A mid-life less ordinary? Characteristics and incomes of low-to-middle income households age 50 to State Pension age

Published on Incomes and Inequality

This report provides an insight into the financial situation of those older low to middle income households highlighting the living standards challenges they face, some unique to this group but others shared by all working-age households. In doing so it aims to provide better understanding of the characteristics of older low to middle income families and provide a platform on which to start building more effective policy changes for this group.

  • The 2017 general election is likely to be dominated by debates over Brexit. But there are plenty of other issues of concern for politicians to grapple with. The outlook for living standards to the end of the decade, while uncertain, is decidedly gloomy – especially for LMIs. There is a clear need for the next government to focus attention on earnings and incomes.
  • The living standards of Older LMIs are still no higher than in 2007-08, longer taking into account the rising cost of housing. And they remain at risk of continued financial strain as they approach retirement, facing a struggle to maintain current living standards and save enough to support their future living standards in retirement.
  • Living standards matter. Longer term tackling the challenges, such as the higher cost of housing due to a shift into private renting, faced by younger cohorts, will help support living standards of future older working-age households. But more immediately measures to further boost employment but also boost pay will be particularly important to help today’s older LMI households. A focus on keeping people in work preventing early exit from the labour market will be key.