Interactive Investor

Married couples plan better for retirement than singles

30th November 2020 15:29

Marc Shoffman from interactive investor


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How well prepared you are for retirement can depend to some degree on marital status, research shows.

Single savers are being urged to talk about money more after research shows their married peers are better prepared for retirement.

A survey by law firm Irwin Mitchell and YouGov has found married couples, or those with children, are more likely to have planned for retirement than single people.

The analysis discovered that two-fifths of adults aged 40 and over who have never been married hadn’t planned for retirement yet, but this dropped to 23% for married couples.

One-third of married couples surveyed said they knew how much income they needed for retirement, compared with just 17% among single adults.

Married and cohabiting couples aged 40 and over were also more likely to have received financial advice to plan for retirement, sitting at 29% and 24% respectively, compared with just a fifth among those who were single.

Jason Mountford, financial planner at Irwin Mitchell, says: “When you’re married with kids and dealing with all of those money issues, you’re forced to have conversations around money and to think about how you’re going to manage things in the future – but without those natural prompts, the evidence suggests that people aren’t thinking about financial planning.

“If you aren’t in a long-term relationship, it can feel very difficult to find someone who you trust enough to actually have a frank and open discussion about money with.

“That’s a perfect area to bring a professional in, because not being married or having kids doesn’t mean that planning for your financial future is any less important.”

Mountford said everyone should feel able to discuss it with someone without judgement.

It comes as research by consumer watchdog Which? based on a survey of 6,300 of its members, this month showed just how much retirees need for their golden years.

The survey found retired individuals or single people spend £19,000 a year for a comfortable retirement that includes being able to go on a European holiday and to be able to afford clothes, food and pay the bills.

It rises to £30,000 for a luxurious retirement, including long-haul trips.

A comfortable retirement for couples cost £25,000 each year and increases to £40,000 for a luxurious one.

Which? researcher Paul Davies says: “Travelling and holidays are a very important part of retirement for our members, with people spending £4,540 a year on this part of their life.

“Priorities change slightly as you move through your retirement years. Our members tend to spend relatively less on food and drink, housing payments and recreation as they get older, but more on utility bills, health, and insurance premiums.”


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