50% of middle aged have never calculated when they can afford to retire: Aviva survey

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50% of middle aged have never calculated when they can afford to retire: Aviva survey

Over half (53%) of people in their mid-life have never calculated when they can afford to retire according to latest research from Aviva, as the insurer launches its Mid-Life MOT app to help provide consumers with essential guidance and support to improve their wealth, work and wellbeing.

More time at home during lockdown has led to a 40% increase in consumer mobile phone app usage so far this year2. Aviva's research reveals that almost three in 10 (28%) adults use apps on their phone for everyday finances, such as budgeting and monitoring spending or saving, while more than one in five (22%) use apps to improve their physical health.

Yet fewer than one in ten (7%) use apps for retirement planning, including using pensions calculators and accessing guidance on savings and investments. In fact, more people (15%) use apps for dieting than they do for retirement planning.

Those in mid-life are a resilient age-group, juggling a fuller working life, planning for retirement and contemplating the health implications that come with living longer. It’s vital that we support this age group to ensure they reach their full potential.”

Consumer use of mobile phone apps to help with future planning or 'life admin'

Everyday finances (making a budget, monitoring and spending) 

28% 

Physical health (making exercise plans and monitoring fitness) 

22% 

Community activities (chat groups, forums, researching local events) 

19%

Work (job searching and careers advice) 

18% 

Education (learning new skills) 

15%  

 

At the same time, almost a third (29%) of those in their mid-life agree that confidence in their health and wellbeing has worsened since the beginning of the pandemic and one in five (19%) of those say their work-life balance and job security has worsened. More than a third (34%) say that they are unhappy with their sleep and more than a quarter say they are unhappy with their mental health (26%), while more than 3 in 10 (32%) are unhappy with their physical health.

Despite the breadth of challenges those in their mid-life face, little action is being taken to safeguard and improve personal finances, health and wellbeing. More than half (52%) of this age group have never calculated when they can afford to retire and three in five (61%) have never requested a free state pension forecast.

Even as the labour market outlook gets tougher, two in five (41%) have not updated their CV in over a year.

Alistair McQueen, head of Savings and Retirement at Aviva, commented: "Much of the debate surrounding Covid-19 has focused on the needs of the youngest and oldest in society and there's a risk that we overlook the millions in between. Before Covid-19 struck, 45-60 was the fastest growing age group of workers in the UK - bringing huge experience, skill and potential to the labour market. However, this age group is also the most likely to be overburdened with wealth, work and wellbeing concerns. 

"Those in mid-life are a resilient age-group, juggling a fuller working life, planning for retirement and contemplating the health implications that come with living longer. It's vital that we support this age group to ensure they reach their full potential."

Aviva's free app can be downloaded here and will facilitate a MOT style check-up, providing consumers with a score out of 100 with suggested actions to take.

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.