Almost half of over-50s have yet to realize even one lifelong dream

Saturday, November 20, 2010

LONDON - Nearly half of over-50s have yet to fulfill even one of the lifelong dreams they have toiled towards, a new UK poll suggests.

The poll of 13,000 over-50s was commissioned by Saga Personal Finance.

It revealed that the favourite ambition was to be financially self-sufficient (53 per cent), followed by the ability to provide ’significant financial assistance’ to children or grandchildren (47 per cent).

In the survey, 24 per cent said that they yearned to be free of debt, while 22 per cent said their ultimate goal was a once-in-a-lifetime holiday and 19 per cent wanted to own a dream house.

But of those surveyed, 44 per cent said their hopes had been thwarted so far - compared with only 14 per cent or one in seven who had achieved all of them.

The most common cause of disappointment, shared by 56 per cent, was down to their financial situation - something that is unlikely to improve soon for many in the current climate of pay freezes and redundancies.

Two in five said they were still paying off debts, including mortgages and credit cards, and, worryingly, one in eight admitted they survived on their overdraft facility.

One in 12 were paying hire purchase or finance agreements.

Poor returns on investments were second on the list of factors that dashed dreams.

The problem was cited by more than a third of over-50s. This was followed by pension shortfalls, which have caught out 30 per cent of people. Just one in ten blamed ill-health.

The most elusive ambition was moving into a luxury home, something 93 per cent of those who wished for it had failed to achieve.

‘They are caught between their dreams and their debt. Many have yet to fulfill lifelong ambitions and may well be having to put their wishes on hold,” the Daily Mail quoted Saga director general Dr Ros Altmann as saying. (ANI)

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