Study Shows People Worldwide Want Self-Sufficient Retirement

April 26, 2006 ( - A global survey from HSBC Holdings reveals that, in contrast to tradition, people around the world want self-sufficiency and a mix of work and leisure in retirement.

Nearly half (43%) of individuals worldwide expressed a desire to fund their own retirement either through savings or by working later, according to a press release on the survey.

The study found that, while employers value older workers, they are not providing opportunities to the aging. According to the release, employers across the globe believe older workers are not only more loyal and reliable than younger workers (58% and 53%, respectively), but also just as productive and motivated (49% and 45%, respectively).

However, HSBC has found that employers aren’t doing enough to retain older workers, which puts the continuity of the corporate culture at risk and raises the prospect of a worsening future skills shortage and experience drain.

Employers’ reasons for not doing more to recruit older workers, according to the release, included that it was not an urgent issue (33%) and there was no need (30%).

According to HSBC’s research, people all over the world want to continue working past traditional retirement ages, with nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents rejecting the notion of a mandatory retirement age, believing that employees should be able to go on working to any age as long as they are capable of doing the job well. Only 21% said employees should retire at a certain age, while 36% said people should retire when the time is right. Twenty-five percent believe people should work until they are no longer able to work, and 15% said people should retire when they can afford to.

Individuals indicate that they want more flexible employment practices to help them continue working past traditional retirement age, such as the ability to guide and teach younger workers (39%), the opportunity to learn new skills (32%), the ability to undertake less physically demanding work (31%) and the opportunity to work fewer hours (32%).

The study also revealed a variety of reasons for wanting to continue to work, including the need for money (25%), to have something meaningful and valuable to do with their time (22%), to keep physically active (21%), to connect with others (13%) and for mental stimulation (13%).

Individuals also want governments to do more to help them help themselves, such as introducing enforced additional private savings, the release said. Given a choice, 37% of respondents think their government should enforce additional private savings, rather than increase the retirement age (24%), raise taxes (13%) or reduce pensions (7%).

Universally, people associate retirement with freedom, happiness and satisfaction. The top three keys to happiness in old age chosen by respondents were having loving family and friends (67%), keeping fit (61%), and not having to worry about money (42%).

Study results and more information can be found at .