Soon-to-be retirees are longing to take a gap year
Those reaching pension age are more similar to university students than you'd think, as many are hankering for a gap year, research out today has found.
According to the study by Investec Wealth & Investment, around a third (31 per cent) of UK professionals are considering taking a sabbatical of at least six months before they finally retire.
More than half (51 per cent) looking for some extended time away from the office are dreaming of going travelling, while a third (30 per cent) were looking forward to more time with the family and one in five (18 per cent) want to test themselves by learning a new skill.
Over half (55 per cent) of those who want a grown-up gap year have already started planning financially to turn it into a reality, while a further 29 per cent intended to do so as the time draws nearer.
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Two out of five (41 per cent) would happily take time off even if their employer could not support them in doing so, while 60 per cent said they planned to continue topping up their long-term savings pot during their time away from work.
"Sabbaticals are likely to become increasingly commonplace among professionals who are working harder for longer," said Chris Aitken, head of financial planning at Investec Wealth & Investment. "Most of us will work for in excess of 40 years so taking an extended break before retirement makes a lot of sense, particularly if we can fulfil a lifetime ambition and recharge the batteries.
"But taking a sabbatical of six months or more comes at a significant financial cost; paying for long trips abroad as well as large household expenses such as a mortgage, insurance and council tax can rapidly eat into savings and investments, particularly if there's no salary coming in. We strongly advise everyone planning to take a sabbatical to prepare a detailed financial plan and start putting aside savings for it several years ahead in order to be a more comfortable position particularly if full retirement is fast approaching."
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According to research by The Share Centre released last month, the main reason people are looking forward to retirement is the chance to finally scratch the travel bug itch, with 71 per cent of people aged 55 to 64 dreaming of travelling during their golden years.
Meanwhile, over half (55 per cent) wanted to spend more time on the gardening and around a quarter (26 per cent) wanted to get in touch with their creative side and take up some arts and crafts.