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Dolce vita? Not everyone's idea of retirement -survey

Written by: Staff
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PARIS, April 26 (Reuters) British and American pensioners love to travel abroad, Germans plunge into sport, Canadians into charity work and the French go for gardening, while the Italians and Spanish are more prone to do nothing when they retire.

That is the conclusion of an international survey carried out for French insurance group Axa in industrialised countries where greater longevity is expected to create a squeeze on retirement funding in the decades ahead.

Japan, one of 11 places surveyed, was the only one where a majority want to work beyond a legal retirement age of 61, said a statement accompanying the survey, which covered nearly 7,000 people.

Elsewhere, most people would like to leave years before the legal retirement age, which varied from 58 to 63 in the examined locations -- the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.

The survey said Britons and Americans were most likely to go on prolonged foreign holidays. Germans also liked to travel, but more preferred sporting activities.

Spain was the country with the highest number of pensioners saying they do nothing, at 21 per cent, followed by the Italians, according to the survey, conducted between July and September of last year by GfK, a market research outfit.

Neither the Spanish nor the Italians look at retirement very positively, associating it with sickness or death in contrast to Britons, Americans, Canadians or Australians, who tend to see it more as a time of long-awaited freedom.

The survey described the Japanese as ''retirement-allergic'', saying 40 percent of them pursued paid work after retirement, which was 10 times as many as in France.

REUTERS KD PM1122

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