Even though we all know that planning for our financial future should be a top priority, it's one of those things that often gets pushed towards the bottom of the to-do list. In fact, many of us actively try to avoid such things, with research from VouchedFor discovering the true lengths people will go to in order to avoid addressing their personal finances.
The research identified the tasks pre-retired people (those aged 40-55) will undertake instead of tackling their finances, with the top procrastination activities (38%) being sleeping or watching TV/Netflix. A further 26% would choose to go shopping and 25% would meet up with friends, while 24% would exercise. Unsurprisingly, there are other more enjoyable activities seen as preferable to financial planning, too, with 12% preferring to visit an art gallery while 13% would want to spend the time learning a new skill.
Some would go to even greater lengths to avoid such matters, with 21% opting to tidy the house and 18% heading outside to do the gardening. A further 17% would put a wash on, walk the dog or spend time on social media, while 14% would even do the ironing and the same proportion would make a to-do list. In fact, 10% would even watch cat videos on YouTube, which just shows how much people dislike sorting out their finances.
This reluctance is further highlighted with the finding that just 16% of those surveyed regularly seek financial advice, while 47% admitted that they've never sought such guidance, a finding that's particularly worrying given the fact that this age group will soon need to start thinking about retirement and their associated financial situation.
Pensioner poverty is a very real threat – a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggested the UK has the worst pensioner poverty inWestern Europe – so failing to prepare for this stage of live can have worrying consequences.
Lack of clarity could be a key driver behind the lack of willingness to plan, with 18% of VouchedFor's respondents admitting that they'd be more encouraged to organise their finances if the savings in doing so were clearer, while 16% said they'd be more likely to get involved is the process was simplified. However, there are a few key trigger points that would encourage people to seek advice, such as reaching a major life stage (23%) or being made redundant (22%), so all may not be lost.
Adam Price, managing director of VouchedFor.co.uk, said that "facing up to your finances can be daunting, but delaying it can leave people considerably worse off" – which is why it's so vital to get organised. Indeed, you may not want to leave it until the pre-retirement stage either – a comfortable retirement depends on having a decent pension pot, which is why pension planning should be at the top of the agenda from as young as possible. Don't procrastinate, take action!
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