of factors—a burst of economic activity post-COVID, for example, and then increasing gas prices following the conflict in Eastern Europe.

It hit a peak of 11.1% in October 2022 before easing back down to 3.4% in February 2024—still higher than the Bank of England’s 2% target.

But just because inflation is now falling, that doesn’t mean prices are falling – just that prices are increasing more slowly.

So, for many people, retiring at 60 just isn’t on the table anymore—but it’s not impossible. It completely depends on your position, what you’ve managed to save up to now, what type of life you want, and where you can go in the future.


How much does a comfortable retirement cost nowadays?

A recent study by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association suggests that a comfortable retirement for an individual in the UK now requires an annual income of approximately £43,000, driven primarily by the escalating costs of food and energy bills.

That means that a single retiree must now contend with an additional £5,800 in expenses to enjoy the same retirement in 2024 compared to 2023. For retired couples, £59,000 is the necessary income – up by £4,500.

According to the study, a “comfortable” standard of living includes essential expenses like food, energy and clothing, as well as indulgences like an annual two-week holiday in Europe and modest gifts for Christmas or birthdays.


Tips for retiring early

As we said earlier, retiring early is definitely more difficult to do but it’s not impossible. Depending on your situation now and what you do in the future, the dream is not necessarily out of reach. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Reevaluate your plan early: Just like how starting with retirement planning early is important, so is beginning early with your new plan. That way, you have more time to make your money grow as efficiently as possible.
  • Set clear goals: Make sure you know what your goals are, including the exact age you would like to retire at and the lifestyle you desire. Having a clear vision will help you stay motivated and create a focused financial plan.
  • Understand the state pension: Familiarise yourself with the state pension to know what you’re entitled to upon retirement.
  • Manage your expenses: You don’t need us to tell you how to do it, but being frugal where you can is always a good idea so you can retire at the age you want.
  • Use ISAs: ISAs are a good tax-free savings option that can help you maximise your savings as much as possible.
  • Seek professional advice: Consider consulting a financial adviser specialising in retirement planning. They can help you create a tailored retirement strategy based on your individual circumstances and goals.

This last piece of advice is probably the most important one. Pension planning is never easy, so you need to make sure you’ve got all the right tools at your disposal. A financial adviser will ensure that you’ve got them and that your plan will achieve what you want it to.

Talk to us about your retirement plan.

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