Alzheimer's is as big a retirement concern as running out of money

Concept Of Memory Loss
  • Alzheimer’s or dementia is the second biggest retirement concern for 2 in 5 people in the UK
  • A higher portion of women (45%) than men (36%) list getting Alzheimer’s or dementia as a retirement concern in the UK
  • Concern rises as people get older, 30% of millennials cite it as a concern compared with 51% of baby boomers and 58% of people in the silent generation^

As part of the international campaign to raise awareness of dementia, marked by World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September, global research reveals that when it comes to retirement people in the UK are equally concerned about getting Alzheimer's or dementia as they are running out of money.

The research* carried out by international pensions and investment firm Aegon, shows that declining physical health is the most frequently cited retirement concern across the globe. In the UK mental decline and getting Alzheimer’s or dementia is seen as more of an issue with two in five (41%) identifying it as a concern compared to around a third of people globally (35%).

There’s the same level of concern globally as in the UK about running out of money, with 40% of people identifying this as an issue.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible degeneration of the brain that causes disruptions in memory, thinking, personality and other functions. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, according to Alzheimer’s Society and the number is expected to rise to over 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2051.

The risk of dementia also increases with age, and as people on average live longer, the number of people with dementia is likely to keep rising. While not linked to age alone, and caused by diseases of the brain, the age link is reflected in the findings by a greater concern among older generations of getting the disease than younger people, with twice as many people in the silent generation (58%) expressed a concern, compared to (30%) of millennials.

The fact that women on average live longer also contributes to dementia being a disease that affects more women, with the number of women with dementia around the world outnumbering men 2 to 1#. So perhaps unsurprisingly, the research showed women in the UK were more concerned (45%) than men (36%).

Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon, commented:

“In the UK, the government needs to play its part by confirming how as a country we will fund social care in old age, whether for those affected by Alzheimer’s or beyond. It’s imperative that individuals have a clear understanding of what the government will provide and what they’ll be expected to pay if they need social care in the future. Only then can people plan ahead to address their health and wealth retirement concerns.

“The research clearly shows that health and wealth are uppermost in people’s thoughts when it comes to retirement. The fact that we’re all on average living longer is good news, but that’s only something we can fully celebrate if we have the financial resources, and good health, to enjoy it.”



^The silent generation refers to people who were born between 1925 and 1945, baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 and millennials were born between 1981 and 1996.

*The research was conducted online between 22 January and 14 February 2019 with 14,400 workers and 1600 retired people across 15 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.



Notes to Editors

As with all investments, the value can fall as well as rise and isn’t guaranteed. Customers could get back less than originally invested.

  • In the UK, Aegon offers retirement, workplace savings and protection solutions to over three million customers. Aegon employs around 2000 people in the UK and together with a further 800 people employed by Atos, we serve the needs of our customers. More information:
  • As an international life insurance, pensions and asset management group based in The Hague, Aegon has businesses in over twenty five markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Aegon companies employ over 28,000 people and have millions of customers across the globe. Further information:

*Figures correct as of August 2019