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Turning 50 marks the most expensive period in our lives, a study has revealed.
Experts calculated that those in their 50s can still expect to be lumbered with hefty mortgage payments while also trying to support teenage children.
Increased costs of holidaying as four adults, rather than a family with two children, coupled with helping the kids with motoring costs as well as a house deposit costs means a deep pot is needed.
The study, by leading UK health and wellbeing mutual organisation Benenden Healthcare Society, also went as far as to calculate how much the average 50-something will need a month to keep the family’s head above water – a grand total of £1,560.
Yesterday Marc Bell, Marketing and Business Strategy Director said: ‘’Reaching 50 is traditionally supposed to be the start of a new lease on life as kids grow older and couples find more time to themselves. The stark reality will prove an eye-opener as 50-somethings realise the truth is not so rose-tinted.
‘‘Debt rarely goes away as we get older and the rising costs of mortgages, motoring and raising children will paint a pessimistic outlook on life.
‘’On entering our 50s, more of us are paying for our children’s education and taking on more of their day-to-day costs such as mobile phone bills and going out – indicating that we’re letting our children become more financially dependent on us.
‘’We’re also more like to provide financial help for our loved ones and family members – suggesting that whilst it’s the most expensive time of life, it’s also the time when we might be most giving and generous.’’
The study quizzed 2,000 home-owning Brits with at least one child who were in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s and it found hitting the big 5-0 will result in you parting with the most cash.
Mortgage repayments is the biggest outlay every month – averaging £354, while food shops set them back another £292.
The 50s age group also find themselves spending £186 on utility bills, but it’s the annual holiday which really tips the scales, splurging £1,254.
A quarter find themselves paying towards their child’s motoring costs such as insurance and tyres and one in six have even bought their offspring a car.
Three in ten are currently helping to pay for their child’s education and just under half pay for their child’s mobile phone contract – both adding another £189 to the monthly bill.
Youngsters will also spend another £100 of their money each month on their social lives and receive £78 pocket money – becoming the wealthiest children of any age group of parents polled.
However, nearly four in ten (37 per cent) of over 50s have given their children a lump sum within the last year – with one in ten helping to pay off debts, and one in five paying towards a holiday or a deposit for a house.
In fact they’ve given offspring more than £24,000 in the last 12 months helping out with weddings, university fees, DIY jobs and extensions.
It also emerged over 50s are twice as likely to provide financial help for their own or partner’s parents – with 24 per cent giving out regular help compared to the other age groups.
But with such massive outlays one in ten over 50s ends the month in deficit and one in five struggle to support their immediate family.
The same number went as far as to say their family wouldn’t cope should something happen to them.
Marc Bell added: ‘’Life is getting tougher for the over 50s. The increased costs places extras pressures on the wallet, but it can also put greater pressure on mental wellbeing and the strength of relationships.
‘‘In the midst of this greater expense, we should not forget to prioritise our personal health. It is perhaps the time of life when maintaining good health is most vital – therefore ensuring a secure future for our family.
‘‘Whilst being in your 50s can be the most expensive time of life, not having safeguards such as life cover could end up leaving loved ones to pick up the pieces and to try and deal with huge financial burdens.
‘‘You can visit www.benenden.org.uk to find out more about products such as personal healthcare and over 50s life cover.’’
Life is getting tougher for the over 50s. The increased costs places extras pressures on the wallet, but it can also put greater pressure on mental wellbeing and the strength of relationships.Marc Bell, Marketing and Business Strategy Director at Benenden Healthcare Society