From the Introduction and Key Findings:
This second Saga Quarterly Report once again combines Saga survey data (a nationwide Survey of 11,800 over 50s) with economic analysis and interpretation of official statistics to produce as accurate a picture of life for the over 50s in the UK as we can. As well as examining issues such as income, unemployment and inflation affecting the Saga age groups, it features the Saga Quality of Life Index which measures perceptions of happiness, standards of living and health. All survey comparisons are made with one year previously unless stated otherwise.
The Saga Quarterly Reports are designed to keep track of the wellbeing of the UK’s over 50s.
Government has placed increasing emphasis on monitoring measures of happiness and quality of life, in addition to measuring traditional economic growth factors. Saga aims to assist the Government in its task by providing regular updates from its exclusive over 50s survey data and combining these qualitative measures with the quantitative official statistics on growth, employment and inflation which are more generally used to track the nation’s wellbeing.
- Over 50s’ quality of life and economic indicators have worsened over the past year.
- The Saga Quality of Life Index deteriorated between the first and second quarters of 2011 indicative of the significant financial squeeze on households so far this year.
- The deterioration in quality of life is most pronounced among 50 to 59 year-olds, especially with respect to their standard of living.
- Although the Quality of Life Index for the top socio-economic group did not fall further this quarter, inequalities are growing as it deteriorated again for all other socio-economic groups.
- Real incomes in Q1 2011 were lower than a year ago for all over 50s age bands – as income growth failed to keep up with inflation.
- More over 50s report the rising cost of living (56%), savings income (46%) and interest rates (40%) as a greater concern than 12 months ago, than reported health and crime as a greater concern.
- The over 50s have cut their discretionary spending, with four in ten reducing spending on eating out and entertainment and also using their cars less especially among lower socio-economic groups.
- Employment among the over 65s has risen by 35% over the last three years – with more over 65s staying in work, partly for economic reasons but also because they enjoy working.
- 63% of over 50’s want the Bank of England to raise interest rates.