HNWs financial plans affected by inflation

15 May 2024

The majority of wealthier people have delayed a ‘major life decision’ as a result of the inflation driven cost-of-living crisis, according to a new wealth report.

The Saltus Wealth Index Report found 89% of people with assets of more than £250,000 have delayed major life decisions including having children, getting divorced, starting a business and retiring due to the current financial climate. A similar number (84%) also said their adult children or grandchildren had done the same.

Almost one in eight (13%) have delayed either having their first child or adding to their family, rising to 15% amongst those aged 35-44. According to the Office for National Statistics, birth rates, particularly amongst women in their 30s and 40s, are now at their lowest rate since 2002.

Saltus said nearly one in 10 (9%) people have delayed divorce, while 6% admitted ‘being able to afford a divorce/alimony’ is their single biggest worry.

The research also revealed a change in working habits as a result of the cost of living crisis. More than a tenth (11%) of people have delayed their retirement plans, while one in five (20%) have delayed starting their own business. Official data shows that the number of VAT and/or PAYE businesses in the UK is down 1.5%, marking the first fall since 2011.

Mike Stimpson, partner at Saltus, said: “Our research shows that the current economic climate has had an impact on the thinking of many high net worth individuals when it comes to major life decisions. The vast majority say they have delayed plans and while many are not life changing, others are hugely significant such as putting off a divorce, delaying retirement and even putting off starting or adding to the family.

“The impact of the current climate on high-net-worth individuals additionally has some significant wider impacts, most notably those delaying starting a business. For the UK economy to thrive we need these entrepreneurs to be applying their skill and creativity, investing in and growing the businesses which will offer the jobs of the future and support wider economic growth. But short-term worries are causing understandable hesitation and this should be a concern to us all.”

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