Britons display "worryingly" low levels of optimism towards preparing for retirement and possess a gloomier outlook than their counterparts across the Atlantic, a study suggests.
Sun Life Financial of Canada's ‘Unretirement Index' measures UK consumer attitudes towards retirement and compares them against others around the globe.
It asked more than 1,200 UK adults to rank their hopes for retirement between 0 and 100, with 100 representing ‘extreme optimism' and the expectation of a ‘perfect retirement at the perfect time'.
Britons registered at 35, lower than both Americans (46) and Canadians (51). Sun Life polled more than 6,000 people globally.
Sun Life spokesman Mark Stopard says: "Britain currently lags behind the other countries in the study with a rather bleak outlook on retirement prospects. As a nation, people are collectively feeling unprepared.
"Without doubt, retirement is now more of a process, and does not happen overnight. Consumers need more flexibility than ever before as they look to phase into retirement, with the solutions they will increasingly need adapting to their changing needs."
The index also suggests people would rather work longer than spend less or save more if faced with lower-than-expected retirement income. Almost six in ten (58%) said they expected to be in part time or full time work after the age of 65.
"Britain has declared itself unretired and it will be interesting to see how the economic climate and the new coalition Government influence consumer attitudes and how our Unretirement Index measures later in the year," Stopard says."
Protection and investments adviser Peter Chadborn says: "We are bombarded with various surveys yet very few have any relevance to our job on a day-to-day basis.
"But this does, because it gives us an idea of consumer attitudes and also serves as a useful discussion point to have with clients; it's a good opener. People's sentiment toward retirement is far more interesting than just chatting about pensions."
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