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Image: © TheArches via Flickr

Brits don’t care about saving for retirement. Uh-oh.

Researchers asked young Brits what they’d do with £25k, and as many would gamble with it as put it in a pension pot.

What it means: It’s pretty common for economic policies to be promoted as the best way to make us all richer. While not everyone agrees that we should focus on improving the money in our pocket above our wellbeing, the way that many economies around the world operate means that having more cash can (for better or worse) often mean having access to a better quality of life.

But research on what we’d do with a £25,000 windfall has shown that we might not use extra money in the most savvy way. Only 5 percent of adults say they’d pop the £25,000 in their pension pot, half the amount that would spend it on a holiday. And the problem is even worse for 18-24 years, who were as likely (2 percent) to say they’d blow it all in a casino as put it aside for their golden years.

Why might this be a problem? Well, at the moment all of us can expect to live at least twelve years after we stop working (the retirement age is going up to 67 from 2028, and UK life expectancy is 79 for men and 83 for women) and during that time we’ll need to pay for things like food and housing and energy bills, as well as some fun stuff. And most of us don’t have anything like enough money put aside to fund that.

Many people think the government will cover these costs, but there’s a growing worry that the state pension costs too much money to be sustainable: it already uses up 7.4 percent of our national income, and the number of retirees is growing. At the same time, our workplaces are also becoming much less generous with their pension schemes. The upshot is that if we don’t save more ourselves, we’re risking having a less comfortable old age than we’d like.

Read our explainers on the cost of living and economic decision making.

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Reader Comments

  • WhereAreTheVikings

    What a terrible, terrible shame. Western Civilization nurtured capitalism, and now capitalism is destroying it. And these young people seem to welcome the invasion of their homeland. The media and schools have been very efficient in wiping out all traces of blood and soil.

    • prollawalllynotahumanoid

      Capitalism isn’t the problem. It’s corrupt politicians taking bribes and kickbacks from Globalists and the Chinese.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        Maybe I should have said crony capitalism. Although Italians importing Chinese to make “Italian leather” shoes is not crony capitalism. It is capitalism, pure and simple.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          That would be crony capitalism and globalism combined. They aren’t concerned with the affect their policies have upon their citizens, the health and welfare of their society and culture or their economy. What it isn’t is fair-free trade to further national interests.

          • WhereAreTheVikings

            I’ve always seen them as one and the same, but perhaps they need to be named individually, just to bring home the point.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        But now that travel is so easy and borders are virtually down through H1bs and the like, theoretically you can’t blame capitalists for the pursuit of cheaper labor, although I do heartily blame them not being more patriotic than that. Perhaps the emerging nationalism will force them to voluntarily do what they should have morally been doing all along, and that is employing business practices that preserve their countries and nationalities. The government should be doing everything it can to encourage that, to the extent that small government should do anything but guard the borders and strictly, drastically, limit immigration.

      • Henry Lam

        It is China with its corrupted mindset affecting the world.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          No it is not. Capitalism is the fairest and least corrupt system of all.

          Socialism and communism is based on authoritarianism, coercion and police intimidation. It has and always will be rife with criminality, bribes and kickbacks.

          Corruption can be anywhere but it is the very basis of socialism and communism.

    • Henry Lam

      The government is too weak. They do not understand the mindset of communists and how they educate their people. Those communist people are only loyal to their country and could be dangerous. The immigration law should only accept those who accepted multiculturalism and taught from a democratic education system. This virus events clearly has shown how stupid to take China as a friend.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        The government is not too weak. Just weak-minded about some things.

  • Gabi Rodrigues

    For how many days can a country maximum close their borders to foreigners maximum? Like now, with the virus, everyone is using 30 days. Can it be more?