Saving for retirement is often an unwelcome and perplexing issue that people would rather deal with another day. Having conducted an international survey of views on retirement, Aegon asked us to create a personal retirement calculator, to share their key findings and to help people understand what lies at the core of the issue: the balance between spending today and saving for tomorrow.
Striking the right balance
Most retirement calculators are complicated, ask for lots of information, and give results shrouded in caveats. We knew that a more engaging tool would explain the principle behind retirement saving, and allow people to reflect on their current attitude to saving and the impact it will have on their retirement.
In essence, the question is very simple: how much to save and for how long? Judgements can be made about methods of saving, retirement age and length of life, but these factors are all far from predictable. When you choose to start saving and what proportion of your salary you put aside, are things you can assert more control over, and will define your retirement regardless of your level of income.
If you only talk about the numbers it’s not surprising that people view retirement saving as an unappetising topic. There’s a simpler and more approachable side to it: we tend to be either ‘live for today’ or ‘plan for tomorrow’ people, the imbalance of which is at the core of the issue.
Character illustrations were commissioned (Illustrator: Chris Dickason) to provide a response to users’ decisions, and give emphasis to the impact they have on the balance between living for today and saving for tomorrow. An avatar of ‘you today’ controls the level of retirement saving, and a ‘future, retired’ avatar gives guidance by responding to those decisions. As the savings are adjusted over time, your current and future selves become more or less content with their incomes, revealing the points at which a good balance between spending today and saving for tomorrow is achieved.
With a development of this nature it’s all too easy to keep adding complexity and confirming people’s fear about pension planning. But Applied Works did a great job in helping us raise awareness of our retirement readiness survey and put some fun into retirement planning.
David Francis, Head of Digital Communications, Aegon
The Aegon Retirement Readiness survey contains findings from 15 countries and 16,000 people, who either work in paid employment or live in retirement. Key facts from the survey are presented throughout the calculator, to provide perspective and help the user to contemplate their future.
Aegon Retireometer (archived)