18th April 2013
Older people have the highest household wealth in the country according to an analysis of the Office for National Statistics by Audley Retirement. Those aged 55-64 have higher total wealth per household than any other age group, with a median wealth of £431,000. The second highest average is for those aged 65-74, with £347,000. In total, over 55s hold 57% of the nation’s wealth.
These figures are significantly higher than the total household wealth of the younger age groups. The median wealth of those aged 35-44 and 45-54 is £187,000 and £322,000 respectively.
For the over two million 55-64 year olds that own their own house outright, the median wealth per household rises still further, to £651,000. Even in these economically straightened times, this figure is increasing, up from £567,000 in the 2006/8 ONS data.
Audley Retirement’s own research shows that not all older people are struggling financially. The research revealed that nearly three quarters (69%) of over 55s with homes worth over £300,000 are comfortable that they have enough money to see them through old age while 62% feel there is much more opportunity to do what they want as they get older, and two thirds (65%) only buy really good quality products for their homes and themselves.
Audley argues this demographic does have significant spending power and is looking for opportunities to purchase and invest: 38% of those surveyed would prefer to save their money than spend it, while 65% stated that they are looking for profitable ways to invest their money.
Nick Sanderson, Chief Executive of Audley Retirement said: “With the population of over 55s currently at nearly 17million, and rising fast, it becomes clear that we must stop using age as the determining factor when assessing people’s needs or desires.
“These ONS statistics show that there are a significant number of people in this demographic that are financially stable and therefore have the luxury of being able to choose how they spend their retirement: where they live, and how they live in later life.
“Classing over 60s as one homogenous group is condescending and detrimental, and has led to assumptions amongst government, business and society about how to address the challenges, and yes the opportunities, of an aging population. Our research has revealed that for many older people, and particularly home owners, retirement is an opportunity for enjoyment and making the most of the opportunities that present themselves. ”