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Will retirement be a distant memory in the future?

Posting in Technology

The concept of retirement as a reward for a lifetime of study and work may become a myth, as more and more U.K. and U.S. workers are worried that they will not be able retire in the future.

In the latest annual edition of the Future of Retirement study by HSBC, a realistic picture of retirement has been painted, with many of the same problems that face the workforce -- a lack of funds, lowering standard of living, and a wealth of compromises in order to survive.

After surveying 16,000 people in 15 countries, the report found disparities between worker expectations of retirement in the U.K. and U.S. due to economic problems and life expectancy. Overall, 12 percent of the current workforce believe they will never be able to retire fully. In the U.K., this figure rose to 19 percent, and in the U.S., a similar number -- 18 percent -- also feel that retirement is out of their grasp.

Due to the recession and rising costs of living, many workers find it difficult to save for their retirement, and once there, it is hard to generate enough income to live comfortably. Among the retired, 38 percent found their income was less than they had expected, and of this number, one third blamed the global financial crisis, while another third said they had not planned adequately in their younger years.

Over half of those currently retired believe their savings are going to run out -- with thanks to the recession for taking away a chunk of their savings -- and the same figure says that their outgoings since retiring were as high, or higher, than before. 70 per cent regretted not having saved more.

Simon Williams, the HSBC Group Head of Wealth Management said:

"Generating an adequate income in retirement remains a major challenge for most people, given the financial conditions created by the global economic downturn. Today's workers should prepare for retirement as early as possible to have some certainty. "

To try and combat a lack of funds in retirement, over a quarter of those currently working said they planned to start a business later in life, and 44 per cent of those aged between 55-64 said that it was an aspiration to continue working.

The survey was conducted between July 2012 and April 2013.

Via: HSBC

Image credit: Flickr

— By on September 19, 2013, 1:19 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure