Huge numbers of workers over 50 face a miserable retirement because they are relying on a lottery win, inheritance or downsizing their home to fund their later years.
Their retirement prospects are out of control because they are hoping on luck to dig them out of financial trouble instead of saving sensibly.
New research shows one in four are relying on money from relatives or from selling their home, while one in seven dreams of a lottery win.
While they live in hope, many are taking home the biggest pay packets of their lives, but while a third save more, only 12% put money into a pension.
Most complain that they cannot save more because of the high cost of living (33%) or that they need to pay off a mortgage (39%).
Spending rather than saving
A fifth told the study by financial giant Aviva that they cannot save because relatives rely on them to pay their bills.
Research by the company found nearly 2 million workers over 50 have parents or children financially dependent on them.
The over 50s earning the most are spending their cash on one-off big-ticket items, such as a car, home extension or holidays.
More than 2 million workers told the survey that they did not take pension saving seriously, with 40% not knowing how much they need to save for retirement or how much money they will spend to maintain their lifestyles.
Taking a chance
Lindsey Rix, managing director, savings and retirement at Aviva said: “As everyday financial pressures take their toll on older workers, many are postponing retirement planning and are instead relying on factors other than savings – many of which are outside of their control – to afford a comfortable retirement.
“Even those options that might seem guaranteed, such as making a profit from selling a home, could pose a challenge should economic or market conditions change.
“Wherever possible, retirement saving shouldn’t be left to chance. Although older workers have multiple demands on their income, taking time to understand what needs to be saved to afford a good standard of living in retirement and putting more away each month – no matter how small the increase – can make a big difference.”