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Planning and preparing

We believe that planning and preparing for later life is important if we are to have the kind of later life that we want.

To achieve real and significant impact, we focus on people approaching later life, approximately aged between 50 and 70.

Nora's video

Later life can be a great period of our lives, but to make the most of it we need to plan ahead. This includes saving for retirement, taking actions to maintain and improve our health and ensuring that we live in a safe and accessible home.

However, many people are not planning for, or even thinking about, their later life. More than half of people haven’t given much or any thought about their hopes or ambitions for life after 60.

We also know from our own research that those who would benefit most from planning are least likely to do so. Having a lower income, living in rented accommodation, having lower educational attainment, being in poor health and working part-time are all associated with a lower tendency to plan.

Our longer lives and a rising state pension age create a greater need to plan and prepare for the future than ever before. The idea of a mid-life MOT, proposed in Cridland’s review of the state pension age, focuses on encouraging people to make choices about their later life. In response to the recommendations, Aviva, Legal & General, the Pensions Advisory Service and Mercer developed and tested versions of a mid-life MOT.

Even with longer working lives and new models of exiting the workplace, such as phased retirement and portfolio careers, people do eventually retire. With around one-third of our lifetime spent at work, retirement is a significant life event and can present challenges for people in later life.

This is why we are looking at the experience of the retirement transition and have partnered with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK) on their Transitions in Later Life programme to examine what works in supporting people around the time they retire.

Recent evidence on the experience of the transition to retirement shows that positive views of ageing and retirement, alongside being in control of the decision, are associated with pro-active retirement planning.