The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think-tank recently reported that people born in the 1960s and 1970s had not saved enough to be better off in retirement than their predecessors is both startling and worrying.
It has long been a commonly held view that this generation, like the babyboomers before them, have never had it so good, with a higher take home salary and booming property market. However, it appears that the rising cost of living, increasing life expectancy and changes to the pension system have started to have an effect.
If this generation (in their 40s and 50s) are going to struggle to achieve the same level of retirement lifestyle as their predecessors, what does this mean for those further down the generational ladder? Our research has found that that almost two in five (37%) 18-24 year olds say that money is a constant worry for them, while four in five (82%) state that money is the primary impediment to participation in their favourite hobbies and activities. Money worries and financial constraints are an unfortunate reality that brings restrictions on what individuals can do.
Given the difficulties facing younger generations it's no surprise they take a pessimistic view of their future with almost three quarters of 18-24 year olds (72%) indicating that they won't be able to retire as early as they would like because of financial commitments.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, there is also a real diversity of experience amongst older people. We often assume, for instance that babyboomers are one homogenous 'golden generation'. While this is true for many with just one in eight (12%) identifying money as a constant worry many over 55s are asset rich and cash poor - sitting on a tremendous amount of equity which could be released to allow them to enjoy a better retirement.
With changing times and changing demographics people need to think about the options available to them to make retirement all they want it to be. For younger generations as for older people it has to be about choice and empowering people to make better decisions with a greater amount of information.
It is vital that government and industry work harder to ensure they are meeting the needs of all generations, in order that they can achieve their ambitions and be in control of where and how they live.