Brits fail to plan financially for the future

Nia Williams

April 19, 2011

The latest research from Standard Life reveals that people in the UK are not planning for the long term, with more than one in six (17%) failing to plan their finances at all.

The research, which looks into the UK’s fascination with living for now, finds that almost half of us (45%) only plan our finances just a year ahead, or less, with only a fifth of us (22%) planning up to five years into the future.

Alarmingly, only one in six people (16%) plan more than six years ahead which underlines the real necessity for the UK to start addressing their long term savings plan. Doing this is critical if they are to be financially secure, achieve their future goals and live the lifestyle they want.

Of the UK regions, it was found that those from London were the top financial planners, with one in six (17%) planning six years or more ahead. In contrast, those from Scotland came out as the least likely to make long term financial plans, with only one in ten (11%) planning more than six years ahead.

To find out more about the nation’s attitudes to planning for the future, this week Standard Life is launching a UK-wide poll and prize draw and linking up with boutique hotel specialist i-escape.com. Entrants have to vote on which prize they would prefer; a short break this year with accommodation from i-escape.com, or a holiday of a lifetime in five years. The results, will show whether people in the UK favour instant gratification or greater long term rewards.

This issue of desiring instant gratification presents an ongoing challenge for the UK because people are living longer and their financial security cannot be guaranteed. It also represents a huge challenge for providers and advisers who are keen to help consumers plan ahead so they can look to the future with confidence and optimism.

Bruce Kelsall, group and UK marketing director at Standard Life, said: “The growth in our ageing population has created a dramatic need to shift from a culture of spending to one of saving. People are completely comfortable making financial plans for a summer holiday; planning and investing in your future is no different.

‚ÄúPeople may have to finance their lifestyle up to the age of 90 or even longer and while planning for this eventuality is essential, it needn’t be stressful. Even the smallest actions now can have a dramatic effect on your long term finances.”

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