When should you retire?

British people are working harder than ever, often working long hours, travelling for work and enduring lengthy commutes. This combined with the increasing retirement age, means more people are beginning to consider early retirement.

Is 55 too early to retire?

Of course not.

Early retirement was once considered a luxury that only the very affluent could afford. Now though, despite the average retirement age creeping up, many more people are putting their leisure and quality of life above work, especially in later years. One particular consideration for people is of course how much you need to spend during retirement…

What does retirement cost?

According to a 2018 study by Which?, the average UK couple spends £26,000 a year on a comfortable lifestyle in retirement and up to £36,000 on a more luxurious lifestyle during their retired years. Based on a retirement age of 65, state pension can cover as much as half of that expenditure. If you consider early retirement though, that cost can increase considerably.


Downsizing your home is one way people acquire more money to live on in retirement. By moving to a more conservatively sized property, many people release equity to then spend on… well, themselves. And rightly so!

Retirement age does also vary depending on the role at the time of retirement. Directors and CEOs often keep their hand in the game until well into their 70s, whilst still making the most of a more active lifestyle and frequent travel plans. In contrast, workers with a trade-based role tend to retire earlier.

What is the retirement age in other countries?

In Australia the average retirement age for men and women is 54. In South Africa and much of Europe it’s between 60 and 62. In the UK, on average British people are retiring at 63, a couple of years before they can officially draw their pension. In contrast, retirees living in Ireland, Japan and Mexico tend to work into their early 70s.

Enjoy your retirement

Retiring early also means, for many, that the golden years are still ahead of them. Full of vitality, many older people find themselves holidaying across the globe, dining out more, joining health clubs and classes and taking up a new hobby or skill. Any care needs do not stop people in this day and age. There is care available to ensure that older people have everything they need at their fingertips, whilst they go about their often very active lives.


The expression “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” (an awful expression!) is completely untrue. Retired people all over the world are trying new things, learning new technologies and travelling to places they may have never before dreamed of visiting.

John Freeman from Buckinghamshire is 80 years old and is about to set off on a month-long Caribbean cruise this summer. Last year it was Jamaica and just a few months ago, Gran Canaria.

“This is what I worked for all those years. I can’t believe what I’m experiencing! We enjoy our holidays and dancing.”

Now of course not everyone is able to travel the world, and in some cases, they don’t want to. Care needs can limit your activities, but they certainly shouldn’t limit your quality of life or your happiness. At Audley Villages we have a dedicated Care Team for everything from companionship to round the clock care, plus a physiotherapist, swimming pool, gym, treatment rooms, fitness and dance classes and a personal trainer on site… so you can do as much or as little as your heart desires.

Find out more about downsizing in retirement...

Discover more about Audley Care in your own home and remaining independent for longer.