The average retiree saves just £1,343 for emergencies

The average retiree has just £1,343 put away for emergencies, according to research into the finances and lifestyles of retired people. Despite a lifetime of working, more than half the 1,000 retirees studied by financial services firm MetLife said they'd be “stumped” by unexpected expenses such as house repairs, specialist medical care or car problems.

Strife after work

And they don’t get long to enjoy their retirement once they stop work. The survey found the ‘retirement glow’ can last up to 13 months – the average time given by respondents before the novelty of being retired wore off.

The ‘retirement glow’ can last up to 13 months

Around one in five retired respondents said they had less than £500 set aside for unforeseen expenses, while the same number said their day-to-day finances are far from comfortable.

A disillusioned one in five retirees said life is much harder after finishing work than they imagined. Finances prove the trickiest aspect to manage, while boredom is the second biggest barrier to retirement happiness, results showed.

Money worries

Just under half of the retirees surveyed said worrying about money was a common occurrence. And a fifth said they aren’t financially comfortable day to day.

Perhaps that’s why one in ten retired people in relationships fall out with their partner over money worries- with the rising cost of energy bills the most likely item to provoke an argument, followed by spending on food and grocery items.

While more than half of those polled were unsure as to whether they could cope should they be faced with a big unforeseen expense such as healthcare costs or home repairs. In fact, one in seven said they simply wouldn’t be able to cope with any unexpected increase in their expenditure.

Standard of living

The average respondent was found to be living on £297 a week, yet one in eight were getting by on less than £100 per week. And unforeseen expenditures really take their toll - as many as a quarter had experienced a ‘financial nightmare’ which threw their finances into disarray.

More than a quarter of the 1,000 retirees polled said their standard of living had decreased since retiring. Just 12 per cent said life had got better since quitting work, while six in ten notice no change in quality of life either way. The findings are displayed in the infograph below.

  • Use our top tips to boost save those precious pennies in later years here. Plus if you're struggling to make ends meet, read our article to the financial support available here.