Peter Pan Generation not financially resilient

Michael Lloyd

August 8, 2018

People in their early 30s, the ‘Peter Pan Generation, are putting off life milestones such as having children or buying a home, due to being one of the least financially resilient groups in the UK, LV= has found.

A quarter (24%) of the 30-35 year olds in the study, of which there are 4.7 million in the UK, felt worried about the financial impact of life milestones – double the national average (12%).

Nearly one in six (17%) said they’ve put off major life milestones because they don’t feel financially mature enough. LV= has worked with Dr David Lewis, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, to identify this group – aged 30-35 years – as the ‘Peter Pan Generation’.

Justin Harper, head of policy for protection at LV=, said: “It’s deeply concerning that many of those in their early thirties are delaying major life milestones because they feel worried, unconfident and ill prepared financially.

“And it is worrying that so few of the Peter Pan Generation can withstand the financial effects of an unexpected income shock – they have no Plan A, nor a Plan B.

“With low financial confidence and little provision to handle a financial crisis, there is a need and opportunity for advisers to help this generation with their financial planning so they feel more secure.

“When it comes to the life milestone of buying a new home, advisers are ideally placed to include protection in every mortgage conversation with clients.

“Using the LV= risk reality calculator is one simple way to transform those conversations by making risk far more personal and real, and helping ensure our Peter Pans do have a back-up plan.”

Separate research by Dr Lewis revealed that seven out of 10 of those under 35s believe their youthfulness will last forever so they don’t properly prepare for risks the future may hold.

Following on from the LV= Income Roulette report last year, the insurer’s latest study has found that more than seven in 10 (73%) of this age group fall short of the Money Advice Service (MAS) recommended amount of savings to be financially resilient.

This is compared to a national average of 56%. A further one in five (22%) in their early 30s don’t know how long they would be able to cope financially if they found themselves unable to work – for instance, due to illness or an accident.

Despite this, fewer than one in 12 working adults (7%) have their own income protection insurance in place.

Dr Lewis said: “There are multiple reasons this age group isn’t properly preparing for financial risks. A universal emphasis on the importance of ‘staying young’ means many people are in a state of denial or avoidance when it comes to facing up to the future.

“We also tend to talk within – rather than across – generational groups, which encourages us to focus inwardly on the present, not the future.

“Previously younger generations would likely inherit their parents’ estate while relatively young, but increased life expectancy means this is no longer the case.

“By not giving proper weight to their financial status, this group could be at risk of finding themselves with a significant level of responsibility without adequate financial preparation or protection.”

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