Two million older workers juggle supporting family with own financial future

Over-50s workers in the UK

One in five over-50s workers are juggling their children’s or parents’ financial needs with their own retirement prospects, Aviva’s latest Real Retirement Report reveals.

Many in this group are facing pressure to work for longer and sacrifice saving for a comfortable retirement as a result.

However, with government data showing record numbers of over-50s currently in work, others have postponed retirement out of choice and are now enjoying a new career beyond their 50s.

In a sign of the wide-reaching impacts of the financial pressures currently facing younger generations today, 36% of over-50s workers with dependents say they will retire later than they expected because their children are still financially dependent on them.

32% say their adult children’s financial needs are the only reason they’re still working.

The need to help their parents financially is also prolonging over-50s’ working lives. 12% of over-50s workers with financial dependents say the only reason they are still working is to support the financial needs, including healthcare, of their own parents or their partners’ parents.

43% with dependents have concerns about being able to balance their work while caring for a relative.

This ties into a wider trend of people working for longer: among those over-50s who have an expected retirement age in mind, 3.6 million (62%) say this is older than they thought it would be ten years ago. 43% of those retiring later than planned blame not having enough pension savings.

Lindsey Rix, Managing Director, Savings and Retirement at Aviva said: “With children flying the nest later and later, many over-50s are shouldering the responsibility of putting their families’ financial needs ahead of their own for a prolonged period of time. As a result, many are facing a dilemma over delaying their retirement, while others are struggling to maintain their retirement savings habits.”

Longer working lives brings new employment opportunities

However, not all over-50s are still working only because of their own or their dependents’ financial needs. Aviva’s research reveals that 40% of over-50s are motivated to stay in work by job satisfaction and fulfilment rather than financial reasons – rising to 53% of 65-69s and 66% of over-70s.

Among those retiring later, 34% are doing so because they enjoy the mental stimulation of their job.

Longer working lives are also bringing new employment opportunities. 39% of over-50s workers, or 4 million people, have made a significant job change since turning 50. 14% or 1.4 million older workers have become their own boss post-50.