Press releases

Life on hold: cost-of-living delays homeownership, having children and retirement for millions of people across the country

Millions of people across the UK fear that the long-term impact of today’s rising living costs could see their life goals delayed or even missed altogether, according to new research from Legal & General.

23 Jun 2022

Full press release

  • Long term impact of the cost of living revealed: two thirds of UK adults (the equivalent of 33 million people) worry that rising living costs will have an impact on their future plans
  • More than 11 million people have put their retirement plans on hold
  • Despite worries, half of UK adults (52%) haven’t sought financial guidance
  • Returning for season three, Legal & General’s ‘Rewirement’ podcast tackles the big financial decisions we face throughout our lifetime to help listeners plan their financial futures in these challenging times

Millions of people across the UK fear that the long-term impact of today’s rising living costs could see their life goals delayed or even missed altogether, according to new research from Legal & General.1 Almost two thirds (64%), the equivalent to 33 million people across the country are concerned about the future, due to the current state of their finances.

Households are tackling rising expenses by turning off the heating (48%), reducing their grocery spend (37%) and even driving their vehicles less (24%). However, over half of UK adults (56%) feel they have already done everything they can to save money, while savings have also taken a hit. Nearly a third (30%) no longer have a ‘savings buffer’ to cover unexpected costs.

The long-term impact of the current crisis

The study amongst 4,000 people across the UK, found that people were already worrying about the long-term impact of the cost-of-living crisis.


More than nine million potential homeowners – 48% of all people planning to purchase a home – now estimate they will need to delay this goal, with almost a fifth (18%) of this group expecting it will need to be delayed by five years or more. An additional 12% of prospective homeowners now don’t ever think they will own a home due to greater financial pressures. Dreams of getting married (7.2 million potential brides and grooms – 47%) and even parenthood (50% of those who plan to have a/another child – 6.8 million people) have also been delayed as a result.


Parents who hoped to provide future financial support for their children are cutting back or scrapping their plans. Almost two in five (39%) people who planned to set a lump sum aside for their children now think they will have to delay this. Almost a fifth (16%) do not see themselves ever being able to help out their children as a result, while 39% of people who had planned to give their children a deposit on their home now say they will delay this. Almost one in four of these parents (23%) say they will never be able to fund their children’s deposit. 


Longer term, 45% of people who had dreams for retirement anticipate that they will have to put them on hold. This is the equivalent to over 11 million people across the UK and includes 38% of people in the crucial decade before retirement who expect to delay retirement by at least a year, if not more. More than one in 10 (12%) of people think they are never likely to retire. 

The role of guidance and support

Despite current challenges having such a fundamental impact on people’s long-term goals, half of UK adults (52%) haven’t sought guidance or support to better understand how to tackle their money woes. Those that have looked for help most commonly turn to price comparison websites (19%), their family (15%) or the news (12%). Only 7% (3.9 million people) have sought out independent financial advice.

Legal & General has today launched the third season of its award-winning ‘Rewirement’ podcast, which aims to give listeners the knowledge, understanding and confidence to navigate the big financial decisions we face throughout our lifetime. During this eight-part podcast series, broadcaster Angellica Bell explores topics ranging from how to buy your very first home or create a sound financial future in your 20s, right up to the important decisions on retirement plans and pensions. It will also cover how to balance financial security and family needs, financial priorities for the self-employed, the topical issue of managing the rises in the cost of living and more.

Top 10 ways UK adults have sought advice or guidance


Price comparison websites

19 %


15 %


12 %


10 %

Budgeting tools and apps

9 %

Independent financial advice

7 %

Social media

7 %

Government guidance

7 %

Independent charities

6 %

Educational materials

3 %

Source: Legal & General, 2022

Emma Byron, Managing Director, Legal & General Retirement Solutions: “Rising living costs have been so significant that most UK households will have noticed a squeeze on their monthly budgets. Not only does this have a direct impact on people’s lifestyles, even though they are making every effort to cut back, but it has a knock-on effect on their lifelong goals such as owning a home or retiring comfortably.

“Financial guidance can be helpful for people of all ages to tackle these challenges, but while there are many free resources and support like Moneyhelper and Pension Credit, they are largely underutilised. We want to make it easier for people to find the right help and feel confident researching their options. Where people can afford it, independent financial advice can also be invaluable, especially when navigating more complicated financial situations, such as retirement. Seeking the right help now could head off difficulties later down the line.”

1. Opinium survey of 4,001 UK adults was conducted between the 27th and 31st May 2022

Further information

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 management (as at FY23) of which c40% (circa £0.5 trillion) is international.

We have a highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. We are a leading international player in Institutional Retirement, in Retail Savings and Protection, and in both public and private markets through our Asset Management division. Across the Group, we are committed to responsible investing and dedicated to serving the long-term savings and investment needs of customers and society.

As at 7 June 2024, we estimate the Group’s Solvency II coverage ratio to be 224%.

As at 11 June 2024, Legal & General has a market capitalisation of £14.6 billion.

Legal & General Retail helps create brighter financial futures for all our customers. The division covers the savings, protection and retirement needs of our c.14 million retail policyholders and workplace members.  

In 2023, we had total individual annuity sales of £1,431 million, and issued £299 million of Lifetime Mortgages and Retirement Interest Only Mortgages. Our Workplace pension platform served 5.2 million members, while our Protection businesses gave peace of mind to several million direct, group and US customers, taking in £1,991 million of UK and $1,584 million of US gross written premiums.