SEB survey: current pension is not sufficient for travelling or leisure activities
While summer is considered a time for holidays and travelling, current pensioners do not have such an opportunity, according to a survey organised by SEB. Vast majority of respondents considered that current pension is not enough for travelling abroad and locally, visiting cultural events, engaging in hobbies and sports activities.
More than half (53%) of old-age pension beneficiaries said their pension was not sufficient for summer trips abroad, while 15% said it was rather not sufficient.
Half of the respondents also cannot afford to travel in Estonia (31% say the pension is not sufficient at all, 26% say rather not sufficient).
Only 1% of respondents felt that their current pension allows them to travel abroad and 6% that their current pension is sufficient to travel around Estonia.
Only 5% of pensioners find the pension to be sufficient for attending cultural events such as theatre performances or concerts. A quarter of respondents cannot afford cultural events.
Pension is considered sufficient for hobbies such as gardening or handicrafts by 10% of respondents. Family get-togethers are in the same order of magnitude, with 10% of respondents saying that pensions are sufficient for family events. 17% of pensioners cannot spend their pension on hobbies and 14% found it was not enough even for family events.
Sporting activities, whether swimming, dancing or cycling, also take a back seat in retirement because of money – 15% of pensioners do not have enough money for these activities. Only 4% of respondents consider that their pension is sufficient for sporting activities.
Similar results for the three Baltic countries
The survey was conducted in three Baltic countries with similar results: 5% of Latvian pensioners had enough pension money for trips abroad, 8% in Lithuania. 22% of pensioners in Latvia and 13% in Lithuania can afford to travel at home. In both Latvia and Lithuania, only a fifth of retired people said they had enough pension money to pursue their chosen hobbies.
According to Peeter Schamardin, Business Development Manager at SEB Varahaldus, the recent news of rising life expectancy is encouraging. But this also means that more and more people will have to manage for even longer on less than the income they were used to when they were working.
"A sharp drop in income when retiring affects the quality of life, and people are often unable to continue with their usual leisure activities.
To maintain financial independence in old age, it would be wise to start thinking about the future today. The earlier you start saving, the less you have to set aside each month because the money you accumulate can continue to grow," says Schamardin.
According to Statistics Estonia, the average pension in the first quarter of this year was 616 euros, while the average gross monthly salary was 1741 euros.
SEB organised the survey in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in June 2023. The survey was conducted by Norstat; in Estonia, 180 old-age pension beneficiaries responded to the questions.