British Savers Live For Today Rather Than Retirement

British workers are less likely to save for the retirement than those in most other countries, according to new research.

Almost one in four British workers (37%) told a study by market research firm Neilson that they will never save or invest for retirement.

That compares with 22% of workers worldwide who intend to put money aside for their later years.

More than a third of British workers (36%) who are saving retirement confessed that they doubted they would ever have enough savings to meet their financial objectives whether they stayed with their current investment strategies or not.

Despite this general malaise over retirement saving, British workers are still more confident in general about their finances than the rest of the world – with 46% confident they may save enough compared with a global average of 31%.

Why people save

The study asked 30,000 workers across 60 countries about their current and retirement saving plans, including how much they save and their preferred way of putting money aside.

In Britain, the main reasons for saving were revealed as:

  • Back-up for household emergency expenses (38%)
  • Saving for retirement (31%)
  • Putting money aside for short term goals, like holidays and luxury purchases, including cars, watches and jewellery

Interestingly, many savers are more driven to save for short term personal goals than long-term investments, like helping children at university or leaving inheritances.

Attitudes to money and savings in other countries are different, with savers elsewhere three times more likely to invest to finance children at university and twice as likely to help their children buy a home.

Lack of financial confidence

In Britain, seven out of 10 (71%) consider they will never invest or save enough to buy a second home or to start a business. Many families feel they cannot afford a new baby (69%).

The firm’s senior vice president for financial services in Europe, Eleni Nicholas, said: “The British appear to be less concerned about savings and investment than consumers in most other countries.

“British savers tend to have a couple of financial goals in mind, whereas the rest of the world seems to take a much broader view, with at least four financial objectives.

“Despite all the public debate in Britain about pensions and retirement, saving for later years is less of a priority for the British than their counterparts around the world.”

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