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Life begins at fifty-five!

New study reveals how the over 55s are planning to live life to the fullest in a post-pandemic world.

We have all heard the phrase ‘life begins at forty’ but according to new data1 by Royal London, it may seem we were well over a decade out – life now actually begins at 55! This new study by Royal London reveals the top travel destinations for over 55s, how they plan on spending life post lockdown, and the factors that have held them back from achieving their dreams to date. 

With the world being in lockdown over the past year, Royal London polled Brits aged 55+ on how they plan to spend life post lockdown, as well as their top goals/dreams. Having analyzed the results, it seems a staggering 64% of over 55s are planning to travel more in a post-pandemic world.

Whether traveling for a holiday or achieving that lifelong ambition, the study has revealed the top bucket list items for those aged 55+:


Top activities/experiences people want to experience  % of respondents
See the Northern Lights 53%
Travel on the orient express 42%
Visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World 36%
Live/buy a house abroad 25%
Go on Safari 22%
Take a hot air balloon ride 20%
Go to a major sports event e.g., Wimbledon 20%
Drive a supercar 16%
Volunteer for a charity 13%
Go to a festival 13%

What has held the over 55s back from achieving their goals?

Nearly half (43%) of over 55s say they will regret not achieving their bucket list items if they fail to complete them. When asked why they’re yet to achieve their lifelong goals, respondents listed lack of money, work commitments, and family commitments as the top three reasons.

The full list of reasons that have held respondents back are as follows:

Top factors that held respondents back from achieving their dreams


 % of responses
Lack of money


Work commitments


Family commitments


Poor health


I just never got around to planning them


I never found the time


I didn’t know where to start



Commenting on the results Louise Eaton-Terry, later life lead at Royal London, states:

“Travel and new experiences are high on the bucket lists of over-55s post-pandemic. The research also shows that nearly half would regret not achieving their bucket list, with the lack of money or work and family commitments likely to be the reason for them not achieving their goals.”

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About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £148 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and more than 4,000 employees.


Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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