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Average savings by age in the UK: How much should you be saving?

It’s a well-known fact that rainy day savings are important. These rainy days can be anything from financial and medical emergencies to weddings, university fees, or moving house. Despite the importance of savings being well-known, are people in the UK ready for that rainy day?

Unsurprisingly, people’s attitude toward savings differs vastly depending on their age and financial situation. However, research suggests that around 15% of people in the UK have no savings at all, while one in three people have less than £1,500 put away. 

So, a large number of people in the UK are not inclined towards savings and take it perhaps less seriously than they should. Experts advise individuals to save at least three months’ worth of living expenses – the majority of people in the UK are not at this recommended level. There can be multiple reasons for not saving enough, but insufficient earnings are consistently among the top reasons.

Overall, the data on average savings in the UK is worrisome. In the UK, 9% of Brits have no savings, while over 40% of people do not have enough put away to support themselves for a month in the absence of income. The total number of adult ISAs has been rising in recent years, while the number of people with no savings at all is increasing. Although the number of junior ISAs is going up, the average amount invested in them is plummeting. Bank balances are dwindling, and so are the average UK savings figures.

If you want to put your money to better use, stocks and shares ISA is the best way to protect cash from inflation and grow savings for the future. With Moneyfarm, an account gives you access to expert advice, a wealth of investment expertise, round-the-clock control and a portfolio that’s built to suit your goals. To check out your options, click the button below.

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Average savings by age: summary table

⚠️ Are savings important?Absolutely!
✅  How much savings is enough?At least three months’ worth of living expenses
🤑 How can I increase my savings?The smartest way to save is saving before spending
⚖️ Saving or investing?Investing is a much better way to put your money to use


Average savings by age in the UK

Based on the Office of National Statistics data, the average amount people have in savings predictably goes up as they get older. In 2020, the average British adult had around £6,757 saved. Younger people have less in savings for many reasons like student loans, low salaries and high expenses, while the average amount in savings increases as people get closer to their retirement age.

Of people between the age of 22 and 29 years, about 40% have no savings at all, while around 10% have savings between £2,000 and £3,000. Only approximately 25% have saved more than £6,000. 

On the other hand, among those aged above 55, only 2.23% have no savings at all. The average savings for those between 18 and 24 in the UK stands at £2,481, while for 25 to 34-year-olds it stands at £3,544, which increases to £5,995 for those between 35 and 44. The highest average savings by age in the UK is for the people above 55 years of age, at £20,028, closely followed by an average of £11,013 for people between 45 and 54.

Average savings by income in the UK

Income is another critical metric that determines the average savings of people in the UK. There is, understandably, a direct correlation between income and savings. People with higher incomes have more disposable cash and can save more than those with lower incomes.

However, despite their incomes, how much money people eventually save depends on several factors and their attitude towards savings in general. Also, people with high incomes tend to have high expenses and need more savings for their retirement.

On average, low-income families in the UK have £95 in savings, while high-income families have an average of £62,885 in savings. The gap between low-income and high-income households has increased continuously and has become even more expansive thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

How much should you save each month?

Retirement data can be compared and contrasted with expected savings data to see how much people should be saving each month. On average, Britons save roughly £105.43 per month. However, this figure varies significantly depending on an individual’s income level. The average UK savings amount to approximately 8.21% of their monthly income.

A comfortable retirement income is £19,000 for a single-person household. The £19,000 can be the sum of both a private pension scheme and a state pension. They need to save around £7,300 every year and hit retirement with at least £266,000 in savings to achieve this retirement income. Each month, with the state pension, personal pension monthly contributions and monthly employer contributions, an individual’s pension savings amount can be as low as £192.

The average Brit is some way away from the expected savings and needs to save a lot more to reach the recommended levels of savings in the UK.

How much should you save at 30

The average savings by age should be £51,434 at the age of 30. However, the general rule states that the amount you should have in savings by age 30 should be equivalent to your annual income. 

How much should you save at 40

The average savings by age goes up to £124,911 by the age of 40. The general rule for the average savings by age 40 is to have three times your preretirement income.

How much should you save at 50 and 60

The average savings by age goes up to £198,390 by the age of 50 and around £270,100 by age 60. Also, the average savings by age 50 and 60 should be six and eight times your preretirement income, respectively.


Have you ever considered investing?

For a lot of people, the idea of investing their hard-earned savings can be daunting. When cash is traditionally such a safe option, why risk opening your wealth up to the markets? Well, the truth is that cash isn’t the safe haven it once was.

With the Bank of England’s base interest rate at a historically low 0.1%, inflation can eat away at cash over time and actually make the purchasing power of savings pots weaker over the years. Many people are, therefore, turning to stocks and shares ISAs to protect and grow their wealth for the future.

For more information on how sitting on too much cash can damage your savings, read our full breakdown here. To get started with an investment portfolio that’s designed around your long-term goals, follow the button below.

