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Hazlewoods research finds we are a ‘live for today’ nation

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9 July 2018
When it comes to the choice over saving or spending, it is living for today that is the top priority for almost two-thirds (64%) of the UK. Asked to place three scenarios in order of importance to them right now, three out of four (76%) ranked thoughts of leaving an inheritance for their kids as their lowest priority. Is it possible to have it all?

A recent survey by Hazlewoods, one of the UK’s Top 30 independent Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers specialising in tax and financial planning, asked 1,000 members of the public* whether they felt it was more important. The choice was between having enough money to live the lifestyle they choose now, to be in a financial position to choose the best care for themselves and their partner in old age, or to leave a decent inheritance for their children.

While this commonly held ‘live for today’ attitude was expressed equally by men and women, when it comes to those who held different priorities there were some interesting variances between the sexes. Almost one in three (31%) men said their top priority was having enough to fund their care in old age, compared to one in four (25%) women. In contrast, 11% of women said leaving money for their children was their priority, compared to just 5% of men.

Having enough money to enjoy life now was highest (73%) among the youngest polled, (18 to 24-year-olds) swiftly followed by the oldest 65+ age group (70%). It was lowest among the more cautious middle-aged, 45 to 54-year-olds (59%). More than one in three (35%) of 55 to 64-year-olds said being able to make financial choices about care in their old age is their top priority. 

“It’s natural that our personal financial objectives change during our lifetimes,” comments Kyle Nethercott, Partner, Hazlewoods Financial Planning. “The priority has to be to ensure ones quality of life, for all your life, but this does not have to be at the exclusion of sensible planning for future generations. With the right advice the two can work together!” 

“Many of our clients run their own businesses, which brings additional financial considerations when managing their personal wealth and business succession. ‘Living for today’ is a vital part of the work-life balance for busy owners and entrepreneurs,” comments Nicholas Smail, Tax Partner, Hazlewoods. “But we work with our clients to help plan for their eventual succession, at the time they choose, ensuring they are not tied to the business indefinitely and leaving time to enjoy their retirement.”  

“With careful planning, it may also be possible to continue to withdraw income from the business in future years whilst taking a step back from the day-to-day running. Exiting the business does not, therefore, have to mean an end to the lifestyle they have become accustomed to, but early planning is key!”

When it comes to planning their financial inheritance, just 8% of the population listed this as their key priority. It was highest (15%) among 35 to 44-year-olds.

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*1,000 respondents were surveyed on 18 June 2018. The anonymous survey was conducted online by usurv.com. Methodology: instant public reactions, broadly representative of the online population. Post-weighted to be representative of the UK population according to 2011 Census data.