Slightly under a million say they are living comfortably

A million adults in Ireland say they are struggling to make ends meet, while slightly less than a million say they are living comfortably. These are among the findings of Aviva’s Second Family Finances Report 2017 which provides a snapshot of the financial health and well-being of households across Ireland.

Asked to describe their current financial circumstances, 28% or 1 million adults, say they are struggling while 27% or 965,000 adults, say they are living comfortably. A further 45%, or 1.6 million adults, say they are getting by financially. Middle age is the pinch point with 40% of 45 to 54 year olds saying they are struggling. The most fortunate are those over 65, 44% of whom are living comfortably.

The survey, carried out by RED C, finds optimism among households about the economy and their own financial well-being has grown since the first report last autumn. In particular, confidence in employment opportunities has increased with 47% saying they believe their employment prospects will continue to improve over the next six months.

The report identifies the 35 to 54 year old age cohort as the most financially stressed. This so-called ‘squeezed middle’ are also the most downbeat in their expectations for their future. By contract, those under the age of 34 and over 65 are faring much better. The younger age cohort is the most positive in outlook with 44% expecting their income and employment prospects to improve.

Meanwhile, by far the most fortunate financially is the 65+ age group, 44% of whom say they are living comfortably.