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Average retirement income in the UK

The amount of money required to live comfortably in retirement varies widely from person to person, depending on their living expenses and where they want to retire. Most British citizens believe that an annual income of between £10,200 and £41,900 is likely to sustain a convenient and comfortable retirement.

Beyond that, anything extra would be considered a luxury. However, you probably won’t find anyone complaining about having more than enough money for retirement because financial situations might change over time.

Savings statistics in the UK: Average savings by gender and region

Average savings in the UK differ vastly based on some other metrics. These include gender and region, in addition to age and income. Generally, there is an understanding that women usually have less in savings than men, most likely due to issues like the gender pay gap.

On average, women in the UK have savings of £6,869, while men have almost twice the amount, at £13,140. However, it is important to note that although more men have savings when compared to women, the women that do tend to have more significant amounts saved than men.

Similarly, region or location is an important determinant of average savings in the UK. According to research, the lowest average savers in the UK belong to the East Midlands, while the highest bracket can be found in London. The average savings of people in the East Midlands is £6,438, compared to the average savings of £28,978 in London. 

The second-lowest region is Northern Ireland, at £6,710, while the second-highest region is the West Midlands, at an average savings of £13,318. The average savings for Scottish people was approximately £7,297, while the residents in the Wales region saved on average £9,648. Such a dramatic disparity in average savings by region in the UK can be attributed to employment opportunities and a host of other socioeconomic factors. 

Average investments in the UK

With interest rates in the UK so low at the moment, millions of people are choosing to invest in stocks and shares ISAs to protect and grow their wealth. The meaningful tax breaks afforded to those investing for the long term make ISAs a smart way to build for the future. Equally, a range of new wealth managers has emerged to cater to a population with changing priorities and demands.

Since 2008, the average amount invested in a stocks and shares ISA has tripled. This is because people in the UK have been increasingly taking advantage of the tax incentives and positive returns of ISA portfolios, with the average amount invested in a stocks and shares ISA going from £3,281 in 2008 to £9,331 in 2019. This trend was due to low-interest rates and returns from cash accounts lagging behind rising inflation. 

However, 2020 saw the lowest average amount invested in stocks and shares ISA since 2016/2017. The average amount invested in a stocks and shares ISA in 2020 was down by 5% at £8,879. However, the total amount invested in stocks and shares ISA in 2020 was over £24 billion, a £1 million increase from 2019 and a 14% increase since 2015/1016. The drop in the average amount invested in 2020 was due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic and the unprecedented volatility of the stock market.

Stocks and shares ISAs can be opened with a range of risk levels to cater for different investors’ attitudes – if you want your cash to grow slowly but steadily over the years, a low-risk portfolio is the most suitable. Conversely, those who want their cash to grow more but are willing to accept a degree of risk can take out higher-risk portfolios. However, most investors will fall somewhere in the middle of this scale.

Factors that affect average savings

The average savings in any country are created by a number of contributing factors. Some factors influence savings at the macro level, while many others have an impact on an individual level. On a larger scale, average savings are impacted by the economic growth of a nation and the prevalent interest rates. 

While higher interest rates make savings more attractive and increase the average savings, higher economic growth tends to increase spending and reduce savings. Additionally, high levels of inflation may discourage cash savings but increase the appeal of assets.

From an individual perspective, savings are heavily influenced by cultural trends. Some cultures have a tendency for higher saving, while others have a spending culture. Levels of income and average age play a significant role in determining the average savings of a country, too. 

The average savings are less for younger people, and they steadily increase until the age of 50-60. They then go down post-retirement as the income typically stops altogether. Similarly, higher income levels also enable higher savings when compared to lower-income households.

Quick ways to increase your savings

One look at the data around average savings in the UK, and you can see that the situation is problematic. Far more than an acceptable number of people in the UK have no savings at all, while many have insufficient savings to protect them in the event of a loss of income. Therefore, the need for the average person to consider saving for rainy days has never been greater.

The smartest way to save is ‘saving before spending’. This means putting money into savings immediately after payday and spending the remaining amount accordingly. Current technology also means people can automate the saving process in its entirety. Various smartphone apps are equipped to analyse individuals’ income and spending habits, decide on the appropriate amount of savings, and deduct the decided amount automatically every month. 

Another smart way to save is to make savings as secure as possible while also making them relatively inaccessible so that you don’t dip into them as soon as you fall short of money or have to make an impulse purchase. It is important to follow the quick methods to increase your savings to prepare you for emergencies and enter your retirement with a comfortable amount of savings to enjoy your best years.

FAQ

What is the average amount of savings by age?

The average amount of savings for ages 18 – 24 is £2,481. The average amount of savings for ages 25 – 34 is £3,544. The average amount of savings for ages 35 – 44 is £5,995. The average amount of savings for ages 45 – 54 is £11,013. The average amount of savings for ages above 55 is £20,028.

How much should a 25 year old have in his savings?

A 25-year-old should have at least £20,400 in savings, and should allocate at least 10% of their income to their savings.

How much savings do most 30-year-olds have?

Most 30-year-olds in the UK have between £3,544 and £5,995 in savings.

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