Growing old disgracefully – retirees spending their kids’ inheritance


Photo credit: Plbmak via photopin cc

All we ever seem to hear about nowadays is how to grow old gracefully and how to prepare yourself for a relaxing retirement where you can sit at home and do nothing. You never seem to hear about older people having fun and enjoying the time they’ve finally got to themselves.

But according to the research done by Into The Blue, a UK experience day company, a quarter of over 55s are now spending or are planning to spend savings which they had set aside throughout their lives for their children’s inheritance. And it seems they’re not just spending it on luxury cruises and relaxation; apparently the older generation even has an interest in taking part in extreme activities, with more than 10% saying that they’d like to try one out.

The company surveyed 1000 people aged over 55 who were split into two age groups. It would seem that those edging ever closer to the retirement age are the ones who are more willing to snatch up the fun they want to have as 28% of those 55 to 64 year olds were planning to spend those hard earned savings, and why shouldn’t they?

There are a huge amount of things to see and do around the world, and it seems that the only time we can really experience these opportunities is when we’ve finally got the time to do them: after retirement.

The results of the survey show that it’s not just the younger generation who want to get involved in all things extreme, but the older generation do too, whether that’s making an attempt to reach Everest’s base camp, snorkelling in Barbados or simply indulging in something you’ve always wanted to do at home such as experience the thrill of driving a rally car or getting the adrenaline pumping in an indoor skydiving experience.

There are numerous things to do out there, but limited time to do them all. More and more of the older generation are packing up their bags, taking an early retirement with all their savings and travelling the world while they still can. It seems attitudes have changed towards inheritance in recent years, as Money Bulldog discussed in their summary of the findings.

Jim Maitland at Into The Blue was asked to comment on the findings of the survey, he said this:

“Working full time for 45+ years can be tiring and hard. The reward at the end of your working career is retirement and enjoying any money you may have saved during that time. Many people still keep their savings for their children to enjoy, however there are now more and more people spending this money on enjoying their retirement rather than passing it on to their families who a lot of the time will be hit by tax.

“We have also found that experience days are a great option for the young and old to try something new. There aren’t any age limits on many of our extreme activities, so if you are in good health, there is no reason not to enjoy one of these days no matter what your age is. You never know, you could even find yourself a great new hobby to keep you occupied in your retirement.”

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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