Spending Today Is More Of A Worry Than Retirement

People worry more about health and finding money for day-to-day spending than they do about planning their finances for retirement.

Top of the list of concerns are personal health and the health of children, then spending, with retirement planning coming next, according to research by financial firm Scottish Widows.

The study also revealed that the issues people worry about most are also the same as those they put off making decisions about.

Just over one in five put off making plans for saving for retirement, says the firm, while around 90% of people believe having a retirement plan is important and more than a third (36%) have made no effort to save for when they give up working.

Nevertheless, one in seven told researchers they spend at least an hour a day planning or working on their finances.

Immediate gratification

Psychology professor Karen Pine, of the University of Hertfordshire, explained that many people are aware of the importance of planning their retirement finances, but are more motivated by day-to-day decisions that offer immediate gratification.

She explained that instant gratification driven by technology makes less motivated by delayed rewards, like properly planning retirement finances.

“The outcome is having a retirement strategy would cut down the stress people have about their day-to-day finances, while putting off the decisions makes the problem worse,” she said.

“Stress over money can actually make health issues worse, so failing to deal with the problem can fuel other worries people have.”

According to Scottish Widows, the top 10 worries are:

  • Personal health
  • Day-to-day spending money
  • Children’s health
  • Having enough cash for retirement
  • The health of partners and relatives
  • Weight issues
  • How children are getting on at school
  • Personal relationships and paying down debt
  • Redundancy and getting a job
  • Leaving the front door or car unlocked

The decisions everyone delays

The top things people put off are:

  • Going to the doctor or dentist about personal health issues
  • Retirement saving
  • Losing weight
  • Getting a haircut
  • Financial planning
  • Getting a job
  • Buying a house
  • Planning anything
  • Personal appearance
  • Holidays and choosing clothes for special occasions
  • Saving a deposit for a home
  • Buying gifts for birthdays and Christmas etc

Health is the top worry for 57% of people – but 28% procrastinate about going to the doctor or dentist if they have anything wrong with them.

Meanwhile, nearly one in four are worried about having enough to live on in retirement, but a fifth worry about saving with a pension and only 26% will start saving for retirement in their early 40s.

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