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14 Jan, 2008

Marcel Le Gouais
Date: 14-Jan-2008

Around 15 million Brits suffered a financial hit as a result of being unprepared for big life changes over the last two years, says new research from Abbey Mortgages.
The survey shows that almost two thirds of Brits (62%) have undergone a significant life change over the last two years, which has impacted them financially, and at least one in every three of these was unexpected.

Job changes account for the most common life change, with almost a third of Brits (30%) of those polled having moved jobs in the past two years.

Abbey says that while 7.7 million people - 17% of respondents - are better off as a result of their new job, 5.9 million people - 13% - have taken a pay cut.

The survey states that 21% of Brits experienced bereavement in the past two years, 16% moved home and 11% had an illness that meant they or their partner was unable to work.

A further 7% had a child and 5% received a windfall of some description.

But only 41% of those questioned expected a financially significant event to happen to them over the same period.

Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, head of mortgages at Abbey, says: "We all know that it pays to be prepared, but what's interesting is just how many people experienced a big life change in the relatively short period of two years.

"Making sure you have sufficient protection to cover job loss or illness when you have a big commitment such as a mortgage is one way of being prepared."

She adds: "Having a flexible mortgage could save you paying over the odds if your circumstances change."

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