Financially

The amount of money you now have at your disposal will create a different set of retirement expectations.

And this is likely to be very different to the experience of our parent’s generation which generally with ‘enough to get by on’.

State pensions and the support of closer family units saw them get by. Few had a private pension pot or a stash ready for the years ahead.

Thirty years or so later the picture is very different. Of course, there are considerable differences across social classes, geographic regions and work sectors. For some today, their financial resources are little or no better than for their parents.

However, many now come to their after-work years with a level of disposable income the past generation could never have imagined. They have benefited from increased levels of savings thanks to the boom years, the proliferation of private pensions and the escalating value of their property.

All this, and more, has created what marketers label ‘the grey pound’. This is the considerable sum today’s retirees have to spend beyond their need to cover their basics. By the latest reckoning, the grey pound is worth some £320 billion a year – up by £100 billion in the past decade.

For evidence of the grey pound – the economic power of elderly people – look no further that the dozen or more pages of advertising for cruises and exotic personalised tours appearing regularly in weekend newspapers. At £5,000 to £20,000 a shot, this is evidence enough. Which other segment of the population has a month or more free to sail the high seas?

Yes, this semi-affluence may have many calls placed on it. The way things are today can mean someone coming to retirement has calls to help fund the needs of elderly parents and/or be the bank of mum and dad to help children or even grandchildren get on the housing ladder.

Nevertheless, we are likely to have choices open to us that our parents could never have dreamed of. And we need to make them with wisdom, gratitude and responsibility.

The word retirement is not even in the Bible. What is taught in scripture is transition. There is nothing that says you work most of your life and then get to be selfish for the next 20 years

Rick Warren, PurposeDrivenLife