Over half of mid-lifers have never calculated when they can afford to retire

Middle aged woman looking out of window
  • Almost 3 in 10 (28%) Brits now use apps on their smart phones for everyday finances, but only 7% use them for retirement planning.
  • More than half (53%) of those in their mid-life have never calculated when they can afford to retire and 3 in 5 (61%) have never requested a free state pension forecast.
  • Almost a third (29%) of those in their mid-life agree that confidence in their health and wellbeing has worsened since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Aviva launches a new Mid-Life MOT education app to help the public improve their work, wealth and wellbeing planning.

Over half (53%) of people in their mid-life have never calculated when they can afford to retire1 according to latest research from Aviva as it launches its new Mid-Life MOT app to help provide consumers with essential guidance and support to improve their wealth, work and wellbeing. The free app can be downloaded here and will facilitate a MOT style check-up, providing consumers with a score out of 100 with suggested actions to take.

More time at home during lockdown has led to a 40% increase in consumer mobile phone app usage so far this year2. Aviva’s research reveals that almost three in 10 (28%) adults use apps on their phone for everyday finances, such as budgeting and monitoring spending or saving, while more than one in five (22%) use apps to improve their physical health.

Yet fewer than one in ten (7%) use apps for retirement planning, including using pensions calculators and accessing guidance on savings and investments. In fact, more people (15%) use apps for dieting than they do for retirement planning. 

Consumer use of mobile phone apps to help with future planning or 'life admin'

Everyday finances (making a budget, monitoring and spending) 


Physical health (making exercise plans and monitoring fitness) 


Community activities (chat groups, forums, researching local events) 


Work (job searching and careers advice) 


Education (learning new skills) 


At the same time, almost a third (29%) of those in their mid-life agree that confidence in their health and wellbeing has worsened* since the beginning of the pandemic and one in five (19%) of those say their work-life balance and job security has worsened. More than a third (34%) say that they are unhappy** with their sleep and more than a quarter say they are unhappy with their mental health (26%), while more than 3 in 10 (32%) are unhappy with their physical health.

Despite the breadth of challenges those in their mid-life face, little action is being taken to safeguard and improve personal finances, health and wellbeing. More than half (52%) of this age group have never calculated when they can afford to retire and three in five (61%) have never requested a free state pension forecast.

Even as the labour market outlook gets tougher, two in five (41%) have not updated their CV in over a year.

Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings and Retirement at Aviva, comments: “Much of the debate surrounding Covid-19 has focused on the needs of the youngest and oldest in society and there’s a risk that we overlook the millions in between. Before Covid-19 struck, 45-60 was the fastest growing age group of workers in the UK3 – bringing huge experience, skill and potential to the labour market. However, this age group is also the most likely to be overburdened with wealth, work and wellbeing concerns.  

“Those in mid-life are a resilient age-group, juggling a fuller working life, planning for retirement and contemplating the health implications that come with living longer.

"It’s vital that we support this age group to ensure they reach their full potential."

Aviva’s Mid-Life MOT education app

To better support consumers Aviva has pioneered its Mid-Life MOT programme and is now rolling its support out to the public via a new education app. The app brings together a range of publicly available tools in one place to help consumers take positive action to increase their preparedness for mid-life and beyond.

Aviva launched its Mid-Life MOT programme in 2018 for its employees aged over 45, assisting them to make plans to support the next phase of their work, wealth and wellbeing and identify practical steps they can take to support a fuller, more rewarding working life.  By launching the programme to the public, Aviva aims to boost this age group’s understanding of their readiness for the future, as well as their awareness of free sources readily accessible to them. 

Alistair McQueen continues: “Aviva’s internal Mid-Life MOT programme has been successfully running for over two years, providing guided education to those in mid-life in the management of their wealth, work and wellbeing. 

"The programme has delivered a double-digit increase in the participants’ confidence and in their awareness of where to seek more help.

“We don’t claim the Mid-Life MOT app provides all the answers. But we believe it could act as a helpful nudge towards greater control over their futures. At a time of such uncertainty, we believe that a sense of greater control can be of value to millions in mid-life.”


Research methodology

1Research of 3,001 UK consumers conducted on behalf of Aviva by Censuswide, September 2020. Censuswide is a member of ESOMAR- a global association and voice of the data, research and insights industry.

2 www.pymnts.com/mobile-applications/2020/consumers-used-mobile-apps-40-percent-more-during-lockdown/

3 https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/uklabourmarketmarch2020

‘Mid-life’ refers to those aged between 45-64-years-old throughout the release

*Throughout ‘worsened’ refers to the results for ‘greatly worsened’ and ‘somewhat worsened’ combined.

** Throughout ‘unhappy’ refers to the results for ‘very unhappy’ and ‘ quite unhappy’ combined.

Aviva’s Mid-Life MOT app

The free-to-public app provides education for people aged 45 to 60 in the management of their wealth, work and wellbeing. A 5-minute, 30-question quiz gives the user an indicative MOT score out of 100. The user can then access educational help to manage their wealth, work and wellbeing – from Aviva and via links to other publicly available sources, including the Money Advice Service, the NHS and the National Careers Service. The app can be freely downloaded from Apple and Android app stores. The app results are confidential to the user. Aviva is considering further developments to the Mid-Life MOT app over time.

Media Enquiries

Fiona Whytock

Retirement, Savings and Investments

Notes to editors:

  • We are the UK's leading diversified insurer and we operate in the UK, Ireland and Canada. We also have international investments in India and China.
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