United Kingdom

Home and garden makeover is top spending goal for retirement

One in three people aged 40 and over plan to make smartening up their home and garden a priority in retirement, new research reveals.

Many are also focused on family, with 23 per cent saying they would help children and grandchildren buy a home of their own, and 15 per cent intending to pay towards the education of the younger generations.

But nearly a third plan to work beyond pension age and a quarter do not feel very confident about their finances in later life, according to the survey of homeowners looking towards retirement by Canada Life.

Retirement spending: More than one in three want to spruce up their home and garden and around a quarter intend to splash out on a holiday

To fund retirement and help achieve their financial goals, 41 per cent of people aged 40-plus plan to access their savings and investments, while 20 per cent will take a tax-free lump sum from their work pension.

Some 14 per cent plan to sell their current property and downsize, and 12 per cent are considering equity release to generate funds for retirement.

>>>How to sort out your pension: Read more here and scroll down to the box below

The Canada Life survey also found:

- Some 32 per cent will use money freed up in retirement to top up day-to-day living expenses

- Around a quarter intend to splash out on a holiday

- One in five plan to buy a new car or caravan

- Some 15 per cent will make safety improvements to their home and garden

- Debt is on the mind of some, with 14 per cent saying they would clear an outstanding mortgage when they reach retirement, and 9 per cent aiming to pay off unsecured loans.

Family aspiration: Some 23 per cent want to help children and grandchildren buy a home

Alice Watson, a spokesperson for Canada Life, says: 'People are increasingly approaching retirement with different goals and plans, and this in part is being driven by changing attitudes towards time and money.

'Retirement is no longer seen as the single event of giving up full time work, and with this additional challenge comes the opportunity to consider all of your assets and wealth as part of your financial plans for later life, rather than compartmentalise for example pension or property wealth for specific objectives.'

Canada Life surveyed around 1,000 UK homeowners aged 40-plus earlier this year. 

How to sort out your pension if you fear it's falling short

If you are worried about your pension and whether you will have enough, read a full 10-step guide to sorting it out here. 

To get started, investigate your existing pensions. Broadly speaking, you need to ask schemes the following:

- The current fund value

- The current transfer value - because there might be a penalty to move

- Whether the pension is in a final salary or defined contribution scheme

- If there are any guarantees - for instance, a guaranteed annuity rate - and if you would lose them if you moved the fund

- The pension projection at retirement age.

You can use a pension calculator to see if you have enough - find This is Money's here.

 You should add the forecast figures to what you anticipate getting in state pension, which is currently £179.60 a week or around £9,300 a year if you qualify for the full new rate. 

Get a state pension forecast here.

If you are tempted to merge your old pensions, check out some tips on how to decide here.  

If you have lost track of old pensions, the Government's free tracing service is here. 

Take care if you do an online search for the Pension Tracing Service as many companies using similar names will pop up in the results.

These will also offer to look for your pension, but try to charge or flog you other services, and could be fraudulent. 

If you are in your 20s, we have a special pension guide here.  Self-employed people can find out how to sort their pensions here. 

Women, who tend to miss out because they get lower pay and do unpaid caring work, can find out how to increase retirement savings here.

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