BRITISH households are increasingly convinced that their retirement will give them a good standard of living, while serious debt worries are at their lowest since records began, research shows.
The latest Wealth and Assets Survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that in the 12 months leading up to June 2017, 54 per cent of men under 65 and women under 60 who had not already retired were fairly or very confident that their retirement income would give them the standard of living they hoped for.
This is up from the 51 per cent who said the same thing in the period between July 2014 and June 2016.
However, experts warn that the confidence could be misplaced.
“Despite savers’ confidence in their retirement prospects rising, there is a very real danger retirement income will still fall short, particularly now we’re all living longer,” said Paul Osborn, chief executive at Foresters Friendly Society, which provides savings and investment advice.
“Sadly the importance of saving for retirement is often overlooked as we concentrate on plugging short-term saving gaps at the expense of our long term financial well-being.”
Last month, the Markit Household Finance Index found that the financial well-being among British households had fallen sharply in January as inflation expectations rose, job security declined and demand for unsecured debt increased.
And although the number of people who are confident in their retirement plans has grown, 46 per cent of respondents to the ONS survey are still less than fairly confident that they will have the standard of living they want once they exit the workforce.
“Despite more people feeling confident that their retirement income will give them the standard of living they hope for, there’s still a huge number people who are not,” said Samantha Seaton, chief executive of personal finance app Moneyhub.
“Juggling credit commitments and debt repayments while also saving for the future can seem like an overwhelming task, even for the most financially savvy of consumers.”
Nevertheless, British households are less worried about non-mortgage debt since records began, with just eight per cent of survey respondents claiming it to be a heavy burden, down from the nine per cent who thought the same thing between July 2014 and June 2016 and the lowest value since the question was first asked in July 2010, according to the ONS.
Peter Bradshaw, national account director of online retirement guidance tool Pension Monster, urged people to consider a range of options in order to avoid hardship.
“There is a wealth of online tools designed to support the planning process and help ensure retirement income lasts as long as the pensioner does,” he said.