This article examines the extent to which cognitive abilities relate to differences in trajectories for key economic outcomes as individuals move towards and through their retirement. We look at whether differences in baseline numeracy (measured in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing in 2002) and broader cognitive ability predict the subsequent trajectories of outcomes such as wealth, retirement income and key dimensions of retirement expectations. Those with lower numeracy are shown to have different wealth trajectories both pre and post-retirement than their more numerate counterparts, but the distributions of retirement expectations and net replacement rates are similar across numeracy groups.