Nearly half of Irish adults believe their 60s will be most expensive decade in retirement

Views expressed changed depending on how close the respondents were to retirement, survey by life insurance company Royal London Ireland finds

Survey found just 8 per cent of the 35-44 year olds surveyed expect their 80s to be the most expensive decade of retirement. Photograph: iStock

Almost half of working-age adults (45 per cent) in Ireland believe their 60s will be the costliest decade to finance when they retire. That’s according to a new survey by life insurance and pensions company Royal London Ireland.

Almost four in 10 (38 per cent) believe they will need most money in their 70s, while just 17 per cent said they believed they’ll need the most money in their 80s and 90s.

The survey of 1,000 adults, however, noted that the views expressed changed depending on how close the respondents were to retirement.

While just 8 per cent of the 35 to 44 year olds surveyed expect their 80s to be the most expensive decade of retirement, 19 per cent of those over 55 believed it would.


“On the one hand, how much we’ll need for our retirement years could be anyone’s guess – as none of us know for sure what lies ahead,” Mark Reilly, pension proposition lead with Royal London Ireland, said.

“However, by looking at our current financial situation, and what provisions, if any, we have put in place, and by considering the ‘common’ expenditure associated with later years in life, then we could all make an educated guess as to what we need to budget for in retirement,” he said.

The planned introduction of the compulsory workplace pension scheme next year will see up to 800,000 private-sector workers between the ages of 23 and 60 and earning above €20,000, who are not already signed up to a private pension scheme automatically signed up to a workplace pension scheme.

As part of its survey Royal London Ireland set out some costs that people might expect in retirement, including nursing home fees with weekly fees ranging from anything from about €1,000 to almost €3,000. The company also noted almost three in 10 (27 per cent) homeowners expect to be still paying off their mortgage in their retirement years after 65, while 8 per cent expect to be continuing to do so into their 70s.

It also highlighted the relatively high cost of healthcare with health insurance premiums costing up to €390 a month or €4,700 a year. There is also day-to-day living costs and discretionary spending.

“People often underestimate the amount of money they will need, and the amount of time they will spend, in retirement. But when you look at this list, you see that life very much goes on in retirement and with it so do the costs,” Mr Reilly said.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times