Almost half (45%) of women in Scotland still aren’t saving enough to meet their long-term needs, says Scottish Widows who conducted the study, compared to over a third (36%) of men with women saving £900 a year less on average. One in four Scots say they are saving nothing at all.
Following years of austerity, saving money has become a higher priority for many Scots, according to Scottish Widows’ 10th annual Savings Study. However, despite the increase in money being put aside, many Scottish savers are struggling to balance short and long-term priorities – focusing too heavily on the near-term (21%) rather than building up savings for their future (16%) and risking a comfortable later life. A quarter (26%) confess that they aren’t saving anything at all, and fewer feel they are definitely saving enough to meet their long-term needs than two years ago (22% compared to 29%).
Scottish women in particular are not saving as much as they did two years ago, with almost half (46%) putting less money away, compared to 39% of men. Last year, women in Scotland on average saved almost £900 less than their male counterparts. A similar number (45%) worry that they are not saving enough to meet their long-term needs – compared to a third (36%) of men.
A quarter (24%) of women blame increasing day-to-day living costs for their inability to save more money. A similar proportion (22%) feel they have less disposable income now than they did last year, which is having a knock-on effect on their ability to save.
Acutely aware of their need to build their savings for the future, the study found that women are taking action to address this shortfall and build up their savings for the future. Almost three quarters (71%) of women in Scotland said they have put away money in the last 12 months, compared to 63% of men and a national average of 66%. However, despite their concerns about the long-term, 31% of women admit they are only motivated to save when they have a specific goal in sight.
In contrast to women’s long-term financial concerns, men in Scotland appear to be more focused on short-term saving priorities with more than one in ten (12%) preferring to put aside money for the short-term rather than the long-term. Despite today’s workers facing a longer period of retirement, almost a fifth (17%) don’t believe they have anything to save for in the distant future.
David Lascelles, savings expert at Scottish Widows, said: “While it’s great that more people in Scotland are putting money away for the future, a significant proportion still aren’t saving anything at all. Clearly more needs to be done to help people in Scotland engage with saving to build a secure future for themselves. We must also encourage people to think beyond the immediate term, and see retirement saving as a priority too.”
The tenth edition of the annual Scottish Widows Savings Study is based on a survey carried out online by YouGov who interviewed a total of 5,161 adults (499 in Scotland) between 28th January and 4th February 2016.