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35-44 year-olds feel least financially secure

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24/10/2012
Britain’s “squeezed middle ages” need a 32% hike in income if they are to feel financially secure.

Research carried out by Aviva reveals that people aged between 35 and 44 years believe they would require an extra £612 a to feel comfortable. This age group is the most concerned (32%) about affording the cost of main household bills, like heating, water and council tax, followed by 28% of those aged 45-54.

The report concludes that while everyone is feeling the pinch right now, the over 65s are the most comfortable, saying that they would only need another £23 a month to feel secure.

Overall the income gap across all ages is £466 a month, which is a rise of 13% (£55) from the £411 revealed in Aviva’s first report in spring this year.

This shows the extent to which people are feeling financially squeezed as they struggle to cope with inflation and the difficult economic climate. As well as affording the main household bills, costs of everyday items like food and clothing (22% of 35-44 year olds) and unexpected costs like boiler repairs and car breakdowns (20%) are also major worries for the middle age groups.

Simon Warsop, business development director at Aviva, said:

“In the past six months Britain’s “squeezed middle ages” have become ever more pressured and it is interesting to note that the immediate high costs of living like paying for heating and council tax bills are a greater worry than longer term financial stability like savings and pension provision.

“For the middle age group of 35 to 44 years, responsibilities are mounting as they are more likely to have the additional costs of running their own home and bringing up a young family, resulting in a need for the most additional income, over £600 a month extra, to feel financially secure.”

As people’s lives progress, their worries change as they get older. Health is an area of concern throughout life but it significantly rises through the ages. 20% of 18-24 year olds are worried about their health, rising steadily to 50% of over 65s.

And when it comes to goals in life, there are certain things that are consistent across the age groups. Everyone rates a happy family and personal life as one of their top three goals, with it number one for all those aged over 35. But the younger age groups are showing more determination than they were six months ago to achieve career goals and start saving regularly – both rank above a happy family life for the 18-24 year olds.

Meanwhile the middle age groups say saving regularly, paying off debts and reducing their mortgage are key parts of their two-year goals. But despite the middle ages being the time of most financial pressure, as in Spring 2012, 35 is still considered the best age to be.

It is the time when people feel they will or have had the most self-confidence and happiest personal life. The report also reveals the ideal age to achieve other key life goals:

  • 18 – Get first job
  • 21 – Buy first car
  • 21 – Move out of parents home
  • 21 – Start saving for a pension
  • 25 – Buy first house
  • 27 – Get married or settle with partner
  • 29 – Have first child
  • 39 – Be at peak of career
  • 50 – Pay off mortgage
  • 50 – Have all the children leave home
  • 55 – Become a grandparent
  • 60 – Retirement

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