The research into how savings and retirement plans have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns across parts of the UK, reveals that a majority of people reviewed their financial situation in the days after the second lockdown was announced for England. Positively, a quarter took the time to check the value of their savings (24%) and actively sought to add more to their savings pot (23%), while they spent more time indoors.
However, a small number took 'negative action' which could adversely impact their finances in the long-term. Young adults (25-34-year olds) are the most likely to have decreased their pension contributions during this time (13%) - ten times more than their older cohorts (just 1% of over 45-year-olds).
At the same time, those over 45-years-old were the most likely to do nothing at all. More than half took no action during the second national lockdown in England (58% vs. 40 % average across all age groups) and did nothing to improve their savings in the run up to the lockdown (56% vs. 43% average across all age groups). This age group was also the least likely to seek regulated financial advice in November (4%).
Biggest financial concerns during 'lockdown 2.0'
Looking at specific concerns, AVIVA reveals that the inability to save was the biggest financial concern for just over a quarter (28%) of adults heading into Lockdown 2.0, increasing to a third (33%) of those aged 45 and over. This was followed by concern about economic and stock market volatility, and inability to pay household bills.
Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings and Retirement at AVIVA, comments: "There is little positive to be said about life in lockdown, however one silver lining is that a majority of us have used this time to review our finances. Our next goal is to make this 'one-off-review' a 'once-a-year-habit'.
Growing hope of vaccines may suggest light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. But the financial hangover will take longer to lift. Now is the time to double-down on our money management.
AVIVA has launched a free Mid-Life MOT app to help those aged 45 to 60 assess their wealth, work and wellbeing. This once-a-year MOT gives a score out of 100 and highlights handy resources that can support ongoing control.
At a time of continuing uncertainty, much may be beyond our direct control, but our personal finances need not be."
AVIVA's Mid-Life MOT support is now available to the public via app stores. The app brings together a range of publicly available tools in one place to help consumers take positive action to increase their preparedness for mid-life and beyond.