Retirement finances... the last taboo?


There are some subjects which we all know people don’t like talking about. But retirement finances? Not the first that comes to mind!

Aviva’s latest Real Retirement Report suggests we’re reluctant to talk things over with the family when it comes to our aspirations for when we’ve finished work.

They say money talks... but we don’t always like talking about it!

Our latest Real Retirement Report suggests that finance is something of a taboo subject within the family – meaning that important decisions sometimes get swept under the carpet.

The Report looked at the views of people aged 55 or more, including the ways in which they consider their families when making decisions about retirement.

Unsurprisingly, nearly two-thirds of the people we consulted said that they had discussed their financial retirement plans with their spouse – but only a fifth had taken a step further by talking things over with other family members.

This seems even more surprising when we think about what people say matters to them most when planning their retirement...



Family matters. It couldn’t be clearer that the wellbeing of their loved ones is one of the most important considerations for many people. Naturally, having enough money to live on is a top priority in retirement (70% said so), but helping children or grandchildren – and eventually leaving them an inheritance – is also something that people think about seriously when planning their finances. So why don’t they talk about it?


Why sometimes it pays to talk

Some people simply look on their finances as a personal matter and don’t like to talk about them, even with close family. Which, of course, is purely their choice to make. But there may be occasions where misunderstandings can arise without clear communication. Imagine, for instance, a retired couple living particularly frugally during their latter years in order to provide an inheritance for their long grown-up children – who would actually have been far happier to see their parents spending the money on enjoying their own lives. Involving family can help people make decisions for their own future, as well as for those closest to them.

Turning good intentions into actions

The Report also highlights a second group of people who tend not to talk about their finances, simply because they themselves don’t have a clear view of them. Sometimes this can be remedied by digging out policies and doing a little research. In other instances, the arrangements might never have been made or could be incomplete.

We’ve seen that family is important to most people, but only 22% have chosen options that provide some income to their spouse in the event of their own death. Equally, 37% said that leaving an inheritance mattered to them, but only 59% of over 55s have put a will in place, rising to 76% in the over-75s.

Many of these people will simply need a clearer idea of what’s available to help them, and how to go about getting the products they need. We’d recommend that anyone who’s unsure where to start should talk to a financial adviser for assistance based on their personal circumstances. In our experience, it’s always good to talk!

Read the full report 


AR01253 05/2014

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