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What her Majesty the Queen can teach us about retirement

At a glance

  • After 70 years of service, the Queen will be the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee.
  • While few people work into their 90s, retirement is not the cut-off point it once was, and many of us can expect to continue working or volunteering after we reach State Pension age.
  • By planning ahead and seeking guidance from an expert financial adviser, you can put plans in place to make your retirement what you want it to be.

As celebrations marking her Platinum Jubilee draw to a close, the Queen’s remarkable life and longevity are once again in the spotlight.

At the age of 96, she is still working, albeit not making as many public appearances as she used to. In fact, the recent scaling back of public engagements offers a reminder that the pattern of her later years has in some ways been typical of today’s older generations. Because for a growing number of people, retirement is no longer a cliff-edge event that takes place when they reach State Pension age.

Will retirement become a thing of the past?

When the Queen turned 60 in 1986, there was no withdrawal from public life.

Like the Queen, it’s increasingly likely that those reaching pension age will continue working or taking on their own engagements for years or even decades to come.

Why retirement planning is important

Living for a decade or longer in retirement was still the exception rather than the norm when those now reaching State Pension age began their working lives. Now, however, those of working age know there’s a decent chance of living for two or even three decades past their State Pension age.

A man aged 65 now can expect to live for another 18.5 years on average, while a 65-year-old woman typically has 21 years ahead of her, according to the Office for National Statistics.1

There are several steps you can take to plan ahead and make retirement what you want it to be:

Work out what you want

Whether or not you give up work entirely in retirement, you may wish to review how you spend your time and what you want from life.

Let yourself think about what’s important for you and build that into your plans.

Don’t underestimate your potential life span

According to the Office Of National Statistics.1 on average, 65-year-old male could potentially live to 82 and a 65-year-old female live to 86. This increases the risk of running out of money if you live longer than expected.

Talk about it

As you enter your later years, you might be thinking about setting up a power of attorney, so that if you do lose capacity, support will be there. That invariably means having potentially difficult conversations with family members.

Build your team

The Queen isn’t alone in being able to turn to specialist advisers for financial, legal and other matters.

A financial adviser, for example, help you put plans in place to avoid running out of money later in life, taking longevity into account. They can map out your plans, review them as the years pass, make changes when necessary and help with the difficult conversations.

If you would like support in building your retirement strategy, then please do make contact to arrange a no obligation review meeting.

Joshua Farrow – Holistic Financial Consultant at SarahQuirk Wealth Associates

Please note that advice given in relation to a Power of Attorney will involve the referral to a service that is separate and distinct to those offered by St. James's Place and are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

SarahQuirk Wealth Associates is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James's Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website The ‘St. James's Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James's Place representatives.


1 National Life Tables – Life Expectancy in the UK: 2018-2020, Office for National Statistics, September 2021

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