Happy Families Have Just £10 A Month More To Spend Than Average

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Written By Hossein Soltani

The happiest retired households have a clear picture of their finances and are more likely to have savings and investments, says new research.

Researchers asked 3,000 retired over 50s about their finances and what makes them happy.

The happiest turned out to be aged 64, retired at 60 years old and more likely to spend money on their families and holidays compared to the average.

They also spend more on groceries, don’t eat as many takeaways and are more likely to have pets.

Their finances are important to them, with the happiest over 50s more likely to have a credit card, life insurance, private medical insurance, home emergency cover, annuity and a will and significantly more likely to have personal insurance and private pension.

How much is happiness worth?

Happy households tend to be married couples with two children and two grandchildren with an average £83,778 in savings, probably have an ISA and still save regularly.

Drilling down to money, the average over 50s spend £1,833 a month on living costs and have £342 to spend how they wish, the data from financial firm SunLife revealed.

But the happiest spend £2,034 on living costs and have £615 spare.

Ian Atkinson, marketing director at SunLife, explained that this seems like a big gap in disposable income, but only adds up to an extra £9.10 a day.

 “Does money make over 50s happy? Well, happiness and money are linked, that is clear, but for over 50s, knowing that it is more about the decisions they make about how they spend their money than how much they have is very encouraging,” he said.

Tips for a happier retirement

“In fact, making these changes may even make those over 50s households feel richer than their peers, which according to our study has more of an impact on happiness than actually being richer!”

For over 50s wanting a happier retirement, Atkinson has three tips:

  • Spend less on things that don’t make you happy or you don’t need, like takeaways or gambling
  • Take control of your personal finances
  • Invest in a private pension

To determine who was happy, the firm asked over 50s how satisfied they were with life, how happy they were yesterday and how do they feel about the next five years?