Demos carried out research during the summer of 2017 to get a better sense of how the public viewed their responsibilities in later life. We focused on the following questions:

  • What do people define as a good retirement?
  • How confident are they that they will achieve this?
  • Who is actually responsible for achieving a good retirement – the state or the individual? What combination of the two?
  • How can a good retirement be achieved?

Our research, including a survey of around 2,000 members of the general public as well as focus groups with people over 40, showed that people value health and financial wellbeing in retirement, and believe the government should provide a safety net of some sort, but most tend to agree that wellbeing in late life is a matter of individual responsibility.

Our research also found that the number of people who believe that it is an individual’s responsibility to pay for one’s care appears to be growing with time. However, few people are actively preparing to meet their potential social care costs, and a quarter of the public remain complacent and assume the government will provide care free of charge.

The full report, including policy recommendations, can be downloaded here.

This research has been undertaken in partnership with Legal & General.