1 in 3 Seniors in Developed World Ready for Retirement

February 24, 2011

nielsen-ready-to-retire-feb-2011.JPGAcross broad global regions, those aged 60 and up facing retirement in the more developed regions are more positive about their prospects than those in emerging regions, according to a new study from The Nielsen Company. Data from “The Global Impact of an Aging World” indicates almost 35% of European seniors and more than 30% of North American seniors (led by 38% of Canadian seniors) say they are financially ready for retirement.

Emerging World Less Confident

In contrast, slightly more than 30% of Latin American seniors, and only a little more than 25% of seniors in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East/Africa regions, say they are financially ready for retirement. Those in the Middle East and Africa substantially led the ranking for persons aged 60 and up who say they were definitely not ready to retire (42%).

Older Workers More Accepting of Traditional Retirement Age

nielsen-retirement-plans-feb-2011.JPGDespite growing uncertainty about whether there are sufficient financial resources to retire, the traditional age range for retirement is still widely accepted. Across Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and the Americas, the majority of persons aged 60-plus expect to retire between the ages of 60 and 69. Only 38% of those aged 60-plus in the Middle East and Africa were targeting the 60s as their retirement age, however, with 32%, expecting to work into their 70s.

Across most regions, those younger than the age of 60 were less secure about their chances to retire in their 60s. In fact, across global respondents of all age ranges, 41% of North Americans say they plan to retire when they are aged 70-plus, and one-fifth say they plan to retire at 80-plus, which is the oldest by far compared to other regions.

Younger Workers Less Reliant on Govt. Support

nielsen-retirement-income-feb-2011.JPGCompany-sponsored pensions, government plans, and private savings are the most commonly tapped sources of retirement funding. Government-run plans and corporate pensions are more often listed as sources of retirement funding in the more developed regions, while personal savings are more popular in other areas.

Across all areas, there are sharp differences in planning for retirement between those 60 and up and everyone else. Reliance on government programs like Social Security in the US is much lower for younger persons than older ones, while those younger than 60 are much more likely to say they will fund their retirements primarily through personal savings.

Travel Top Post-Retirement Activity

nielsen-post-retirement-feb-2011.JPGFor the majority of global respondents (62%), travel is the favored retirement option, and also the leading option in each region. Other preferences include caring for grandchildren, taking part in clubs and activities, gardening and volunteering, which round out the top five post-retirement activities.

Results were reasonably consistent across regions, with a few exceptions. For example, those in Latin America and the Middle East/Africa were nearly three times as likely to be interested in a second career as those in North America and Europe. In addition, those in Asia/Pacific and the Middle East/Africa were much more likely to think about moving to a senior center for a better social life.

Grandparent Segment Grows Rapidly

There are currently 69.6 million grandparents in the US, a figure expected to grow another 11% to roughly 76 million between now and 2015, according to other recent data from The Nielsen Company. Nielsen research reveals that grandparent households spend 4.4% more per year than all other households, which equates to an extra spend of more than $300 a year.


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