Top 10 most Googled retirement questions over the past 12 months

Work plays a huge part in all of our lives, often letting us explore what we want to do with our years - and of course, it also helps to pay the bills.

Day by day, month by month, many of us are slowly building a little (or large) nest egg for the future. Retirement is by no means a must, yet there will come a point where everyone has the same thought.

“Should I retire this year?”

The older we get, the more this question starts to crop up. Obviously retiring is a momentous occasion, which got us thinking: what are the most Googled retirement questions?

To work this out, we used Google’s Keyword Planning tool to find out what the most common retirement questions are, and just how many people had searched for them online in the last 12 months.

Working with Kareem Rathore of Hoxton Capital Management, we then answered these questions to save you the trouble of hunting them down on the web.

So, if you’re starting to wonder if it’s time to hang up your coat and get used to morning lie-ins, we might be able to help alleviate some of the questions running around your head.

This article should not be regarded as financial advice and you should seek guidance from a financial advisor regarding your pension and/or retirement funding

1. What is the retirement age?

Our first question is a nice and simple one, with around 7,200 Google searches in the last year.

In the UK, the standard retirement age is 66. Of course, this is just the official age of retirement with regards to state pensions.

You can retire earlier if you wish, or you can retire later. Plenty of people keep on working well into their elder years.

Acclaimed British actor, Christopher Lee was still working in his 90s!

2. When did the retirement age change from 60-65?

Next on our list, with 6,400 searches, is when did the retirement age change?

For those old enough to remember, the original age of retirement was 60, but that all changed in 1995 with The Pensions Act, which essentially made it so men and women would receive equal state pensions.

Of course, as highlighted, this has since been changed again with the standard retirement age now 66.

3. What qualifies for ill-health retirement?

While many of us will be able to retire at 66 with a spring in our step, for some of us, retirement might come early due to unforeseen medical complications. This is something that concerns at least 3,000 people.

Ill health retirement qualifies as any health problem that makes you permanently incapable of continuing to do your job. This can be both a physical and/or a mental condition.

Generally, you’ll need to establish that you’re permanently incapable, showing that there are no further treatments or medication available to you that could enable your return to work before the normal pension age.

If that’s the case, you’ll be eligible for ill-health retirement.

4. What is the retirement age for women?

While we’ve already covered the official retirement age in the UK at being 66, it’s actually different depending on the year you were born.

66 is what it’s currently set at for anyone born between 1954 and early 1961.

However, if you’re a woman who was lucky enough to be born slightly earlier, your retirement age is technically 65, meaning you get a whole extra year to enjoy the comforts of retirement.

Something 2,800 people are keen to know about.

5. How much do I need to save for retirement?

Unlike our other most Googled questions, the question of how much to save for retirement is left up to you. How much money do you think you’ll need to be comfortable?

The short answer, for the 1,900 people who Googled this question over the past 12 months, is as much money as you can.

Generally speaking, the more time you have to save for retirement, the less you need to save each month. But it’s highly recommended that you also put some money aside into savings or your pensions regardless of how close you are to retirement.

Another variable is whether you save or invest. If you invest, your money will generally grow with inflation, whereas if you save your money, the purchasing power of the saved amount each year would actually be reduced by the inflation rate.

In laymen’s terms, you may find you have more money in retirement if it’s invested. Either way, it’s a good idea to start saving or investing as soon as possible.

6. What is the retirement age for men?

Unsurprisingly, you might have seen this one coming. As with the standard retirement age, the retirement age for men is set at 66.

Though for the 1,800 people Googling this question, you might be interested to know that anyone born after 1960 might be retiring at 67 or even 68!

7. What to do in retirement in the UK?

This is a very broad topic but one that’s important to answer for the 1,700 people searching for it in the last year.

Basically, once you’ve retired, you can literally do anything!

Ok, maybe not everything - life insurance might be hard to come by if you want to take up deep-sea diving when you finish work, but the point remains the same. With your savings in hand, you can do more or less whatever you want.

Many people like to travel, go on cruises, join local clubs, stay fit, learn new hobbies, and volunteer in local stores.

If you want to do something in retirement, then you should do it. After all, if you don’t do it after retirement, then when will you?

8. What is a graduated retirement benefit?

Graduated retirement benefit, or GRB, is no longer around. For the 1,300 people enquiring about it online, it used to be an early form of earnings-related pensions intended to top up a basic pension.

The total you would’ve received from a GRB was based on graduated contributions paid on earnings between 1961 and 1975.

Most of us won’t benefit from a GRB, but if you did pay into a graduate pension scheme during the above period, you’ll get a little extra bonus cash with your pension.

9. How many hours can I work after retirement in the UK?

As we pointed out in our answer to the question on what to do in retirement, you can work as long as you want.

For the 1,100 people interested, there is no age you must retire anymore, so if you want to work a thirty-hour week at the local charity shop, then you can.

10. What happens to my state pension if I die before retirement age?

Sadly, not everyone will live to enjoy the fruits of retirement. It’s not nice to think about, but it’s something we should all be aware of.

In the unfortunate case that you do die before retirement, the value of your savings is typically paid as a tax-free lump sum to whomever the beneficiary of your pension is, often your partner.

So the 800 people who have needed to Google this question can relax knowing that their other half will still be able to retire in comfort.

With all 10 of the most Googled, retirement questions answered, you should hopefully have a much better understanding of when to retire, and what you have to look forward to.

Of course, it’s always smart to have a backup plan in case the worst should happen. Having a senior life insurance policy in place can ensure that if you were to pass away before retiring, those closest to you could still live comfortably in their old age.

Get in touch with the Reassured team today to see how we can help you live with peace of mind, or check out more useful articles from our experts.


Please note, the data displayed in this article is correct at the point of publication 22/03/22

Google search data on the most asked questions concerning retirement taken from Ahrefs ‘Keyword Planning’ function. Data is based on the monthly search volume, per question, from the last 12 months and is correct as of 24/02/22

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