People in Leeds ‘delaying key life milestones amid cost-of-living squeeze’ as energy bills soar

Many people in Leeds say they are being forced to delay important life milestones, such as buying a home, getting married, having a child, or retiring, as the cost-of-living squeeze intensifies.

By PA Reporter
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:45 am

Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of Leeds residents who took part in a survey for Legal & General said the current state of their finances is making them concerned about the future.

That figure is slightly lower than the national average at 64 per cent.

More than half (56 per cent) of people surveyed across the UK said feel they have already done everything they can to save money and three in 10 (30 per cent) said they no longer have a savings buffer to cover unexpected costs.

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Nearly two-thirds of Leeds residents said the current state of their finances is making them concerned about the future (Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Turning off the heating, trying to reduce spending on groceries and driving vehicles less often were common methods people said they had used to try to cut back.

The survey of more than 4,000 people across the UK in late May, carried out by Opinium, indicated that many people believe the cost-of-living crisis will have a long-term impact on their life goals.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of people who said they are planning to purchase a home now estimate they will need to delay this goal, with nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of this group expecting it will need to be delayed by five years or more.

An additional 12 per cent of would-be homeowners do not ever think they will own a home due to greater financial pressures.

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Around half of people who plan to get married (47 per cent) and those hoping to have a child (50 per cent) also believe they will need to press pause on their plans.

There are also signs that the “bank of mum and dad” could become less generous in future as parents look for ways to cover the costs of the here and now.

Nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) of people who were planning to set a lump sum aside for their children now think they will have to delay this and some said they do not see themselves ever being able to help out their children.

A similar proportion (38 per cent) of people who are in the decade before they are due to retire think they will need to delay their retirement by at least one year.

One in eight (12 per cent) people believe they are never likely to retire.

The UK Government recently announced a package of support measures to help people with the cost-of-living crisis which will be both widespread and targeted at vulnerable households. It is also exploring ways to make it easier for people to get on the property ladder.

Just over half (52 per cent) of people said they had not sought guidance or support to better understand how to tackle their money issues, the survey found.

People could consider visiting the Government-backed MoneyHelper website for free and impartial money tips, and/or some may want to pay for independent financial advice.

Pension Wise, another Government-backed service, can also help people who are approaching retirement to understand more about their options.

Charities can also help those struggling with money problems.

Legal & General has also launched the third season of its “rewirement” podcast, featuring broadcaster Angellica Bell, to help people build their financial knowledge.

Emma Byron, managing director, Legal & General Retirement Solutions, said: “Rising living costs have been so significant that most UK households will have noticed a squeeze on their monthly budgets.

“Not only does this have a direct impact on people’s lifestyles, even though they are making every effort to cut back, but it has a knock-on effect on their lifelong goals such as owning a home or retiring comfortably.”

Here are the percentages of people in some major UK cities who anticipate that rising living costs will have an impact on their future plans - and how Leeds compares:

– Brighton, 73 per cent

– Sheffield, 72 per cent

– Norwich, 71 per cent

– Nottingham, 71 per cent

– Belfast, 70 per cent

– Newcastle, 69 per cent

– Cardiff, 67 per cent

– Edinburgh, 67 per cent

– Liverpool, 65 per cent

– Plymouth, 63 per cent

– Bristol, 64 per cent

– London, 64 per cent

– Leeds, 62 per cent

– Manchester, 60 per cent

– Glasgow, 59 per cent

– Birmingham, 58 per cent

– Southampton, 58 per cent