Supporting extended family puts pressure on UK’s squeezed middle

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  • Nearly two in five (37%) women in the UK aged 25 to 44 have financially supported another family member outside of their immediate family in the last year
  • Yet, 46% of this age group have no financial protection in place should they be unable to work due to illness or death
  • A quarter (25%) of this age group say their savings would only last between one and three months

Nearly two in five (37%) women in the UK, aged between 25 and 44, have financially supported another family member who isn’t their child or partner in the last year, according to new research from Aegon UK. The latest findings of the ‘Protection matters: does women’s financial planning match their priorities?’ report highlights that of this group a quarter (27%) having given money to either their own parents or their partners’ parents in the last year, and a further 10% financially supporting another family member.

This squeezed generation of women are already likely to be under significant pressure both financially and in their day-to-day lives, without the additional burden of supporting their loved ones. Some 38% have monthly mortgage payments to meet and a further quarter (27%) have rent to pay. Women aged 25 to 44 are also known to be under greater stress than both their younger and older counterparts*, with many facing important life decisions, from family planning to considering the cost of long-term care for their parents, or how to save for a home deposit or retirement.

On average, monthly household running costs for 25 to 44 year olds total £1,368 and with 37% of these women financially supporting another family member it is likely there will be significant pressure on their monthly income.

Despite these great responsibilities, many of these women aren’t taking the necessary steps to financially protect themselves and their loved ones, should the worst happen. Worryingly, nearly half (46%) of 25 to 44 year olds don’t have protection insurance. This means they’re lacking the safety net that could support them financially should they fall ill and be unable to work to provide an income for themselves and their loved ones.

If they were unable to work for six months or more, 43% of women in this age bracket would rely on their own savings to meet financial commitments. However, a quarter (25%) of women aged 25 to 44 believe that their savings would only last between one and three months, and a further 21% can only see their savings lasting up to six months. If these savings had to stretch to support other family members, in addition to themselves, it’s likely they wouldn’t last as long as they estimate.

Stephen Crosbie, Protection Director at Aegon said: “Women today have a great burden of financial responsibility, with their income being heavily relied upon for, not only day-to-day expenses, but also supporting their wider family members financially. The problem comes when this income drops unexpectedly, however the reality is that unexpected illness or accidents occur every single day. Putting protection in place can act as a vital financial safety net, ensuring that bills and mortgages are paid. While the protection itself won’t support other family members directly, it takes the pressure off meeting monthly expenses which in turn enables people to continue supporting their loved ones, even if they’re unable to work. It’s important to remember that this peace of mind doesn’t have to cost a lot − for as a little as £7.01** a month, women can be safe in the knowledge that should the unexpected happen the financial burden is taken care of.”

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The survey was conducted using an online interview conducted with members of the Censuswide GB panel. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Censuswide plc. Total sample size was 2,051 women, with a total of 1,012 business women which was quantified as a senior manager/professional, director and business owner. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10 and 23 August 2016. The question about women’s priorities in life was re-run between 5 and 11 October 2016.

*Work-related Stress, Anxiety and Depression Statistics in Great Britain 2016. (Page 6)

**Based on a healthy non-smoking 35 year old taking out a £90,000 life insurance policy over a 25-year term

About Aegon

  • In the UK, Aegon offers retirement, workplace savings and protection solutions to around two million customers and employs approximately 2,100 staff. Aegon UK’s revenue generating investments totalled £59 billion as at 31 December 2015.
  • As an international life insurance, pensions and asset management company based in The Hague, Aegon has businesses in twenty markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Aegon companies employ over 29,000 people and have millions of customers across the globe as at June 2016. Further information:
  • Aegon is the Lead Partner of British Tennis.

Further information

Stephanie Melrose

PR Manager
Tel: 0131 549 6743 / 0774 089 7621

Aegon is a brand name of Scottish Equitable plc. Scottish Equitable plc, registered office: Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh EH12 9SE. Registered in Scotland (No. 144517). Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Financial Services Register number 165548. An Aegon company.

© 2017 Aegon UK plc