Thursday, November 27, 2008

Belt tightening by over 50s will devalue the “grey pound”

That dreaded phrase “New research” tells us that: “the normally robust 50+ consumer group is battening down the hatches.”

Apparently a nationwide YouGov survey shows growing concern and a readiness to cut back on spending in the next few months – pointing to a pretty lean Christmas at the tills.

The release then goes on to say that: “82% are concerned about the oncoming recession and the state of the UK economy over the next couple of years.” Only 82% - cripes what the hell are the other 18% thinking!

Then we get to the interesting bit: “Worryingly for already hard pressed retailers, 61% say they believe they will be directly affected by the recession and intend to curb their spending as a result. This compares with just 45% of the 18-24 age groups. “

Now you can read this in two ways. The oldies are cutting back. OR What have we done in the UK education system to create a bunch of 18-24 year olds that cannot recognise a crisis when it staring them in the face?

The bit to take away from this release is that just 40% of them (the 50+) are actually worried about making ends meet. This reflects the relatively low levels of mortgage and unsecured debt enjoyed by the older group. By contrast, 57% of the 35-44 age groups are worried about making ends meet as they juggle household debt and raising families.

The research was commissioned by Senioragency. This is an organisation that has been silent for a while. Good to have them back. Dick Stroud

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