Another Concerning Survey

Another Concerning Survey

If you have followed me for any reasonable time, you will have gathered that I am fairly suspicious about surveys and opinion polls, primarily due to the very small sample sizes and the eagerness to extrapolate data from, well, frankly not very much.

That said, yet another survey has revealed more of the problems that, if correct, are concerning for the country. Paymentsense (a card payment service) clearly have an insight into how people spend money. They surveyed 1000 people last month (July 2017) of all ages, whether this is a truly representative sample… well, it won’t be. However, the findings are certainly of concern.

30% of UK Have No Savings

Firstly 30% have no savings at all for a “rainy day”. Of those that had savings 21% used them for a holiday and only 17% put savings towards their retirement. Here is where I also have an issue with the line of questioning (which is unclear from what I have seen) but this could have been interpreted as using cash deposits to add to a pension (into which they may already be saving). Some people may of course be already retired and have no purpose in “saving for retirement”. In any event, a pension would be what springs to mind when asked about saving for retirement, but of course there are a huge number of ways to invest into something which will ultimately provide an income and/or capital.

Nothing in reserve?

However, the headline grabbing figure is really the extrapolation of the data. This leads to the conclusion that some 45.5m people have less than one month’s salary set aside in “savings”. The population is now an estimated 65.6m, which obviously includes children, pensioners and anyone simply unable to work and “earn” income. The current “unemployment” rate is 4.4% (for 16-64 year-olds). In short, a significant economic blip would be likely to cause significant hardship for a lot of people if they lost their income for whatever reason.

Signs of uncertainty shown in house sales

As Government continue with plans to leave the EU and a growing awareness of the likely implications for UK jobs, it would appear logical to be concerned. Hence the property market isn’t exactly booming, but property prices do continue to rise (4.9% over 12 months to June 2017) according to the Land Registry, however the number of sales continues to fall from 98,152 in August 2016 to 69,545 in April 2017. As a matter of note, the lowest number of house sales was in 32,752 in January 2009. The highest was June 2006 with 153,465 (for all the UK). If it is of interest, over the last 20 years, the average property in the UK was £65,092 in August 1997 and now stands at £223,257 (June 2017).

If you like short animated films, then Borrowed Time is a delightful one and a powerful message. Here is the trailer (almost as long as the film).

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email

Another Concerning Survey2023-12-01T12:18:26+00:00

Does social media take life and death seriously?


Does social media take life and death seriously?

The storm (or lack of) depending on your experience of it generated some interesting insights into the way we express our views. Many experienced no loss or damage, some had damage to property and a small number of people lost their lives. There were many that expressed fairly widespread sentiments that the storm was not really that much of a storm – when we compare it to 1987 or indeed other storms around the world. Whether these views were expressed well or poorly, there were a number of people that pointed out that making light of the storm was inappropriate given that some people had died.

Death is a natural part of lifematteroflifeanddeath

Certainly an unexpected sudden death is a terrible experience for the family and friends of the person that died and anyone that has experienced such a loss would not want it to be taken lightly or dismissed as irrelevant. However, I wonder if chastisements for comments about a storm are really well founded. It seemed to me that we are in danger of policing comments for fear of offending anyone at all. Death is a part of life, we all know this, but few of us live as though this is a daily reality and normal.

Have you heard about the other 1% of society?

The UK population is now estimated at 63.7million by the ONS. The death statistics (sorry I couldn’t think of a nicer term) for the UK were last published to the end of 2010. This revealed that the number of people that died in 2010 was only 1.1% of the population, of which 58% were male and 42% female. Bringing this marginally up to date, 1.1% of 63.7m people is 700,700 people a year, or to put it another way, that’s 1,920 people a day (1,114 males, 806 females) each day, every day (on average). Of course the bulk of these are aged 80 or more, but there is a reasonable difference between males and females. For more women die at an older age, or to put it another way, females live longer. In 2010 nearly 85% of male deaths were aged 60+ but 91% of female deaths. This is primarily because far more men die between the ages of 35-59 than women (12.1% opposed to 7.4%). So back to our figures of averages on a typical day, irrespective of media coverage of mass shootings, crashes, natural disasters, the law of averages in the UK suggests the following will happen today and each day.

Age Range Males Females
Under 15 11 5
15-34 22 7
35-59 135 60
60-79 464 234
80+ 482 500

I am not suggesting that these figures could not alter, but death is not a question of if, but of when. It is as natural as life itself. As a progressive society we do our best not to hasten life or take it, but death is ever present. Some will read this as a rather depressing insight… but an alternative view might lead to taking the opportunities that life affords today and living it fully. In reality these are nothing more than statistics and of course each life should be cherished,we are all more than a number. For the bean counters of you… there is a death in the UK every 45 seconds…how long did it take you to read this piece?

Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA

Does social media take life and death seriously?2023-12-01T12:38:33+00:00
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