The Beatles released their song 'When I'm Sixty Four' in 1967 and as we approach Valentine's Day many of the lyrics are still very apt. But they are also apt when looking at this latest research from NOW: Pensions which shows that whilst most people would like to retire at age 61, most feel they won't be able to afford retirement until age 64. 

Whilst we are seeing increasing longevity, rises in the state pension age and messages from the government, employers and many age-related organisations encouraging those wanting to work later in life, many people do still want to retire in their early 60's. However, they feel the affordability of retirement is holding them back to age 64.

Workers who don't want to be in work is neither good for them nor for their employer. So how can this retirement gap be fixed?

Education, modellers and advice provides a solution. Sometimes, retirement is affordable sooner than people think but without the right guidance, people may not know this. Many areas of spending change in retirement; some go up and others go down and the use of budgeting tools together with education and access to advice can help understand this. 

Financial advisers often see people who are planning for retirement but don't have a fixed date in mind because they are concerned they won't be able to afford to retire when they would really like to.  An adviser can work through the numbers but can also discuss what's really important to the person in their retirement, helping them to think clearly about their priorities, what's essential and what's not. Good advisers are there to see how they can help people achieve their life goals with what they have and talking through their different choices. 

Education throughout someone's career, and especially in the 15 years ahead of retirement, can help people to understand the things they can do to help themselves to get into a better position at retirement and to give them a sense of control and a plan to work towards. 

Choosing whether to retire or whether to continue working should be down to individual choice not necessity.