Do we reach our financial peak at 35?

7th September 2011

has defined three core commitment stages during a lifetime. Standard Life's study found that financial and emotional commitments are interlinked, with finances underpinning personal relationships.

The report was developed with psychologist Professor Janet Reibstein and looked at the nature of commitment. It reveals that financial and emotional commitments peak between 35 and 44 years of age when people spend on average £1,160 a month on financial commitments and think about them for 45 minutes every day.  

The research reveals that during a lifetime, the average person spends £914 a month on financial commitments and 37 minutes thinking about them everyday.  In contrast, they spend £87 a month on emotional commitments, thinking about them for 2 hours, 18 minutes every day.

According to the Standard Life study there are three core commitment life stages with transition phases in between.

Commitment Sleepwalkers are aged between 18 and 24 and have a smaller amount of financial and personal relationship commitments. Their regular financial commitments amount to just £458 a month. They spend the least amount of time thinking about their finances so are at risk of overlooking the long term cumulative affects of these costs.

The Fully Committed (aged 35 to 44) are at the peak of their regular financial commitments, spending an average of £1,160 each month and likely to be paying a mortgage, looking after a child and paying off any debt accrued in earlier life.

Commitment Slowdowns are typically aged over 55 and are starting to become less financially and emotionally committed. They are spending £818 on their commitments each month, almost £100 less that the average.

Professor Reibstein says: "Your Commitments, Your Future shows a discrepancy in how much attention we devote to our financial and emotional commitments. We spend over two hours a day thinking about emotional commitments, but just 37 minutes on our financial commitments.

"People consider financial commitments as something abstract, separate to their emotional life. But our finances underpin our most important relationships and often our ability to achieve our future goals. The Standard Life report makes it clear how vital it is for people to engage with their finances, their personal relationships and future aspirations as one single entity."

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