Friends Life are running a campaign or series called “Visions of Britain 2020” that attempts to reveal some of the financial trends that are happening here in Britain. I hadn’t heard it before, but was introduced to the term “Coping Classes” which Friends Life define as a middle-income group earning a total household income between £25,000-£50,000. Apparently this group make up 1 in 5 of the population (which by maths is 20%). Friends Life translate this as 8m people, but my understanding is that the UK has around 60m people, so 20% would be 12m. Perhaps they are only considering those earning money or having an income, which would exclude most children…but then why use terms like “household”? anyway their website has a lot of statistics, which on the face of it are certainly enlightening, but I’m afraid that I’m fairly cynical about most surveys and particularly those that attempt to extrapolate data and read trends across the entire UK.
Anyhow, some points to consider – something like 59% of this group would not be able to provide for themselves and any dependents for longer than 6 months if they lost their main source of income. 79% would not cope beyond a year. 80% of them have some form of debt (probably to be expected if they include a mortgage?). 41% of them say that they would turn to their parents for help if they lost their main form of income.
So why are Friends Life interested in this? well because they provide one of the best income protection policies going, which is one of the solutions to this problem. They are quite right to bring this to our attention, but of course most people are more complex than a set of statistics derived from a survey. Sorry, but I just don’t meet many people that divulge their financial information to someone with a clipboard in the street or even on the phone. Their soundbite videos are so short and lack any real information that I would worry about anyone drawing too many conclusions from them. Anyhow, if you are interested in the data, do have a look, if you are wondering how you would cope in the event of “disaster” then have a look at my website and give me a call or email.
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