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Only around a third of North West adults (35%) are saving for retirement and less than a quarter (22%) do so on a monthly basis, according to new research by the insolvency trade body R3.

The survey also found that a quarter of adults in the region (26%) have no savings at all and 71% have never consulted an independent financial advisor. However, in other ways, North West adults appear to be generally good at keeping an eye on their finances.

Almost all (97%) check their current account balance every month and 24% check every day, while 64% go through their spending by checking receipts at least monthly. Almost half of adults in the North West (49%) prepare a monthly budget, while 46% put aside money at least once a month for necessities like utility bills or repairs, and 32% do so for luxuries like a holiday or a car.

The survey also showed that 70% of people in the region shop around for financial products such as mortgages, savings and credit cards, and 25% check the interest rate on these products once a month. The survey is the latest in a long-running survey of over 2,000 British adults including 237 from the North West.

Richard Wolff, North West chair of R3 and Head of Corporate Recovery and Insolvency at law firm JMW, said: “It is troubling that less than a quarter of North West adults are saving regularly for retirement, which suggests we could be storing up trouble for the future. The survey also shows that most people are likely to save regularly for retirement in the few years before they retire; very few start saving early. Hopefully, the new auto-enrolment pension scheme could change this.

“Another concern is that around one in four has no savings at all. With the improving economy, now is the time people should be paying down debts or rebuilding their savings, which could provide a bit of breathing space when the economy slows down again.

“Smartphones and online banking have made it much easier for people to keep on top of their finances and keep their spending under control. Encouragingly, those with debt worries are most likely to track their finances actively which could help prevent their problems from getting worse.”