Women half as likely to afford early retirement

Women are only half as likely as men to be able to afford to retire early, but poor health is the most common reason for their leaving work before 65, according to Just Group.

The firm’s research among retired over-55s found that nearly a third (32 per cent) of men had the financial resources to leave work early, compared to just 16 per cent of women.

Poor health was responsible for 37 per cent of women retiring earlier than they had expected, compared to 29 per cent of men, while providing care was the factor that led 14 per cent of female early retirees to leave employment, compared to just 4 per cent of their male counterparts.

However, men were more likely to retire early because of losing a job, with 17 per cent of early male retirees citing this as the reason they left work compared to 12 per cent of women.

Just group communications director, Stephen Lowe, said: “Government figures show four times more women than men aged 65+ have left the workforce since the coronavirus lockdowns began last March. Those forced out of work must make careful choices because they are less likely to have the strong financial foundation needed to last through retirement.”

He stressed the importance of savers looking into alternatives to accessing their retirement savings, such as applying for benefits for which they might be eligible.

Lowe added: “The coronavirus pandemic is likely to have encouraged some delay to retirement and others to bring it forward. Whatever people do, it is important they avoid a knee-jerk reaction but take the time to consider their options and make an informed decision.”

The news of women being far less likely to afford early retirement comes a day after Hargreaves Lansdown research showed that almost a fifth (17 per cent) of women leave their retirement planning in the hands of their partner, compared to 8 per cent of men.

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