Over-55s reveal their bucket list

Seeing the Northern Lights, travelling on the Orient Express, and enjoying a world trip are the activities that most over-55s would like to tick off on their ‘bucket list’ of things to do before you die, according to new findings.

Around 90 per cent of over-55s have a bucket list, according to the Prudential research. The top 20 ambitions also feature swimming with dolphins, eating in a top restaurant and tracking down a long-lost relative.

13 per cent have set their sights on travelling along Route 66

Looking for adventure

However, travel dominates the list for most over-55s, accounting for seven of the top 10 most popular activities. Topping the list is to see the Northern Lights, while just over a quarter (28 per cent) dream of experiencing the luxury of travelling on the Orient Express and over a fifth (22 per cent) want to go on a cruise. Other foreign adventures on the list include visiting one or all of the Seven Wonders of the World (18 per cent), and 13 per cent have set their sights on travelling along Route 66 in America.

Take it easy

In many cases the bucket lists are far less glamorous than many would imagine – the eighth most popular choice, listed by 14 per cent of over-55s, is very simply to retire. That figure is no surprise when compared with responses to previous research by Prudential where one in 10 of those who’d planned to retire in 2015 said they’d now have to stay at work until they’re over 71 years old before they could afford to give up.

The findings showed a relatively high degree of pragmatism among the over-55s, with one in seven (14 per cent) admitting they don’t really expect to fulfil any of the ambitions on their bucket list.

Try something new

The research also shows that for some people it’s never too late to learn or to start something new. Nearly one in eight would like to learn a foreign language, and one in 12 have the ambition to write a film script or a book when they have more time.

Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “Many people view retirement as a golden opportunity to do the things they’ve always wanted to do, and our research shows a bucket list with a mix of exotic and pragmatic ambitions. Planning ahead to help achieve a retirement income that will support these ambitions is vital.

“With all the options now open to over-55s wishing to access their pension savings, a consultation with a professional financial adviser is even more important to enable savers achieve the lifestyle they desire when they retire.

“Irrespective of the recent changes to the rules, the fundamentals of pension saving remain true – saving as much as possible as early as possible during your working life is the best way to secure the most comfortable retirement.”

The top 20 retirement bucket list

  1. See the Northern Lights

  2. Travel on the Orient Express

  3. Go on a round-the-world trip

  4. Go on a cruise

  5. Visit one or all of the Seven Wonders of the World

  6. Buy a house abroad

  7. Research a family tree/contact a long-lost family member

  8. Retire

  9. Drive Route 66

  10. Swim with dolphins

  11. Learn a new language

  12. Go whale watching

  13. Visit a particular country

  14. Live in another country

  15. Go on a safari

  16. Go on a road trip

  17. Go for a ride in a helicopter

  18. Eat in a Michelin-starred restaurant

  19. Visit a jungle or rainforest

  20. Write a film or book