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Standard Life reveals financial commitments as significant as key emotional relationships

Standard Life has revealed that for some people in the UK, financial commitments are as significant as key emotional relationships.


Financial commitments are as significant as key emotional relationships for people in the UK, according to research from Standard Life. It found that many would liken the majority of their regular financial commitments to the kind of relationship they have with their partner or spouse. Over three quarters (81%) of people paying into a pension view their relationship with their pension in this way and almost half (47%) of gym-goers liken their membership to a ’husband or wife’ relationship too.

Standard Life’s full ’Your Commitments, Your Future’ report can be found at and defines how financial and relationship commitments change during a lifetime. It also investigates the different attitudes people have to different kinds of commitments. It found that while most consider their regular financial commitments, such as paying bills or contributing to a pension, to be significant, on average people spend much more time thinking about their relationship commitments instead.

Other findings include:
- Over three quarters of men (77%) who pay a mortgage are most likely to liken the relationship to the same as with a spouse, rising to four out of five women (83%).
- Three in five men (59%) who have paid-for TV admit that they view their subscription as most like a ‘husband and wife’ relationship.  
- While the longest relationship people in the UK have tends to be with a partner or spouse, their longest financial commitment is held for just two years less on average over their lifetime.
- The longest relationship for adults aged 18 to 24 is with a financial product, (two years and ten months, six months more than their longest relationship with a partner).
- Men and women who have a partner spend just 50 minutes a day thinking about their partner and just over half an hour (37 minutes) a day thinking about the financial commitments we listed.

John Lawson from Standard Life commented: "Our financial and relationship commitments change throughout our life and understanding how they are linked is essential when planning for the future. Our research found that although our financial commitments are significant, we devote less time and attention to them than our emotional relationships.
“ We’ve identified three core commitment life stages, so people can see where they are in the financial and emotional commitment cycle. In that way, they are in a better place to plan their finances for the future and feel confident about what lies ahead.”

Psychologist Professor Janet Reibstein who worked with Standard Life on the report said: “An interesting aspect of this research is that people regard financial and emotional commitments as separate entities to be treated differently. Yet if people understand that financial and emotional commitments are linked, then they will be able to align their commitments with their aspirations.”


Notes to editors:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2016 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th - 20th June 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Methodology: This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered by members of the YouGov Plc GB panel of 300,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys.

About Standard Life:
Standard Life is a leading long term savings and investments company headquartered in Edinburgh and operating internationally. Established in 1825, Standard Life provides life assurance, annuities, life insurance, savings products, investment bonds, tax efficiencies, pension products such as a self-invested personal pension, financial education and investment management to around 6 million customers worldwide.

PR Contact:
Nicki Lundy
Standard Life
Ground Floor
Caledonian Exchange
19a Canning Street
0131 245 2737


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