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28 Sep 2010

The Age Illusion: How the Wealthy are Redefining Their Retirement

New York ( Global hedge fund manager Barclays Wealth reports that retirement is being rejected by a new breed of wealthy workers – the 'Nevertirees' - who want to carry on working for as long as they are able.

Ledbury Research surveyed over 2,000 high net worth individuals, all of whom had over $1.5m/1m in investable assets, 200 had more than $15m/10m. Respondents came from 20 countries across Europe, North America, South America, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Sixty percent of wealthy individuals polled in a global survey say that they plan to become a Nevertiree, shunning traditional retirement, instead continuing to work, start businesses and take on new projects in their later years.

The report, the 12th in the Barclays Wealth Insights series, is based on a survey of more than 2,000 high net worth individuals, who were asked to consider what retirement and later life means to them.

The findings show that the concept of nevertirement is expected to grow over the coming decades, with over 70% of respondents under the age of 45 saying that they will always be involved in some form of work.

In particular, 75% of U.S. respondents plan to work part time after they have stopped working permanently, seven percent more than the global average. Specifically, 32% plan to work between five and 20 hours per week in "retirement", and seven percent plan to work more than 20 hours per week, "simply reaching the normal age to retire" is not at all important in determining when they stop working.

Only 40% of U.S. high net worth individuals "completely agree" that they are "totally confident" in having enough money for retirement, with another 37% "slightly agreeing". Only 48% of U.S. high net worth individuals would completely classify themselves as financially secure.

When planning for retirement 35% of U.S. wealthy feel that the rate of tax they have to pay is predictable, compared to 58% of Latin American high net worth individuals and 73% of wealthy individuals in Switzerland.

Further, one in ten of the wealthiest surveyed do not agree that they have enough money for retirement (greater than $15m in investable assets). Among the global wealthy who are already retired, only 51% agree they are completely confident in having enough money for their retirement.