By Simon Mayoh, Financial Planning Consultant, Armstrong Watson LLP

A SURVEY of people who have retired, or plan to retire in 2021, provides some interesting insights.

According to the Class of 2021 report by investment manager Standard Life Aberdeen, the average age people plan to retire is 60. That is six years before the current state pension age, which will rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028. 2021 retirees will, on average, live for another 26 years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), implying over a third of their life is spent in retirement.

The report found 37 per cent brought forward their retirement date because of the pandemic – a reminder of the importance of building flexibility into your plans. Perhaps the acceleration of plans also explains why typically only about two in five individuals feel very confident they are financially ready to finish work.

This lack of financial confidence shows up elsewhere in the report, with nearly half intending to cut their spending to support their retirement and one in five planning to downsize their home to meet retirement costs.

Those costs may have been underestimated, as the average planned retiree’s household spending was £21,000 a year, almost a third less than the average 2020 household income, according to the


Meanwhile, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, which sponsored the survey, calculated that even using the £21,000 annual spending target and allowing for the eventual arrival of the state pension, two-thirds of 2021 retirees were at risk of running out of money. It estimated that a savings pot of £390,000 was needed to cover 30 years of retirement expenditure.

If you are 50 or over it’s important to make retirement planning a priority as it is no longer a distant concept.

There are many variables to consider including retirement age, your health, hobbies or goals you want to pursue, and your income requirements, alongside inflation, tax rates, and whether you qualify for the state pension.

This part of the retirement planning process is not always straightforward.

Many people think about their retirement income but can often misjudge controlling their outgoings in the build-up to and during retirement.

It’s also important to review your plans regularly – at least once a year - and to adjust your plan to fit any evolving needs and desires for your post-retirement years.

To make a plan for retirement, or to review your current plan, please contact Simon Mayoh on 07860 846370 or email