These ‘Nevertirees’, as the report calls them, "are very actively engaged in what we would traditionally regard as their retirement years, continuing to work, starting businesses and taking on new projects.
"For many, their work is their passion, and to stop would be unthinkable.”
Importantly, some of the most determined Nevertirees live in emerging market countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa (see tables, below), where social attitudes towards retirement are significantly different than in such retirement-favouring countries as Japan, Spain and Switzerland, the report points out. This is largely due to historical factors, as well as the extent to which retirement has been mandated by some governments.
“Europe has now had five decades or more to adapt to the notion of provisioned-for retirement at around age 65,” the report says. “In contrast, this concept does not have deep roots in many emerging market economies.”
The presence of Hong Kong and Singapore towards the bottom of the Nevertiree global league table is explained by the fact that both countries have long-established mandatory retirement savings plans.
More than 2,000 HNWIs surveyed
The 36-page report, called The Age Illusion: How the Wealthy are Redefining Their Retirement, is the twelfth in the Barclays Wealth Insights Series, and is based on a survey of more than 2,000 high net worth individuals around the world.
It “considers what retirement means to today’s wealthy”, drawing on insights from both wealthy entrepreneurs and “leading thinkers” in order to come up with a view of “what this later stage of life looks like”, the reports authors say in their introduction.
Increasingly, wealthy individuals in good health “can often be found using their retirement years to start a new career, set up a business or to consult in their specialist field", the report notes.
“As a result, the notion that an individual should cease working at a pre-defined age is more of an illusion than a reality…even those who are financially able to maintain a luxurious lifestyle through an extended period of retirement are often choosing not to do so.”
One question that some at the corporate board level among others may wrestle with, the report goes on, is Nevertirees who outlast their welcome.
While the corporate sector “will gain from [these nevertirees’] experience at the board level”, some “may worry about how to get [some of these] individuals eventually to step down”.
The report was researched by Ledbury Research during the first half of 2010 and written in conjunction with Barclays Wealth, the UK’s largest wealth manager, which also has offices in more than 20 other countries. It drew on expertise from a panel that included Matthew Brady, head of Wealth Advisory for Barclays Wealth Americas; entrepreneur Gordon Gibb; Dr Sarah Harper, a professor of gerontology and director of the Oxford Institute of Ageing at the University of Oxford; and Dr K K Tse, founding chairman of the Hong Kong Social Entpreneurship Forum.
To view the report, go to www.barclayswealth.com/insights.
|TOP FIVE COUNTRIES||PERCENT|
|United Arab Emirates||91%|
|BOTTOM FIVE COUNTRIES||PERCENT|