Press release

7.8 million of today's retirees have taken on new challenges

Tuesday 29 September 2009

  • Over £2.7 billion spent on retirement hobbies in the UK
  • A fifth of over-50s do voluntary work in retirement

There are more than 11 million retired people over 50 in the UK and research* by Saga Home Insurance has revealed that almost 7 million** (65%) of these retirees have taken up new hobbies since leaving work. 13% spend 5 hours or more on their hobby a week, indicating this can be a time of new, exciting and sometimes expensive, challenges.

The Saga Populus Panel of 11,568 over 50s discovered that this age group embraces ‘the good life’ in their retirement. Gardening and growing vegetables was the most popular activity (41%), followed by cooking and baking (27%) and photography (25%). Keeping the brain active is also hugely important with 40% regularly playing Sudoku or completing crosswords.

Hobbies can be expensive, with almost half (47%) of retirees having spent over £500 on their pastime alone since ceasing work – the equivalent of £2.7billion across the country!*** Men tend to splash the cash more than women, with 54% of men spending over £500, compared to only 34% women. Regionally, East Anglians spend the most compared to people in Yorkshire and the Humber who spend the least.

Saga Home Insurance offers peace of mind for enthusiastic hobbyists by including cover for up to £5,000 for unspecified items away from home, which could include golf clubs, fishing equipment and tennis rackets. There is also the option to add Garden cover**** on to an existing policy, providing up to £1,500 towards replacing your garden plants, equipment, furniture and ornaments should they be lost or damaged.

One in five (20%) have also decided to 'give something back' and have undertaken volunteer work since retiring, clearly many of today’s active over 50s feel the need to use their skills and experiences to help others within the community.

Retirement is also seen by a significant number of people as an opportunity to go back to the classroom to learn new skills. 7% of retirees have learnt a new language, 6% have started playing an instrument and 4% have enrolled in a higher education course, emphasising that the thirst for knowledge knows no age limits.

Andrew Goodsell, executive chairman, Saga Group, commented: “Many people embrace retirement and throw themselves wholeheartedly into their new hobbies, spending a large amount of money on the new equipment that it requires. Giving up work can be the ideal opportunity to indulge in your personal interests, proving just because you leave the rat race doesn’t mean you join the slow lane!”

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

*Populus research carried out online amongst 11,568 Brits aged 50+ between 6th and 13th July 2009.

** 65% of retired people say they have taken up new hobbies since leaving work. 65% of 11.68 million = 7.8 million

***47% of retirees say they have spend over £500 on their hobbies. 47% of 11.68 million x £500 = £2.744 billion

***Customers can purchase Garden Cover as an-add on to Home Contents Insurance for £30 per year

For more information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529.

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