Let's Start Talking Singles Tax
13 Feb 2020
‘Singles Tax’ tops £10k a year
• In total, single Brits (living alone) will spend £9,679.20 a year more than those in a couple on essentials such as rent, council tax and bills
• Women are particularly affected: able to save only half as much as men each month
• 1 in 3 who live alone don’t have a financial safety net
Single life comes with a £10,000 a year ‘premium’, according to new findings.
The UK’s leading life insurance broker LifeSearch looked at costs across key living expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, council tax, utility bills and groceries to calculate the premium.
The research reveals Brits who are single and living alone are forced to spend £10,000 more per year than their coupled-up counterparts, and it’s a figure that has doubled over the last 10 years.2
And that’s before factoring in holidays, travel and gym memberships, many of which offer discounts for those in relationships. When looking at additional costs of being single including hotel stays, attending family events, going out and dating, singles can expect to add another £900 a year on to their outgoings.3
The premium on single life is highest for women, who are left with only £260 a month after essentials to either spend or save, compared to £460 for men.4
All this means that those who live alone are able to put away around £1,000 less a year than those who live with a partner.5 Less saving power and only one wage to rely on means that one in three people who live alone admit they don’t have a safety net should they fall into financial hardship.6
Despite this, fewer single people have protection products such as income protection or critical illness cover than those living with their partners.7
And with the number of people living alone set to rise to 10.7 million by 2039,8 the experts at LifeSearch are urging single people to take precautions.
Emma Walker from LifeSearch said: “It can be easy to make light of singles needing ‘protection’, but in all seriousness, it is very important people be aware of how vulnerable a position they may be left in if something unexpected happens. Protection can provide a safety net in such circumstances.
“Sometimes it can seem like life is geared towards being in a couple – with everything from council tax to holidays coming out cheaper if you’re partnered up. But without the back up of a partner’s salary if things go wrong, single people really do have additional challenges when it comes to financial planning.
“At LifeSearch you can give us a call and we can chat you through your options, from income protection to critical illness cover. We’re here to protect the life you love, whatever your relationship status is.”
Notes to editors
For media comment, case studies and interviews please contact: LifeSearch@thirdcity.co.uk
Victoria Mayman: 020 3856 9484
Briony FitzGerald: 020 3668 6901
Liam Reeves: 020 3668 6904
Research was conducted by Opinium on behalf of LifeSearch. This was an online poll of 2,000 adults aged 18+ and a national representative spread. The research was conducted in January 2020.
The research asked the respondents to consider how much they spent each month on essentials including mortgage/rent payments, council tax, insurance, utility bills and groceries, as well as yearly spending on non-essential items such as holidays and entertainment. It also asked the respondents to what extent they agreed to various statements on the costs of living alone.
1. Each year, single people living alone will pay on average £2,789.40 more on mortgage/rent payments, £1,749.60 more on council tax, £1,621.80 more on contents, car and other insurance, £2,073.00 more a year on utility bills and £1,445.40 a year on groceries.
2. Previous research carried out in 2010 found that the lifetime cost of being single over 53 years would total £250,000. Research from Opinium in 2020 found the annual cost of being single is £9,679.20, which over the same time period would total £512,997.60.
3.Spending on hotels, family events such as weddings and birthdays, going out and dating by those who are single and live alone totals £930.50 p/year.
4. Women who live alone have £264.30 on average left each month after essential spending. Men have £460.80
5. Those who live alone are able to save on average £4287 p/ year compared to £5217 for those who live with their partner
6. 53% of singles living alone could rely on household savings (compared to 57% of those living with a partner) and only 12% could rely on wider family (compared to 15%)
7. Only 7% of those who are single and live alone have income protection compared to 15% of those who live with a partner and only 12% have critical illness cover (compared to 20%)
8. ONS data on Cost of Living Alone
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