The self-employed’s inspiring vision of retirement, if only they'd saved for it

The self-employed have a flexible vision of retirement. They plan on working past traditional retirement age, easing into retirement, and fully retiring at an older age.

Report cover: Retirement Preparations in a New Age of Self-EmploymentThese findings are highlighted in a new survey report from the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement and the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies which also warns that many self-employed are not taking adequate steps to prepare for their future retirement.

"The self-employed face unique challenges in terms of saving and planning for retirement, such as irregular incomes and a lack of access to employer-sponsored retirement benefits," said Catherine Collinson, executive director of the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement and president of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. "For the self-employed, preparing for retirement requires a long-term do-it-yourself approach which many are not undertaking."

The new report titled Retirement Preparations in a New Age of Self-Employment from Aegon's Fifth Annual Retirement Readiness Survey draws from survey findings of the self-employed across 15 countries spanning Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Australia.

Key findings include:

  • Globally, 69 percent of the self-employed envision a flexible transition into retirement with many of them citing positive reasons such as staying active or enjoying what they do;
  • Forty percent expect to retire after age 65 or older or never;
  • While 60 percent have a retirement strategy, only 13 percent say it is written down;
  • Just 38 percent have a backup plan in the event that they need to stop working before they planned;
  • Only 34 percent say they always make sure they are saving for retirement; and,
  • Only 26 percent of the self-employed are very or extremely confident they will be able to retire in a lifestyle they consider comfortable.

"The self-employed offer an exciting vision of a flexible retirement which can bring continued income and enjoyment, a vision which should be an inspiration for all. However, this vision can only be achieved with adequate planning and preparation," said Mike Mansfield, Manager of Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement.

The report offers a detailed portrait of the self-employed, country-specific fact sheets, country-by-country comparisons, and comparisons with employed workers. Countries featured in the survey include: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States.