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Generation of savers are lost

Generation of savers are lost

Category: Savings

Updated: 03/03/2011
First Published: 03/03/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The credit crunch has had an adverse affect on the UK's savings habits, with more and more people choosing to put nothing aside each month.

It appears that the economic downturn has turned us into a nation that shuns savings, with more than one in three adults (18 million) failing to save anything at all.

It means that that the proportion of people shunning saving has increased from 20% to 36% in the last two years alone, according to Scottish Widows.

Since 2009, an extra eight million people have found themselves unable to put any funds aside, or are choosing to spend their money elsewhere.

Middle income groups are being squeezed by rising living costs, with almost a third (31%) of people earning between £20,000 and £30,000 not saving a penny.

Of those middle earners that do make an effort to save, over half (56%) are outing 5% or less than their salary into a savings account.

But it is adults aged 45-54 that is the group that is struggling the most.

Four in ten people of this age have been unable to save anything, the highest proportion of no savers of any group – as was the case last year.

People aged between 45 and 54 often find it impossible to save as they face financial pressures from their children and their parents.

The proportion of young people (aged 18 to 34) not saving at all has almost doubled since 2009, from 18% to 33% in this year's report. This equates to 2.6 million young adults left exposed by not putting any money aside.

This group says they are focussed on paying off debt and credit cards, with 36% saying this was their main barrier to saving.

Saving no money could have severe implications on the ability of young people to meet significant financial milestones.

If people delay savings until they hit 30, they will be 44 before they can afford a deposit on a home. This is based on the annual average saving level of those that save, which was identified in the report at £2,000 and on the average house deposit standing at £28,800. Currently, the average age of a first time buyer in the UK is 30.

"It is clear that the benefits of saving, even very small amounts, are not getting through to an increasing number of people," said Ian McGowan, head of savings and investments at Scottish Widows.

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