Consumer Life Stages Survey

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This research explores how people’s actual financial decisions reflect best practice through their life stages and the motivating factors behind these decisions. The research was undertaken by Amárach Research, through face-to-face interviews in the home of 1,000 individuals nationally representative of the Irish public with an additional 430 interviews of those between the ages of 25 and 44. The total sample was 1,430.

Summary findings

  • The number of financial products that consumers have, rises sharply from the age of 30, peaking between 45 and 54, and then beginning to decline from the age of 55. The younger age grouping, 18-24 year olds, have relatively few financial products mainly; current accounts, motor insurance, credit union accounts and credit cards.
  • As consumer get older they become even more wedded to their existing institutions and providers. Outside of insurance products the level of switching of financial products is quite low across all age groups.
  • Friends and family are key influencers in financial decision making, however as would be expected this influence diminishes as we get older but does not disappear. Conversely, the influence of institutions on our financial decisions rises over time. The importance we place on seeking financial advice increases as we grow older, and there is agreement across all age brackets that people should seek financial advice when making big decisions.
  • Only a small number of people set money aside for pensions. By the time people reach their late thirties and early forties, less than one-fifth have begun pension savings. Less than 10% of all groups have an occupational pension, and of those who do, savings began by the age of 25.
  • Across all age ranges, an average of 20% currently have a mortgage on their home. The most popular age for taking out mortgages is between 25 and 30.
  • Approximately one-fifth of people hold a regular savings account, and even when people have higher levels of disposable income to set aside in their later career stages, monthly savings remain comparatively small.
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