- Wealth and health take joint top spot in the Direct Line ‘Hopes and Fears’ index
- Poor health, not making ends meet, affordability and decreased living standards are the nation’s greatest fears
- Fear of terrorist attacks jumps from 14th to 5th place
New research 1 from Direct Line reveals that an improved financial situation and good health are the top hopes for Brits in the coming six months.
The Direct Line ‘Hopes and Fears’ Index, which tracks the nation’s aspirations and concerns over a six month period, found that as summer comes to a close better weather has been replaced as the top hope by improved money and good health (both cited by 43 per cent of respondents).
According to the study, four of the top five aspirations are non‐financially focused, two in five Brits (40 per cent) are hoping for a holiday as autumn approaches while more than a third (36 per cent) are hoping to lose weight.
A fear of terrorist attack has risen most markedly in the rankings, from fourteenth six months ago to rank as the fifth greatest fear of Brits for the next six months. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of Brits ranked this as one of their primary concerns. This could be seen as a reflection of public perception of the recent terror activity, hoaxes and the UK’s heightened alert status.
|What are your main hopes for the next six months?||What are your main fears for the next six months?|
|1. My financial situation improving||43%||1. Health problems for me or family members||46%|
|2. Good improved health for me & family||43%||2. Not being able to make ends meet||27%|
|3. Taking a holiday short break||40%||3. Inflation price rises||26%|
|4. Happiness & success for my children||38%||4. My standard of living dropping||26%|
|5. Losing weight||36%||5. Terrorist Attack||23%|
|6. Good weather||33%||6.Impact of Government cuts in public spending||21%|
|7. To win the lottery||33%||7. Bad weather||18%|
|8. Economic recovery||24%||8. A friend/ family member having financial difficulties||16%|
|9. Keeping my present job||15%||9. Not being able to lose weight||15%|
|10. Getting a promotion/ pay rise||14%||10. Getting into (further) debt||15%|
Source: Direct Line, 2014
The nation’s greatest fear for the immediate future is their health and the health of loved ones, with 46 per cent citing this as one of their main concerns. The majority of concerns are financially motivated with three of the top five fears centred on money and their standard of living. Over a quarter (27 per cent) of people are concerned about making ends meet, while 26 per cent are worried about inflation and a further 26 per cent fear a drop in their standard of living.
Christine Webber, Harley Street psychotherapist and health writer, commented: “It’s interesting how much the index has altered in the past six months. However, the survey shows that ill health still tops the fear index. After all, no matter how much money you have, if you have poor health – or someone close to you is ill – your blooming bank balance is of little consolation. But what does seem highly significant to me is that seven of the top ten fears are about money and employment, which would suggest that the upward trend in the country’s economy has – so far – not resulted in a sense of solvency or security for the average person.
“It’s also a sad reflection of our times that fear of terrorism figures much more highly for British adults than it did just a few months ago.”
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Notes to editors:
1. Opinium Research conducted an online survey from the 29th August to 1st September 2014, amongst 2,002 UK adults aged 18+. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria
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