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Almost half of Generation X looking to property to finance retirement

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Nearly half (47 per cent) of 35-54 year olds (Generation X), or 8.3 million people in the UK, are planning to use property to help finance their retirement, according to a survey from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.

However, 23 per cent, or 1.9 million people, within this group have yet to buy a property which suggests that some may be basing their future financial security on an asset they may never own.
 
A further breakdown of age groups in Generation X reveals that 36 per cent of 35-44s who have yet to buy their first home feel they will be able to use this asset in retirement while 14 per cent of 45-54s who have yet to climb on the property ladder agree.
 
The survey shows 54 per cent of Generation X do not think much about retirement income but generally think it will work out in the end, and around half are too busy worrying about day-to-day living costs to think about their retirement income (51 per cent).
 
Figures from across the UK indicate that reliance on using unowned property greatest in the east (14 per cent) and lowest in Yorkshire and The Humber (2 per cent). In London, where property prices are the highest in the country, an estimated 330,000 people (13 per cent) are planning to fund their retirement with property they are yet to buy.
 
Graham Vidler, director of external affairs, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, says: “Over eight million people between the ages of 35 and 54 intend to use property to help finance their retirement. Given the significant house price growth that we have seen, this might seem an entirely sensible addition to their pension. However of this group, two million people have yet to even take their first step onto the property ladder which is a real concern and suggests they are basing their future financial security on an unrealistic ambition.
 
“In addition, over half of Generation X admit they have no plan, or a vague plan of how they will finance their retirement (57 per cent) which is also incredibly worrying. The majority of Generation X find themselves in the unenviable position of being too young to benefit from generous defined benefit pension schemes and too old to receive the full benefits of automatic enrolment.
 
“They need support in understanding how their pension, property and any other savings might top up their state pension to give them a decent income in retirement. Government should assess the best ways for Generation X to engage with retirement income planning and, in particular, consider whether interventions related to key life events, such as a mid-life financial health check, would result in better outcomes.”

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