Press releases

Midlifers set to be hit twice by the cost of living

People in midlife who provide essential financial support to loved ones (17%) already face an annual bill of £3,577. This group could be hit twice by the cost of living due to increases in their own household costs and those of the adult loved ones they support. People in their early 40s face the most pressure due to higher outgoings and debts, despite their household income being at its highest point.

4 May 2022


Full press release

According to new analysis from Legal & General, the financial responsibility of people in midlife (40 to 60 years old) could rise significantly in 20221. Midlifers who provide financial support to adult loved ones (17%) could be hit twice by the cost of living, due to increases in their own household bills and those of the adult loved ones they support.

Households are likely to see their income hit by £1,200 this year due to tax rises and soaring energy bills2, which could see midlifer households’ essential bills increase by 10% (£12,457-a-year to £13,6573). This is on top of the £3,577 that midlifers already provide in financial support to their adult loved ones.

This could be a particular problem for people aged 40 to 44-years old, who face the steepest levels of support. Despite the fact their household income is at its highest point (£38,956 on average), their outgoings (£13,491) and non-mortgage debt (£19,149) combined with their financial support for loved ones (£4,195) are the highest of any other group in midlife.

Table One: Average financial situation for people in midlife (40 to 60 years old)

Assets and debts

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-60

Value of assets

£79,532

£118,257

£148,205

£189,667

Pension savings

£38,098

£52,425

£84,128

£112,698

Other savings (inc. investments)

£24,293

£31,028

£42,739

£51,385

Debts (excl. mortgage)

£19,149

£12,890

£10,985

£10,593

Outstanding mortgage debt

£66,625

£56,460

£36,965

£32,613

Assets minus debts

£56,149

£132,359

£227,123

£310,544

Income and outgoings

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-60

Personal income

£29,852

£28,640

£25,879

£25,349

Household income

£38,956

£38,791

£34,355

£33,311

Essential costs

£13,491

£12,881

£12,064

£11,392

Household income minus outgoings

£25,465

£25,910

£22,292

£21,918

Financial support (annual)

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-60

Total financial support (annual)

£4,195

£3,319

£3,372

£3,398

Source: Legal & General, 2022

Emma Byron, Managing Director, Legal & General Retirement Solutions: “People in midlife who provide financial support for their loved ones are often called upon to help with the cost of monthly essentials, so are likely to suffer from the cost of living twice. This is particularly true for people in their early forties, as our data shows, who have high outgoings and tend to provide a greater degree of financial support. It’s important that where possible, we equip people to make the best choices for their future, particularly as they near retirement, while they continue to meet their commitments to their loved one.”

Legal & General’s free Midlife MOT course, developed in partnership with The OU’s experts, is a free online course for those aged 40 to 60. It is available to all, regardless of whether they are one of the insurance and retirement provider’s customers, and has been designed to encourage people to think about their current and future work, wealth and wellbeing and to give them the knowledge and tools to approach later life with confidence.


1Opinium survey of 4,009 UK adults aged between 40 and 60 years old in the UK was conducted between the 28th December and 6th January 2021
2 Year of the Squeeze, Resolution Foundation
3 Average essential outgoings for midlifers were £12,457, an increase of £1,200 as predicted by the Resolution Foundation could see them increase by 10% to £13,657


Details of Midlife MOT course

The Midlife MOT course, aimed at those aged 40-60, covers the key subject areas of wealth, work and wellbeing.

You look at how to get your personal finances in order both for today’s needs and for later life. The course covers budgeting, how to cut spending painlessly, reorganising your debts and how to build up your investments to supplement your pension in later life. There’s a ten-point checklist too that identifies what areas of your finances are in order and which need attention.

Then you get the chance to review your working life – is it the right time to change job, start a new career or even start a business? Or you may just want a steer on how to make more of the opportunities available at your current employer. You begin this part of the course by reflecting on what you really want from work and what would give you greatest satisfaction before assessing the different paths you could take.

In the third part of the course you explore your wellbeing – checking your physical and mental health. How healthy is your current lifestyle? You assess this with an interactive quiz that also provides tips on how to improve your wellbeing. This part of the course is arranged around the five pillars of wellbeing – nutrition, hydration, physical activity, cognitive stimulation and social stimulation. And links are provided to enable you to explore in detail specific ways to check and improve your wellbeing – for example with exercise routines.

Filled with videos, quizzes and interactive tools the course is fun and easy to study

Further information

Kia Mclean01

Kia Mclean

PR & Marketing Manager

Legal & General Retail

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with over £1.4 trillion in total assets under management* of which a third is international. We also provide powerful asset origination capabilities. Together, these 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. Through inclusive capitalism, we aim to build a better society by investing in long-term assets that benefit everyone. 

*at 31 Dec 2021

As of 1st January 2022, Legal & General Retail Retirement and Legal & General Insurance (our two retail businesses) have been combined into one division, Legal & General Retail to enable us to better serve the needs of our retail customers. 

Legal & General Retail helps protect the lives and futures of our customers; the division covers the savings, protection and retirement needs of our c12 million retail policyholders and workplace members.  In 2021, we wrote £957 million of annuity premiums, and issued £848 million of Lifetime Mortgages and Retirement Interest Only Mortgages. Our Workplace pension platform served 4.4 million members, while in the UK we paid out a total of £1,133.8 million in insurance claims.