The research also reveals that the average man aged over 55 will cash in £21,143 of his pension with women taking out just £4,861. More than one in 20 men plan to go on the holiday of a lifetime, while the UK car industry looks to be in line for a boost with 5 per cent saying they will finally buy the motor they always wanted.
Meanwhile one in 50 men confess they have no intention of telling their partner what they’ll get up to with their pension pot. Indeed 1 per cent plans to leave their other half once the money comes in.
However as a whole, a staggering third of over 55s don’t have a pension at all, and of those that do a quarter don’t know how much pension they have. Therefore it’s no surprise that 44 per cent will not be cashing in any of their pension and 17 per cent will be cashing in a percentage of their pension.
What will they do with their pension lump sum?
Those approaching retirement say they will draw down money from their pension to go on a student style gap year. Over 10 per cent admit they would love to take off round the globe.
Many of these will be fulfilling a long-time desire – 5 per cent say they plan to travel because they didn’t get a chance to take a gap year when younger. The top destinations on their hitlist include North America and New Zealand or Australia, while 2 per cent intend to visit China.
Martin Lock, CEO, Silversurfers.com who commissioned the survey, said: “Most men say that women are the ones who enjoy shopping and splashing out, but these results show a different picture. It seems that later in life it’s men who become the ‘SilverSpenders’, even if that means cashing in some of their hard won pension. Perhaps this is due to the sense of freedom they may feel at being able to indulge themselves a bit.
“On a more serious note though, it’s the alarming number of people who don’t have a pension that we should be concerned about. Without anything to fall back on in retirement the burden will be on the next generation to support them.”
British reserve and family values
The study shows that the typical Brit will draw down 5 per cent of their pension, with men’s spending plans significantly higher than women’s. Men are planning to take out 8 per cent of their pot compared to 4 per cent for women.
Many admit they are coming under pressure from their children to help them out. One six say their children could do with assistance from their pension to help them get on the property ladder.
However, just 7 per cent of over 55s say they are actually willing and able to help in this way. Those who may be less benevolent presumably include the 1 per cent` planning to fund cosmetic surgery for themselves.
Reassuringly, it seems the over 55s are actually a social and loyal bunch, with family and friends being in the top five things which make them most happy in life, although money and job satisfaction and getting divorced also make their top 10!