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‘Squeezed middle ages’ getting squeezed further

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The UK's 35-44 year olds are feeling the pinch as many need an extra £612 per month to feel financially secure, according to a report by insurers Aviva.

This ‘squeezed middle ages’ need an additional 32% of their income on average to offset the insecurity stemmed from the current financial climate.

The amount needed by this age group is higher than any other age group, and is up from £596 in spring 2012.

They are also the group most worried (32%) about affording the cost of main household bills, like heating, water and council tax, followed by 28% of those aged 45-54.

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.”

The results come from the second Aviva Times of our Lives Report, launched today, which details the worries, wealth and goals of UK adults.

It revealed that while the “squeezed middle ages” (35-54) are feeling the most financial strain, everyone is feeling the pinch – only the over 65s don’t require a significant monthly increase in income – just £23 a month.

Despite the strains put on finances, there are still some essentials that most people say they cannot live without. Car and home insurance top the list with 38% and 36% respectively saying ‘they’re the last things they would give up’.

Health as an area of concern rises significantly as people get older. 20% of 18-24 year olds are worried about their health, rising steadily to 50% of over 65s.

A happy family and personal life are one of the top three life goals across the age groups, with it being 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.

Simon Warsop continued: “It’s clear that some of the key goals in life may well be more achievable than others, certainly buying your first home at 25 and paying off the mortgage by 50 could be goals that will become less achievable as the family budget gets even tighter.

Despite the financial pressures of middle ages, 35 is still considered the best age to be as in spring this year.

According to Aviva, it is the time when people feel they will or have had the most self-confidence and happiest personal life.

Warsop added: “But there is an emerging trend that shows the younger age groups are now considering financial planning more than they previously were, with over a third (38%) rating saving regularly as one of their top goals.

“This is clearly a wise move as they enter adulthood with more economic constraints than ever before.”

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