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Brits exposed when it comes to savings

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25/07/2008

The average Briton’s savings would only last 52 days if they were unable to work, Yorkshire Building Society has revealed.  

Research published today by the society showed monthly outgoings for the average British consumer total £1,445, while average accessible savings amounted to £2,474. This means those who are unable to work for an extended period of time could be left short of cash.

Women were one of the worst affected groups, according to Yorkshire BS, with the average female’s finances set to last 46 days, while the typical divorcee would be able to make it through 35 days before running out of money.

The least exposed groups include the average widower (120 days), those aged over 55 years old (97 days) and self-employed full-time workers (64 days). The findings form part of a report called “The Protection Gap: How the UK is living on the Edge”, formed from a sample of 2,001 adults.

Yorkshire BS also found 90% of people have no personal income protection in place. While 21% said they had no idea how they would cope if deemed unable to work, 19% believed they could rely on State Benefits. However, the average weekly outgoings on respondents totalled £333.56 and the current State benefit stands at £75.40, leaving a weekly shortfall of £258.16.

Tanya Jackson, spokesperson for Yorkshire Building Society, said: “In the current economic climate, this research paints an extremely alarming picture for those consumers without any protection products in place. Finances for many are already finely balanced due to the rising cost of living and the research reveals that both state benefits and savings are not viable options for the majority of consumers to rely upon for an adequate length of time.

“It is extremely worrying to see that many Britons are ‘living on the edge’ and we therefore urge consumers to take a look at their protection needs in order to assess how they would cope financially if they were taken ill and whether they would benefit from the security that a protection scheme provides.”

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