Never before have the British population’s life chances been so starkly divided by age, profession and region. The COVID pandemic has had an extremely uneven impact on people’s lives and livelihoods, often giving rise to divisions between the generations.

COVID intensifies the generation gap

Young adults have been disproportionately affected, with students restricted to online learning whilst still paying full price for accommodation and tuition. Meanwhile, workers under the age of 25 are more than twice as likely to lose their job in comparison with their older counterparts8.

According to the Intergenerational Foundation (IF), ‘Younger generations are under pressure like never before.’ A recent report from the Foundation highlights the effect this pressure has had on young adults’ mental health, warning that today’s children and young people risk becoming the ‘lost generation’ due to a lack of support and the government’s response to COVID-19.

Older generations feeling the strain

For those most at risk of complications from the virus, life has not been kind either. Elderly people have not only struggled with shielding and the resulting isolation, but access to key financial services, many of which have moved online during the pandemic. Access to cash and banking services has been a key concern; Age UK comments, ‘We are hurtling towards a cashless society with no real consideration for the many people who will be left behind.’

It’s good to talk

While it is easy to feel resentful, it’s important to remember that everybody has been affected in some way, no matter what their age. The crisis has highlighted health, social, emotional and financial vulnerabilities across the generations – but it has also shown us the importance of staying connected. Despite intergenerational divides, and despite the amount of time families have spent apart, the pandemic has brought many of us closer together.

So, now could be the perfect time to engage your family in conversations about financial matters. Money can be a contentious subject, but we’re here to help break down the barriers and get you talking positively and productively. 8 LSE, 2020

It is important to take professional advice before making any decision relating to your personal finances. Information within this page is based on our current understanding and can be subject to change without notice and the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed. It does not provide individual tailored investment advice and is for guidance only. Some rules may vary in different parts of the UK.

Tax and Estate planning are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

The value of pensions and investments can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.

Will writing is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

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