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Retirees shun financial advice, but wish they had a plan

  • Four in five (79%) over 55s are charting their own path to retirement, shunning guidance and advice.
  •  However, nearly one in three (29%) over 55s who have retired are not experiencing the retirement they dreamed of
  •  Issues such as health, rising living costs and unexpected bills are impacting the retirement experience for the over 55s      

 Canada Life asked over 55s how they were finding the overall retirement experience, given the ongoing economic pressures of rising living costs.

The research found four in five (79%) of over 55s who have retired, did so without the help of financial guidance or advice, preferring to opt for a DIY approach to managing their finances. This comes as nearly one in three (29%) of the same group admit they are not experiencing the retirement they dreamed of. More positively, two in five are (39%).    

One in ten retirees (11%) did not anticipate just how much money they would need in retirement, and are finding life after work more difficult than they expected and wished they’d planned properly (11%).

More than a third (36%) of retirees said they had experienced unexpected health challenges, however 27% said that although they weren’t living the retirement they’d planned, they were still very happy.

Money, or lack of, are big drivers of overall retirement satisfaction for the over 55s. Inflation and the cost-of-living crisis are having a negative effect on retirees, with one in five (21%) saying they hadn’t factored rising costs into their plans. Preparing for unexpected costs has also caught retirees out, with 13% receiving bills they weren’t expecting. A relative lack of savings (12%) was cited by one in ten who said they didn’t have enough money to live the retirement they planned, while a similar number of over 55s (11%) did not anticipate just how much money was needed to fund retirement.

 Tom Evans, managing director, Retirement, at Canada Life comments on the findings:

“It’s clear from this insight that people’s experiences of retirement vary quite widely. While a lack of retirement funds, and the impact of rising costs are clearly issues facing the current generation of retirees, unexpected health issues trump both of those, and the dreams of many have been shattered.

“Planning your retirement and ensuring it is flexible enough to navigate the many challenges you will face is vital to feel in control to enjoy your later years. Engaging the services of a qualified financial adviser early on is a fundamental part of that process. An adviser will not only be able to help with product choice, investment selection and tax, but will help you navigate any unexpected bumps in the road along the way.”





Press enquiries should be directed to:

Elle McAtamney at Canada Life,

 Notes to editors:

  1. Source: Research conducted by Opinium among 663 over 55s who said they were retired, with fieldwork conducted between 19th – 22nd March 2024.

 About Canada Life:

 Canada Life is part of a group of companies controlled by Great-West Lifeco Inc., a diversified financial services holding company headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada. Through its subsidiary companies, Lifeco has operations in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Great-West Lifeco and its insurance subsidiaries have received strong ratings from major rating agencies.  Great-West Lifeco has over 42 million global customer relationships worldwide and £1.52trillion assets under administration (as at 31 December 2023).

Canada Life Limited began operations in the United Kingdom in 1903 and looks after the retirement, investment and protection needs of individuals and companies alike. As well as providing stability and security through its individual contracts, Canada Life Limited has grown to become the leading provider of competitively priced group insurance solutions. Canada Life acquired Retirement Advantage on 3rd January 2018 for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition added over 30,000 retirement income and equity release customers and more than £2 billion of assets under management including a £1.5 billion block of in-force annuities to Canada Life.

Canada Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Canada Life International Limited and CLI Institutional Limited are Isle of Man registered companies authorised and regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Canada Life International Assurance Limited and Canada Life International Assurance (Ireland) DAC are authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.