Squeezed middle hope to save £80k for loved ones, yet a third aren’t saving

10 February 2020


  • Almost a third of adults aged 50 and over aren’t putting money into savings accounts
  • Of those who do save, 84% admit to dipping into funds
  • Over a quarter blame unexpected bills as a reason they dip into their savings

Adults aged 50 and over are aspiring to save £80,000 for their loved ones, yet a fifth (22%) don’t currently save and a further tenth (8%) don’t even have a savings account, according to a new Co-op Insurance study conducted among 2000 UK adults aged 50 and over.*

Of those adults aged 50 and over who have saved, almost a tenth (9%) say they have less than £1,000 put aside, a fifth (17%) have less than £5,000 saved and a quarter (23%) have less than £10,000 saved.

For those who do save, it’s evident that despite wanting to leave savings for loved ones, the temptation of dipping into savings accounts is very common among adults aged 50 and over.

Over four fifths (84%) have dipped into their savings at some point and in the last month alone, over a quarter (27%) have accessed their savings.

Over a fifth (21%) of those who have used money from their savings did so to go on holiday, a fifth (20%) used the money for home refurbishments and over a tenth (13%) bought a car.

Furthermore, two fifths (40%) of adults aged 50 and over who have a savings account said they had to stop saving for an extended period of time, rising to almost three fifths (58%) for adults aged 50-54.

When asked why this was, over two fifths of those who had to stop putting money into their savings account for an extended period of time (44%) said that other outgoings took priority, over a quarter (28%) had unexpected bills to pay and almost a fifth (19%) said someone in their family needed financial help, so they gave money to them instead.

Almost a fifth (18%) paid for a holiday, a sixth (15%) said paying for Christmas took priority and over an eighth (14%) paid to get their car fixed instead.

The research comes as Co-op Insurance launches it’s over 50s life insurance plan, which allows customers to leave a lump sum up to £10,000 for their loved ones when they pass away.

Charles Offord, Managing Director at Co-op Insurance said:

“We know that so many people hope to leave lump sums to their loved ones when they’re gone, but in reality, that’s not always possible. The majority of people with savings do at times dip into them in order to cover other outgoings and life events.”

“We see our new Over 50’s plan as a means to which people can affordably and flexibly save nest eggs to leave to their loved ones when they pass away.”


Notes to Editors

*All figures unless otherwise stated are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2003 adults aged 50+. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17-20th December 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 50+).

Media Contact:

Emily Penkett, Emily.penkett@coop.co.uk / 07738 621 201

About Co-op’s Over 50s Life Insurance

Co-op Over 50 Life Insurance is a life insurance policy that has been shaped by Co-op members in partnership with Royal London. The life insurance pays out on death which can help relieve the financial burden on those left behind. Everyone is guaranteed to be accepted if a UK resident and aged between 50 and 80.

The plan includes protected pay-out ensuring that loved ones will receive some payment from the product even if all the payments have not been met. Furthermore customers will be entitled to payment holidays meaning customers can take a break from monthly payments up to 6 months twice over the life of the policy.

About Co-op Insurance

Co-op Insurance is part of Co-op Group, one of the world’s largest consumer co-ops, owned by millions of members. Alongside Co-op Insurance, we have the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the UK’s number one funeral services provider, and a developing legal services business.

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes.