Which direction will you take?
Research of more than more than 400,000 actual and planned retirement
dates shows interesting variations depending on both location and gender which will influence when people retire, as well as highlighting future trends in over 50s' retirement plans.
Overall 28% of men and a quarter of women (25%) expect to work beyond 65, with men in London (32%) and women (27%) in the South East planning to work longer than anywhere else in the country.
In 2012, nationally the average retirement age for men is 63 years, 303 days and for women 62 years, 164 days. People in the South East expect to work the longest (men 64 years, 58 days and women 62 years, 322 days) and those in the North East expect to retire earlier than anywhere else in the country (men 63 years, 164 days and women 61 years, 333 days).
Saga's findings also show that on average the actual and planned retirement age is creeping up a few months every year. In 2012 the average retirement age will be 63 years, 130 days, which is 286 days later than in 2010 (62 years, 277 days). By 2025 people expect to work an extra two years and 186 days longer than today (65 years, 316 days).
Today, on average men work one year, 138 days longer than women but the gap is set to decrease rapidly. By 2020, the difference between men and women’s retirement dates is likely to reduce to under a year (261 days), and by 2025 the difference could be just 46 days.
Most popular day to retire
The most popular day for people to retire is perhaps unsurprisingly a Friday, although interestingly Wednesday is the second most popular weekday to retire on. However, there is a difference between the sexes when it comes to the time of year to finish work. The most common month for men to retire in is December, while women are more likely to retire in July and take advantage of the sunny weather.
Lack of understanding about annuities
Although 93% of those who have not yet retired want to get the best possible income from their pension, shockingly less than a third intend to shop around, and 43% haven’t decided.
More than half of over 50s were unaware that suffering from certain medical or lifestyle conditions could get them an enhanced annuity that would pay a higher pension. And shopping around clearly pays off as one in seven who didn’t shop around regretted not doing so.
Saga Services' chief executive Roger Ramsden said: "While many people are working past the state pension age in order to keep up with the cost of living, some continue to work because they enjoy it and find it helps to keep them both socially and mentally active.
"It is important that those planning retirement are aware of their options, which could be the difference between retiring when they want to, as opposed to when their finances determine they need to. Research shows an alarming lack of awareness and understanding among those coming up to retirement."