Less than a fifth of Britons intend to save for their retirement, Bestinvest study finds

While more than half of Britons polled by Bestinvest’s new Give Us Your Goals campaign have set five or more life goals, they are failing to back up their aspirations with a comprehensive savings and investment plan

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Published: 19 Oct 2022 Updated: 19 Oct 2022

Less than a fifth of Britons are planning to save for their retirement, new research from online investment and coaching platform Bestinvest has revealed, with the nation keen to think big, but less keen to save and invest to realise their ambitions.

Britain might be a nation of goal setters, with 56% having five or more goals they want to achieve in life, but they are failing to back up their aspirations with a comprehensive savings and investment plan.

At a time when the country is grappling with both a cost-of-living and cost-of-borrowing crisis, 63% of the 2,000 Britons surveyed for the Bestinvest study have set financial goals, such as clearing all their debts (29%) and saving for a rainy day (23%).

But when it comes to safeguarding their financial futures, they are less inclined to match their retirement ambitions with a sound savings strategy. While 23% of those surveyed have the goal of retiring early, worryingly just 19.8% intend to save for their retirement and only 14% consider having a pension a key financial goal.

Underestimating how much money is needed to fund big life goals is also a concern, with the just under half of people believing they need £100,000 or less to hit their milestones – highlighting the extent people miscalculate how much they need to finance big money goals such as retirement.

Someone aged 55 looking to retire early with a pension pot of £100,000 would only receive about £4,380 a year, or £365 before tax is deducted (assuming they have already taken the maximum 25% tax-free cash available to them), if they bought an annuity – a product that provides retirees with a regular guaranteed income after they give up work. That leaves them with a very small monthly sum to meet their monthly expenses, particularly as the full state pension of £9,630 or £185.15 a week does not kick in until someone is aged 66 – the current state pension age.

Rather than making adequate provisions for a secure financial future, Britons are more focused on short-term goals that deliver instant gratification. The top 25 top life goals chosen by the nation in the Bestinvest study can be split into seven categories; with the top category of ‘Live For Today’, a key goal for almost eight in 10 (78%) of those polled, with Britons focused on short-term goals such as driving a nice car (26%) or dining in nice restaurants (24%).

After two years of being cooped indoors during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that for many in the UK a key life goal now includes travelling the world (29%), enjoying weekends away in the UK (36%) and having one great holiday every year (27%).

The second placed category is putting family first, something three quarters (74%) of Britons aspire to, whether that is the 49% who dream of enjoying quality time with their family or the 41% who want to look after their loved ones.

While this, along with the top individual goal of being happy (60%), is important, it highlights how people are focusing more on the here and now than safeguarding their futures – perhaps a reflection of the challenges of the past few years. This is why 58% of people are shifting their life goals from products or ‘things’ to experiences. But in order to have these experiences that really matter, Britons must also understand the importance of financial planning to fund their short- medium and long-term goals.

This is why, as part of a new initiative called Give Us Your Goals, Bestinvest is empowering people to reach their goals by offering to fund four people’s lifelong ambitions – regardless of what it is. Bestinvest knows the nation works hard for its money, so they are keen to offer support to help people realise their full potential.

The Bestinvest Give Us Your Goals Fund will consist of £20,000, giving four people the chance of winning £5,000 each and a consultation with a Bestinvest Financial Coach who can help the winner not only identify their goals but also how they might save and invest for them. To apply candidates simply need to tell Bestinvest about their goals and what it would mean to achieve them.

The winners will be chosen by best-selling author and TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher. Kirsty will also be hosting a brand-new six-part podcast series titled Give Us Your Goals. The series, featuring six celebrity guests, including Paula Radcliffe, Billy Billingham, Mark Foster, Terry Waite, Michaela Strachan and Babatunde Aleshe, will discuss the importance of goals in everyday life. It will be pushed out across all major podcast channels this autumn and is produced in collaboration with former BBC Radio 5 Live producer Guy Kilty.

TV Presenter and Broadcaster, Kirsty Gallacher said: “As a broadcaster I’m constantly meeting and chatting with new people, I love to know what makes them tick which is why my new podcast has been so thrilling to record.

“From finding out how an SAS hero transforms into an author to learning how an Olympic runner retains her focus on the track and on her pension, I can’t wait for everyone to hear the remarkable stories in the Give Us Your Goals podcast.”

The series will focus on the importance of goals in everyday life, inspiring listeners to achieve their ambitions by hearing unique stories from a dedicated celebrity guest each episode. From the lessons Billy Billingham learnt helping earthquake survivors in Haiti, to how losing all her money at an early age propelled Michaela Strachan to never give up. During the episodes, the guests discuss their experiences, motivations, and goals as well as the lessons learnt in their career and how they save and invest for success.

Oliver Plant, Head of Bestinvest, said: “Our research has found that pairing an investment strategy with clear life goals leads to better financial outcomes, which is why we were shocked to see so few people prioritising pension saving as a life goal.

“This is why we want to do everything we can to help people achieve their financial goals. From tuning into our podcast and catching lifegoal inspiration from our celebrity guests, to entering our competition to fund their goals – Bestinvest is here to support people across the nation to achieve their own goal ambitions and ensure they can work towards sustaining themselves adequately during retirement.”

To enter the Give Us Your Goals Fund competition, people are encouraged to head over to https://www.bestinvest.co.uk/give-us-your-goals

Bestinvest’s Give Us Your Goals Study surveyed 2,000 people across the UK between the ages of 18 to 65+. The survey was carried out by global market research firm 3Gem between May 13 to May 18, 2022.

If you would like help achieving your financial goals, Bestinvest offers a wide range of investments, free financial coaching, low-cost bite-sized advice packages, smart digital risk assessment and planning tools and competitive pricing. Visit Bestinvest.co.uk to learn more.

About Bestinvest

Bestinvest is a multi-award-winning, digital investment platform and coaching service for people who choose to make their own investment decisions but with the support of tools, insights and qualified professionals. It offers access to thousands of funds, investment trusts, ETFs and shares through a range of account types, including an Individual Savings Account, a Junior ISA for children, a Self-Invested Personal Pension and General Investment Account.

Alongside providing investors access to an extensive choice of investments, Bestinvest also offers a wide range of ready-made portfolios for people seeking a managed approach that suits their risk profile, saving them the need to select and monitor their funds themselves. These include a highly competitively priced ‘Smart’ range that invests through low-cost passive funds, as well as an ‘Expert’ range that invests with ‘best-of-breed' managers.

Bestinvest provides investors with a unique range of new features to help people better manage their long-term savings, including free investment coaching from qualified financial planners, low-cost fixed fee advice packages and advanced tools to help people plan goals and monitor progress towards achieving them.

Bestinvest is part of Evelyn Partners, the UK’s leading wealth management and professional services group created by the merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson in 2020. Evelyn Partners is trusted with the management of £59.1 billion of assets (as of 31 December 2023) by its clients, who are private investors, family trusts, entrepreneurs, businesses, charities, financial advisers and other professional intermediaries.

Bestinvest is a trading name of Evelyn Partners Investment Management Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

For more information, please visit www.bestinvest.co.uk