Perspectives on Financial Retirement Planning across Age Groups

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Population aging challenges the sustainability of pay-as-you-go pensions. Policy recommendations have suggested that individual funded pensions should be used for additional pension security. This would require people to financially plan for retirement at an early stage, because funded pensions need to be accumulated in advance. This study investigates how pension security concerns shape financial retirement planning across age groups. For this purpose, 32 people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s were recruited for semi-structured interviews on retirement planning. Qualitative content analysis was performed. The study shows how pension concerns contribute to a perception of increased personal responsibility over pension security, but perceived risks were also dismissed. Younger interviewees were concerned about pension security but rationalized postponing financial retirement planning through risk-neutralization techniques. Financial planning was also shaped by family obligations among older interviewees. The study points to reasons why people may postpone retirement planning to a non-optimally late age.