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NONYs just want to have fun

Robyn Hall

December 12, 2012

Independence is low on the agenda for Britons with 5 million 25-40 year olds classing themselves as financially dependent.

The new study, which refers to this particular age group as NONYs (people that are ‘neither old nor young’ aged 25 – 40) examines adults’ priorities in life. It found just under a third (32%) don’t consider themselves to be financially independent, with a significant one in ten (11%) saying they still live at home with their parents. A quarter (25%) of NONYs said their attitude to life is ‘live for the day’.

Jacqui Gillies, head of marketing at Bright Grey, said: “Times have changed and with this, priorities for different generations have shifted. In the past people were encouraged to settle down and build a secure financial foundation before starting a family. However, many people – the NONYs – have adopted a ‘live for the day’ approach to life and are concentrating on immediate concerns rather than looking to the future.

Short-term needs

For those adults aged 25 – 40 who the main priority in the short-term is keeping up with mortgage payments or rent (43%). However, once they have met this financial obligation their next concern is planning their next holiday (22%) and funding a good social life (21%). This contrasts with the 32% of NONYs who haven’t achieved financial independence and who may still view their parents as their financial safety net.

Many take a short term view that tomorrow is ‘just another day’, with 33% of NONYs saying they live hand-to-mouth each month with no savings plans or emergency fund.

Just 6% have considered whether their insurance would cover them in the event of an illness. With almost two in five (39%) individuals in the 25-40 age group renting their home, and a similar 39% with outstanding mortgage payments, many should consider whether they have a contingency plan for meeting the cost of these bills if their regular income changed.

Looking to the future

For a number of 25-40 year olds, traditional milestones are proving elusive. Significant numbers have set goals of getting married (21%), starting a family (23%) and getting on the housing ladder (29%), but haven’t as yet achieved them.

Gillies added: “It is always important to bear in mind the decisions we take now have an impact on our future, so it is vital to ensure we are protected against unforeseen events. Even those who might consider themselves without financial obligations need to consider how they would cope if their income were to suddenly stop.”


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