The savings personalities of Britain's over 50s uncovered

Tuesday 18 October 2016

The savings personalities of Britain's over 50s uncovered

Once you reach the age of 50, financial services companies often like to lump you into one group, believing that just because you’ve hit that magic milestone, you’re the same as everyone else in that age bracket.

New research from Saga Investment Services, the investment and financial planning service for the over-50s, challenges those assumptions with the launch of its ‘Saga Savers’ campaign, which reveals the different types of savings characters that make up Britain’s over 50s.

Working alongside behavioural researchers The Big Window and interviewing more than 1,000 over 50s, Saga has uncovered five types of ‘Saga Saver’, providing a deep insight into the different  approaches to saving and investing exhibited by today’s over 50s, how their attitudes to putting money away for retirement vary and how they negotiate their financial planning for later life.

The findings of the research also show how age, gender, level of income and family life can influence people’s attitude to saving and investing, and illustrates the different strengths that over 50s have in their approach to building a nest egg.

Introducing the Saga Savers panel

In addition to the research, Saga has recruited a unique panel of Saga Savers – real people belonging to each saver personality who have shared their experiences of dealing with their finances as they embark on their journey towards retirement and beyond. From Bryan, the owner of a translation agency whose husband is about to retire, to Carol, who has swapped her job working at a doctor’s surgery to launch a new business looking after dogs, Saga will be tracking this group of savers as they negotiate their finances in the run-up to and throughout retirement.

Images and biographies of the five Saga Savers are available on request.

Interactive quiz to find out what type of saver you are

To help over 50s explore this innovative project as they plan their retirement, Saga Investment Services has launched a new Saga Savers hub, containing information about the different types of saver, introducing the Saga Savers Panel, and an interactive quiz that will allow users to understand what kind of saver they are, along with plenty of hints and tips that can help them plan and make the most of their money in retirement and beyond.

Over 50s can take the test by visiting

Commenting on the launch of Saga Savers, Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, Managing Director of Saga Investment Services, said:

“Saga Investment Services was launched to empower and support Britain’s over 50s as they plan their financial path to retirement. Saga Savers has been created to help this group of people get a unique insight into their peers’ saving habits and behaviour so that they can assess their own attitudes and plan the retirement they deserve.

“We will track our Saga Savers panel as they go through the challenges of managing their money in retirement – be it Sandra, as she looks to build a decent nest-egg for her grandson’s future, John, as he searches for new investment opportunities, or Jenny, as she battles dwindling savings rates. Our Saga Savers will bring a real consumer’s-eye view to the financial world and show over 50s that people like them are facing similar experiences as they chart the course to a happy retirement.”

The five ‘Saga Savers’


You’re a marauding do-it-yourselfer, as comfortable dabbling on the stock markets as you are running your bank account. You tend to be a higher earner – in fact, one in four Financial Adventurers surveyed have a personal income of more than £50,000. You’re at ease making decisions about which financial products and services to use, and you know it, considering yourself to be a confident and savvy investor. You’re not put off by the uncertainty of the stock markets – and comfortable putting a proportion of your money at risk in order to get a better return.

Who are the Financial Adventurers?

  • 41% are aged over 65
  • 65% are male
  • 38% have assets over £100,000
  • 52% are retired
  • 12% have an annual income over £50,000
  • 55% hold a stocks and shares ISA
  • 16% hold more than 75% of their assets in cash


THE SUPER-SAVVY SAVERS                    

When it comes to saving your money, you’re the most switched on in the game – making the most of high-interest savings accounts, current accounts and any other interest-paying products to grow your nest-eggs. You’re interested in what makes the financial world tick, but you don’t necessarily dabble in the markets. It’s not because you don’t know what you’re doing – you are a Super-Savvy Saver, after all – but you’ve made an active choice to stick with lower risk accounts, preferring to ‘play it safe’ and you’re not a fan of uncertain outcomes. Indeed, more than one in 10 of you have never held an investment product at all.

Who are the Super-Savvy Savers?

  • 56% are aged between 50 and 64
  • 51% are female
  • 27% have assets over £100,000
  • 56% are retired
  • 8% have an annual income above £50,000
  • 83% have children
  • 21% own a stocks and shares ISA
  • 57% hold more than 75% of assets in cash



You’ve worked extremely hard to put aside a little money and you aren’t prepared to put any of it at risk – that’s why you play very, very carefully with what you’ve got. Savings accounts and cash ISAs are really the only name in the game for you Play-It-Safers – just 15% of you hold a stocks and shares ISA. Indeed, 23% have no investments at all.  You do your best to stay on top of your money but of our Saga Savers, you’re the most concerned that you haven’t saved enough for retirement, and have the feeling you could have started earlier.

Who are the Cautious Play-It-Safers?

  • 64% are aged between 50 and 64
  • 62% are female
  • 93% have assets below £100,000     
  • 44% are retired
  • 2% have an annual income above £50,000
  • 78% have children
  • 15% hold a stocks and shares ISA
  • 42% hold more than 75% of assets in cash



Thrifty ‘til fifty, spend to the end. That’s the attitude of Carefree Down-to-Earthers, who’ve spent their lives tactically building up a healthy pot of savings and are going to live the high life with it as much as they can. It’s no surprise that this group are the least likely to have children and are less concerned about leaving a legacy. You have a good spread between savings and investments and while you’re relatively adventurous when it comes to risk and reward, you’ve got a carefree attitude to all things financial. It’s not that you don’t care about your money, it’s just not what gets you out of bed in the morning – there are far better things in life to enjoy.

Who are the Carefree Down-To-Earthers?

  • 64% aged between 50 and 64
  • 55% female
  • 18% have assets above £100,000
  • 48% retired
  • 6% have annual incomes above £50,00
  • 67% have children
  • 30% hold a stocks and shares ISA
  • 31% hold more than 75% of assets in cash



When it comes to your finances, family is your priority, but there are lots of demands on your times and money – not just children and grandchildren, but also parents. You can just about manage juggling all these financial balls – around one in four have an annual income above £50,000. But you still have some saving to go – almost 80% of this group are under the age of 65 and are still putting money away for retirement. Consequently, you’re focused on building up your nest-egg, rather than managing a pile of existing savings. And while you’re confident with investing, and engaged financially, you don’t like things being too racy. Perhaps you would, if you had the time to investigate things properly, but juggling all your priorities can make that tough.

Who are the Family-First Plate-Spinners?

  • 78% aged between 50 and 65
  • 54% male
  • 88% have assets under £100,000
  • 24% are retired
  • 11% have annual incomes above £50,000
  • 86% have children
  • 35% hold a stocks and shares ISA    
  • 16% hold more than 75% of assets in cash



1. Images and biographies of the five members of the Saga Savers panel are available on request. Please contact Gareth Shaw or Angela Clifton on the details below.

2. The Saga Savers test can be found by visiting

About Saga Investment Services

Saga Investment Services has been developed to open up the world of investing and financial planning to the UK’s over 50s in the run up to and throughout retirement, and to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible. Customers can invest from just £100, and have access to investment advice and financial planning services. Saga Investment Services champions a straight forward and transparent approach to investing, and is a proud member of the Plain English Campaign. It is a joint venture between Saga, the leading provider of services to the nation’s over 50s, and Tilney Bestinvest, the expert investment and financial planning group.


Gareth Shaw, Head of Consumer Affairs.

E: M: 07738 777 330

Angela Clifton, senior communications manager

E: T:01303 776 504, M:07748 336 310

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