'Dream lives' for baby boomers

The UK's over-fifties are living a dream life that is envied by the younger generation but may never be attained by them, a new report has claimed.

The Freetirement Generation report, undertaken by the Social Issues Research Centre on behalf of pensions company Friends Provident, found that people in their fifties were generally unburdened by debts and were free to choose how and when they work and explore new activities.

The report said that those aged between 52 and 60 - the 'baby boomer' generation - had achieved a form of perfect work/life balance that 'Generation X' - those aged in their 20s, 30s, 40s - strive for but may never be able to afford.

The report found that 60% of respondents said that retirement has given them the freedom to do what they want with their life, while more than half said that retirement had given them the opportunity to pursue a passion or hobby.

Nearly a quarter said that they had the freedom to choose the type of work they wanted to do, while 22% said that they worked for social contact and could now enjoy work without the stress and responsibility of the rat race.

YouGov surveyed nearly 3,500 adults over the age of 35 as part of the report.

Dr Peter Marsh, author of the report at Social Issues Research Centre, said: "The Freetirement Generation is in a unique position, having lived through a period of relative economic prosperity and booming house prices which mean it now has money to spare.

"Baby boomers are an important economic force. According to some estimates, the over-50 population now command approximately 80% of the UK's wealth."

Jeremy Ward, head of pensions marketing at Friends Provident, said: "It is ironic that some of today's retirees are living the kind of life that those in their 30s and 40s can only dream of - a life of financial freedom and freedom to pursue hobbies and interests with no added burden. On the other hand, our research shows that the Generation X group is experiencing retirement anxiety.

"If today's Generation X'ers have any hope of emulating their parents or grandparents then they need to start planning for their futures now."


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