The number of Brits living alone has doubled in 40 years

The Momentum UK Team 13 May 2014

In the last 40 years, the number of people living alone has more than doubled. According to new research, this could leave many people worse off financially.

New research from LV= suggests that almost a fifth (19%) of people now live alone. People are now living alone for longer than before, with today’s 20-30 year olds set to spend a total of 15 years of their life as solo dwellers.

The research also found that those living alone spend more on household bills than people living with a partner - to the tune of £1,826. This figure even takes into account the single person’s council tax discount.

This gap in disposable income for single people means that, as well as having less money to spend on leisure activities, those living alone have less cash available to contribute to their savings. The average couple has £6,000 in savings, compared to the average solo dweller who has just £2,000.

Alarmingly, 60% of solo dwellers have no financial back up plan in case they become suddenly unable to work. While many said they would rely on their savings, the research found that 24% of solo dwellers would run out of money in a fortnight if this happened.

Richard Rowney, Managing Director of LV= Life and Pensions, commented on the findings:

“People’s living arrangements are changing and more people are choosing to hold onto their independence for longer and live alone. Whilst the freedom of living alone has many advantages, it is important to realise the financial cost of independence. A worrying number of people do not have a sound backup plan, such as income protection, that would help them to meet their financial commitments if they were unable to work.

“Although some say that they would live on their savings, it is clear that what they have managed to put aside would not stretch very far. As 8.7 million people now live alone, that is a huge number of people in the UK who would find themselves in a vulnerable position if they lost their source of income.

“Regardless of whether you live alone or with a partner, it is important to consider a protection policy that would enable you to carry on living in your home if the unexpected happened.”