Press Release Article

This article is intended for journalists to provide them with the latest news about Skipton.

The birds & the bees or braving the future? Parents more likely to talk to the kids about sex & relationships than retirement

7 December 2017 by Rebecca Willey

Skipton Building Society’s 2017 Retirement Tracker reveals that UK parents are more likely to broach the topic of sex and relationships with their children than retirement and later life.

  • Over half (55%) of UK parents say they have discussed sex or relationships with their child at least once whereas just one third (32%) say they have talked about retirement
  • However, over half of the UK’s non-retired population (55%) is not currently saving for retirement at all
  • Over half of UK adults not currently saving for retirement said speaking to their parents about the importance of retirement would motivate them to save more

Skipton Building Society’s 2017 Retirement Tracker reveals that UK parents are more likely to broach the topic of sex and relationships with their children than retirement and later life.

Brand new research amongst over 6,000 UK adults shows that they shy away from conversations about planning for the future. Over half (55%) of UK parents surveyed say they have discussed sex or relationships with their child at least once, whereas just one third (32%) say they have talked about retirement.

The same is also said about inheritance, with 63% who have never talked about it to their children. This is despite the fact that children are the most likely to be the planned recipients of people’s wealth (32%), closely followed by spouse/partner (29%). Religion and God (65%) and natural disasters (62%) are the other tough topics parents are most likely to broach, followed by saving (61%) and political issues (56%).

Awkward conversations and a lack of knowledge

Ironically, over half of UK adults (56%) who are not currently saving for their retirement said speaking to their parents about the importance of retirement would motivate them to save more. This also rings true with adults looking back at their own childhood - only one in five (22%) adults say their parents/guardians gave them helpful advice about retirement.

There is consequently a distinct lack of knowledge around how much people will actually need to save for the retirement they want. Over half (55%) of non-retirees say that they are not currently saving for retirement at all, despite concerns of running out of money once they stop working (49%).

Half (47%) also have no idea how much they’ll need to have saved to fund their retirement at all. But knowledge is power, and the data shows that we are more likely to take action if we know how much we’d need to save up for retirement. A staggering three quarters (74%) of those not currently saving for retirement would only consider doing so if they knew how much money they actually needed to save up.

Jacqui Bateson, Retirement Specialist at Skipton Building Society said:

“This year’s Retirement Tracker has highlighted that conversations around planning for your financial future simply aren’t happening. Parents either tip-toe around the issue of talking about retirement or it isn’t on their radar at all, in fact they’d rather have an awkward conversation around the birds and the bees than the issue of preparing for later life."

“Money has always been a difficult and sometimes awkward topic of conversation – whether discussing your savings amongst friends or retirement plans amongst your own family around the dinner table. But by not having these conversations, people are simply avoiding the inevitable and compounding their knowledge of their personal finances. Looking to life ahead, people need to have frank conversations to be able to plan better and understand the hurdles in front of them. This will enable them to better overcome them and set expectations for younger generations about the realities of retirement and possible inheritance."

“Whether it is sex, relationships, retirement or savings planning - all of these conversations are important. However, when it comes to personal finances, people really should start having them as early as possible to ensure they’re best placed to achieve the retirement they desire.”


As part of the Retirement Tracker, Skipton Building Society has partnered with personal finance blogger Lotty Earns who offers her practical guidance and tips for savers of all ages to prepare for life ahead.

I get it as much anybody, retirement is daunting, boring and seems a long way off. But you can’t ignore it. By calculating just how much you need in retirement you will help yourself start off on the best foot for your financial future.

  1. Consider how much you will actually need to fund your retirement
  2. Skipton’s data shows that half of us (47%) have no idea how much we’ll need to have saved to fund our retirement at all. But on the positive, we are also more likely to take action if we know how much we’d need to save up for retirement. Three quarters (74%) of those not currently saving for retirement would only consider doing so if they knew how much money they actually needed to save up.

    So take a morning where you sit down and do an audit of what you spend now. Of course it is tough to predict the future but looking at your outgoings now will be a good benchmark to think about that could change in the future. Think about what you will spend money on and what you won’t, this could be everything from mortgage payments to your utility bills. It will also be helpful to identify where your funds are, such as the different workplace pensions you’ve collected and how often you are contributing in the first place.

  3. Two heads are better than one – have that conversation!
  4. There’s a widely held view that we don’t talk about money and Skipton’s research has shown that parents are actually more likely to broach the topic of sex and relationships with their children than retirement and later life. However, by having these open conversations with your family and even your friends you will be able to get a better sense of how best to prepare based on what others around you are doing (especially those in a similar situation to you). Places to start could be discussing the financial products they use, the sacrifices they’ve had to make since retiring, and how they went about their own planning.

  5. Start thinking about it as soon as you can
  6. There is a £140,000 difference between how much the average Millennial and how much the average Gen Zer think they’ll need to retire comfortably. It can be more difficult to envision your future as a younger person but the most important thing is to get the ball rolling as soon as you have the money coming in.

    One way to embark on your road to planning for your financial future is to review the outgoings listed on your bank statement, or keeping a spending diary on a regular basis. An audit of your personal finances as soon as you can will reveal what you have to put away for your future.

  7. Be bold and willing to acknowledge the worst case scenarios
  8. It’s easy while you’re young to avoid considering many of the things that might affect us later in life. Poor health (52%) is the main concern non-retirees have about retirement, followed closely by running out of money (49%) – both are genuine possibilities, which should be thoughtfully considered, even whilst we’re young. It’s a good idea to map it out clearly in front of you.

  9. Use milestones to propel your retirement savings
  10. We all reach those monetary milestones which affect our income. Pay rises, inheritance, new employment and opportunities all come in waves, but we should mark them by a contribution to our retirement savings. Skipton’s Retirement Tracker reveals that over half of the non-retired population (55%) is not currently saving for retirement, in spite of concerns of running out of money once they stop working. So whether it is a one-off payment or consistent short payments to match a long term change, making a habit of acknowledging them will make a great difference to the retirement bottom line.

More information, case studies, and interviews are available on request. Please contact:

Vivi McDuell, H+K Strategies, skipton@hkstrategies.com, 020 7413 3013

Rebecca Willey, Skipton Building Society, rebecca.willey@skipton.co.uk, 01756 705955



Version Info: