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Wealthy professionals choose risk over retirement

15 April 2016

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Wealthy professionals are rejecting retiring at 65 in favour of starting a business, pursuing an alternative career or doing good, according to a new report by UBS Wealth Management.

The report, "Why should I retire? Retirement is not the same as old age" was conducted among UK professionals with investable assets of at least GBP 250,000.

It found that work and retirement and now no longer viewed as separate and distinct phases of life, instead, wealthy individuals are opting to take greater risk to pursue longer careers, entrepreneurship or philanthropy during the traditional retirement phase.

The survey also found attitudes towards pensions and savings have changed too, partly as a result of the 2015 pension freedom reforms, allowing individuals of retirement age to draw down income from their retirement savings in more flexible ways.

Nick Tucker, head of UK domestic, at UBS Wealth Management said there has been a "clear shift" in the retirement and savings landscape in the UK.

The survey asked respondents how they intended to use their pension savings: as many want to start or fund a business (18 per cent) as want to buy an annuity (17 per cent).

It found that 89 per cent of respondents currently enjoy their work and 71 per cent see retirement as an opportunity to explore alternative or complementary careers.

Only 23 per cent of professionals see themselves having a traditional retirement with no work at all.

Having accumulated sufficient wealth during their working lives, respondents said are not motivated to continue working for financial gain with nearly two thirds (65 per cent) saying that they enjoy working too much to retire, despite being able to afford it.

"Age-old motivations in financial planning for retirement, while not necessarily redundant, have changed and retirement is no longer a hard stop event, but rather a phased period taking place over years or even decades," said Tucker.

"During this time, individuals may seek to take on new challenges, continue accumulating wealth or build legacies for future generations."

First published 15.04.2016

Lindsay.sharman@wilmingtonplc.com