Which is more important; health or wealth?


Some want a six-figure pension pot; others are more focused on getting a six pack.

Turning 40 affects people in different ways, but the urge to pay more attention to health or wealth is a common one. Whilst saving for your future is massively important, research from Prudential suggests that more over 40s are improving their health than their financial security.

Taking steps to become healthy in retirement undoubtedly has its benefits, but why aren’t people making their financial stability a priority?

What concerns do over 40s face?

In a study of 1,057 adults aged between 50 and 65, more than two-fifths of over 40s are working to improve their health, but just a third are taking action to improve their financial security.

The study also found that 58% of over 40s rarely or never check their retirement savings. This number increased slightly in the 55-64 range, with 60% not checking their savings as often as they think they should.

When asked what the main concerns were, the most popular answers were:

  • Physical health (44%)
  • Plans for future financial security (39%)
  • Current financial security (36%)
  • Mental Health (32%)
  • Debt (23%)

Kirsty Anderson, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “Changing lifestyle and improving physical health will make a major difference to millions of families across the UK and it is encouraging that so many over 40s are taking action. People are living longer but that is no benefit if they are unwell in old age and the same applies to not having enough retirement savings to ensure you have a comfortable standard of living. Of course, people cannot tackle all the issues at one time, which is why it is so important to focus on a range of small steps, such as regularly checking your retirement savings, so that you can tackle the really big health and wealth goals.”

An adviser can help

The research also revealed that 21% of over 40s were taking up a new sport or activity, compared to 18% who had started seeing a financial adviser either for the first time or more regularly.

Taking professional advice is often the first step towards fully understanding how much is needed for retirement. Once that has been established, action can be taken to ensure that you are able to afford the lifestyle that you require. Being as fit as a fiddle won’t count for much if you run out of money in your retirement.