Brits perceive 'long-term' to be 24 years

Two in three Brits (68%) are optimistic their long-term financial futures will be ‘ok’, but when thinking about the ‘long-term’, consumers typically view it to be 24 years ahead, new research1 from Canada Life today reveals. 


Despite their significantly positive outlook, the research has demonstrated the broad experiences and feelings consumers have around their long-term finances: 

  • 72% are planning ahead financially
  • 59% consider themselves to be more of a saver than a spender
  • 48% say that money is often a concern for them
  • 32% feel out of control with their finances
  • 19% of savers are concerned that they won’t have enough money to retire.


This breadth of feeling and experience establishes a clear need for consumers to be supported in their long-term thinking and financial planning and when it comes to the biggest influences on long-term thinking, family is key (54%). Their influence is closely followed by that of friends (22%) and financial advisers (17%). However, more than one in five (22%) consumers think advisers should have a bigger influence than they currently do.


Gen X in focus

Concerns around long-term finances are greater among Gen X (those currently aged 41-56), with 46% feeling out of control financially and 60% feeling like money is often a concern for them. This is in spite of the fact that 52% are already planning for their retirements and only two fifths (39%) say they regularly use their overdraft or credit card. 


However, many are taking the right steps towards a financially healthy retirement, with more than half (51%) investing their savings, 52% having different accounts for different goals, and two in five (44%) actively looking for financial guidance. 


Lara Bealing, Marketing Director, at Canada Life, said:

“Having the ability to think long-term when it comes to our finances is hard, but it forms an integral part of developing a robust plan for the future.  Of course, our priorities naturally shift and evolve as we navigate life’s many milestones and challenges. From finding a career path and buying a property, to caring for family, and beginning the journey into retirement - each of these milestones can be enabled through long-term financial plans. 


“With many worrying about reaching their life goals, as an industry we have a crucial role to play. Not only must we provide the products, tools and services needed to adequately manage finances and plan for long-term goals, but we can also help customers articulate what they truly want to achieve, so that we can play our full role in helping them get there.”


For further details on the Canada Life Long-Term: Close Up campaign please visit



  1. Source: The research was conducted in partnership with Savanta and encompassed three phases:
  • An consumer online qualitative community conducted for seven days in June with 24 consumers. Each day different topics were covered via written commentary, videos and polling, along with some group discussions
  • 15 interviews with industry experts (advisers, investment banks and institutional pension decision makers) between the 5th & 30th Each interview lasted between 45-60 minutes. 
  • An online survey of 3000 consumers running from 27th July to 12th
  1. The psychological exploration of long-term thinking has been conducted by Dr Simon Moore and his team of psychologists at Innovation Bubble.