The average 50-year-old believes they need another £50,000 in savings and investments, including pension and property equity, in order to feel financially secure, new research [1] from MetLife shows.


Average net worth of 50-year-olds

MetLife’s study of the finances of 50-year-olds shows their average net worth is around £179,000 [2] – equivalent to around £155.3bn in property equity, pension funds, savings and investments.

But they believe they need around £229,000 to feel financially secure – a wealth gap of £43.4bn or £50,000 per person. The research also shows that nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of their total net worth is made up of property equity, with the average 50-year-old holding £130,600 in housing wealth.

Highlighting the financial pressures

The research highlights the financial pressures faced by the Uncertain Generation – those born between 1961 and 1981 – the U-Gen.

The net worth, including property and pensions, controlled by 50-year-olds highlights what they have achieved but also how much more they feel they need to do. There is clearly a pension and wealth gap in the UK and the uncertainty is increased by ongoing financial and economic volatility, but it is important that people focus on the positives of retirement planning and maximise the assets they have.

Still paying off home loans

The research shows that women on average have total net worth of £167,500 and men £192,000. The averages, however, do not tell the whole story as 36 per cent of 50-year-olds have total net worth of less than £25,000. Around 21 per cent of 50-year-olds own their homes outright without a mortgage while another 44 per cent are still paying off home loans and 32 per cent rent their homes.

[1] Research conducted by Harris Interactive amongst a nationally representative sample of UK adults aged 50 in October 2011.

[2] All figures rounded to the nearest £100. Some simplifications exist in the calculation, so all figures should be treated as indicative.