Commitment Peak Begins at 35 for Average Person in the UK

By Standard Life, PRNE
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

LONDON, September 7, 2011 -

- Standard Life publish ’ Your Commitments, Your Future’  defining three core commitment stages during a lifetime

- Financial and emotional commitments are interlinked, with finances underpinning personal relationships

- Ten times more money is spent on financial commitments than family and friends, but four times more time is devoted to thinking about emotional commitments

- Report calls for a more joined up approach to our financial and emotional commitments in order to achieve life goals.

Standard Life publishes Your Commitments, Your Future, a study developed with psychologist Professor Janet Reibstein into the nature of commitment. It reveals that financial and emotional commitments peak between 35-44 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 (18-24) who 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 (35-44) who 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 (55+) who are starting to become less financially and emotionally committed. They are spending £818 on their commitments each month, almost £100 less that the average.

Commenting on the research findings, Professor Reibstein said:

Your Commitments, Your Futureshows 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.”

Standard Life’s John Lawson added: “Your Commitments, Your Future breaks our commitments down into life stages, giving a clear picture of how our commitments change throughout our life. This understanding can help substantially with planning our personal finances so that we can feel confident about the future and achieve our goals. It’s clear that financial commitments can support our relationships - they underpin them. If people were to dedicate more time to their long term financial planning, they wouldn’t just be better off financially, they’re likely to be better off all round.”

Your Commitments, Your Future is available at where people can also find out about their commitment profile using an interactive tool and watch a video of Professor Reibstein explaining the findings.

Kelly Hollidge khollidge at +44-(0)207-360-7826 and Adam Smith asmith at +44-(0)2073607816

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