Over half of people (54%) don’t think their savings would last more than three months if they were out of work, research from Cirencester Friendly has revealed.
A survey of over 2000 adults by Censuswide found this is up by nearly one third from 2014 when just 41% of people felt they would struggle.
In addition, the number of those whose savings would last over six months has dropped by almost half from 31% in 2014 to just 16% this year.
Rebecca Young, head of marketing at Cirencester Friendly, said: “These findings paint a concerning picture of the finances of the population, with people’s savings today lasting dramatically less than in 2014.
“If you are unable to work due to illness or injury, the amount of money provided by the government via Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is just over £70 each week – this has decreased by nearly £30 per week in the last two years. At the same time, the number of people with long term savings has dropped by nearly 50%.”
Those aged 45 or over are increasing feeling financially squeezed. In 2014, 39% of this group said their savings would last over six months in the event of being unable to work through injury or illness, compared with just 25% in 2016.
Moreover, findings this year showed that the over 45s were also the age group most likely not so save any money each month (34%) compared with the national average of 28%.
Young added: “The over 45s are facing these pressure too – in fact more of this generation than any other age group admit that they save nothing each month, leaving them potentially exposed to financial difficulties should their regular income change.
“You can’t predict the future and there are always going to be external influences outside your control, but protecting your income, family and home shouldn’t be one of these.
“It seems we are a nation which is financially underprepared and it is essential that we know options are available to protect against the unexpected and safeguard our finances.”