Save, make, understand money


One in ten UK adults fear vulnerable relatives’ have lost money through poor financial choices

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

One in ten adults in the UK are worried their vulnerable relatives are out of pocket due to making poor financial decisions, research reveals.

Around half (45%) are concerned about the decision-making as their relatives get older and a quarter (23%) believe a poor financial decision had been made within the last two years.

The reasons for this concern for over a third (37%) of respondents is due to a gap in knowledge or understanding, and a similar amount (31%) believe a lack of access to advice is a contributing factor to the worry.

As well as fear for family members, almost half (49%) of Standard Life’s respondents were apprehensive over their own financial choices as they got older too, with one in seven “specifically concerned” about their decision-making ahead of retirement.

This survey by the life assurance and long-term savings company comes during Pension Awareness Week, where YourMoney.com has reported that over a quarter of UK adults knew “little or nothing” about pensions and half were unaware how much pension they were entitled to.

Cost-of-living crisis ‘has amplified’ issues with financial understanding

Reflecting on the survey’s results, Chris Hudson, retail intermediary managing director at Standard Life, said: “People are naturally always concerned for the well-being of their vulnerable relatives, particularly when it comes to financial decision-making which can be confusing and easy to get wrong at any stage of your life.

“The ongoing cost-of-living crisis has amplified the UK’s problem with low financial awareness and understanding, with people often more likely to make risky decisions when they are struggling. For example, there can be a strong temptation to use long-term savings to cover day-to-day costs.”

He continued: “As a result many people, particularly the more vulnerable, are at risk of making poor financial decisions and could become easy targets for scammers. We urge people not to struggle alone – speaking to a financial adviser or accessing financial guidance and education can be invaluable throughout life.

“The fact that financial advisers consider over a third of those who do seek advice to be vulnerable is telling – it’s scary to think how many people who are not advised could fall into this category. A collective response from providers, regulators, Government, and advisers is needed to help people access advice and empower and educate clients. Crucially, the industry as a whole needs to invest in vulnerability programmes and make sure it’s providing the flexibility needed to treat vulnerable people well.”