There are very few life changes as profound as those that come with retiring. Increasingly, science is making clear what many retirees know already: that a fulfilling and long retirement is invariably a busy retirement.
You might retire from your working age career, but the best way to enjoy your sunset years is to keep active, whether it is playing sport, creating art, being part of a community or having a second career phase.
Of course, in order to have an empowered retirement it is necessary that you make the right financial choices and if you are a UK expat in France, chances are that a QROPS will form part of your plan. Not only will your lifestyle change, but your spending habits will also follow suit.
In fact, a recent piece of research found that nearly half of all new retirees (45.9%) actually have greater outgoings in the two years immediately following retirement than they did before stopping work. Even six years later 33.4% are still spending more than they were during their working years. Interestingly, this is a trend that is not only confined to individuals of high net worth; it seems that no matter how much money you have, your chances of increased retirement spending are roughly the same.
As those expats with a QROPS in France and elsewhere can probably attest, it may be that QROPS pensions are one of the reasons that so many retirees feel comfortable enough to increase spending once they have given up work; flexible pensions give people freedom and allow for the kind of outlays – whether second homes, campervans or holidays – that are synonymous with a long and enjoyable retirement.
In fact, around one third of people between 55 and 75 say that they hope to be able to withdraw between £2,000 and £5,000 so that they can take an extended trip away, while 20% of pensioners say that they would like to withdraw from their pension so that they can make improvements or adaptations to the home.
Perhaps the biggest indicator of the shift in attitudes to retirement is to be found in the fact that many plan to access their pensions to start a business or move into a consultancy role. Finally, with younger generations struggling to buy a home, many pension aged people, including expats in France, are using their QROPS to help their children and grandchildren buy homes in an otherwise inaccessible property market.