Press releases

Anxiety among over 70s eases as lockdown continues, as new wellbeing index launches

Legal & General Retail Retirement launches the ‘Seventy-Plus Wellbeing Index’, a bi-monthly research report to support those in self-isolation.

4 May 2020

Full press release

  • A month into lockdown ‘isolation anxiety’ has fallen significantly, as fears about access to essential support has improved
  • Chris Knight, Chief Executive: “This is an unprecedented situation for people being advised to self-isolate; we must do all we can to understand the concerns of older people, in order to support them for the duration of these measures and beyond”

Legal & General Retail Retirement has today launched the ‘Seventy-Plus Wellbeing Index’, a bi-monthly research report tracking the physical, emotional and financial wellbeing of over 70s currently in isolation, over one in four of which (28%) currently live alone.

The majority of over 70s report trying to observe the Government’s guidance that they self-isolate (56%) and these figures have remained consistent over the last two weeks. However, around 52% of over 70s still cite that they often need to leave their home for necessary tasks.

Anxiety eases as outside support improves

Initially, one in four people over 70 (26%) reported feelings of anxiety, however in the latter half of April this has fallen significantly (to 14%) as people have adapted to the ‘new normal’. People over the age of 80 were the least likely to experience anxiety (6%). One in three people over 70 (30%) describe themselves as maintaining a positive outlook. (Full list in notes to editors).

This positive attitude is potentially driven by an increase in the number of over 70s who are feeling well-supported by people outside their home (65% to 70%). Also, fears among the over 70s about how they will get essential shopping have fallen significantly in the last two weeks (from 62% to 51%); this is likely due to the fact that scarcity issues at supermarkets have begun to improve and more has been put in place to support older customers’ access to groceries. A significant number of over 70s (80%) are also doing some of their shopping online.

Over 70s’ primary concern is for loved ones

Those 70+ are more concerned about their family and friends getting the virus than they are themselves (93% vs. 81%). However, concerns about getting the virus have risen in the last two weeks (from 78%). A large number of over 70s (76%) also have ongoing concerns about being cut off from their loved ones, fears that could be driven by rumoured reports that lockdown measures may be in place for older people for a significantly longer period of time than initially anticipated.

Household income worries persist

One in four (27%) over 70s are concerned about their household income and worry about the ongoing impact of the possible economic downturn (90%). One in 10 over 70s (9%) have concerns about managing their living costs during the pandemic. Despite concerns, 70% of over 70s have yet to see an impact on their household income. Of the 30% of over 70s who have seen their income negatively impacted by Covid-19, 37% plan to actively reduce their living costs and 11% will dip into their savings. At present, only 1% have contacted their retirement income provider to discuss the impact.

Chris Knight: "Self-isolation is an extremely trying challenge, which can have a significant impact on someone’s physical, emotional and financial wellbeing. This is an unprecedented situation for the people being advised to self-isolate; we must do all we can to understand the concerns of older people, in order to support them for the duration of these measures and beyond.

It is reassuring to see people’s initial anxiety abating, however, early indications suggest this will be a marathon, not a sprint, so we must continue to monitor the impact on the UK’s over 70s. This is why Legal & General Retail Retirement has launched the ‘Seventy-Plus Wellbeing Index’, so we can generate valuable insights into this unique experience and make sure we use that to better serve both our existing customers and the wider group of over 70s in the UK."

Opinium Research ran a series of online interviews among approximately 2,000 over 50s; of which approximately 700 were over 70. This was done in two waves – 3rd to the 6th April, 17th to the 21st April 2020.


6th April

21st April










































The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.

Further information

Millie Hyde Smith.jpg

Millie Hyde-Smith

Director of PR and Content

Legal & General Retail

Fallback Thumbnail People

Lewis Wilks


T: +44 7903 260 560

Email Lewis Wilks

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with £1.2 trillion in total assets under management1 of which 40% is international. We have a unique and highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. Legal & General provides powerful asset origination and management capabilities directly to clients, which also underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions. We are a leading international player in Pension Risk Transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers and create value for our shareholders. Through inclusive capitalism, we are investing in long-term assets, such as real estate and infrastructure, that can help build a better society for the future.

1Data as at 31 December 2023.

Legal & General Retail Retirement’s mission is to help its customers lead longer, healthier, happier lives. We believe everyone should be able to have a ‘more colourful retirement’. The Division comprises the Group’s retirement savings and income, later life lending and care solutions businesses. In 2020, LGRR wrote £910 million of annuity premiums and issued £791 million of lifetime and retirement interest only mortgages.

*at 31 Jun 2021