Almost half a million Brits lose over 24 hours sleep a week worrying about retirement

Article date: 23 March 2007

  • 28 million2 people do not feel adequately prepared for their retirement
  • Buying cars and booking holidays is more important than planning for retirement
  • is launched to help people plan ahead for retirement with research to highlight the ‘Six Most Important Money Moments' in life

As many as half a million Brits are losing over 24 hours of sleep a week, worrying about their retirement plans according to research3 by (part of Aviva, the savings, investment and insurance group).

However, when it comes down to saving and planning ahead, people in the UK prefer to focus on the short-term and choose not to prioritise retirement planning.

To help combat the need for retirement planning in the UK, Aviva has launched, a free, unbiased planning resource to help people make informed financial decisions for retirement. Once users have signed up to the site they have access to a retirement planner which provides a convenient and secure place to store their financial information. Users can also access their plan whilst on the move, via mobile devices such as a blackberry.

The aim of is to highlight the importance of forward thinking and also encourage a society-level conversation about financial planning for retirement.

The research reveals that there is a definite need for this as Brits seem to be focused on the more materialistic and short-term investments in their life, such as buying a car or booking a holiday, rather than planning for retirement or paying off their mortgage.

The research also reveals how Brits prioritise the ‘Six Most Important Money Moments' during their lifetime:

  • 1. Buying a car (57%)
  • 2. Booking holiday (48%)
  • 3. Buying or renovating a house (46%)
  • 4. Planning for retirement (35%)
  • 5. Paying off mortgage (31%)
  • 6. Travelling / going on an extended holiday (28%)

Lynne Gray, director of corporate communications, Aviva plc says: "It is no surprise to see that the majority of people are focused on short-term investments as these are things that can have an immediate impact on your life, such as a relaxing beach holiday or a brand new car. And with a fifth of Brits adopting the ‘it-will-never-happen-to-me' attitude, longer-term plans for retirement can get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.

"But by starting retirement plans earlier on in life, people may be able to save themselves hours, days and maybe even weeks in lost sleep. If more people grabbed the bull by the horns and spent a few hours sorting out their retirement planning, not only could it reduce the number of sleepless nights but they increase the likelihood of a comfortable and stress free retirement."

Surprisingly, the research shows that of the ‘Six Most Important Money Moments' of people's lives, two of the largest financial investments- planning for retirement and paying off the mortgage are given a low priority in terms of planning.

In fact, when thinking of their finances compared to other areas of their life, the majority of people are more likely to wish for a happy family life (32%) and good health (28%) before a stable financial situation (17%).

Part of the reason for not prioritising retirement planning seems to be the growing trend of the ‘mañana mañana' mantra, with a fifth (20%) thinking that planning for retirement is not worth worrying about because retirement is "too far away".

The ‘mañana' mantra is particularly prevalent in those aged between 18 - 29 years with half (48%) in this age range believing that retirement is not worth worrying about as it is so far away. This compares to 15% in the 30 - 50 year group and an unsurprisingly 1% in the over 50s. 

Lynne Gray concludes: "Recognising these issues, Aviva has launched  with the aim of alleviating the worries and burdens people feel when thinking about planning for their retirement and help people to become more proactive when it comes to managing their finances."

For further information on how to plan for your retirement and the Six-Steps retirement planner tool, visit


For further information, please contact:
Lansons Communications
Joe Laing/Rachel O'Hare     
tel: 020 7294 3649 / 0207 294 3625    
e-mail: /

Notes to editors

1.         Source: Number of adult population = 44,200,000 (source: YouGov, Nov 2006). 1% (from research - see note 3) of 44,200,000 is 442,000

2.         Source: Number of adult population = 44,200,000 (source: YouGov, Nov 2006). 65% (from research - see note 3) of 44,200,000 is 28,730,000

3. research conducted by YouGov from 24th to 26th January 2007. This based on a sample size of 2,679 UK adults (18 +)

Comment from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Ed Balls:
"We want everyone in society to have access to, and use, financial services with confidence. Financial decisions can be difficult. Financial products are complicated and there can be too much jargon. This puts people off, or they can end up buying something that is not right for them. Sometimes people just want to discuss their financial options and not buy anything. We believe there is a gap in the provision of this last type of advice - generic advice - and we are pleased to see playing a role in this area."

About Six Steps

Six-Steps is a free, unbiased financial planning resource dedicated to helping people make informed financial decisions for retirement.

This UK-focused site is the first Six-Steps site to launch; further sites will follow for other countries.

Six-Steps is produced by Aviva plc, the world's fifth-largest insurance group and the biggest in the UK. Aviva is one of the leading providers of life and pensions products to Europe and has substantial businesses elsewhere around the world. Its businesses include Norwich Union and RAC in the UK, Hibernian in Ireland, Delta Lloyd in the Netherlands and Commercial Union Polska in Poland.

Research carried out for Aviva shows that people around the world want help to feel confident about taking decisions about their financial future. Six-Steps helps to meet this need by providing straightforward, unbiased, personal finance information. Aviva will not offer financial services on this website and users' privacy is assured.

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