You may not feel wealthy, but the fact is if you are over 55 years old, you are one of the richest generations ever in Britain.
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A new study has revealed that the over 55s approaching retirement and those that have recently given up work are in their golden financial days.
Statistically, they have fewer debts, own their own car and have probably paid off the mortgage on their home, giving them a higher net worth than any previous generation.
This healthy financial position means the over 55s can spend more on holidays and hobbies, while generally worrying less about paying bills as they have a high disposable income.
The research, by Skipton Building Society, looked at the income and expenses of more than 2,000 people aged over 18 to come up with the results.
And while the over 55s are the golden generation, those aged 18 to 24 are their poor cousins as they struggle to find a job – and even if they are in work, they earn low wages.
High property prices and the tough restrictions on mortgages also mean younger generations have difficulties in buying a home, which reduces the likelihood of them having a high net worth in the later years.
Ian Cornelius, commercial director at the building society, said: “The over 55s are reaping the rewards of years of hard work and spending to bring up a family and are a shining example to younger generations who may believe they will never be able to afford to do the same.
“But the truth is they can if they work and save hard over the years.”
It’s a financial fact of life that every generation is better off than the one that has gone before so, explains Cornelius, there is no reason to believe that those under 55 will not have their own golden years as they end their working lives.
The survey disclosed the over 55s take home an average £20,587 a year after tax, which is £7,000 a year less than those aged 35 to 44.
The difference is they spend less on loans each month – £150.37 compared to £199.52 paid by those aged 35 to 44.
They also spend less on leisure, like the gym or cinema, don’t drink as much and spend less on socialising.
Around 60% of over 55s have the cash to book a foreign holiday, but only a quarter of younger adults can do the same.
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