Worried about the rising cost of living?

According to new research from insurer Aviva, almost three-quarters of us are worried about the cost of living.

And it’s the so-called sandwich generation, aged 45 to 64, who are most anxious.

Annual price inflation recorded its most significant ever monthly rise between July and August.

The research found that 79% of those aged 45 to 54 are worried about the cost of living and rising living costs, including 40% who say they are very concerned.

People aged 55 to 64 are the second most affected group, with 78% reporting they are concerned about the upwards trajectory of prices for everyday essentials.

It’s a tricky time for UK consumer confidence, as the end of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions raises questions about the future for the British economy.

Read more from the Office National Statistics (ONS)

Have your retirement plans changed due to the pandemic

The survey found that 35% of UK adults feel more anxious about their future compared to their feelings before the onset of the pandemic.

Across all age groups, 28% say they are more stressed since lockdown ended, and a similar proportion reported worsened sleeping habits.

One benefit from the lockdown restrictions was the ability to save more money, with household savings rising to £27.5 billion in May 2020.

Despite more opportunities to spend and socialise in recent months, new savings remain high at £9.1 billion in August 2021. The pre-pandemic monthly average for savings was £4.7 billion.

However, the research from Aviva suggests that there are renewed pressures on savings habits, with only 32% saying that lockdown helped them save more money for the future.

Around a third of people, across all age groups, say they are more committed to saving than before, but one in five have already exhausted their lockdown savings, and one in four believe the savings will be spent by the end of the year.

Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva, said:

“For anyone approaching retirement, the balancing act between spending and saving can be a big factor in future decisions about their commitments. The pandemic experience has prompted many people to stop and think about what matters most in life, and the end of lockdown means thoughts can now start to shift towards revisiting long-term plans.

“Looking at savings trends before, during and after the pandemic, it’s vital we remember decisions to save or not to save should not be a case of ‘all or nothing’. Realistically the exceptional circumstances of being confined in our homes will remain the high water mark of many people’s savings habits, but putting away a smaller percentage of your monthly income where possible can still add up over the long term.”