Standard Life has published 'Your Commitments, Your Future', a study developed with psychologist Professor Janet Reibstein into the nature of commitment. It reveals that financial and emotional commitments peak between 35-44 years of age when people spend on average £1,160 a month on financial commitments and think about them for 45 minutes every day.
The research reveals that during a lifetime, the average person spends £914 a month on financial commitments and 37 minutes thinking about them everyday. In contrast, they spend £87 a month on emotional commitments, thinking about them for 2 hours, 18 minutes every day.
According to the Standard Life study there are three core commitment life stages with transition phases in between:
- Commitment Sleepwalkers (18-24) who have a smaller amount of financial and personal relationship commitments. Their regular financial commitments amount to just £458 a month. They spend the least amount of time thinking about their finances so are at risk of overlooking the long term cumulative affects of these costs.
- The Fully Committed (35-44) who are at the peak of their regular financial commitments, spending an average of £1,160 each month and likely to be paying a mortgage, looking after a child and paying off any debt accrued in earlier life.
- Commitment Slowdowns (55+) who are starting to become less financially and emotionally committed. They are spending £818 on their commitments each month, almost £100 less that the average.
Commenting on the research findings, Professor Reibstein said: "'Your Commitments, Your Future' shows a discrepancy in how much attention we devote to our financial and emotional commitments. We spend over two hours a day thinking about emotional commitments, but just 37 minutes on our financial commitments.
"People consider financial commitments as something abstract, separate to their emotional life. But our finances underpin our most important relationships and often our ability to achieve our future goals. The Standard Life report makes it clear how vital it is for people to engage with their finances, their personal relationships and future aspirations as one single entity."
Standard Life's John Lawson added: "'Your Commitments, Your Future' breaks our commitments down into life stages, giving a clear picture of how our commitments change throughout our life. This understanding can help substantially with planning our personal finances so that we can feel confident about the future and achieve our goals. It’s clear that financial commitments can support our relationships - they underpin them. If people were to dedicate more time to their long term financial planning, they wouldn’t just be better off financially, they’re likely to be better off all round."
The full 'Your Commitments, Your Future' report is available at www.knowyourcommitments.co.uk where people can also compare their financial and emotional commitment profile by using an interactive tool and watch Professor Reibstein analysing commitment in more detail.
Notes to Editors:
- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2016 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th - 20th June 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
- Methodology: This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered by members of the YouGov Plc GB panel of 300,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys.
About Standard Life:
Standard Life is a leading long term savings and investments company headquartered in Edinburgh and operating internationally. Established in 1825, Standard Life provides life assurance, annuities, life insurance, savings products such as a stock and shares ISA, investment bonds, tax efficiencies, pension products such as a self invested personal pension, financial education and investment management to around 6 million customers worldwide.
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