1 in 3 UK professionals are planning six month sabbaticals

Man at airport
By Eleanor O'Neill, CA Today

10 May 2016

New research has revealed that 31% of professionals in the UK want to take a six month sabbatical before they retire.

The survey, commissioned by Investec Wealth & Investment, states plans for travel as the most popular motive behind an extended period of leave, with over half of respondents identifying it as their main driver.

More family time was also cited by 30% of professionals asked and 25% are looking forward to taking a lengthy break between jobs. A further 18% are planning to study or learn a new skill during their time off, while 9% said their sabbatical would be enforced by their employer.

Participants are generally aiming to schedule in their break from work an average of six years before retiring.

Chris Aitken, Head of Financial Planning at Investec Wealth & Investment, said: “Sabbaticals are likely to become increasingly commonplace among professionals who are working harder for longer.  Most of us will work for in excess of 40 years so taking an extended break before retirement makes a lot of sense, particularly if we can fulfill a lifetime ambition and recharge the batteries."

Just under half of those making plans suggested that they would want the support of their employer in order to guarantee a post-sabbatical return to regular work.

The majority have apparently already started saving funds for their time away, though 29% don't intend to start putting money aside until closer to the time.

Chris added: "Taking a sabbatical of six months or more comes at a significant financial cost; paying for long trips abroad as well as large household expenses such as a mortgage, insurance and council tax can rapidly eat into savings and investments, particularly if there’s no salary coming in.

"We strongly advise everyone planning to take a sabbatical to prepare a detailed financial plan and start putting aside savings for it several years ahead in order to be a more comfortable position particularly if full retirement is fast approaching.”

More than a quarter of respondents said they will stop paying into their long term savings plan and pension during their sabbatical.

Investec Wealth & Investment is the first ever principal partner for The ICAS Conference, set to take place at the EICC on Thursday 29 September 2016.


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