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Retirement Aspirations

With each new generation that reaches the retirement milestone, comes new desires, needs and expectations. We want to make sure we have a whole range of integrated retirement communities for each retiree’s taste and lifestyle, and are always planning our communities and upcoming sites to cater to our future residents, as well as our current one.

So, for the first time, we have surveyed young adults from the Millennial and Gen Z demographics to see what their retirement aspirations are for 30+ year’s time. Here is what we found…

Top five most important factors for young adults considering retirement:

  1. Living independently (44%)
  2. Having a good pension or savings for high price activities like holidays (42%)
  3. Living close to family (41%)
  4. Living in an area with good medical and healthcare provisions (40%)
  5. Living nearby to lots of shops and social venues (32%)

The importance of independent living

Independent living came out top on the list of retirement priorities, with young adults wanting to be able to live their life without dependency or care housing. This is a much higher priority for young women, who rate independent living much higher than male counterparts, with a 48% to 38% comparison.

Being able to live independently is nearly twice as important to Millennials (25-41 year olds) as it is to Gen Zers (under 25), perhaps suggesting that independent living becomes more of a priority the older you get and you strive to maintain this independent lifestyle you have created. This is why our communities champion independent living and the freedom to choose how to enjoy your time as a resident with us.

Working later to afford luxuries has overtaken early retirement

It seems the current increasing cost of living may be playing on the minds of young adults, as having a good pension or savings ranks second. Several respondents added comments on this topic, with one stating: “It’s important to have enough money in my pension that I don’t have to scrimp for the rest of my life”.

The younger generation are keen to keep working too, with early retirement not high on the agenda. Retiring before state pension age is more important than the national average to Londoners, however. Younger adults scored highest across the UK for marking early retirement as important, with one third (31%) of young adults living in London wanting to do this sooner than the rest of the UK.

The concept of working later in life supports our previous research and trend predictions. Our study in August 2021 revealed that 1 in 10 – almost 900,000 – people aged over 70 are choosing to either head back to, or stay longer in, part- or full-time work as a direct result of the pandemic.

A sustainable future

When it comes to the where of retirement living, a fifth (19%) of those aged 41 and under consider living in a luxury place or retirement village as high importance, but it is more important to a quarter of them that their retirement home is eco-friendly and sustainable (27%).

Living close to family and good shops and social venues scored highly, but these are core to our residents of today now too. This is why we strive to bring community, lifestyle and sustainability to all our current 16 sites and 1500 self-contained homes, and will continue to commit to do so to meet the aspirations of young adults with our 5,000 planned new homes across 40 new sites in the next ten years.

It’s really interesting to see what younger adults regard as important, as it differs from older generations we have spoken with before. Naturally, we did expect to see young people rate early retirement as a key factor, but actually only 1 in 4 (24%) wanted to retire before state pension age. This information is hugely valuable to senior providers like ourselves, as we can plan appropriate resources not only for current residents but for futures ones too., It’s great to understand that Millennials and Gen Zers will want to work later, meaning they will contribute to the economy for much longer too, for example.
The biggest surprise in the survey to us was how many young adults (9%) have yet to consider this stage of their lives. In men, this is 1 in 10, who have yet to think about retirement factors. This increased significantly in the Yorkshire and the Humber area, where more 1 in 4 (27%) of young adults in this area have not yet considered it! Young adults in Northern Ireland are the only regional demographic to have all considered retirement and what they want from it though, which is great to see.
Retirement comes around much quicker than any of us can imagine, so it is great to plan and prepare as soon as possible; whether this be considering key factors like where you will live or how much money you have saved for it.

- Stewart Moore​, Chief Customer Officer of Retirement Villages Group.

"We strongly urge every young adult to take the time to consider this milestone sooner than later so financial, health, geographical and social provisions can be planned for, and they have peace of mind when thinking about their future."

Research was commissioned by Retirement Villages and undertaken by OnePoll in July 2022.

The sample size was 2,000 young adults in millennial and Gen Z age groups only.
Note: millennials are defined as aged 26-41, and Gen Z refers to the generation underneath aged 10-25 (18-25 in this survey of adults only).


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