Millions of Britons are now delaying these two things due to harsh economic reality | Personal Finance | Finance

Britons are putting their lives on hold – delaying having babies, retiring and even getting divorced – due to the high costs involved.

A new study reveals that even people who are apparently well off are effectively facing a block on starting a family.

At the same time, many older people have put back their retirement date as they continue to be weighed down with debt.

Just this week it emerged hundreds of thousands of people are taking on ultra-long mortgages they will be paying off well into their 60s and 70s.

Some nine in 10 – 89 percent – of people with assets of over £250k have delayed a ‘major life decision’ according to the fifth Saltus Wealth Index Report.

The research also found more than one in seven – 15 percent of those aged 35-44s have delayed having their first child or adding to their family.

This echoes official figures showing a decline in the birth rate in the UK, which is being seen across the industrialised world.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that birth rates are continuing to fall, particularly amongst women in their 30s and 40s, and are now at their lowest rate since 2002.

The same study found that 9 percent have delayed divorce plans with 6 percent citing the cost and associated alimony payments as their single biggest worry.

ONS data also shows that the divorce rate has declined 29.5 percent to the lowest rate since 1971.

The study found 20 percent have put plans to start their own business on hold, as the number of businesses in the UK falls for the first time in over a decade

The Saltus research suggests that wealthier Brits are changing their plans when it comes to work too. Around one in ten – 11 percent – have delayed their retirement plans.

Mike Stimpson, Partner at Saltus, said: “Our research shows that the current economic climate has had an impact on the thinking of many high net worth individuals when it comes to major life decisions.

“The vast majority say they have delayed plans, and while many are not life changing – such as delaying a holiday or the purchase of a car – others are hugely significant, such as putting off a divorce, delaying retirement and even putting off starting or adding to the family.

“The impact of the current climate on High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) additionally has some significant wider impacts, most notably those delaying starting a business.

“For the UK economy to thrive we need these entrepreneurs to be applying their skill and creativity, investing in and growing the businesses which will offer the jobs of the future and support wider economic growth.

“But short-term worries are causing understandable hesitation with the clients I speak to, and this should be a concern to us all.”

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