Money means more than health and family to over-50s

Having enough money is more important to the majority of the UK’s over-50s than their health or spending time with their families, a new survey has revealed.

More than half (56 per cent) of more than 2,000 50-90 year-old Britons chose financial stability and maintaining their standard of living as the most important priority in their lives.

Spending time with family came second – with 52 per cent making it their most important concern – while 50 per cent prioritised maintaining and improving their health and almost a third (32 per cent) put enjoying their retirement at the top of their priority list.

The responses come from the LiveMore Barometer, a comprehensive survey of the priorities of the UK’s 50-90+ year-olds by LiveMore, the mortgage lender for the over-50s.

Those surveyed were asked to tick three of the most important priorities in their personal lives from a list which included financial stability/maintaining my standard of living, family life/spending more time with my family, maintaining/improving my health, enjoying retirement, helping family financially, holidays/travel, hobbies, personal development and work opportunities.

The responses also challenged the perception that parents are happy to run “the bank of mum and dad” – less than a quarter (22 per cent) of those surveyed put helping their families with money as their main concern. And even fewer (17 per cent) prioritised holidays or hobbies (13 per cent).

However, the picture differed across the UK. In the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and Scotland, the majority of over-50s did place spending time with their families above financial security.

Those in the South East were most likely to put financial stability first, with 61 per cent doing so. They were also the least likely to help family with money, with just 19 per cent making it their top priority. Nor were the findings consistent with age – more 80-89 year-olds put family life above financial security and 70-79 year-olds made enjoying retirement their top priority.

LiveMore’s head of intermediary sales Phil Quinn said: “The findings of our survey reveal that financial stability is the top priority for people over 50, coming before their health or spending time with their families.

“However, it might be useful for brokers in different parts of the UK to know that this is not always the case. For example, those living in the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and Scotland put family first over financial security as do more 80-89 year-olds.

“As LiveMore lends specifically to the over 50s we want to understand their needs and priorities so we can tailor our products to this growing but underserved sector of the market.”