We are a nation of worriers

Britons spend more time planning their next holiday, haircut and shopping excursions than they do making preparations for their financial future, according to a new study by Scottish Widows, examining the long-term worries of the nation. The survey of 2,000 people conducted by One-Poll in December 2013 and January 2014, indicates that we may be trapped in a vicious circle of our own making, as the things we worry about most are also the things we tend to put off planning for.

The UK is revealed to be a nation of procrastinators with only (5%) delaying plans for a weekend food shop compared to (22%) who delay planning for retirement. 90% of people questioned in the survey think it is important to have a plan in place for retirement, yet more than one in three (36%) have no plans at all. Health is the number one worry for over half (57%) of the nation, but is also the area in which people are most likely to avoid taking action, with 28% of people putting off visiting the doctor or dentist.

The Top Ten Worries:

  1. Our own health.
  2. How much money we have to spend on an everyday basis.
  3. The health of our children.
  4. Whether we’ll have enough to live on after retirement.
  5. The health of our partner and relatives.
  6. How much we weigh and losing weight.
  7. How well our children are doing at school and their later education.
  8. Relationship with our partners and clearing debts (equal).
  9. Employment including redundancy and our next job.
  10. Whether you have locked the door to your home or car.

The Top Ten Delayed Plans:

  1. Going to the doctor or dentist.
  2. Saving for retirement and losing weight (equal).
  3. Getting a haircut.
  4. Having a plan in place for our financial future and getting a new job (equal).
  5. Buying a new house.
  6. ‘I don’t put off planning anything’.
  7. My physical and aesthetic appearance.
  8. Saving for a holiday and planning an outfit for an occasion (equal).
  9. Saving for a property.
  10. Buying gifts for an occasion.

When asked how far in advance people start planning their financial future, 39% of people admit to worrying about whether they’ll have enough to live on after retirement, but only one in five (20%) worry about whether they should actually be contributing to a pension.

Alarmingly, only a quarter (26%) would start planning for retirement 20 years ahead of time, evidence that financial planning for the majority of working people is not as high up the priority list as it needs to be!