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Press comment: Money can't buy you happiness, but can saving increase it?


If you’re covering the Office for National Statistics figures on personal and economic well-being please see the following comment from Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert at Quilter:

Rachael Griffin“Personal and economic growth are often seen to be directly correlated – in a nutshell the more money you have the happier you are. But today’s figures from the ONS remind us it’s far from that simple. It’s statistical evidence of old adages that health is wealth and money can’t buy you happiness. Self-reported health has the largest effect on life satisfaction, while household spending and house income impact have a significantly less impact than other personal and household circumstances.

“However, these stats are not saying – it’s not about money – what they are saying is it’s about money to a certain extent. The extent that you feel financially secure. After that point it’s about how you spend that money. And that point is crucial, it’s not saving, it’s spending. The figures from the ONS highlight that you are more likely to report higher life satisfaction if you have higher household spending, and spending appears to matter more than household income to people’s life satisfaction. So for someone with twice the level of household spending, their odds of reporting higher life satisfaction are 1.22 times greater.

“It’s important to be careful about what this is showing. It’s satisfaction at a point in time and says immediate satisfaction comes from spending money on hotels and restaurants or household furnishing (spending that leads to the highest satisfaction). What it’s not revealing is how that day to day spending, instead of saving, impacts your later life satisfaction. Currently retirees have the most life satisfaction, but that would be far from the case if they weren’t able to fund their lifestyles. What the ONS figures don’t show, and we hope they will look to capture in the future, is the impact of saving and having a financial plan on how the population feel about their lives.

“Research from Old Mutual Wealth* shows that over half of 30-45 year olds surveyed felt pessimistic about their financial future and nearly two thirds were concerned they won’t be able to afford a decent standard of living. However, having a financial plan in place made a significant positive impact on sentiment with 63% citing a positive description.

“Your current self may be feel better if you eat out every evening, but how would your future self-feel about it?”


* Over 3,000 adults aged 30 to 45 surveyed in 2017

For more information contact

Kathleen Gallagher023 8072 629307990

Notes to Editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £95.3 billion in customer investments (as at 31 March 2020).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Advice and Wealth Management and Wealth Platforms.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial advice business, Quilter Financial Planning; the discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

Wealth Platforms includes Old Mutual Wealth UK platform and Quilter International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore.

The Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business was acquired by ReAssure Group Plc on 2 January 2020.

Since its IPO in June 2018, Quilter plc’s businesses have progressively rebranded to Quilter, as follows: 

  • Quilter Financial Planning (previously Intrinsic)
  • Quilter Private Client Advisers (previously Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers)
  • Quilter Financial Advisers (previously Charles Derby Group)
  • Quilter Financial Adviser School
  • Quilter Cheviot
  • Quilter Investors
  • Old Mutual Wealth (becoming Quilter Investment Platform in 2020)
  • Quilter International (previously Old Mutual International)

This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.

Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.

This communication is issued by Quilter plc.  Registered office: Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London EC4V 4AJ, United Kingdom. Registered number: 6404270.  Registered in England.