Over 50s would prefer to transition into retirement over a three year period, according to new research.
The research by Aegon found that respondents were looking at a three year glide path, starting from the age of 63.
However the research identified a number of barriers, which people feel will stop them achieve this aim. These include ill-health, caring responsibilities and ageism.
Aegon says these fears are not ungrounded. It also surveyed retired workers, and one in two of them said they were forced to stop working earlier than planned.
Aegon’s research found that there were currently over five million workers aged 50-plus who want to take a more gradual approach to retirement. Most of these said they would like to start this process at the age of 63, by reducing hours, before fully retiring aged 66 and six months.
However failing health was identified by seven million workers as the single biggest issue that will influence the timing of their retirement.
Having caring responsibilities for a parent or partner was identified as a likely reason for stopping work by 5 million workers. And, despite anti-discrimination legislation and general trends towards equality, 35 per cent of workers feel that ageism will influence their decision to stop working.
Aegon’s pension director Steven Cameron says: “We have a record number of over 50s in the workforce, with this age group making up almost a third of all workers.
“Older workers make an extremely valuable contribution to the economy and the trend to working later in life should be encouraged given how life expectancies have risen in recent decades.
“However, we should remember that the path to retirement isn’t always a smooth one. People are worried that ill health, caring responsibilities or ageism may mean they have to give up work sooner than they’d like and this can have a significant impact on their finances.
“To cope with unexpected events it’s important to ensure you prepare well in advance for the retirement you want, and seek financial advice to give yourself as much flexibility as possible.”