The Motley Fool writers like myself seem to be dedicating an increasing amount of coverage to the State Pension and to the pitifully-low payments it gives to retirees nowadays.
It’s clear that individuals need to save and save like never before in order to avoid so-called pensioner poverty. But you don’t need to take our word for it.
The data is there to show just how difficult today’s retirees are finding it hard to make ends meet. Indeed, a report just released by Rest Less has revealed how an increasing number of us are working beyond age 70 to make ends meet. And the rate at which the figure has grown is truly staggering.
Doubled in a decade
According to the body, there were a staggering 497,946 people aged 70s or above in full- or part-time employment in the first quarter of 2019. To put this in perspective, there were 286,000 in work in the same 2009 period, meaning that the number has ballooned by an eye-popping 135% over the past decade.
“Those working into their 70s are continuing to work beyond the state pension age and we see a number of reasons for people increasingly doing so,” Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, commented. “With far fewer ‘gold-plated’ pensions around and ever increasing life expectancy, many are actively looking to top up their pension savings while they still can.”
Rest Less — a community site which offers work and volunteering opportunities specifically for those aged over 50 — also points to the health and social benefits of working beyond the traditional retirement age.
However, there’s no downplaying the huge financial reasons that have fuelled the upsurge over the past 10 years. The number of people locked in full-time employment seems to pay testament to this, swelling by an even-bigger 218% to include some 145,475 individuals.
Get a grip!
Forget about living out a comfortable retirement in the sun, then. Right now, the primary goal seems to be having enough money to put food on the table. And things are getting ever-scarier as the eligibility age gets further and further away, and legislators table plans to hack back pensioner benefits with increasing gusto.
I shudder to think what I’ll be receiving each week from the government by the time I retire. It’s why I’m one of millions taking the bull by the horns and taking a more pro-active approach to how I use my savings to banish the spectre of pensioner poverty.
Forget low-yielding assets like cash-based investment products, ones where returns are being ripped apart by inflation. Instead, Stocks and Shares ISAs are a great way to build a big nest egg by the time you come to retire. It’s why 246,000 of these accounts were opened in the 2017/2018 tax year while the number of Cash ISAs slumped by 697,000.
With dividends hitting record high after record high, there’s never been a better time to get involved in the stock market. And fortunately, there’s plenty of advice out there to help you make the most out of your savings and avoid hard times — or indeed having to stay back at work — by the time you hit 70.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.