Average UK Net Worth by Age: Exploring Pensions, Property, Physical Wealth, and Financial Assets

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As we navigate through life, it is natural to wonder if our savings and financial preparations are on track. We often find ourselves comparing our savings to those of our peers and colleagues. While it is important to focus on our own financial journey, it is fascinating to explore the average and median savings and net worth across the UK.

To get a clearer picture of UK household savings and wealth, we turn to statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Wealth and Asset Survey and tables by Nimble Fins. It’s worth noting that while these figures provide valuable insights into the overall financial landscape, they should be viewed as averages and medians, as opposed to direct indicators of individual situations.

Understanding the difference between the average and the median is crucial when interpreting these statistics. The average can be skewed by a small number of households with exceptionally high savings and net worth. On the other hand, the median provides a more realistic figure that is not influenced by outliers.

Let’s dive into the key findings and break down the various types of wealth and savings in the UK:

  1. Household Savings Rate:
    The average savings rate per household in the UK is £76,301. However, it is important to note that most households have less than this average. The median gross savings is a more realistic figure at £12,500. This means that 50% of households have more than the median amount saved, while the other 50% have less. It’s worth mentioning that 25% of households have less than £2,100 saved.

  2. Types of Household Savings:
    Looking at the median balances for different types of savings accounts, we see that all current accounts have a median balance of £2,000. Cash ISAs have a median balance of £9,200, while stocks and shares ISAs have a higher median balance of £31,000. This suggests that while fewer individuals have stocks and shares ISAs, they tend to hold higher-value accounts. Other types of savings products and insurance products also show varying median balances.

  3. Household Total Wealth:
    The median total wealth per household in the UK is £302,500. In contrast, the average total wealth is heavily skewed upwards to £576,000. A few exceptionally wealthy households influence the average figure significantly. It’s important to acknowledge that the average is almost twice the amount of the median, highlighting the impact of outliers.

  4. Types of Wealth:
    The total median wealth consists of four categories:

  5. Net Financial Wealth: This includes the value of financial assets such as savings accounts, ISAs, endowments, stocks, and shares.
  6. Physical Wealth: This covers the self-reported value of household contents, possessions, and valuables.
  7. Private Pension Wealth: This represents the value of pension plans, including personal pensions, occupational pensions, and pensions in payment.
  8. Net Property Wealth: This accounts for the self-reported value of owned properties, including the main residence and additional land or property in the UK or abroad.

Analyzing the average and median wealth by age, we observe an expected accumulation of wealth over time. As individuals save more, property values increase, and mortgages are paid off, wealth naturally grows. Notably, the average wealth of individuals between the ages of 40 to 44 indicates a significant jump compared to the previous age bracket (35 to 39). This may be attributed to a combination of increased pension contributions and growing property values.

It is essential to highlight the difference between average and median figures. For individuals aged 55 to 59, the average private pension wealth is approximately £418,000. This could potentially provide an annual pension income of around £17,000, depending on individual circumstances. Additionally, state pensions could contribute another £20,000 to the total income. However, focusing on the median figures, we find that the private pension wealth is around £180,000, resulting in a more modest income of £7,000 to £8,000 per year.

When considering the median figures, we see a more realistic representation of wealth levels. Property wealth is significantly lower for younger age groups, with individuals aged 20 to 24 and 25 to 29 having zero property wealth. As age increases, so does the accumulation of property wealth and private pension wealth.

Breaking down the median wealth per adult, we gain insights into individual financial situations. For example, the median private pension wealth for individuals aged 55 to 59 is approximately £90,000. This could yield a pension income of around £3,000 to £4,000 per year. It is important to note that these figures do not include defined benefit pension schemes.

In conclusion, understanding the average UK net worth by age provides valuable insights into the financial landscape. While the average figures may be skewed by outliers, the median figures offer a more realistic representation of wealth levels. It is crucial to remember that individual circumstances vary, and these figures serve as general indicators rather than direct guidelines. By focusing on personal financial goals and objectives, individuals can make informed decisions to secure their financial future.

Note: The figures mentioned in this article were sourced from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Wealth and Asset Survey and tables by Nimble Fins. The information provided is based on average and median values and may not represent individual situations.