Legal & General’s first ‘Deadline to the Breadline Report’ published in December last year has revealed that the average British family has just 19 days before its savings would run out if the main breadwinner is unable to work for any reason. This ”deadline to the breadline’ – the length of time the average household could last on savings following a sudden loss of income due to long term sickness, injury, critical illness or death.


Families aren’t prepared financially

The aim of Legal & General’s Deadline to the Breadline Report is to shed a light on the financial health of the average British household and to stimulate debate in the industry about what we can do to help consumers better understand the dangers of failing to protect themselves against financial disaster. It’s concerning to see that the average UK family has a ‘deadline to the breadline’ of just 19 days. Clearly, families aren’t prepared financially for when the worst happens – loss of income, critical illness or death- and the sad reality is that they need to be ready.

Legal & General’s Deadline to the Breadline Report is the first of a series of publications that will track the financial health of the nation’s households and provide a means of tracking that “health” as the economy changes over the next few years.

Key findings of this first report include:

Families in the South East of England have the longest Deadline to the Breadline, but would still on average last just over a month – 37 days – before their savings would be used up; This is two weeks more than the next two regions with the North West at 22 days and the South West at 21 days;Households in the West Midlands came out as the least prepared with a ‘deadline to the breadline’ of just seven days.

‘Muddling through’ approach

We all know how tough it is for families at the moment. For many, simply making ends meet and staying in regular employment is a daily challenge. But the loss of regular income would render the ‘muddling through’ approach that many households are taking right now impossible. Cutting back on saving and buying insurance may save some money in the short term.

However, if the worst happens, the situation for many families could well be extremely worrying. At times like this it is even more important that people consider how best they can plan for a financial catastrophe. Please note this does not include Northern Ireland.