Friday, November 29, 2013

Are Baby boomers Happy with Their Financial Life?

According to a new study, 80% of over-fifty reporters are citing high levels of financial well-being, but younger generations are not so optimistic.

A global study of financial satisfaction has found older Britons to be happier than their French, German, and American counterparts. This research, collaboration between scholars at Bristol University and The International Longevity Center, must be read in the correct context: the current political agenda is focused on the financial struggles of the middle- and lower-classes, who must grapple with rising energy bills and other problems.

The controversy surrounding the baby boom generation and whether or not they are benefiting from a range of financial factors that younger generations will not have access to is one that has been hotly debated for some time. Earlier this year, Richard Chartres, the acting Bishop of London, said that baby boomers are a fortunate generation. But whether it is just a matter of luck has yet to be determined.

In any case, the numbers speak for themselves. In Britain, eighty percent of people over fifty reported that they are satisfied with their financial situation, putting the United Kingdom in seventh place among fifty-six countries. Beating out Britain were Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland, which was at the top of the list; it reported that almost ninety percent of its over-fifty population are satisfied with their financial situation. Sixty-five percent of same age group reported being satisfied in France; for Germany, it was sixty-one percent, and for the United States, sixty-four percent. Only two-thirds of Britons under the age of fifty report feeling as satisfied as their over-fifty counterparts.

Professor David Hayes, who is in charge of the project, reported that the United Kingdom showed a substantial different between financial satisfaction of different age groups. For example, the international average of financial satisfaction among individuals aged from sixteen to forty-nine is fifty-two percent, which is slightly lower than the percentage reported by those above fifty. In the United Kingdom, however, these numbers are different enough to merit a second look: only two-thirds of those under fifty feel the same.

Part of an on-going project between the Personal Finance Research Centre at Bristol University and think tank ILC, this dataset includes twenty-five thousand reports from participants from across fifty-six countries. That being said, the information will be mined further for a more clear understanding of what these satisfaction levels mean and imply. And its implications are nothing to underestimate: people over sixty-five spend more than one hundred billion pounds per year, which accounts for almost fifteen percent of international home expenditures. 

Nevertheless, the increase of financial pressures as people age, for things like health care, can have significant effects on their quality of living with many struggling to get out of debt before retirement age. Representatives of the study want to emphasize the importance of keeping policy-makers informed of the risks and threats facing people over fifty and over sixty-five the world over.

About Jonathan Matthews

Jonathan Matthews has over 15 years experience working as a senior debt advisor for some of the most prestigious debt management companies in the UK. Jonathan has been helping people get out of debt, is well respected within the finance industry and enjoys blogging and sharing news regarding debt and finance.
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